Find, Compare and Review MTB Tyres for your Rides
In fact, there is a large range of mountain bike tyre designs to choose from to suit cross country (XC), downhill (DH), race, trail and leisure riding.
This site covers some of the technicalities, designs and factors to take into account when choosing tyres. We also cover the main mountain bike tyre brands, the most popular products and where to find stockists.
Below we have explained some of the tyre design elements; inevitably they are all interlinked making tyre design quite a complex process.
So depending on your activities the choice of tread pattern can make a huge difference to performance, speed and safety.
Next, there is the actual tread pattern itself. No doubt most cyclists will have noticed that many mountain bike tyres have knobs that stick out at the very edge of the tyre; these help cornering by digging into the surface, but obviously there will be different requirements for hardpacked trails compared to slippery tree roots or mode.
In the centre of the tyre is the tread that gives the MTB tyre its ability to transmit power and acceleration and also to keep you in a straight line. In general, the more the tread runs across the tyre the better power transmission, while tread that runs along the tyre stops you moving from side to side.
In addition, some tubeless set ups are quite easy, while others require a fair bit of time fitting the tyre. Its worth checking reviews to see peoples' experiences of setting up a tyre that you're considering.
There are also dual compound tyres where the centre is a hard compound to cope with wear, while the outer tread knobs are softer for grip.
Higher volume tyres also make for easier riding on rocky bumpy terrain as they don't bounce on the trail as much as narrower, lower volumes.
In contrast, with most mountain bike tyres you need a wider tyre with a larger contact area and this comes at a price of a higher rolling resistance. Deep, spread out tread knobs flex more than compact knobs.
Rectangular knobs running across the tread are generally designed for acceleration and braking, whereas the same shape running along the tread helps to stabilise the bike laterally.
You'll also see triangular knobs, which are sometimes used for easy mud shedding and knobs with cuts in the middle, which are designed to give extra grip on account of their additional flexing.
If you see ramped treads that refers to the tread surface being sloped, rather than flat, as you look at a tyre from the side. It's used to change breaking, acceleration and rolling resistance characteristics. Typically the ramping is used in opposite directions on front and rear tyres.