Mountain Bike Tyres are designed for off road use, and typically feature raised tread patterns known as either ‘knobs’ or ‘lugs’ which dig into loose material and ground, providing the best possible amount of grip across any surfaces encountered. With regards to mountain bike tyres, there is no one size fits all option - and there’s a massive array of mountain bike tyres on the market, suitable for all kinds of different terrains, riding styles and even weather conditions.
In this guide, we look at some of the most common questions that we get asked around the subject of mountain bike tyres, as well as helping you understand which MTB tyre is best for you and your bike.
Mountain Bike Sizes Explained
There are four main sizes available in mountain bike tyres, ranging from 26 inch, 27.5 inch, 27.5 inch + and 29 Inch. Mountain Bike Tyres are designed to be measured by their width, which runs alongside the size of the rim that each specific tyre is designed to fit.
It’s true that the wider the tyre is, the more contact that tyre has with the surface of the ground - meaning that a wider tyre has more grip. It’s also true that narrower tyres have less rolling resistance, so provide a more efficient performance. Thinner mountain bike tyres also have another advantage over their beefier counterparts, thinner tyres cut through mud easily, where a wider tyre can slide over muddy ground.
Mountain Bike Tread Explained
The Tread Pattern of a tyre makes a huge difference to the mountain bike tyres performance off road, and in this field - there is no such thing as the ‘perfect mountain bike tyre’ Finding the right tyre for you, features a trade off between grip and straight line speed, with spiky aggressive treads being biased towards sheer grip, and lower profile treads being biased towards speed.
Tubeless Mountain Bike Tyres Explained
Tubeless Mountain Bike Tyres are all that we really use here at Westbrook Cycles - Tubeless Mountain Bike Tyres reduce the risk of a flat tyre, especially from pinch flats. Tubeless tyres also allow the rider to run lower tyre pressures, providing greater traction and grip.
Mountain Bike Protection & Strength
Mountain Bike Tyres are also engineered with technology and materials which protect the tyre from the effects of harsh, off road use. Again, how tough a tyre is, is a matter of trade offs - with the toughest of tyres being very heavy. At the lightest end of the mountain bike tyre spectrum are cross country tyres, which are lightweight but offer the lowest levels of protection. At the other end of the protection spectrum, are downhill mountain bike tyres which have been designed to absorb maximum punishment.
Front & Rear Mountain Bike Tyres
Although front and rear mountain bike tyres do not have to be different in order for the bike to perform - the front tyre on a mountain bike will typically have a wider profile than a rear tyre - as well as higher lugs and lower central lugs to aid with cornering. Rear tyres usually have horizontal knobs, which help improve traction, with the main aim of preventing the rear tyre from spinning on loose, wet and uneven surfaces.
Mountain Bike Tyre Brands
At Westbrook Cycles, we work with the very best mountain bike tyre manufacturers in the world, providing a complete offering of mountain bike tyres - which perform across a massive array of different ground. Some of the brands we stock and supply include: