Mountain Bike Tires

The Very Hot Maxxis Girls
I was out looking for some new tires for my mountain bike the other day and do you know that there must be hundreds of different kinds of mountain bike tires out there. For all kinds for riding conditions and for all kinds of bikes. I think you could fill up a Super Wal-Mart with all the different brands, type’s, sizes, and colors of bike tire out there. Besides tires there and all kinds of tubes, sealants, different kinds of tube valves, tire liners, patch kits and tire levers. That’s just half what I have found the list just keeps on going if you can use it for your bike tire they might have it out there some where.

Mountain bikers like me know that in a given ride, the terrain is not always going to be the same throughout. Well, the tire manufacturers know this as well and have designed dozens of different tread patterns to tackle different types of terrain. Mountain bike tires are typically clincher tires that encase the inner tube and lock into the wheel rim. They are made to grip into uneven ground, sand, hard pack or anything else you encounter. Unlike thinner racing tires, mountain bike tires are usually around two inches wide. Mountain bike tires are heavier and more durable than racing tires.

Maxxis Downhill Tires I would have to say are my favorite tire I ride on.
Maxxis Holy Roller 26x2.4 Minion DH Specific 26x2.7 High Roller 24x2.7

Because mountain bikes have become just as popular on city streets as they are on hills and trails, there are many bike manufacturers that make smooth, cruising tires that won't wear down as quickly on pavement.

wheel sets are favored in the freeride and downhill disciplines, advances in wheel technology continually shave weight off strong wheels. This is highly advantageous as rolling weight greatly affects handling and control, which are very important to the technical nature of freeride and downhill riding. The widest wheel widths are sometimes used by ice bikers who use their mountain bikes for winter-time riding in snowy conditions.

Manufacturers produce a wide variety of tread patterns to suit different needs. Among these styles are: slick street tires, street tires with a center ridge and outer tread, fully knobby, front-specific, rear-specific, and snow studded. Some tires can be specifically designed for use in certain weather (wet or dry) and terrain (hard, soft, muddy, etc) conditions. Other tire designs attempt to be all-around applicable. Within the same intended application, more expensive tires tend to be lighter and have less rolling resistance. Sticky Rubber tires are now available for use on freeride and downhill bikes. While these tires wear down more quickly, they provide greater traction in all conditions, especially during cornering.
Tires and rims are available in either tubed or tubeless designs, with tubeless tires recently gaining favor for their pinch flat resistance. Tubeless tires can also be run at lower air pressures to improve traction and increasing rolling resistance. Popular tire manufacturers include Wilderness Trail Bikes, Schwalbe, Maxxis, Nokian, Michelin, Continental, Tioga, Kenda, Hutchinson and Panaracer.

Proper tire pressure is, but I rarely mention how much tire size can affect your ride quality as well. Let's face it, when it comes to mountain biking, the interface between tire and dirt is where it all happens. If you're not getting the most out of that interface, you're not getting the most out of your bike.

Choosing the right tire size can be a difficult decision. Generally, when proper air pressure is used, the bigger the tire, the better the comfort, stability and traction, but with bigger tires come some sacrifices. Bigger tires are heavier, and the weight they add is at the outside of the wheel. When it comes to making a bike feel light, there is no worse place to add weight than the outside of the wheels.

So the big trade off is between the traction, stability, and comfort of bigger tires, and the lightweight, agility, and in some cases pedaling efficiency of the smaller tires.

So what tires are best for you? Take a look at where and how you like to ride. If everything you ride is smooth and traction is rarely an issue, you can get away with some pretty small tires, maybe in the 1.9" to 2.1" range. If you ride in rough or rocky terrain, or loose conditions where you fight to get traction around every turn, you should look in the 2.25" to 2.35" range even bigger if you're on a freeride or downhill bike. I personally ride nothing smaller than a 2.25 if I don't have to.
I gladly take the extra traction, stability, and rock absorption of the bigger tires over the weight savings of the smaller ones (my down hill tire are like 5lbs each).

