The 10 Best Mountain Bike Road Tires in 2018 – Ultimate Guide

What is the essential upgrade that you can make to your mountain bike? The answer is a set of mountain bike tire with an appropriate tread pattern. If you are on the website for buying a set of MTB Road Tire, you will see a vast range of tires in tread pattern, sizes, constructions, weight.

You will be confused looking at these options. This article aims to provide information about different tire brands and their products. We have also included a buying guide to uncover the mysteries and misconceptions about tires to pick the best product.

Review of the Best Mountain Bike Road Tires

There are a lot of MTB road tires on the market, and it is hard to know which one is the best for you. The companies create new tires, update tread compound and designs in every season. Everyone rides different trails and terrains thus needs different usage tires.

Considering all the features and the needs of a rider, here we have made a list of 10 best road tires for mountain bike. Hers, we tried to find out the advantages and disadvantages of different tires also.

Besides, We have also included a mountain bike tire buying guide to assist you to pick the best one that fits your necessity. Hope, you will find this road tires for mountain bike review and the buying guide helpful.

 

1. Kenda K838 Slick Wire Bead Bicycle Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresThe Kenda brand tires are highly respected and a regular choice amongst many people. The Kenda K838 model features wire bead, hybrid construction, patterned after motorcycle tires and excellent performance.

The Kenda K838 Slick Wire Bead tires offer increased speed and less rolling resistance for MTB and hybrid bikes without sacrificing traction. The K838 Slick gives a smooth and reliable rolling surface that allows the tire to increase and maintain speed on pavements and rocky trails.

Besides, the wider profile and directional grooves of the tire provide the traction required for all-terrain riding. The grooves also effectively channel water to maintain a perfect grip on wet roads.

The Blackwall side reduces the overall weight and the wire bead pattern boosts the strength and durability of the tire. The Kenda K838 is the best for off the road and also an excellent choice for on the road experience.

Pros

  • Hybrid road and trail tire
  • Patterned after motorcycle technology
  • Maximum PSI 65 pounds and minimum PSI 40 pounds
  • Smooth and simple installation
  • Wheel size is 26 x 1.95 inches
  • Weighs about 737 grams

Cons

  • The tires may not work fine in a sub-tropic weather
  • Great option to turn your mountain bike into a road bike!
  • Bell Mountain Tire

 

2. Bell Mountain Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresIf you are searching for a set of quality tire and on a budget, Bell mountain tires are for you. You will be impressed with the toughness of this tires.

Bell accessories usually are not that much expensive, and they always maintain a balance between quality and price. They are offering such features that you will positively be surprised.

Bell Mountain Tires are aggressive enough for decent off-road traction. It has a foldable Kevlar bead that goes on smooth. It has very thin but sturdy sidewalls. They have excellent climbing grip and cornering with lower rolling resistance.

These are good for moderate mud also. You can also use them in all weather including rain and snow. Don’t have to slow down to take street corners.

Pros

  • Made of 100% other fibers
  • Anti-puncture protection with Kevlar layer
  • Carbon steel folding bead
  • Available in 7 different styles and size
  • Tall, knobby tread offers superior traction
  • Weighs only about 2 pounds

Cons

  • Difficult to put on rims
  • Not suitable for pavement

 

3. Kenda K850 Aggressive MTB Wire Bead Bicycle Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresKenda is a famous manufacturer of MTB tires for the quality rubber compound and solid tread patterns. The Kenda K850 model is not an exception, K850 is designed for all types of terrains.

It features an aggressive tread pattern that provides its best on the off-road grounds. You can also enjoy the decent performance on pavements too.

The K850 also has an impressive grip on slippery surfaces. Its wide sidewalls perform exceptionally well on slopes way of riding uphill or downhill. Kenda K850 also provides surprisingly low rolling resistance on pavements due to the nearly continuous tread pattern at the center of the tire.

The tall, aggressive tread pattern also gives you protection over the goat head burrs. Its high-quality compound ensures long-lasting performance if they are appropriately cared for.

Pros

  • Aggressive tread design for extreme performance
  • K850 Bicycle Tire uses quality rubber compounds
  • Wheel size is 26 X 1.95 inches
  • Ultra-durable steel bead construction
  • Available in various styles and sizes
  • Item weighs around 1.61 pounds

Cons

  • This is not the best option for wet rocky surface.

 

4. Schwinn All Terrain Bicycle Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresIf you are an average rider and not a pro, Schwinn MTB tire is for you. This is an excellent set of tire for your commuter bike that sometimes needs to take on the trails.

Schwinn MTB Tires feature a built-in flat resistant layer for extreme protection on the road or trail. Its durable steel bead and traction is suitable for trail riding.

Schwinn All Terrain Bicycle Tires offer a lower resistance that is why they are good for trails and pavement. The tread blocks on the sides form a lovely layer for carving, grips in such a way as to give you confidence when turning hard.

Though it is not the most aggressive off-road tire it does well for both. You may not find a better balance.

