No Matter the Terrain, We’ve Got Just the Right MTB Tire for You.

Mountain biking is a diverse sport that ranges from full-out pedal fests to hard-charging gnarly descents. But, most riders find themselves riding somewhere in the middle; a mix of climbs, tech, descents, and fun jumps. As 2018 comes to a close, we compiled a list of MTB tires that fall in this range of riding and excel at what they do. We surveyed our employees and our customer reviews to determine each winner. Read on to find out which tires won and why?  This guide of the best MTB Tires will help you find the right tires to put between you and the dirt.

BEST ALL-AROUND TIRE

THE WINNER

MAXXIS MINION DHF AND DHR

Maxxis’s line of Minion tires are arguably some of the most popular tires for more aggressive trail riders, and rightfully so. These venerable tires provide a ton of grip in most conditions including wet rocks. They also perform stunningly in the corners, letting you push hard both in and out of the apex helping to maintain speed. We’ve found these tires to be some of the easiest to setup tubeless, usually only requiring a floor pump. Further, they are available in several compounds to refine your tire selection for your specific terrain. They aren’t the best in mud, and can be a touch on the heavy and slow side when using the most protective sidewalls, but most would only use those configurations in gravity-oriented riding. Available in both a DHF and DHR tread pattern so you can refine your tire setup even further.

 

SHOP: 

MINION DHF and DHR   |   MAXXIS MTB TIRES

Pros

  • Tons of grip 
  • Predictable traction 
  • Pretty tough with EXO protection 
  • Multiple compounds to suit your needs 
  • Seats tubeless exceptionally easily

Cons

  • Not the fastest rolling
  • Somewhat heavy depending on casing and compound 
  • Not a top performer in mud

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Best one yet
I absolutely love this tire. I was running the 2.3 DHF upfront and wanting to give this a try. Love it so far. I used it the past 3 days in Pisgah and Dupont and this tire never lost traction. very cofidence inspiring and will run this again

-Steve McShred, Denver, CO

MOST VERSATILE TIRE

THE WINNER

CONTINENTAL TRAIL KING V2 TIRE

The Continental Trail King is another longtime top performer. This tire spans the range of trail riding to enduro a bit more than the Minion due to its lighter weight and better rolling characteristics. This tire’s Apex sidewall protection is fantastic, resisting rock scuffs and tears like a champ. Plus, we think the checkered pattern looks pretty rad. There is only one compound to choose from for this tire, but it is a great compound, and should perform well. Our main complaint is that these tires can be a bit of a tight fit to mount to a rim. Besides that, they seal up tubeless quite well. We find that this tire functions well both on the front or rear wheel.

 

SHOP: 

TRAIL KING V2  |   CONTINENTAL MTB TIRES

PROS

  • Casing is tough and supple 
  • Fairly fast rolling
  • Long lasting 
  • Great traction and cornering 
  • Relatively light weight in its category 
  • Apex Protection resists scuffing and tearing, and looks cool too

CONS

  • Only available in one of compound 
  • Tough to setup tubeless because they are tight

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Great tires
These are great tires. The hold up in a variety of conditions from hard pack to loose even wet muddy conditions. They have great sidewall lugs that hold tight in fast corners

-Kevin D., VA

LIGHTEST/FASTEST TIRE

THE WINNER

SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC ADDIX TIRE

The Nobby Nic has just undergone a recent update. Sporting a new tread pattern, and a much improved compound, the new version is faster rolling and longer lasting. That improved lifespan is important because these carry the biggest price tag. Many are willing to pay that premium because the Nobby Nic is a solid performer with best-in-class weight and speed. The latest update did see a slight bump in weight, but also an improvement in performance. This new tread pattern has a deeper cornering release point that is fairly predictable, and a controlled drift. Due to their lightweight nature, these tires don’t have the toughest sidewalls. We generally don’t recommend them for riders who see a lot of rocks or sharp objects. For loam, dirt, and roots they are excellent performing tires. Some users have had challenges with certain sealants weeping through the sidewalls, but we found that to be an intermittent issue, and have had no issues with Orange Seal sealant. Run it front or rear, or mix and match with Schwalbe’s MTB tires. 

