The tires of a mountain bike play a significant role in riding. Designers build these tires only for off-road riding. A good mountain tire usually has lower rolling resistance and ample grip.
The selection of tires for a mountain bike is a tough nut to crack. It is so because you need to consider several factors like the type of roads you are going to ride, how you ride, what kind of mountain bike you have, and various others.
There are several factors which we need to consider to select a good tire for a mountain bike. They are the width and height of the tire, tread, and various others.
Mountain bike tires width recommendation usually ranges between 1.6 inches to 2.6 inches. However, it differs from one bike to another.
Features Of Mountain Bike Tire
#1. Tire Diameter of Mountain Bike
If we talk about a mountain bike tire, almost all mountain bikes have a diameter of either 26, 27.5, or 29 inches.
If a mountain bike has a smaller diameter tire, then they have high rolling resistance. A rider will feel uncomfortable while overcoming any obstacles.
A larger diameter tire of a mountain bike will have more momentum and stability, suitable for rolling over any obstacle.
#2. Tire Width of Mountain Bikes
The width of the tire is significant while choosing a good tire for a mountain bike. Mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 1.6 inches to 2.6 inches.
Thinner or smaller width tires usually create less rolling resistance with the ground, so they are suitable for long-distance traveling. Even the manufacturers require significantly less material to make a thinner tire, so they are lighter in weight.
But, one disadvantage of these narrower tires is that they have less surface area. That’s why they don’t grip appropriately on off roads. There is also a chance that they may get stuck on sand or snow.
However, wider tires create more friction with the ground. That’s why they grip more as compared to thinner tires. Even then, you can use these tires to roll over any obstacles.
We have various types of mountain bikes. The width of the tire of each mountain bike is different.
- Cross country bike – The cross country bikes are lighter and have small-width tires. This mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 1.9 inches to 2.3 inches.
- Trail or all-mountain bike – The trailer mountain bikes are versatile and light. You can climb up the mountain and descend quickly. The width of the tires generally ranges between 2.25 inches to 2.4 inches.
- Downhill bikes – These mountain bikes are for downhill cycling. They can quickly overcome the steps on the downhill. The downhill mountain bike tires width recommendation generally ranges between 2.5 inches to 2.6 inches.
However, another two types of mountain bike tires are available in the market. They are plus-sized tires and fat bike tires.
Plus, mountain bikes have wider tires. This mountain bike tire width recommendation lies in between 2.6 to 3.2 inches.
Some mountain bike riders ride in snow or sand. For those riders, fat bike tires are pretty helpful. These tires will float on the sand or snow as they have low pressure. If a rider uses a cross-country bike on sand or snow, then there are many chances that it may sink.
The fat mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 4to 5 inches.
Buying Mountain Tires
However, you cannot buy any of the mountain tires from the market and try to fit them in your bike. It will hurt your riding. Every mountain bike is not compatible with a plus-sized tire or fat tires. There should be sufficient clearance between frame and fork to roll easily on the off roads. Again you also need to consider the width of the rim while choosing a mountain bike tire.
- The mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 2 to 2.25 inches for a rim width of 21 to 23mm.
- The mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 2.25 to 2.5 inches for a rim width of 24 to 26mm.
- The mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 2.35 to 2.8 inches for a rim width of 27 to 30mm.
- The mountain bike tire width recommendation ranges between 2.5 to 3.0 inches for a rim width of 30 to 35 mm.
Choosing Mountain Bike Tires by Riding Style
There is no mountain bike tire which is excellent in everything. Each tire has its unique properties.
You need to decide the tire according to your riding.
If I talk about a cross-country bike, then the efficiency of climbing is more important than durability. So, you should prefer a lighter tire which will roll fast on off roads.
You should choose durable tires for trail biking and have a moderate level of grip on off roads.
If we will talk about downhill riding, then the lift is at the top position. So, you need burly tenacious tires that can overcome various obstacles and can turn around quickly.
#3. Tire Tread of Mountain Bike
Tire tread also plays a vital role in mountain biking. One of the components of tread is knobs. Smaller and shorter knobs provide good grip on off roads.
More giant knobs provide good traction. That’s why downhill mountain riders should use tires that have large knobs. Even they have vast space in between two knobs. This spacing helps to grip the tire easily on the roads. The mud and other materials shed quickly from these wider space knob tires.
The mountain bike tires play a significant role in riding off roads. You must carefully select the tires because improper selection can cause difficulty in riding. It may allow your bike to sink on sand or snow.
Even there may be a possibility that a small piece of thorn can puncture your mountain bike tires. So, tubeless tires are available now in the market. They don’t have an inner tube. They have a casing on the tire which makes the tire impermeable to air.