Best Mountain Bike Tires for Road Use

Mountain bikes are for the mountains and off-road trails. But we can’t deny the fact that we also use them on paved roads. After all, mountain bikes are a mode of transportation, right?

This is why we also need to know the best mountain bike tires for road use. This makes our rides faster and more comfortable because of the smaller knobs and thinner tires. It can also extend your tires’ lifespan.

In this article, we’ll show the best mountain bike tires for road use. Along with their pros and cons, so you can decide which one’s best for your riding style.

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1. Maxxis Ikon

Maxxis is one of the most popular mountain bike tire brands in the globe. And a good example of their tires is the Maxxis Ikon.

This is a cross-country race tire that features their 3C Triple Compound Technology. This strengthens the outer casing and makes it less prone to punctures. The casing has a high-volume rubber, which makes it trail-ready.

It also has a fast-rolling tread design that improves speed and cornering. It can even ride in different conditions, whether it be the trails or paved roads.

The Maxxis Ikon comes in 27.5-inch and 29-inch variants and has an EXO support casing for added protection. The width is 2.2 inches, which makes it thin and light enough for roads.

Pros

  • Aggressive knobs
  • Durable exterior
  • Grippy

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow-rolling

2. Continental ShieldWall

Continental is another trusted brand with mountain bike tires. Take, for example, the Continental ShieldWall.

This is their classic race tire used at the UCI Cross-country World Cup. It’s best known for its excellent self-damping and low-resistance rolling.

This makes it ideal for high-speed racing on paved roads. This is also a tubeless-ready tire that comes with a grippy exterior. It’s made possible thanks to their Pure Grip compound. You’ll love this if you’re into speed and reliability.

Its ShieldWall system gives added protection against punctures and pinch flats. Its tread pattern also has many small lobs which give traction on varying trails.

This is possible thanks to its cross-fabric that’s finely woven into its inner ply. Another agreeable thing about this is that it’s very flexible on the roads. It comes in 26-inch, 27.5-inch, and 29er variants.

Pros

  • Grippy on muddy trails
  • Aggressive tread
  • Durable casing

Cons

  • Weight
  • Not very nimble

3. Maxxis Ikon Skinwall

Maxxis comes again with their Ikon Skinwall. It’s the same as the classic Ikon. But this has a skinwall tire that features a flesh color on its sidewall. This also featured Maxxis’ 3C and EXO technology that gives additional protection against flats and punctures.

It’s already tubeless-ready so you won’t have to worry about pinch flats. This comes in a 29-inch size that goes perfectly well with its all-terrain tread pattern.

It runs fast on the roads, and it doesn’t give too much noise. This one’s for you if you want to have a balance between reliability and aesthetic prowess.

Pros

  • Aggressive knobs
  • Durable exterior
  • Aesthetic

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow-rolling

4. Continental Double Fighter III

The Continental Double Fighter II is another smart choice for mountain bike tires on the road. This is ideal for the urban environment.

This means that this one’s for you if you always ride around town. Or if you use your mountain bike as a service. This tire measures 26 inches in diameter and has a width of 1.9 inches. It’s also great for gravel bikes because of its slightly aggressive tread pattern.

This rolls quietly and smoothly on asphalt but still is grippy on gravel roads. It can even roll fast on paved roads. And you don’t have to worry much about sharp rocks because of its all-terrain casing. This is the ideal tire for mountain bike leisure cyclists.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast-rolling

Cons

  • Durability
  • Slippery on wet roads

5. Schwalbe Big Apple

You might also like the Schwalbe Big Apple. This mountain bike tire is ideal for road cyclists and bike enthusiasts who love to go around town. It works best on asphalt and paved roads. But you can also use this on very light trails.

Just make sure that the ground is dry and compact. This tire runs very fast on the road because of its low-profile tread pattern. It comes in 26-inches and has a width of 2.35 inches.

It also has an all-around wire bead and a reflex design for improved flexibility. This also isn’t just for mountain bikes because it can also be used for road bikes.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Slippery
  • Prone to punctures

6. Maxxis CrossMark

Then comes the Maxxis CrossMark. This is Maxxis’ race tire ideal for cross–country trails. But they can also use this on the road because of its low-profile tread pattern.

