One of the most important components on your mountain bike is your tires. They grip the ground and provide the traction you need on different surfaces. Most mountain bike riders look for light weight, strength and traction in a tire and many advanced riders even have multiple sets of tires for different riding conditions.
So what tire is right for your mountain bike and riding style? With so many different manufactures and models to choose from which one is right for you? These are not easy questions to answer so hopefully we can provide some insight to get you moving in the right direction. Mountain bike parts are not cheap and you want to make the right decision.
Consider a Kevlar bead or folding tire – A Kevlar tire weighs an estimated 60-80 grams less then a conventional none folding tire. It does not sound like much of a weight savings but multiple that number by two and then consider the rotating weight. For an extra couple of dollar, in my opinion, it is worth spending the extra money.
Terrain and Tread patterns:
Determine where you are going to ride and how you are going to use the bike. As an example will you be riding on the local trails that are hard packed dirt or on slick rock?
For hard packed terrain consider a narrower and smooth tire. As an example a tire that is 1.8 to 2.0 wide.
For hard packed terrain with a good mix of rocks you might want to consider a wider and smooth tire. As an example a tire that is wider then 2.0.
For loosely packed terrain consider a knobby tire. Choose a tire with a really aggressive pattern as this will help you gain maximum traction in the dirt. You might also want to consider tires that are designed for the front and rear of the bike.
For muddy terrain consider a narrow tire. Narrow tires will reach the bottom of the mud and create less resistance when turning making it easier for you to move forward.
For all terrain tires there are so many choices to consider. Many of the major tire manufacturers make very good tires that are great for all conditions.
Riders Body Size:
Consider your body size. If you are heavier you might want to consider a wider tire.
Where to buy:
You can buy your tires at a bike store, order them from an online website or from an individual sell tires posted on a mountain bike classifieds website.
The information above is a rough guide on what to consider when buying new mountain bike tires. Many bikes stores that have bikes for sale and bike parts can also give you their opinion. Talk to your friends and read online forums to see what other riders like and don’t like. The more information you have the better.
See you on the trail.