The Best Road Tires for Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes are for the mountains. Because, they’re named mountain bikes, right?

But this isn’t really followed strictly. In fact, there is a growing number of mountain bikes used on roads! It’s not any more just for leisure, but it’s also used as a practical mode of transportation.

It is then important to use the best road tires for mountain bike. This lets you cover long distances without getting tired easily. It also ensures you have a safer and more comfortable ride.

Here, we’ll show you the best road tires for mountain bike you should get. Take note, though, that they’re not just for roads. But you can also use them on light trails! Just be sure to be careful and inspect all parts that are in pleasant condition.

Schwalbe Big Ben

Schwalbe is one of the most popular tire brands in the globe along with Maxxis. This German tire manufacturer produces different bike tires. And one of their highly in-demand road tires is the Schwalbe Big Ben.

They design this for road bikes. But this is also for mountain bikes because of its central rib tread pattern. This ensures easy handling, improved traction, and smooth rides on paved roads. It’s also made from dual nylon fiber construction.

This one is ideal for those who always ride their bikes on highways and cross-country trails. Just remember that you’re compromising a bit of grip and traction if the roads are wet. These run fast, though, which makes it very efficient when pedaling long distances.

Highlight Features

It can take a maximum tire pressure of 65 PSI. But the recommended PSI is 35 to 45 for road use. Lower it down to 30 to 35 PSI if you’re riding on trails.

It has a symmetrical tread design that ensures stability and grip. It also features a dual nylon layer to improve durability and offroad tolerance.

Pros

  • Reliable traction on various terrains
  • Durable construction
  • Low noise

Cons

  • Unstable on slight offroads

Continental Ride Tour

Continental is another renowned bike tire brand. They produce quality, aesthetic, and long-lasting tires for different mountain bike disciplines. And the one on their cross-country and road lineup is the Continental Ride Tour.

This is great for cross-country use because of its aggressive tread pattern and excellent grip. But they can also use this on the roads because of its thin width and lightweight design. It can even minimize noise on turns because of its central rib design.

This is for you if you’re looking for an all-around mountain bike tire. This won’t give you any hassle on long-distance trips because it’s lightweight and efficient for pedaling.

Highlight Features

It measures 12 x 2 x 12 inches and has a continuous center tread design that gives it good rolling resistance. It also has an extra puncture belt that protects against sharp rocks. This one’s even compatible for e-bikes thanks to its ECO cover!

Pros

  • Capable on slight offroads
  • Grippy
  • Solid casing

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow-rolling

Goodyear Bead

You might have heard about Goodyear from cars. It’s a renowned car tire brand. But they don’t just produce car tires! In fact, they’re already deep into the bike industry with various mountain bike-specific tires. One of which is the Goodyear Bead.

This is a mountain bike tire that does well on light trails and paved roads. But it’s usually used on roads because of its lightweight design and thin sidewalls. This gives superior maneuverability which is just what beginners need.

Highlight Features

The Goodyear Bead features multiple raised tread blocks that provide a good grip on the ground. It also has raised blocks that’s good for hydroplaning resistance. This means that it can take a lot of beating even in offroads. This also gives it a reliable wet traction resistance. It measures 2.2 inches in width, has a folding casing, and can fit 2-inch rims.

Pros

  • Superior traction
  • Fast-rolling
  • Light

Cons

  • Thin side walls

Michelin Wild Racer

Michelin is another globally renowned tire manufacturer, not just for cars, but for bikes. Introducing the Michelin Wild Racer.

It’s named Racer for a purpose. And that’s because it’s ideal for mountain bike racers who want to go as fast as possible. This does a fairly good job on trails. But they can also use it on paved roads because of its lightweight and minimalist design.

It’s fairly thin, though, so expect some compromise on durability. This is a splendid choice if you are always riding on highways or urban roads.

Highlight Features

They make this from a durable rubber compound that features silica granules. This provides improved grip and traction on wet roads and muddy terrains.

It’s also got a solid sidewall that stops sharp rocks from puncturing the sides. It weighs 1.55 lbs., is a 29er, and can take a maximum PSI of 65.