It has a fast-rolling center ridge that improves overall traction and rollover. This comes in 26-inches and has a width of 2.1.

It’s also already folding which makes this light and flexible. What makes this stand out is its adaptable tread pattern which makes it suit different terrains. It rolls fast on paved roads and still maintains traction even if the ground is wet.

Pros

  • Grippy
  • All-terrain
  • Durability

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow-rolling

7. Continental Race King

The Continental Race King is named that way for a reason. And that’s because it’s made for racing whether it be off-road or on-road.

This is a cross-country tire that can withstand different terrains thanks to its 29-inch size. It has excellent rollover capability because of its large ground clearance. The casing also has a high-volume rubber that goes along with its finely gritted tread bars.

The Kevlar bead is foldable. You also don’t have to worry about speed because this tire rolls fast despite its colossal size. It’s even very responsive.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Durable casing
  • All-terrain

Cons

  • Weight

8. Maxxis Ardent Race

Then there’s Maxxis Ardent Race. It is a cross-country tire that has been a favorite choice in the UCI World Cup. This is because of its 3C and EXO compound.

This means it is durable enough to withstand harsh conditions. But still light enough to maintain speed on races. The Ardent Race is a tubeless-ready tire and comes in 27.5-inch and 29-inch variants. It also measures 2.2 inches in diameter.

This features a medium-height tread that is smaller than the trail-oriented original Ardent. The Ikon also has low-profile center knobs that reduce rolling resistance. The side knobs are also angled to lower down traction.

Pros

  • Solid casing
  • Lightweight
  • Grippy

Cons

  • Slow-rolling on roads
  • Price

9. Schwalbe Big Ben Race

The Schwalbe Big Ben Race is the tire for you if you’re into road cycling. But you also want to use your mountain bike to improve impact absorption.

This is like Schwalbe’s Big Apple. But it’s more aggressive thanks to its taller tread profile. This gives a better grip on different terrains.

What sets this apart from other brands is that it comes in three different colors. These are classic colors like brown, cream, and gray. It even has a smaller version which measures 40 mm. It is called the Little Big Ben. This weighs 1.7 lbs.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Solid casing
  • Ideal for roads

Cons

  • Slippery

10. WTB Trail Boss

The WTB Trail Boss is a mountain bike tire that belongs to the trails. That’s the reason for its name! But even if it has a slightly aggressive tread pattern.

It still does a good job on the road because of its low-profile tread design. The treads have little space which minimizes rolling resistance. This lets the knobs dig into the ground and become more stable. Its side knobs give traction without compromising rolling speed.

This is a 29er tire and has a width of 2.25 inches. It weighs 930 grams and is ideal for cross-country and trail mountain bikes.

Pros

  • Grippy
  • Ideal for all terrains
  • Solid casing

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow-rolling on roads

11. Schwalbe Racing Ralph

The Schwalbe Racing Ralph is another choice you might consider. This is a 29er tire for cross-country racing. But bikers can also use this on the roads because it has low-profile treads.

It features Schwalbe’s Addix Speed compound that ensures fast-rolling speeds. It also has SnakeSkin sidewalls that add to its aesthetic vibe.

Another feature many love about this is its enlarged shoulder ramp. This improves grip and cornering. It also has a fast-rolling tread on its central area, which makes this great on paved roads.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Grippy

Cons

  • A bit slow on roads
  • Casing

Conclusion

Knowing the best mountain bike tires for road use is important. We don’t just use our mountain bikes on the trails. We also use it on the roads for commuting or exercise.

The biggest benefit to using this is a longer lifespan. Your front and rear tires will last longer because they have low-profile treads and knobs. They don’t easily just shred and become thinner.

You’ll also have a faster and more comfortable ride with these. Just choose the best mountain bike tires for road use that suits your riding style. You’ll surely have a better time on your mountain bike.

Related:

How To Change A Mountain Bike Tire

When to Replace Mountain Bike Tires

What PSI for Mountain Bike Tires?

10 Best Mountain Bike Tires for Sand

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