Best Mountain Bike Tires [Review] in 2021

Last Updated on September 9, 2021

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Are you looking for the best mountain bike tires money can buy? 

Well, why wouldn’t you be? If you want your bike to provide the best performance, then you need to ensure that all the parts are functional. Bike tires are the most important part because they determine the performance of the bike. This means that you need to be very careful when buying them to ensure that you have picked the best.

This is especially true now many cheaper tires are flooding the market under the guise of brilliant deals when in fact these tacky tires will start to wear after just a few rides on the most gentle fo terrains.

But don’t let that put you off.

We’ve done all of the necessary research for you already. By comparing grip, sidewalls, rolling resistance, and many other key factors needed for the best mountain bike tires we’ve narrowed over a dozen products down into the top 4 so you can easily find one that suits you and your bike.

And each of these products has its own perks so don’t let the position on the list put you off. There are important features that our number 3 and 4 tires have that 1 and 2 don’t deliver on as effectively. And the same goes vice versa. So be sure to check them all out so you can make the best and most well-rounded decision.

So, now that’s all out of the way, let’s get cracking with the list.

We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:

1.8k
Reveiws considered
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hours spent finding
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Products compared
8
articles studied

Best Mountain Bike Tires

1.

Schwinn Replacement Tire

Top Choice Item

Here it is, our number one MTB tire.

The Schwinn replacement bike tire is a 26 x 1.95 inch MTB tire for off-road riding and takes our top spot for the best mountain bike tires. The wide, blocky knobs provide traction on loose or rocky terrain and the outer knobs extend over the tire edge for sidewall protection.

It Fits internal rim widths of 19mm to 29mm and has a PSI range of 40 to 65 so you’re gonna get some good use out of this. Schwinn is a very well-known bike brand so you can rest assured when buying anything from them that you’re going to get quality.

But how can you be sure?

Well, just take a look at the reviews. Currently, these mountain bike tires are the number 1 bestseller on Amazon with a 4.5-star rating and almost 2000 reviews.

Let’s take a look at what some of these happy customers have said. “I wanted to replace my bike but decided to try new tires instead. They were very easy to replace with the tool and a few youtube videos. I added tire liners between the tire and tube, and I added the liners between the tube and the metal wheel spokes. Very easy to change out and we have now used them for several months with no flats yet.”

In fact, our favorite thing about these tires is that no one seemed to have trouble fitting them and the quality remained consistent. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions but generally, this is a great choice when it comes to mountain bike tires.

So what are you waiting for? Add them to your basket.

Pros
R
Good traction on rough terrain
R
40 to 65 PSI
R
Easy to fit
R
Cheap
Cons
Q
Slightly heavy

Latest deal: Schwinn Replacement Tire

2.

Maxxis Ardent Race 3C

Here comes another exceptional product for anyone who needs a tire that is reliable for all terrains.

These race-winning tires are really going to set you apart from other riders. They’re used by professionals and amateurs alike so you know that these are going to make the roughest of terrains smooth as butter.

These 2.2inch tires are tested for durability and have high-volume casing with medium knob height making them ideal for technical xc racecourses. These are easily some of the best mountain bike tires on the market right now.

But what did others have to say about them?

One customer said “Great Tire. Used them on the 2019 Tour Divide. Ran with Ikons prior. Will use the same set-up next time” while another complimented the “Excellent, fast-rolling tire, with grip and strong sidewalls to handle rocks and roots”. Now, that’s hard to argue with.

However, we like to keep things balanced. One negative review we did find had this to say: “The rolling resistance was absolutely HORRIBLE! Felt like I just did a 40mi ride with all the effort to get them to roll decent.” Now, judging by the other reviews we’re going to assume this is an isolated case but it’s worth considering if you need the best tires possible for an upcoming race.

We love these tires though rolling resistance comments aside and think they’d look great on your MTB bike.

Pros
R
Suitable for pros and amateurs
R
Durable
R
Faster rolling tire
R
Strong grip
Cons
Q
Rolling resistance may not be the best

Latest deal: Maxxis Ardent Race 3C

3.

Panaracer Fire XC Wire MTB Tire

Up next in the number 3 spot we introduce you to the Panaracer Fire Tire.

If a confidence-inspiring tire with fantastic braking traction is what you’re looking for then look no further. This is easily one of the best mountain bike tires money can buy.

Made in Japan, The red sidewall sets this Panaracer tire apart. The tread looks unique and installation can be done by even the most amateur bike technicians. With a PSI 35-55 you’ll get some decent inflation and the ability to ride in a whole bunch of different conditions.