Continental Tires One of my favorite tire manufacture
Azonic Vigilante 2.5 & Refugee 2.3 - Full knobby
Slime Down Hill Tire
IRC Mythos Tire Wire $ 9.00
Tire Chart
Mountain Bike tires are challenged by many factors. This is due to the multi- environmental demand that is put on them. The environmental conditions are wide ranging, because mountain bikes can go anywhere and riding conditions can change without a moment's notice.
Tire manufacturers attack this problem with two general responses. A specialized tire is one approach. The manufacturer will develop and sell tires to meet specific riding conditions. Some of the various conditions are, Downhill, wet, mud, hard pack, and street. The various conditions are met by altering the design and construction of the tire. Before we discuss the design and construction of a tire we need to review some basic features of all tires and some common terminology.
The top of the tire, the part that contacts the surface has tread on it that wraps around to the edges of the sidewalls. The tread design varies greatly; it can range from smooth to knobby and be comprised of various types of rubber to make the surface soft or hard.
This top or tread is attached to the surface of the tire casing in a process called vulcanization. In the process of vulcanization the tread design and casing become one, as the base of the tread is melted in to the casing. The tread design meets the sidewalls. Tread design is sometimes unidirectional, which means it is designed to roll only in one direction and still perform as advertised. The correct rolling is indicated by arrows printed on the sidewall, but can also be identified by the colorful label printed on the sidewall.
This is referred to as the dress side of the tire and always mounts facing the right side of the bike. The right side of the bike is also referred to as the dress side. When bike manufactures have photo shoots done, this is the side that is always favored. The sidewall is really the casing covered in rubber. The sidewall ends with a bead. The bead is imbedded in the casing and may be made with metal or Kevlar. The bead keeps the tire on the rim, keeps the inner tube on the inside and in tubeless tires also makes an airtight seal. The casing of the tire is a weave of various materials. The materials used and the pattern of the weave effect how the sidewalls behave under riding conditions. Riders will sometimes describe the tire as riding hard or soft.
The amount of air pressure, or PSI is not what the rider is referring too. The PSI can be set the same on two different tires and the feel and performance can be very different. Finding the best PSI setting can be daunting for some riders, but it is a skill worth developing. Setting the PSI too low can make the bike handle sloppy, roll slowly, and encourage what mountain bikers refer to as pinch flats or snake bites.
Setting the PSI too high will make the bike slippery in the corners, bouncy, and have reduced traction in climbs. The PSI value that is best for you, will vary from your buddies, unless you both weigh about the same and even then personal style is a factor. Other factors are terrain conditions and of course the tire itself. Try keeping a journal of the different PSI, trail conditions, and performance.
You'll give yourself an education.
Downhill and Free Ride tires are often referred to as "DH". They are usually heavy compared to any other tire design. This is because the extra weight is actually a benefit in this case. The Downhill rider doesn't have to ride back up the mountainside; rider and rig catch the ski lift back to the top. The DH tire is specially designed to deal with high speed braking, using very soft knobs and reinforced heavy-duty casing. Some DH tires weigh in at over 1300 grams, compared to a standard mountain bike tire, that weighs in at 600 grams or less.
Winter Tire with spikes
Maxxis High Roller Tire $ $67.00
Hutchinson Python 29'Er Tire $69.00
Hutchinson Carbon Comp Tire $125.00
Street tires for mountain bikes feature smooth treads. Some offer center treads and knobbies on the sidewalls.
This low profile design is fast on the street and often useable on hard packed trail surfaces, but they are limited to those surfaces, unless you enjoy walking your rig up hills.

Standard or Cross-Country tires make the majority of the tires on the market today. Cross-Country tires are available in a variety of designs to meet a variety of needs. The needs are defined by the terrain demands.
If you live in mud Ville, you want a tire that sheds mud or is defined as self-cleaning. Maybe you live in a dry climate, where trails are packed hard, then I would want tires that grips the dry earth.
But what if you live in a place that can have trails that are soft packed at the bottom of the hill, hard packed at the top and everything else in between? There are multipurpose tires to meet this situation. Some tires combat this by being bi-directional. This is fine, if your friends don't mind waiting for you while you flip your tires. Many tire manufacturers offer tires that meet one or more trail conditions better than other conditions. This may mean you have to select a tire that meets your average local trail condition.
Remember, changing the PSI level a few pounds for the trail condition can alter any tires performance. If it starts to rain, you can reduce the PSI a few pounds to give you a bit of extra grip.

Whether tires need changing through improper maintenance or after riding on a thorny trail, fixing a flat bicycle tire is straightforward if the essentials of a pump and a fresh inner tube are to hand.

Some cyclists opt to simply carry a small puncture repair kit alongside their pump but this adds additional time to what is really a quick and easy process once practiced.
When purchasing tires for your mountain bike, think about the types of riding you do the most. Tire varieties include knobby, street, hybrid, rear-specific and front-specific. If you often ride on flat, hard ground, a narrower, smoother tire may be the right choice. For bumpy, soft, technically difficult rides, a knobby tire with grip is the most advantageous choice. If your favorite ride offers a mixture of surfaces, traction, versatile, rugged, puncture resistant Good cushioning, durable, fast and smooth ride, good cornering.
Rear-specific and front-specific tires modify the bikes traction when riding on fast courses, uphill or downhill tracks.With brands such as Bontrager, IRC and Panaracer, most mountain bike tires retail between $15 and $50 each and I‘ve seen them as high as $180.00.
With tires being relatively inexpensive in relation to the other parts of the bike, it's worthwhile to invest in a variety of tire styles. On weekends you may be attacking a technical, single track course, but for the rest of the week, the bike is rolling along on the pavement going to and from work or school. A good set of knobbies will help that technical ride, but will wear down on the pavement. For weekly commuting, get yourself a set of street tires for the concrete jungle.

