Check out the best mountain bike road tires for 2021. Is it easy in finding a good one? It took me a lot of research and analysis before coming up with this product review list. Read on to find out more.
What is a cost-efficient upgrade on your mountain bike? That’s right, getting a new set of mountain bike (MTB) tires is the best solution to make an excellent upgrade for the functionality and aesthetics of your mountain bike.
Getting the right tire bikes is important because it helps in the traction of your mountain bike on dry or wet surfaces. Likewise, there are plenty of factors you need to consider before buying new MTB tires.
For your convenience, I have done the market research and product analysis for you. Likewise, I have included a simple buying guide talking about the essentials you need to look for remarkable MTB tires.
Table of Contents
- Best Road Tires for Mountain Bike Comparison Chart
- Top 15 Best Mountain Bike Road Tires Reviews in 2021
- Best for Overall: Street Fit 360 Bike Tires
- Best for Slick Road Tires: Maxxis Hookworm 29” Bike Tire
- Best for Hybrid Ride: Kenda Road+Trail Bike Tires
- Best for Smooth Road Performance: WTB Slick Bike Tires
- Best for Road High-Performance: Michelin Wild Run’r Tire
- Best for Quiet Ride: Schwalbe Big Ben Bike Tires
- Best for Reinforced Puncture Resistance: Continental Bike Tire
- Best for All-Around Road Tire: Panaracer Touring Road Bike Tire
- Best for Durable Rubber: Serra’s Drifter Bike Tires
- Best for Efficient Handling: Pirelli PZero Road Bike Tire
- Best for Paved trails: Schwalbe Hurricane Bike Tire
- Best for Hybrid Bikes: Sunlite K847 MTB Road Tires
- Best for Mountain Bike Trails: Goodyear Bead Mountain Bike Tire
- Best for Indoor Cycling: Tacx Road Bike Tire
- Best for Front Tire: Michelin Wild Racer Bike Tire
- Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Mountain Bike Road Tires?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- My Top Pick
Best Road Tires for Mountain Bike Comparison Chart
Road tires can replace mountain bike tires to ride on the road because it’s much lighter and thinner than wide and large mountain bike tires. The best road tires for mountain bikes are constructed with synthetic rubber or natural rubber with carbon black and wire with most air pressure range from 40- 85 psi. The thickness is around 23mm to 32mm.
The table below acts as a summary of top 15 best road tires for mountain bikes with some attributes to compare:
|Best Mountain Bike Road Tires||It's Best for||Weight||Pressure||Dimension|
|Street Fit 360 Bike Tires||Best Overall||2.1 lbs||40-65 psi||26” x 1.95”|
|Maxxis Hookworm 29” Bike Tire||Best for Slick Road Tires||2.2 lbs||65 psi||29.5” x 1” x 29.5”|
|Kenda Road+Trail Bike Tires||Best for Hybrid Ride||2.6 lbs||40-65 psi||26” x 1.95”|
|WTB Slick Bike Tires||Best for Smooth Road Performance||2.1 lbs||40-65 psi||29” x 3” x 29”|
|Michelin Wild Run’r Tire||Best for Road High-Performance||1 lb||40-65 psi||26.8” x 26.8” x 1”|
|Schwalbe Big Ben Bike Tires||Best for Quiet Ride||30-55||40-65 psi||68 L X 68 W X 5 H|
|Continental Bike Tire||Best for Reinforced Puncture Resistance||1.7 lbs||40-65 psi||12”-28”|
|Panaracer Touring Road Bike Tire||Best for All-Around Road Tire||740 g||85 psi||26" x 26" x 2"|
|Serra’s Drifter Bike Tires||Best for Durable Rubber||1.6 lbs||40-65 psi||13.78" x 13.78" x 1.97"|
|Pirelli PZero Road Bike Tire||Best for Efficient Handling||12.8 oz||40-65 psi||8” x 4” x 3”|
|Schwalbe Hurricane Bike Tire||Best for Paved trails||1.2 lbs||40-85 psi||11.8” x 11.8” x 11.8”|
|Sunlite K847 MTB Road Tires||Best for Hybrid Bikes||3.6 lbs||40-65 psi||14” x 14” x 8”|
|Goodyear Bead Mountain Bike Tire||Best for Mountain Bike Trails||1.6 lbs||40-65 psi||2.2” x 6.8” x 4.7”|
|Tacx Road Bike Tire||Best for Indoor Cycling||1.05 lbs||40-65 lbs||11” x 5” x 4”|
|Michelin Wild Racer Bike Tire||Best for Front Tire||1.55 lbs||40-65 psi||10” x 6” x 4”|
Top 15 Best Mountain Bike Road Tires Reviews in 2021
Great! Now, let us proceed towards reviewing the best brands and types of mountain bike road tires for 2021. Hop on! So you can find the right bike tires that match your needs and budget.