But of course, that’s not all.

While perhaps not the best choice for more aggressive riders you’ll get a lot of enjoyment taking these tires for a spin on the lighter trails and we wanted to mention that the rolling resistance on this one will pleasantly surprise you making these a great counter to the Maxxis.

Now, onto the reviews, one customer had this to say: “Really great tires, super grippy and lighter than most would recommend for any type of trail” While another said this: “My last set of these babies lasted me 12 years of active riding. I looked around at other options when it was time to replace them, but can’t justify $70 for high-end tires when I know the Panaracers will work great. And the red sidewall just looks cool.” We’re inclined to agree with that comment on the red sidewall too.

So as you can see we weren’t exaggerating when we labeled these as some of the best mountain bike tires available. So buy them now. Your bike will thank you for it.

Pros
R
Sleek red sidewall aesthetic
R
Tubeless
R
Good rolling resistance
R
Durable
Cons
Q
Not the ideal choice for hardcore riders

Latest deal: Panaracer Fire XC Wire MTB Tire

4.

MAXXIS Minion DHRII 3C

Prime Picked Item

Last but certainly not least on our list of the best mountain bike tires is the Maxxis Minion DHR II.

Much better than its Maxxis Minion DHF counterpart in our opinion as the Minion DHR II feels as if it’s of a higher quality. With these tires, you’ll absorb shock much better, conform to any rocks and roots that stand in your way as well as grip them better with less chance of sliding off and out from under you. 

These aren’t the most lightweight tires available but the grip is key when it comes to these which in our opinion, makes them well worth the extra added weight. 

Now of course, by now you know that’s not all. What have others said?

Our favorite review has to be from this customer “Fantastic tires, I put my old tubed tires through hell off-road, and paid the price for it with tons of flats. Since I mounted these as tubeless tires, I haven’t had any issues at all. The sidewalls are strong enough that even during intense mountain biking, I have never had a burp.”

While another had this to comment “I wasn’t too sure about these at first, because they seem to roll a little slower than my Racing Ralph, but it’s been great here in the fall with the pine straw. It’s still pretty fast, and it grips so well in the turns and on the loose stuff.”

The feedback on these tires is fantastic and with a 4.5-star rating, making the Minion DHR II deserving of a place on this list of the best mountain bike tires. Now, you shouldn’t need much more convincing. These are the real deal and a must-have!

Pros
R
Fantastic grip
R
Outdoes the Minion DHF
R
Tubeless
R
Strong sidewalls
Cons
Q
Slightly heavier

Latest deal: MAXXIS Minion DHRII 3C 

Mountain Bike Tires – A Buyer’s Guide

While buying any kind of product, you’ll look at different things such as quality, features, ratings, price, comfort, and much more. If you are buying a product, you will look for all these features to get the right one according to your requirements. You compare products and see all the things in different products that suit the most to your budget, and the criteria are the right ones for you.

If you want to buy mountain bike tires, you should do some research and compare different products. In MTB bikes or any other bike, the tires play an important role. The tire should provide steering control, grip, resistance, and great casing.

It should be lighter in weight but should also be tougher at the same time. If you want to get the right one according to your needs, then you can compare the products mentioned in this article. The products mentioned above in the article are the top 8 best mountain bike tires; if you need to buy one, you can go to the given link.

Searching for MTB bike tires is not an easy task especially if you are doing this for the first time. To make your work easier, you should check the following.

Tubes or Tubeless – Most of the traditional tires have an inner tube that keeps them inflated.  However, not all tires have a tube. The good thing about the tubeless tires is that they are very light which allows them to roll easily.

Features – You will find that mountain bike tires come with different features. For example, most of them have raised knobs or lugs that enable them to more swiftly on muddy terrains. The best tire should provide low rolling resistance and a secure grip.  It should also have some cushioning for it to move easily.

Traction – Traction is the other thing you need to check when buying mountain bike tires. Traction is what determines the grip and stability of the bike. The best tire should have a wide tire and reliable treads which are able to provide the required grip when cycling on different terrains.

Heavy Vs Light – Most of the mountain bikes are a bit heavy. This means that adding a heavy tire won’t be the best idea. Although heavy tires provide better stability than light ones, sometimes they may not be easy to peddle especially when climbing hills. Light tires are always easier to roll which means that they are much faster than the heavier ones. If you are searching for the best tires for cross-country, ensure that they are light. On the other hand, heavier tires are usually thick which means that they are resistant to punctures. Apart from that, they boost the stability of the bike.

Size – Mountain bike tires come in different sizes. The most common sizes are 26 inches, 29 inches, and 27.5 inches. This means that you need to know your wheel size to avoid buying the incorrect size.