Pros

  • Built-in flat resistant layer for ultimate protection
  • Durable steel bead construction
  • Tire dimensions: 26-Inch × 2.0-Inch.
  • Item weighs only 2 pounds
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • This is made by Innova, that’s one of Schwinn’s outsource factories

 

5. Maxxis Ignitor Mountain Bike Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresThe Maxxis Ignitor’s tread pattern was designed for the professional racers and already has laid claim to several World Cup victories. This well-spaced tread pattern fills in properly to provide low rolling resistance. Its ramped pentagonal knobs offer excellent traction in the corners.

This is a fantastic tire, and it works like a victor on the rear with a Maxxis Ardent on the front. It also provides plenty of grips and sweeps turns at speed. It wears well, is not noisy on the pavement and rolls pretty fast.

It gives you a little extra confidence in turns and corners. Its knobby tread does not hold mud and also keeps you from spending time on the ground. Overall, it’s well worth the price!

Pros

  • Extended wear, low rolling resistance rubber compound
  • Durable, Lightweight 60 TPI casing
  • Performance cross country tire
  • Can be converted into tubeless
  • Lifelong 70a or race-proven eXCeption Series 62a compound
  • Size is 29×2.1 inches
  • Made in Taiwan

Cons

  • Great for light use on trails
  • Do not last very long

 

6. Kenda 163026 Big City Slick Wire Bead Bicycle Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresIf you are a mountain bike rider in the urban landscape, commute to work by road or on trails on the weekends. You have to buy a great hybrid tire set that has traction and less roll resistance.

There is a lot of tires on Amazon.  Kenda 163026 MTB tire features thick, sturdy rubber compound construction and light, thin rubber sidewalls. They also grip significantly during hard braking, both rear and front.

Kenda 163026 Big City Slick Wire Bead Bicycle Tire give a light, nimble footprint on the road. They grip pavement/sidewalk quite well, even into tight corners. If you aren’t ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a road bike tire, these are the best option. Excellent tires for the price.

Pros

  • Low resistance rubber compounds
  • Sturdy wire bead construction
  • Pretty easy installation
  • Excellent tires for cruising around
  • Wheel size 26 x 1.95 inches

Cons

  • These aren’t the best tires for sharp turns
  • Lower puncture resistance

 

7. Maxxis Ardent Mountain Bike Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresThe Maxxis Ardent is a very aggressive tire and great for climbing. With a wide range of size options, the Ardent captures every mountain bike rider’s attraction.

This is a dynamic tread in high-volume casings distinguishes between the latest addition to Maxxis’ downhill and mountain disciplines. They can grip nicely on slick-rock with no sensation of the knobs. They also float through the sand perfectly.

The Ardent is designed with excellent traction in mind. It has large block-style side knobs that offer numerous edges for high-speed corners. And its center tread is designed for braking and accelerating traction.

It also features ramped knobs to reduce rolling resistance. There was approximately no noise from the center knobs rolling. They are around 2.28 inches carcass width, and 2.4 inches tread diameter, so they grip and absorb shock entirely.

Pros

  • Excellent cornering, rolling and traction.
  • Large block-style side knobs
  • Tubeless-ready
  • The tire size is 26×2.4 inches
  • High volume casing
  • Lightweight, it weighs less than 1 pound
  • Made in Taiwan

Cons

  • This tire is not ideal for very rocky trail
  • Jack of all trades but master of none

 

8. Continental Trail King Fold ProTection Bike Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresContinental has been manufacturing their tires since 1871. The Continental Trail King is perfect for almost all trail environment. Great traction, Fast rolling, Durability reviewers used these words to describe its quality.

The Trail King features Continental’s Black Chili compound tire which improves grip by 30%, reduces rolling resistance by 26% and also adds 5% more mileage.

The Trail King has a floating badger on top of the 3:2 overlap, an enhanced Continental casing rubber, and apex insert for better withstand the abuse. The trail king has low rolling resistance and also grips as well as any other expensive tires.

The black chili compound and the knob design and allows the tires to handle climbing and downhill on diverse terrain with ease. You will be happy with the performance of the King!

Pros

  • Continental’s Black Chili compound tire
  • The tire size is 26×2.2 inches
  • Tubeless-ready
  • Light and nimble, it weighs about 650 grams
  • Hand-made in Germany

Cons

  • Difficult to seal as tubeless on UST rims
  • Can be tricky to set the bead

 

9. WTB VelociRaptor Mountain Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresIf you are looking for a pair of tire that is great at climbing, just pump the WTB VelociRaptor mountain tires, and you can get up anything. The WTB VelociRaptors special edition has outstanding front steering control, while the rear delivers substantial traction to get up the rough trail conditions.

The WTB VelociRaptor mountain tire is dominating the trail for more than a decade.  They are built to face almost all dirt conditions to provide you excellent climbing and exceptional cornering traction.

The lightweight casing rolls fast and tears through anything in its path. The WTB VelociRaptors special edition tires also feature Aramid reinforced tread that maximizes puncture resistance.