Best for Overall: Street Fit 360 Bike Tires
|Dimension||26” x 1.95”|
|Item weight||Not indicated|
|Compound||The wired bead rubber material|
- Wire Beads for enhanced durability and balanced tread wear
- Smooth and quiet touring for paved surfaces
- Reasonable price
- Excellent traction for off-road and paved road surfaces
- Excellent wet traction
- Quiet touring on pavements
- Durable rubber compound
- Nothing to the complaint so far
This MTB road tire provides an exceptional mix performance for off-road and paved road touring. When trailing on the off-road surface, it exudes decent traction and biting grip on dry or wet grounds. Meanwhile, when riding on pavements, you won’t hear swarming bees like sound which is evident for pure off-road MTB tires.
Best for Slick Road Tires: Maxxis Hookworm 29” Bike Tire
|Dimension||29.5” x 1” x 29.5”|
|Item weight||2.2 lbs|
|Tread||Symmetrical curved tread patterns|
|Compound||60 tip 2-ply rubber|
- Reinforced sidewalls for better cornering
- Symmetrical and curved tread patterns for a quiet and smooth touring on paved roads
- Lesser rolling resistance
- Quieter touring on paved roads
- Even tread wear
- Reasonable price
- Slightly heavy but worth your investment
These road MTB tires have a width of 2.5” which still fits for a mountain bike that is ideal for a 2.3” tire. This slick road tire is like a beast on the road, with very little rolling resistance needed to overcome to move and speed up. This attribute is highly contributed to its curved-shape tread pattern that is symmetrical on both sides. Overall, this is the second-best option to have for your MTB.
Best for Hybrid Ride: Kenda Road+Trail Bike Tires
|Dimension||26” x 1.95”|
|Item weight||2.6 lbs|
|Tread||Symmetrical and curved tread patterns|
|Compound||The wired bead rubber material|
- Symmetrical tread patterns for balanced handling and water traction
- Wired rubber beads for enhanced durability
- Reliable dual function for off-road and on-road surfaces
- Easy to move forward, the lesser force required to accelerate
- Reliable traction and hydroplaning resistance
- Longer tread life because of its wired bead
- Affordable price
- Off-road traction is minimized to fit for paved surfaces
This bike tire has an even tread pattern and wider central pattern which is great for paved road surfaces. Nonetheless, the rugged treads on the sides help in off-road touring and cornering.
Stability is not a question because of the wider width of its central rib. Moreover, it has a wired bead rubber compound which enhances even tread wear and long life of this bike tire.
Best for Smooth Road Performance: WTB Slick Bike Tires
|Dimension||29” x 3” x 29”|
|Item weight||2.1 lbs|
|Tread||Wide and smooth central rib pattern|
|Compound||Dual-ply tube bike tire|
- Diagonal tread patterns and channels
- Symmetrical tread design
- Wide central rib and sturdy sidewall
- Deepwater traction for paved and off-road surfaces
- Durable tread compound for even tread wear
- Quieter ride for on-road surfaces
- All features work as expected, no gripes so far
This slick bicycle tire for mountain bikes has a wide central rib which does most of its traction for paved road surfaces. Unlike the traditional off-road tires, this one is very quiet in its touring performance. Meanwhile, cornering and water traction is still good for this slick MTB tires.