Width – The width of a mountain bike may affect the speed and performance. A wide tire is always the best because it provides a better grip and traction. This is because they cover a larger surface area than the narrow ones.

Durability – Mountain bike tires are the most used part which means that they wear quickly. When buying, it is good to choose thick tires that will last for a long time. You also need to ensure that they are sturdy enough for different terrains.

 

Recurring Features

Mountain Bike Perfect Tire Air Pressure – There is a need for specific air pressures for different tires. If the casing of your tire is thicker, it would be okay to have lower air pressure. You must keep the pressure to the point where it will provide maximum comfort and grip without twisting the casing too much. If you run often, then over 30 psi would be good, according to some experiments. The tires mentioned above have the perfect air pressure, which a rider needs for a mountain bike.

Mountain Bike Tire Casing – There is a great effect of casing thickness and precise ply lay-up of the tire on rolling speed, quality, conformity, and durability of the tire. The meatier casings prevent punctures and stop sidewalls from folding under cornering forces but add extra weight to the tire. If the tire is heavier, then the accelerator will be slower. Tubeless tires are good for all this as they don’t create many issues. The tires mentioned above have the great tire casing, which a rider always looks for in a mountain bike. Most of them have a casing that makes the tire lightweight and also provides great rolling speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PSI best for mountain bike tires?
If you have proper tire pressure, then your bike avoids flats, rolls quickly, and rides smoothly. There is a need for more air pressure in narrow tires than in wide ones. Mountain tires require tire pressure of 25 to 35 PSI, while road tires typically require 80 to 130 PSI.

How long do mountain bike tires last on the pavement?
One can imagine riders for 2-3 months without needing to replace a tire if the riders ride faster on rough and rocky trails five days a week. You would not change the tire for 2-3 years if you’re a more reserved rider, sticking to smooth pavements and softer dirt every other weekend.

Should I inflate bike tires to max PSI?
It would help you ride smoothly, avoid flats, and quickly roll if there is proper tire pressure on the bike. The pressure needed depends on your weight; if you weigh more, there is a need for higher tire pressure. For example, a 130-pound rider can use 80 PSI on his bike, but if one weighs 165-pound, then he should use higher pressure such as 100 PSI on his road bike.

When Should You Replace The Tires on Your Mountain Bike?

In most cases, the tires you buy together with your mountain bike may not last for a long time. The good thing is that they are very easy to replace.  The first thing that will alert you that it is time to replace them is when the treads starts to wear. When you notice this, the best thing you should do is to replace them.

Another thing is when you start experiencing frequent flats. If you check the tires keenly, you will some small holes which may not be easy to fix. Since you will be riding in different surfaces, the tires are likely to get into contact with sharp objects which may damage the tire. Sometimes these holes are very small and you may not be able to notice them immediately.

How to maintain MTB bike tires?

If you want your tires to serve you for a long time, you need to take care of them. One of the best ways to do so is by ensuring that they are well inflated. Again, ensure that the tires are suitable for the terrain you are intending to ride. If they are very narrow, it means that they may not be the best for rocky surfaces. You should also replace them frequently mostly after they have covered a distance of 3200-8000 miles depending on the model.

 

Summary

There you have it, a list of the best mountain bike tires.

Tires are an important part of a bike, whether it is for any kind of trail. If you are looking for the best mountain bike tires, you should look for the one that provides fast rolling without needing too much energy. The tires for the mountain trail should be tougher to provide good steering control and to resist punctures.

There should be a right tire pressure as the pressure in the tire plays an important role in riding smoothly, and rolling quickly. The lower the weight, the less the air pressure, but the pressure should not exceed much.

If you want a great tire, then you should look for a tire providing good grip and steering control on mountain trails. The tires for mountain riders mentioned in this article provide the best features and great casing. All of the tires mentioned today provide grip, speed control, and resistance.

If you want to get the right one, then you should compare the different products mentioned above to get your desired one. If you need further information, you can go to the provided link and clear any query at any time on the store page.

One of the most dangerous things you can ever do is riding a bike with worn-out tires. These tires are not stable since they do not provide the required grip and traction. To prevent problems, you need to replace the tires frequently. If you are not sure which one you should buy, you can pick any of those we have reviewed.

When doing research, we checked the features, durability, and performance. This means that all the products in this article have the best features which mean that they provide the best performance.

Whichever mountain bike tires you choose though, make sure they work for you and give you the best trail ride you’ve ever had. Have fun and…

Keep pedaling!

Alex Bristol

Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.