The 6 Best Mountain Bike Tyre Combination in 2021
From helping you accelerate to improving traction, mountain bike tires play a central role in making your overall ride more fun, secure and comfortable. And while investing in good tires is crucial, it's hard to find the perfect tires for your mountain bike when you're presented with so many choices in the market. So if you've been confused about which set of MTB tires to try out, you're at the right place. In this article, you will find some of the best mountain bike tyre combination in 2020 along with a detailed buyer's guide to help you buy the most suitable tires according to your needs with confidence.
#1 Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR Tire
Maxxis Minion DHR II tires offer the perfect combination of traction, durability and cornering and truth be told, such a balanced mix is hard to find in most tires meant for trail riding. These set of tires feature tall and stout side knobs that facilitate cornering and the alternative padded-like pattern on the center tread provides optimal traction and grip, helping to keep the mountain bike under control. Minion DHR II features a single-ply casing that reduces the tire weight while the sidewall offers plenty of support. Moreover, these tires are as durable as you can expect them to be so that you don’t have to end up looking for new ones after just a few biking sessions. Maxxis Minion DHR II tire can be paired with Minion DHF front tire for the perfect tire combination for aggressive trail riding.
- Excellent grip and traction
- Good cornering abilities
- Slightly more rolling resistance
Contenders For The Best Mountain Bike Tyre Combination in 2020
- Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR Tire
- Maxxis EXO Dual Compound Minion DHF
- Kenda Hellkat Pro EN ATC 120 TPI
- Continental Der Kaiser Projekt Fold Protection/Apex Mountain Bike Tire
- Maxxis High Roller II Dual Compound EXO Folding Tire
- Maxxis Assegai Wide Trail 3C/TR
#2 Maxxis EXO Dual Compound Minion DHF
Another set of amazing tires by Maxxis is Minion DHF, which is specially designed for loose and muddy all-mountain terrains. These tires feature directional, ramped, channel-cut knobs for low rolling resistance, maximum grip, and precise cornering. The sidewalls of Maxxis Minion DHF tires are made of extremely lightweight, cut-resistant, and abrasion-resistant material and like Minion DHR II, DHF tires also have single-ply sidewalls.This ensures that the performance of the tires remains at its best no matter what the surface conditions are. Moreover, the tubeless ready Minion DHF tire incorporates a liquid sealant for an airtight, tubeless interface. This allows them to run on lower air pressure and have a lower rolling resistance for smoother and efficient biking experience.
- Directional ramped knob design
- Best for use on all-mountain terrains
- Tubeless ready
- Offer precise cornering
- None identified
Designed for downhill riding, Kenda Hellkat offers impressive performance on bumpy and gnarly terrains. The trail friendly design of Hellkat features a dual-compound ATC casing to reduce the overall weight and the 120tpi construction uses reinforced 'K-Armour’ layers to improve the cut and puncture resistant properties of the tire. Moreover, a 20mm Apex layer to resist pinch flats or burping. The tread design of these tires consists of widely spaced treads with aggressive edge knobs to offer optimal grip on all surface conditions. Another great this about Kenda Hellkat is that it is tubeless, which not only saves weight but also provides greater control and fast rolling performance. Overall, Kenda Hellkat Pro ATC tires are an amazing choice if you want to experience downhill riding at its best.
- 120tpi enforced
- Tubeless ready
- Long tread life
- Versatile design
- None that we could find
Another pair of amazing tires that deserve a spot on our list of best mountain bike tire combinations are the ones from Continental Der Kaiser Projekt. These tires weight around 1025 grams and are reinforced with a 4 ply casing which makes them highly durable. Kaiser tires feature Continental's Black Chili Compound which reduces rolling resistance, improves grip and adds more mileage to them. Moreover, the uniform tread consists of wedge-shaped lugs that also facilitate lower rolling resistance, a progressive cornering, and ease of control. To ensure that the tubeless setup is airtight, the folding beads are thicker and more uniform at the rim interface and a rubber sidewall protector is also incorporated to prevent pinch flats. On the whole, Continental Der Kaiser tires are great to be used during the summer (drier) months for aggressive riding styles.
- Highly durable
- Hight gripping abilities
- Low rolling resistance
- Progressive cornering
- Tubeless ready
- Performance is average under wet conditions
Maxxis tires are known for their high quality material and superb tread patterns and its High Roller II tire is no exception. Maxxis High Roller II are go-to tires for a range of surface conditions as they offer the perfect combination of grip, rolling resistance, braking as well as control. These tires feature a 60tpi tubeless EXO casing to reduce the weight and improve the overall performance. In fact, the 26" Maxxis High Roller II weighs only 835 grams while the 29" ones weigh only 910 grams. The aggressive tread, a subtle yet improved revision of the original High Roller, consists of big chunky side knobs for better cornering traction and smooth transitions under all conditions. Overall, Maxxis High Roller II tires promising performance both as a front and/or rear tire.