Best for Road High-Performance: Michelin Wild Run’r Tire
|Dimension||26.8” x 26.8” x 1”|
|Item weight||1 lb|
|Tread||Smooth and symmetrical|
|Compound||The solid 2-ply rubber compound|
- Slick bike tire
- Smooth central rib pattern
- Durable sidewall for balanced cornering and water traction
- Excellent traction while being quiet in its motion
- Fairly durable on paved and rough terrains
- Reasonable price
- Great bike tires for your MTB, nothing to gripe about it
Michelin is one of the top brands when it comes to tires. This slick bike tire can be used for your mountain bikes which can greatly lift its on-road touring performance. The even and less aggressive tread designs of this bike tire proved great in reducing rolling resistance. With that, you can easily move and accelerate your ride at very minimal pedaling.
Moreover, it is very quiet and water traction is never a problem with this high-performance slick bike tire from Michelin.
Best for Quiet Ride: Schwalbe Big Ben Bike Tires
|Item weight||Not indicated|
|Tread||Symmetrical tread designs|
|Compound||Dual-layer of Nylon and Rubber Material|
- Compatible with fast-moving E-bicycles
- Quieter ride than the normal off-road bike tires
- Durable tread compound
- Reduced rolling friction for an easier way of moving forward and acceleration
- Dependable traction on dry and wet surfaces
- Touring experience is quieter
- Durable construction
- Viable tires for E-bicycles
- All worth the price, good MTB bike tires
You can expect a smooth and quiet ride from this MTB tire because of its even tread designs and its wide central rib pattern. The central rib contributes greatly to the handling, dry traction, and smoother ride on road surfaces.
The water channels on the side contribute to the excellent hydroplaning resistance of this bike tire. Moreover, there will be fewer chances of getting a flat tire because of its dual Nylon fiber construction underneath its rubber material.
This bike tires can also be used for your E-bikes. It increases its traction power so your E-bike can run longer distances.
Best for Reinforced Puncture Resistance: Continental Bike Tire
|Dimension||12”, 16”, 20”, 24”, 26”, 27”, 28”|
|Item weight||1.7 lbs|
|Tread||Uniform tread design|
|Compound||Eco-friendly made solid rubber material enclosed with sturdy casing|
- Rugged peripheral tread designs
- Wider central rib block
- Durable rubber compound reinforced with Nylon fiber
- Balanced tread wear leading to longer tread life
- Enhanced traction and cornering for both paved and rugged terrains
- Easier acceleration due to reduced rolling resistance
- Can be used for E-bicycles
- There is a minimal reflection on the tire’s sidewall
This MTB bike tire has a more aggressive tread design on the sides but a wider central rib pattern. The overall impact is better traction on both paved and rough terrains. The central rib does more traction and balances on paved road surfaces, minimizing noise in every turn.
The rugged tread patterns on the sides provide better traction on wet and off-road surfaces. The wider gaps on each tread block enable self-cleaning action as well for this bike tire.
Likewise, the enhanced rubber compound of this bike tires provides its impressionable resistance against sharp objects and punctures.
Best for All-Around Road Tire: Panaracer Touring Road Bike Tire
|Item weight||740 g|
|Tread||V-shaped symmetrical tread designs|
|Compound||Durable rubber compound with steel belts underneath|
- Tread patterns ideal for urban and rugged terrains
- Rubber material reinforced with steel beads underneath
- Excellent traction and grip on wet and dry surfaces
- Dependable features for all-around touring on paved and off-road surfaces
- Excellent balance and maneuver
- Reasonable cost
- Longer tread life
- No complaints so far
Whether you go for an urban or countryside ride, this bike tire from Panaracer is truly worthwhile for its all-around functionality. Its V-shaped tread designs help increase hydroplaning resistance, enabling efficient grip on wet surfaces.