Most mountain bikes use 26 in (660 mm) bicycle wheels, though some models offer 29 in (622 mm) wheels. Bicycle wheel sizes are not precise measurements, a 29 inch mountain bike wheel actually has a 622 millimeters. 29 inch wheels were once used for only Cross Country purposes, but are now becoming more common in other disciplines of mountain biking. Wheels come in a variety of widths, ranging from standard rims suitable for use with tires in the 26 in x 1.90 in to 2.10 in (559 x 48 to 53 mm) size, to 2.35 and 3.00 in (60 and 76 mm) widths popular with freeride and downhill bicycles.



The thickness of bike tubes Schrader valve also called American valve invented in 1891
Presta valve also called Sclaverand valve or French valve Slime Self-Sealing Tubes $7.00
Quality Mountain 26x1-1.25" Tube $ 3.95 Thin wall
Michelin C6 DH Racing Tube $16.00
Innova Thorn Resistant 26" Tube $ 7.95

Ok I ride with thorn resistant tubes with 5oz’s of slime in my bike tires. I can tell you I have not had a flat tire in over a year.

Tire Repair

With a little practice and the right preparation and tools, fixing a flat tire on the trail or at home can be quick, painless and easy.
Key Steps to Change a Bicycle Tire
Turn the bike over onto the saddle.
Undo the brakes if necessary (v brake mechanisms only – not required for bikes with disc brakes).
Release the wheel by lifting up the quick release lever on the wheel hub. If the bike does not have a quick release lever, undo with a spanner. NB: Rear wheels require the derailleur to be pulled back before lifting the wheel out.
Put the flat end of a tire lever underneath the tire rim, bend it backwards and slip
it under one of the spokes. Put a second lever close to the first and move it slowly along the rim until the tire is free on one side.
Take out the inner tube.
Remove the tire completely from the wheel and check the tire for thorns by carefully running your fingers along the inside of the tire wall. Ensure it is smooth and free from anything that could damage the tube.
Put one side of the tire back on the rim, take a new tube and slightly inflate before placing back under the tire starting at the valve.
Taking care to avoid any pinch flats, carefully push the other side of the tire back onto the rim. As the tire becomes tighter to push back on, use one tire lever to hold in place and the other to lift the final loose section back onto the tire.
If no spare tube is available, fully inflate the punctured tube and hold to the ear to locate any escaping air. Small holes may require the tube to be immersed in water to spot any escaping air bubbles, a task often difficult on the trail.
Mark the puncture hole, graze the area with sandpaper and apply glue around the hole. Once tacky, press the puncture repair patch firmly onto the tube and leave to dry for a few minutes.
Replace the wheel and, if using V brakes, ensure that they are done up again.
List of Essential Tools for Trailside Flat Tire Puncture Repairs
Spare tube and a pump.
Puncture repair kit
Mini tool kit and spanner for bikes without quick release wheel levers.
Tip: Experienced cyclists use folding tires which, whilst more expensive than rigid tires, are much easier to remove, often without the need to use tyre levers.
Self adhesive patches are a useful alternative to time consuming glue patches.
Tips to Prevent a Flat Bicycle Tire
In hot dusty countries like Cyprus, punctures from thorns can be almost a daily occurrence. Tubes filled with a tire sealant like Slime eliminate the need for constant puncture repairs as small holes are instantly sealed.
Alternatively, invest in a tubeless tire to avoid punctures from pinch flats.

Tire Pumps
Park PFP-3 Home Floor Pump$34.95 nice to have at home or in the truck.
Blackburn Shorty Bike Pump $19.50
Genuine Innovations Deluxe Tire Repair and Inflation Wallet $25.00
This what I care now I like it. It’s fast and easy no more having a pump on the bike clanking around. But I have been told the CO-2 will freeze the slime in the tubes

Tufo Valve Extender $6.95 are good for thick walled wheels.
Continental Rim Cement for Carbon $ 4.95
BikeTiresDirect Road Hazard Insurance $5.00
Patch Kits they are good to have just incase and the new ones just stick on don’t need the rubber cement any more. But if you have Slimed tubes the patches don’t stick as well.
Bike Patch Kit $0.95 & up
Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit $ 3.00

DT Swiss
No Tubes

Slime $ 5.00 & up I like Slime I have it in both my tires and I haven't had a flat in over a year.
Tufo Extreme Tire Sealant $14.00
Tire liners are also good for protection against thorn

STOP Flats 2 Tire Liners $.10.00
Panaracer Flat-Away 30mm Tire Liner $12.00
Tire levers the plastic one tend to brake so look around for some good ones there are tones of them out there.

