10 Best Mountain Bike Tires for Sand

We ride our mountain bikes to go to different places. Sometimes we ride on muddy trails, while we go through rock sections. There’s also a good chance we come across sandy trails.

One good way to ensure a great ride on trails like these is to use the best mountain bike tires for sand.

This ensures utmost grip so you can ride safely and enjoyably. That’s what this article is about because we’ll show you which are the best tires for sand.

This isn’t just about being able to go through dunes. But it’s also about helping you learn to use the right tires for specific terrains like sand.

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1. Maxxis Ardent

Maxxis is one of the most popular and widely used mountain bike tires. And a good example of their best-selling tire is the Maxxis Ardent. This is an all-terrain tire that you can use on different surfaces.

It’s also the tire of choice of many professional racers because of the reliability its EXO casing brings. EXO is Maxxis’ sidewall technology that gives puncture resistance. It also has a dual-compound rubber which adds durability in case you go through rocky sections.

You’ll find aggressive tread patterns on this one because it’s designed for maximum traction. This goes in rhythm with its bulky block-style knobs which improve high-speed cornering. It comes in a 2.4 width size and is ideal for improving acceleration, braking, and rolling resistance.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Strong casing
  • All-terrain

Cons

  • Minimal traction

2. Continental Trail King

Continental is another reliable mountain bike tire brand. Take for example their Trail King which is among the most widely used trail tires in the market today. It features an easy-rolling tread pattern that makes this versatile on different trail conditions.

It also does a good job on sand because of its grip and efficient rolling resistance. They make this possible thanks to its Black Chili compound. This improves rolling and grip using its activated silica compound.

It comes with 4 plies on its sidewall to add durability. The beads are also tubeless-ready which makes it very easy to seal if worse comes to worst. You’ll also find the 2.4-inch width ideal for dunes and sandy trails.

Pros

  • Ideal for sand
  • Lightweight
  • Puncture resistance

Cons

  • Grip

3. Maxxis Rekon Plus

Maxxis has another mountain bike tire made for sand. And it’s called the Maxxis Rekon Plus. This comes in a 27.5-inch size and has a diameter of 2.8 inches.

This is thicker than most mountain bike tires because this is specifically designed for use on sand. Note that you need thick tires to easily go through sandy trails. It’s tubeless-ready and is protected by EXO casing.

This is an aggressive trail mountain bike tire for technical and sandy terrains. The wide knobs on the middle section improve control when braking. Meanwhile, the L-shaped side knobs give balance on loose corners. This is what you need if you always ride on loose trails.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Lightweight
  • Grip

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Schwalbe Marathon Plus 468

Schwalbe’s Marathon Plus 468 is another mountain bike tire you can consider. It features a dynamic profile with a central rib that improves rolling on loose and sandy trails. Its strong outer lugs add traction to this while giving efficient puncture protection.

This is what you need if you want to prioritize puncture protection thanks to its thick sidewalls. This also comes in three size variations. You can choose the smaller 26er option, or the 27.5-inch and 29-inch models.

You can also rely on this on various trails because of its center knob design and wide width diameter. You don’t have to worry about losing grip or uncontrollable skids.

Pros

  • Large spikes
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Thin casing

5. Kenda Alpha Bite

The Kenda Alpha Bite is another mountain bike tire for sand you can choose. This is ideal for those who want to prioritize bike playfulness over speed. It’s because of its 26-inch size. The diameter might be thin, but it helps improve rolling resistance.

This is ideal for those who are into gravel trails and road cycling. You also don’t have to worry about sandy terrain because this won’t lose traction on sand. They make this possible thanks to its semi-aggressive tire knob pattern.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Fast-rolling

Cons

  • Can sink on thick sand

6. WTB Velociraptor

You might also like the WTB Velociraptor. This is ideal for sandy terrain and loose trails thanks to its wide knobs. These tires are great for braking because the knobs dig through loose terrain. You don’t have to worry about losing braking power with this one.

It’s also a tube-type tire so you have to use an inner tube. It also has a wire bead pattern and an ultra-durable sidewall compound. It’s great for cross-country riding because of its lightweight composition.

It weighs 829 grams, measures 26 inches in diameter, and is made from DNA rubber. It also has an Aramid bead which makes its casing lightweight. This is also a splendid choice if you want to prioritize steering control. The maximum tire pressure of this tire is 65 PSI.

Pros

  • Traction
  • Grip
  • Casing

Cons

  • Thin

7. Maxxis Minion DHF Plus

You surely have heard about the Maxxis Minion DHF before. Well, that’s because this is one of the most popular mountain bike tires. It’s renowned for its durability and reliability on aggressive trails.

It also works pretty well on loose trails because of its large knobs and aggressive pattern. It features ramped knobs which give improved grip and low rolling resistance. There are also channel-cut knobs that improve cornering and control on high-speed sections.

We recommend you use this as a front tire. But you can also use this at the rear. The DHF Plus measures 27.5 inches in diameter and has a thick width of 2.8 inches. It has a 3C MaxTerra compound composition and an EXO protection. It’s also tubeless-ready.

Pros

  • Durable casing
  • Ideal for aggressive usage
  • Grip

Cons

  • Weight

8. CST Rock Hawk

The CST Rock Hawk is for you if you have a limited budget and you are price-conscious. But don’t take this lightly because this is built for aggressive riding. It also does a good job on loose trails like those with lots of sand and loose dirt.

It features a single compound design and a 27 TPI construction. There are also two tire sizes to choose from. These are the 26ers and the latest 29-inch tires. You also have two tire width size options which are 2.25 inches and 24 inches.

This features an aggressive trail tread pattern along with spaced large lugs. The large spaces let the tire shed mud while rolling. The center knobs also reduce rolling resistance. This goes hand in hand with the EPS puncture protection.

Pros

  • Thick casing
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Puncture resistance

9. Panaracer Fire XC

You can also choose the Panaracer Fire XC if you’re into cross-country racing. This is also a splendid choice if you always ride on loose trails because of its well-spaced knobs.

It’s light, aggressive, and can dig deep in sand or mud. You don’t even have to worry about traction, even if it’s thin because it gives loads of grip.

This comes with large side knobs that go along with a buttressed step design. This gives improved traction under intense braking. You can also easily corner and climb uphills with this one. It features a reinforced ASB bead strip that improves flat puncture protection.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast-rolling

Cons

  • Grip
  • Thin sidewalls

10. Schwalbe Nobby Nic

You can also go for the Schwalbe Nobby Nic. This is a 29er mountain bike tire that does a magnificent job on the trails, especially on loose terrains.

It’s made possible thanks to its large side knobs and evenly spaced tread pattern. It also has a dual compound composition that improves grip on muddy trails. What’s great about this tire is its affordability. It’s cheaper than other brands, but it doesn’t compromise quality.

You can also use this for fast-paced cross-country racing. Or on more brutal enduro tracks. It has a tire width of 2.35 inches, which gives improved traction and grip in a lightweight package.

Pros

  • Fast-rolling
  • Affordable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Casing

Conclusion

Choosing the best mountain bike tires for sand is important, especially if you always ride on loose trails. You need the added grip and traction so you won’t lose control. This also helps you improve cornering and maintain braking.

Hopefully, this article helped you choose the best mountain bike tires for sand. Just choose your priorities. Will you go for lighter tires? Or maybe those built for more aggressive riding? Know your riding style so you can choose the perfect fit for you.

Related:

11 Best Mountain Bike Tires for Road and Trail

The Best Road Tires for Mountain Bike

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.