You can guarantee a smooth and quiet ride from these bike tires because of its multiple side patterns which cut down rolling noise in every turn. Likewise, it aids in stable and accurate cornering.
Best for Durable Rubber: Serra’s Drifter Bike Tires
|Item weight||1 lb|
|Tread||Tread designs are inverted|
|Compound||Dual-ply rubber material|
- Dual Density Technology for a more solid rubber compound
- Tread patterns are inverted so that rolling friction is reduced
- Lower risks for flat tires
- Faster acceleration due to reduced rolling friction
- Sturdy rubber material for longer tread life
- Effective traction on wet and dry road surfaces
- Reduced risk for flat tires
- It’s exactly what it is and the overall benefit is great. No gripes
Among all MTB tires, this one has the best rubber material because of its Dual Density Technology. Typically, a hard rubber material helps reduce rolling friction, whereas, a soft rubber compound improves biting action on every surface.
The tread patterns of this bike tire are symmetrical and not that rugged for extreme off-road touring. The alternate C-tread blocks provide better hydroplaning resistance on wet surfaces.
Best for Efficient Handling: Pirelli PZero Road Bike Tire
|Dimension||8” x 4” x 3”|
|Item weight||12.8 oz|
|Tread||Smooth and symmetrical patterns|
|Compound||Dual-layer rubber material with Silica and steel belts|
- 127 TPI rubber casing
- Rubber compound incorporated with Silica particles
- Symmetrical and smooth tread patterns
- Stable cornering and grip on wet surfaces
- Superb handling and traction
- Increased tread life
- Lacks aggressive tread patterns for off-road touring
The central rib pattern of this tire is wide enough to ensure smooth and balanced handling on paved road surfaces. The tread designs are symmetrical and less aggressive to minimize noise and friction.
The incorporated Silica particles increase its traction and biting grip on road surfaces. Aside from its sturdy rubber compound, the steel belts underneath provide more balanced tread wear.
Best for Paved trails: Schwalbe Hurricane Bike Tire
|Dimension||11.8” x 11.8” x 11.8”|
|Item weight||1.2 lbs|
|Tread||Symmetrical tread designs and sturdy sidewall|
|Compound||Durable rubber material with wide steel belts underneath|
- Symmetrical tread designs
- Solid sidewalls
- Durable rubber compound with Silica beads
- Longer tread life
- Quieter ride on paved road surfaces
- Excellent balancing and cornering on on-road surfaces
- The strong biting grip on wet and dry surfaces
- No complaints so far
The central rib of this mountain bike tires is wide enough to promote balanced handling on both paved and off-road surfaces. Its sidewall has rugged tread blocks that enable accurate cornering while increasing tread life.
The V-shaped tread pattern on both sides of the central rib increases hydroplaning resistance. The smaller tread blocks served as stone ejectors for a self-cleaning action. Moreover, it runs smoother and lesser noise on paved surfaces.
Best for Hybrid Bikes: Sunlite K847 MTB Road Tires
|Dimension||14” x 14” x 8”|
|Item weight||3.6 lbs|
|Tread||Uniform with multiple sipes on the shoulder|
|Compound||Enhanced rubber component with Silica particles|
- Larger tread blocks on the sides
- The smooth and wide central rib
- Reinforced rubber material with wide steel belts underneath
- Tire’s shoulders have raised tread blocks to effectively make turns and corners
- The effective biting grip on paved and off-road surfaces
- Lower noise produced during rotation
- Very satisfied with its features and functionality, no gripes for the moment
- Slightly heavy
This MTB tire has an exceptional feature that can fully function both on and off-road terrains. It has a smooth central rib which ensures a reduction of its rolling friction. The downward V-pattern redirects water out from the central rib to ensure a good grip on wet surfaces.