- Good balance of traction and cornering
- Suited for all surface conditions
- None Identified
The Maxxis Assegai is a signature Greg Minnaar tire for trail riding and downhill racing. While designed these tires, Greg considered the blueprints of Maxxis DHR and Shorty and came up with a perfect mix between the two. The taller tread blocks on these tires account for the greater level of grip and cornering support these tires have to offer and with the extra toothy knobs, there's less dead space for better performance under dry conditions. The edge blocks are just as heavily knobbed as the center tread, ensuring top-notch performance. Moreover, Maxxis Assegai is tubeless-compatible so they can be sealed securely to the rim without any worries.
- Excellent performance under a variety of surface conditions
- Tall aggressive knobs
- 3C Maxx Grip compound for all-out grip
- None identified
Buying the perfect mountain bike tires can be a tough task, particularly when there are just too many options available to you. So why not spend some time to learn how you can pick out the right tires for your MTB? This buyer's guide will introduce you to the desirable features and key considerations to keep in mind when on the lookout for MTB tire combinations. After reading this, we guarantee you'll be able to choose the best tire combination for your bike without any troubles. So let’s get started.
Front Tyres Vs Rear Tyres
Since front tires are responsible for controlling your speed and direction as you ride, they should be wider for an enhanced grip and stability. Moreover, bigger front tires with an increased volume of air will allow for a greater impact-absorption and damping. The rear tires, on the other hand, transfer power to push your bike forward. Hence, narrow rear tires are desirable since they don't weigh as much or require an extensive pedaling power. They should also offer high traction so that you can drive forward with ease. For a perfect ride, you should consider a combination of different rear and front tires to enjoy the desired mix of grip and low-rolling resistance.
The tire tread plays the most crucial role in determining your bike's performance. It can be divided into 3 zones: the center, transition and cornering area. The center tread is mostly in contact with the surface so it's designed to provide minimum rolling resistance and maximum traction. Shorter, closely-packed knobs in the center tread offer low rolling resistance while widely-spaced knobs provide greater traction.
Just outside the center lugs lies the transition tread. Closely-knitted ramped lugs in this region allow for more grip as you lean into tight turns. The cornering zone is where the majority of your weight rests when you turn corners. In this case, large and deep knobs will not only provide more traction but will also allow you to manage your speed as your bike changes direction.
Wheel Size And Width
There is a vast range of MTB tire sizes available in the market since their dimensions play an important role in determining the overall performance of your bike on the desired terrain. Tires are specified in terms of their outer diameter and width so it's crucial to choose the right combination for amazing biking experience. The tire diameter varies between 26" and 29", but the 27.5" tire offers the best combination of light weight and traction.
Similarly, wider tires have an increased surface area for better traction along with a greater volume of air to absorb shocks, so they are better suited for use on rough terrains. In general, the desired tire width for the most common biking styles are as follows:
- Cross country bikes have tire width between 1.9" and 2.25"
- All-mountain and trial bikes have tire width in the range of 2.25” to 2.4”
- For downhill bikes, the tire width can go up to 2.5"
- Fat bikes have tire width over 3.7"
26” wheels are lighter and they make moving through rough terrains faster. 29” variants can effortlessly glide over rough surfaces for long riding sessions and 27.5" wheels are what you need if you want more control on rough terrains.
Decide Your Biking Style
To pick out the best MTB tires, you need to first determine your biking style and restrict the terrains you will be riding on. This will narrow down the choices present to you, allowing you to focus on the attributes that will facilitate your ride on a particular surface.
Trail riding is the most subtle of all the riding styles, so all-around tires provide the right balance of traction, speed, and durability as you ride. For downhill riding, you should look for tenacious tires that can provide climbing efficiency and handle the steep slopes that come in the way. Cross country riding consists of long riding sessions on technical terrains, so lightweight and fast rolling tires are desirable. Moreover, you should pick durable and wear-resistant tires that can withstand sharp rocks and obstacles if you're interested in all-mountain biking style.
Types of MTB Tyres
According to the intended biking style, there is a vast variety of mountain bike tires available for you. Here are some of the most common ones:
Semi-Slicks: Semi-Slick wheels are designed for flat surfaces and sandy areas. They have close to zero lugs on the main tread which reduces rolling resistance and increases acceleration. However, lungs towards the side of the tread allow for moderate grip on rough forest terrain and allow for shorter stopping distances.
Studded: This category of MTB tires is designed to be used on wet surfaces. Although they can slow you down, the closely-knitted short metallic spikes on the transitional zones improve grip so that you can turn on slippery surfaces with ease.
Super-Fat: These tires feature an increased surface area to increase contact with the road and improve grip. They are also less likely to sink into the surface, and hence provide greater traction as you move along soft muddy surfaces.
Urban: With deep treads, urban MTB tires are a perfect option for dirt jumping. The special design improves agility and offers better angling while you're biking on dirt surfaces.
Perhaps the dream tire doesn't exist so you have to find a compromise between the different factors you need in your MTB tire. Try to choose a combination that not only offers efficient and comfortable climbing on technical terrains but also doesn't weight down the bike. Maximum grip and low-rolling resistance are also desirable, so pick varieties that present a balanced mix between those two. Moreover, a durable tire material is what you should definitely opt for so that you don't have to replace them every few weeks. Do check out our top picks too, who knows you might find the perfect tire combination for your MTB!