 

SHOP: 

NOBBY NIC ADDIX   |   SCHWALBE MTB TIRES

PROS

  • Very fast rolling for a big tire 
  • Lightest tire in its category 
  • Good cornering to its limit 
  • Predictable braking and corner drift 
  • New Addix compound majorly improved the lifespan

CONS

  • Not the most robust sidewalls 
  • Expensive 
  • Certain sealants didn’t play nice with their sidewall

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Awesome!
Solid tire that performs like it should with great traction and awesome durability!

-Brandon M, Montana

BEST WET WEATHER PERFORMER

THE WINNER

WTB VIGILANTE TCS TRITEC

This new revision of the Vigilante took an already solid performing tire to the next level. WTB’s Tritec compound added big improvements in grip, cornering, rolling resistance, and rebound. It’s still not Nobby Nic weight and rolling resistance, but it’s putting up a solid fight. This tire really shines in the corners, and in those times where you might encounter mud. If you frequently find yourself in the wet, this is the tire to rock. WTB is making a push towards the wide side, and offering these in both 2.4” and 2.6” sizes. We also are stoked on how easy WTB’s naming system is. Gone are the days of wondering if you chose the correct combination of acronyms for what you need. WTB recommends this as a front tire matched to either a Trail Boss or Judge tire in the rear.

 

SHOP: 

VIGILANTE TCS TRITEC   |   WTB MTB TIRES

PROS

  • Good mud shedding 
  • Excellent cornering 
  • New Tritec compound improved rolling resistance and ride rebound 
  • Improved cornering confidence 
  • Competitive weight

CONS

  • Not the fastest rolling 
  • A bit on the pricey side

CUSTOMER REVIEW

2.6 is Massive
I like the new light version. It feels like the exo maxxis or specialized grid, which means I can confidently use this for park duties (front). Tons of grip because of the tall knobs, probably perfect for the end of season trail when all are washed out super dusty or sandy trails.*

-Im not DH, Tahoe, CA

*this is an excerpt from a longer review

MOST CONFIDENT DESCENDER

THE WINNER

E.13 TRS RACE TIRE

For those of us who live for the descent, this is the tire for you. This tire is limited to the 2.35” width, is not the best rolling tire, and is heavy. But, when you put this on your long travel enduro to DH bike and turn down the hill, you won’t care about any of that. The combo of casing, sidewall, and knobs makes for a tire with a very predictable rebound (not too fast and not to slow) that gives you grip for days and eats up the gnar. Sure, this isn’t best option for light duty trail bikes, but it wasn’t trying to be. This tire gives you the confidence to smash down tech lines. Plus, the logos match up perfectly if you own e.13 wheels. Great in both the front and back if you’re not worried about that KOM up the hill.

 

SHOP: 

E.13 TRS RACE   |   E.13 MTB TIRES

PROS

  • Casing is superbly supple while supportive 
  • Traction, traction, traction 
  • Heaps of protection 
  • Best-in-class rebound characteristics 
  • Very predictable in cornering and braking 
  • Minimalist graphics that align with e.13 graphics

CONS

  • Limited to 2.35” width 
  • Not the best rolling 
  • On the heavy side

CUSTOMER REVIEW

Outstanding Front Tire
I use these as a front tire (TRS+ in the rear) and they are the grippiest front tire for wet rocks and roots I’ve ever used. For riding the Shore, Squamish and Whistler I won’t use anything else. The new casings also let me run a bit lower PSI. Highly recommend!

-Ken J., Whistler, Canada

Need Help? Contact a Gear Advisor!

If you need further guidance in finding the perfect MTB tires for you, please reach out to one of our expert Gear Advisors.  They can help you navigate the various options and match them to your riding style and preferences.  You can contact our Gear Advisors by phone, email, or chat.

Gear Advisor Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 7pm, Sat-Sun: 9am to 5pm (PST)

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