There are multiple lateral sipes on the sidewall to minimize the noise in every turn. It is an exceptional MTB rubber tire that has reputable hybrid functionalities for off-road and paved surfaces. Overall, I find it a good tire for your mountain and E-bicycles.
Best for Mountain Bike Trails: Goodyear Bead Mountain Bike Tire
|Dimension||2.2” x 6.8” x 4.7”|
|Item weight||1.6 lbs|
|Tread||Symmetrical with raised tread blocks in a random manner|
|Compound||Sturdy rubber material with Silica components|
- Hybrid features for an all-out off and on-road touring
- Durable rubber component with Silica granules for increased grip
- Uniform tread pattern
- Even tread wear and longer tread life
- The lesser risk for flat tires
- The effective biting grip over off- and on-road surfaces
- The installation process takes time
This MTB tire from Goodyear has a uniform tread pattern. It has multiple raised tread blocks that effectively bite on the ground. Never fear for a noisy ride because the several tread blocks are capable enough to cut down noise during its revolution.
The gaps in between each raised blocks contribute to the hydroplaning resistance of the tire. This, in turn, provides reliable wet traction both on paved and rugged terrains.
Best for Indoor Cycling: Tacx Road Bike Tire
|Dimension||11” x 5” x 4”|
|Item weight||1.05 lbs|
|Tread||Smooth even tread design|
|Compound||Enhanced rubber component|
- Strong rubber material with Silica particles
- Side reflection
- Fast acceleration due to low rolling friction
- Great for on-road rides
- Quiet and smooth handling
- Accurate turns
- Not suitable for rugged outdoor terrains
The smooth pattern of this bike tire is impressionably useful in giving you the best smooth and fast ride on the road. Its rubber material has enough Silica to increase its grip and biting action, thus, no worries about slipping or skidding.
Because of the smooth tread patterns, it is only very useful for on-road surfaces and very less likely for rugged and off-road surfaces. You can surely travel longer distances on paved roads because it has low rolling resistance, thus, you can speed up quickly without straining your feet and legs.
Best for Front Tire: Michelin Wild Racer Bike Tire
|Dimension||10” x 6” x 4”|
|Item weight||1.55 lbs|
|Tread||Aggressive tread blocks|
|Compound||Durable rubber compound|
- Self-cleaning action
- Elevated tread blocks
- Finer tread designs on the central rib
- Excellent for tough and muddy grounds
- Superb traction on wet and dry surfaces
- Durable and highly resistive to punctures and cuts
- Slightly noisy
This MTB tire can still be used or paved road surfaces but it will be slightly noisy because of its elevated tread blocks. Overall, its tread pattern is great for muddy and off-road terrains. It can sufficiently tract dry and wet grounds because of its larger tread blocks and deeper grooves.
Its rubber material is enhanced with a stronger compound with Silica granules for better biting action. It has a sturdy sidewall to avoid any puncture from sharp rocks on the sides. Overall, its tire shoulder promotes accurate cornering with a lesser chance of falling out.
Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Mountain Bike Road Tires?
So we are done talking about the top 15 best mountain bike tires 2021. Now, let us focus on the essentials which you need to look for when buying your new set of MTB tires. Each factor must be considered since it affects the performance of your mountain bike road tires.
The Kinds of MTB Tires
- Front Tires: We the front and rear tires for your mountain bikes, and this is the first classification. The front tires are responsible for the control and stability of maneuvers. This is the main reason why most customers would want their front tires to be thicker and tougher.
- Rear Tires: In contrast, the rear tires are responsible for the power of your mountain bike. It must have sufficient traction which helps in pushing your MTB forward and gaining more speed. Likewise, the rear tire must have lower rolling friction so that you won’t be stressed out in making it move faster. With that, MTB rear tires are typically narrower than the ones in front.
Do we go for tubeless or tube MTB tires?