Pros

  • Grippy compound
  • Aggressive tread pattern
  • Durable casing

Cons

  • Noise
  • Weight

Panaracer Touring

The Panaracer Touring is for you if you prefer to ride your mountain bike on paved roads instead of trails. This is very light, fast-rolling, and is made for road bikes. But that doesn’t mean it’s only meant for road bikes! In fact, its versatility makes this a popular choice for urban riders. It’s practical, affordable, and is a great bang-for-your-buck!

Highlight Features

This features a v-shaped tread design that improves grip and traction without compromising rolling. This makes it one of the fastest tire choices on this list. It fits 26-inch wheels and has a very high PSI maximum of 85. It’s made from a wire steel bead construction and comes with a 27 TPI and reflective tape.

Pros

  • Superior balancing
  • Cost-efficient
  • Long tread life

Cons

  • Lacks grip on wet roads
  • Thin sidewalls

Maxxis Aggressor

Maxxis is the favorite bike tire brand of many. Not just because of its reputation, but also of its unrivalled durability, functionality, and value for money.

The Aggressor is a good example of an ultra-durable mountain bike tire that can take a lot of beating. And it isn’t just for the trails, but for the roads as well!

This is for those who want to climb, do light downhills, or maybe use it as a daily commute. It’s very durable that you don’t have to worry about punctures. Especially if you’re already on a tubeless setup.

It’s also great for training because of its additional weight. This means it’s heavier than its counterparts. It’s not to your disadvantage, though, because it helps you build more power and muscle mass.

You’ll surely find it very easy to ride on a much lighter tire when race day comes!

Highlight Features

The Aggressor features Maxxis durable EXO sidewall protection that protects against punctures. It also has reinforced side knobs and hard edges that help in cornering and tight corners. This one’s also got a thick dual-compound rubber with a 2.3-inch width.

Pros

  • Aggressive design
  • Durable construction
  • Excellent grip

Cons

  • Slow-rolling on paved roads
  • Weight

Maxxis Ikon

Then there’s the Ikon, another one of Maxxis’ flagship cross-country tires. This is best for XC racing and riding. But you can also use this for road riding thanks to its fast-rolling tread pattern.

It’s ideal for mountain bikers who have fun both on trails and roads. This one’s very versatile so you’ll surely have a great time with this! The Ikon is also specifically made for racing because it is very lightweight and nimble.

Highlight Features

It features Maxxis’ 3C triple compound technology that protects it against sharp rocks. It also has a fast-rolling tread design with small knobs to make speeding up easier. It’s tubeless-ready, has a 120 TPI rating, and has a folding bead construction.

Pros

  • Solid constructions
  • Excellent grip on any weather
  • Tubeless-ready

Cons

  • Weight
  • Slow on paved roads

Mavic Crossmax Roam

Mavic is another reputable high-end bike brand that produces race-winning components. A solid example of this is their Mavic Crossmax Roam.

This is a cross-country mountain bike tire that is also used for enduro racing. It’s the preferred tire of choice of riders who want a light and fast-rolling tire that can take different terrains. This also does a fairly good job on urban riding because of its simple and lightweight design.

This one’s for you if you want an all-around mountain bike tire that’ll take on your the roads effortlessly!

Highlight Features

This is one of the lightest and best road tires for mountain bike in this list as it weighs just 1 kg. It is tubeless-ready and has a measurement of 8.8 in. x 6.9 in. x 5.2 in. It also comes in a 27.5 wheel size.

Pros

  • Excellent grip
  • Capable on varied terrains
  • Thick side walls

Cons

  • Weight
  • Bit sluggish on paved roads

Conclusion

Who says you can’t use road tires for mountain bikes?

This might not be the most popular idea. But there’s really no reason you shouldn’t use road tires on a mountain bike.

In fact, it’s the most practical solution to extending your tire’s lifespan. Using aggressive trail tyre on highways would just wear it fast. Not to mention that it’s loud and unstable!

But using the best road tires for mountain bike avoids that problem. You just have to compromise a bit of traction and grip. That’s totally worth it, though, because your bike becomes lighter and more maneuverable.

Another benefit of using road tires is so you can take your bike to work and back home. This lets you stay fit and healthy, cut costs, and become more eco-friendly.

Just choose any of the best road tires for mountain bike we’ve reviewed above. And no doubt you’ll have a safer and more enjoyable ride on the roads or trails.

Other resources:

Photo of author
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.