Pros

  • The size of the tire is 26×2.1 inches
  • Front tire gives you precise steering control
  • Rear tire climbs and brakes obstacles
  • 26 inches Bead Folding Comp
  • Aramid reinforced tread
  • Weighs about 830 grams

Cons

  • little bouncy and difficult to control
  • Great off road tire but quite heavy and not good on the pavements!

 

10. Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire

Best Mountain Bike Road TiresThe Schwalbe Hans Dampf is available in two versions, the TrailStar compound, and PaceStar compound. Here we are talking about TrailStar version. The TrailStar compound is very high in rolling resistance and also has a decent amount of grip and sturdiness.

The Hans Dampf is tubeless ready. The Snakeskin version has sidewalls with a 67 thread count per inch and weighs about 680 grams while the Super Gravity is 1040 grams. A TrailStar on the front wheel might be an ideal choice as there is a fewer load on the front wheel.

They are tough enough for those who are fond of trail riding and loves to ride over rocky and rooted topography. Hans Dampf TrailStar is great on a slightly-softer terrain. They also offer a lot of cornering grip.

Overall, these are an excellent semi-aggressive set of tires for your mountain bike. The Hans Dampf TrailStar will be an excellent choice if you are an owner of wider rims bicycle as they are very stable with no carcass flex.

Pros

  • TrailStar triple compound
  • Tubeless-ready clincher
  • 67 TPI
  • Wheel size is 27.5 inches x 2.35 inches
  • The weight of SnakeSkin is 680 g and SuperGravity is 1040 g
  • Available in different color and style
  • Made in Indonesia

Cons

  • They are not the best in muddy conditions.
  • Not good in corners with high speed

 

Buying Guide of Mountain Bike Road Tires

There are a ton of options on the web for you to choose from. But which one is the best one? Here we have included the buying guide to help you. Just read and follow the steps to pick the best one.

Types

According to their intended use tires can be classified into many categories. Cross-country, Downhill, All-mountain, Dirt jumps, etc. are designed to excel in their particular disciplines. Most tire types are available in tubeless or tubular versions.

Cross-country tire is the lightest of the group, with skinny sidewalls, small knobs for fast rolling characteristics. This type comes in folding bead to reduce weight. They are between 1.8 inches and 2.25 inches wide.

Downhill tire uses softer rubber compounds, has large knobs for more traction and equipped with thicker sidewalls to resist puncture. They are the most massive and widest tire in the industry. They are in between 2.3 inches to 2.7 inches.

All-mountain tires are available in ranging from 2 to 2.4 inches wide. They come in different tread patterns and styles depending on how aggressive the bike riders are.

Dirt jump tires are designed for smoother terrain and use less extreme tread patterns to decrease rolling resistance and to assist carrying speed.

Compound

The rubber compound influences the longevity, traction, and rolling resistance of the MTB tires. Several compounds can be used on one tire too. The hard compound provides a base for the tread blocks. It lasts longer and rolls faster, but softer compound gives more traction.

The hard rubber compound is used on the center tread for increasing wear resistance and rolling speed. Softer compounds provides extra grip in turns. Cross-country tires use harder rubber compounds.

Trail and all-mountain tires use the medium to soft rubber compounds while Downhill tires use a soft compound rubber.

Tire Size

Like as a wheel, mountain bike tires are of three different diameters: 26-inch, 27.5-inch also known as 650b and 29-inch. Tire width is a key feature in the performance of a mountain bike. A wider tire offers greater steadiness when cornering and moving fast.

Wider tire reduces mud clearance between the tire and the frame. A cross-country bike uses tires in the 1.9 inches to 2.25 inches width range. Trail and all-mountain bike use tires in the 2.25 inches to 2.4 inches width range. While downhill bikes, which are equipped with tires ranging up to 2.5 inches wide.

Weight

It is one of the most critical factors to look for while buying tires. Light-weight tires are much easier to change direction, speed up or even stop. Massive tires are thicker and able to resist punctures. They are also more stable than the light-weight tires.

Carcass & TPI

Carcass is the fabric body or skeleton of the tire. TPI is the number of threads in per inch in the carcass. The reinforced carcass is protective but not that much comfortable. On the other hand, A lighter carcass is more likely to get a puncture. Tires with more TPI are higher quality with more delicate feel.

Bead

The beads keep the tire from blowing off the rim at the air pressures.  The bead is the steel or Kevlar cables folded into the inside edges of the tire case. Kevlar Bead makes the tire lighter, floppy and flexible. This also makes the tire foldable for easier transport.

They are expensive and difficult to install. Steel beads are also known as wire beads. These beads hold their shape better for easier mounting. They are less costly and typically more substantial but easy to install.

Final Words

When upgrading is necessary, many MTB riders go for suspension system or gears forgetting about the most critical part ‘the tires’. As tires are the first contact between the trail and your bike, you need to buy the best mountain bike tires.

Here we have discussed about best road tires for mountain bike and included a buying guide to choose the best one. We also mentioned about the pros and cons of the products as you can make your decision quickly. Hope, this mountain bike road tires review will help you.

 

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