Tubeless bike tires are the ones popular in the market today. It has no inner tubing and contains a liquid sealant inside which immediately seals off small holes on your tubeless tires. Here are some of the benefits and setbacks of a tubeless MTB tire.
- Reduced weight added to your bike
- Easier traction on a greater surface area
- No worries of getting a flat tire for the entire trip
- Pressure requirement is usually lower compared to tubed tires
- Setting it up requires a longer time
- Comes at a higher upfront cost
Meanwhile, tube MTB tires are still used today, and like the tubeless types, it also has its respective pros and cons.
- More affordable than its tubeless counterparts
- Availability of tubes is not a question
- Easier to set up than tubeless bike tires
- Sealing off small holes is simple as well
- Higher risk for getting a flat tire
- Weighs heavier than its tubeless counterparts
- Requires higher tire pressure to efficiently run
- Maintenance level is slightly high compared to tubeless alternatives
The quality of rubber compound used in any MTB tires is important because it affects several features of the tire which include wear and tear, traction, hydroplaning resistance, rolling friction, and price.
For mountain bike road tires, an excellent choice will be going for those made of dual-compound rubber tires. It has a good blend of performance, price, and durability.
Determining the tread patterns of your MTB tires is critical towards its traction, rolling resistance, and balance. In general, there are two shapes for your tread designs, that is, round and square-shaped patterns.
If you plan to ride on smooth and plane surfaces, then getting a round-shaped tread pattern with closer spacing is ideal. Meanwhile, for off-road surfaces, you can go for the square-shaped patterns with wider spacing for better traction and grip on dry and wet surfaces.
MTB Tire Size
Generally, there are three main sizes to choose from for your MTB tires – 26”, 27.5”, and 29” in diameter. Bigger wheel size tends to cover more distances compared to others with smaller diameters. However, the latter proves to have better stability than MTB tires with wider diameters.
Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ section is added information regarding the common questions thrown by customers when they are shopping for MTB tires. I have supplied brief and sufficient answers to each question.
Can bicycle tires for the road be used for mountain bikes?
This is a yes. Even if your mountain bikes have larger wheel clusters, still a road bike tire can be used for it.
Is it fine to use mountain bikes for urban commuting?
Well, there are pros and cons of using a mountain bike for urban commuting. Some of the known benefits for using mountain bikes on paved surfaces include comfortable seat padding, exceptional traction for dry, wet, and light snow conditions, rugged and durable quality.
The minor setbacks of MB would include noisy ride and harder pedaling since the tread patterns are usually rugged which induces higher rolling resistance.
Why mountain bikes run slower on paved or off-road surfaces?
There are two main factors for this: (1) the heavier weight of the bike, and (2) staggered and aggressive tread patterns.
Which is better, a road bike or a mountain bike?
There is no straight answer to this because it all depends on your purpose of buying a bicycle. Each type has its respective pros and cons, which you need to consider. In general, a mountain bike has a better edge on versatility, whereas, a road bike is for street commuting convenience. The bottom line for choosing will be the purpose, budget, and convenience.
Are wider bike tires better than narrower ones?
It is not entirely true that switching to wider bike tires is totally beneficial. However, you can feel a good reduction in rolling resistance when you upgrade from a 23-mm to a 25-mm bicycle tire. This increased in performance can also be linked to the lesser contact area with a wider bicycle tire.
Can I put skinny tires on a mountain bike?
Yes, you can put the skinny road tires on a mountain bike, but you should consider the size for your rim and know that the narrow tires have drawbacks that are less shock absorbing.
My Top Pick
Finally, you are done reading through the entire article. Just a recap, the top pick for this article is Street Fit 360 Bike Tires. Its tread pattern is just right to ensure a smooth and quiet ride for both paved and tough terrains. Traction for dry and wet grounds is not a problem because of its deeper grooves and rubber-Silica compound.
I guess you now have enough details on what road tires to buy for your mountain bikes. Enjoy scanning again and choosing the best tires for your all-around touring experience.