Park Tool TL-5 Heavy Duty Steel Tire Lever Set $14.95
Park Tool TL-1 Tire Levers $2.95
Kool Stop Tire Levers $3.95
Maxxis is proud to be the first bicycle tire manufacturer to use Triple Compound Technology: three different compounds in the tread of a single tire. Partnering with silica manufacturer Degussa, Maxxis has developed these compounds to optimize grip in tight corners at severe lean angles and offer great tread life. With the three compounds' placement optimized, you won't feel the transitions- just the grip.
High Dispersion Silica center tread for long life and low rolling resistance
Two progressively softer silica-based compounds provide increasing grip in tight corners
Precise placement of the three compounds maximizes transition grip at different lean angles
Improved wet traction over current Road Racing tires
LUST Tubeless Technology
Maxxis Mountain Tubeless Tires, certified to UST® standards, now feature Lightweight Ultimate Sidewall Technology (LUST). LUST offers better puncture resistance, improved air retention, better longevity and lower weight than previous tubeless technologies. Our engineers were not content with simply having one of the best tubeless tires on the market. Instead, they went back to the drawing board, reinvented the tubeless tire from the casing to the tread and addressed your complaints about tubeless technology. By adding a thin fabric layer to the sidewall covered in a special air-tight rubber compound, Maxxis created a casing that is lighter, tougher and holds air better. Now, it's available to you on all of our Cross Country and Freeride
Tubeless Tires.
15% lighter than our previous tubeless tires
Better air retention than competitor's tires
Increased sidewall puncture resistance
The most obvious and arguably the most important part of a a tire is the tread compound. By changing the amounts of various components of the rubber compound formulation, engineers can make two tires that look identical but perform differently. Below are some distinct characteristics of some of our most popular compounds.
Long Tread Life
Low Rolling Resistance
Great Traction
Low Rolling Resistance
Great Traction
Minimal Impact on Tread Life
Awesome Grip
Stable Knobs Prevent Squirm on Hard Pack


SILKWORM CAP PLY:Silkworm technology is an exclusive material incorporated into the casing of select Maxxis tires. The Silkworm material helps to increase puncture resistance, while at the same time increasing rotation efficiency. This helps keep you in the saddle and on the move.

KEVLAR BELT:Made from material used for bulletproof vests, a Kevlar® belt provides maximum puncture protection in the most unpredictable conditions. Unlike belts which merely disperse Kevlar among other materials, the Maxxis Kevlar belt contains only this state-of-the-art fabric. The specially formulated Kevlar belt is positioned between the tread and casing layer.
BUTYL INSERT:An extra layer of butyl rubber wrapped around the bead of a Downhill tire that helps prevent pinch flats and protects the rim from hard hits.
NYLON BREAKER:The nylon breaker is a reinforcement option that offers protection from punctures directly under the tread area. It also helps increase rolling efficiency by providing support to prevent the tread from flexing. The nylon breaker is available in select road tires.
Super Lite - Ideal for cross-country and road applications where weight savings is key. Downhill - Ideal for extreme duty use. Best in DH race bikes and Freeride bikes where durability is key. Heavy-Duty XC - Great tube weight for riders looking to split the difference between downhill durability and cross-country weight savings. Standard - Best for general riding combines the best attributes of durability and weight. Not the lightest, not the heaviest tube we offer but just right in the middle.

Label placement
Most good bicycle mechanics pay attention to the orientation of labels. The most usual custom for tires is to locate the label right at the valve, facing to the right. Some justify this on the grounds that having a standard tire mounting orientation can make it easier to find a thorn or glass sliver in a tire, once the hole has been located in the (removed) tube. While there's an element of truth to this, placing the label consistently is really more about pride of workmanship and attention to detail.
Tread Directionality

Some tires have an asymmetrical tread, for instance "V" shaped tread blocks that could be oriented with the point of the "V" facing forward > or backward <. The question then arises, which way should they face? Off-road Applications For off-road use in soft surfaces, there may be some merit in paying attention to the tread orientation, though this is far from certain. Ideally, you would like the front tire to offer maximum traction in the braking direction, while the rear tire would normally be oriented to produce maximum traction for drive forces. Thus, if a particular tread pattern is perceived to have better traction in one direction than the other, it should be facing one way if used on the front wheel, and the opposite way if used on the rear wheel.
Now get out there & buy some tires.....


Anonymous said...

Thanks mate, great info.

ProBikeKit said...

Thank you for sharing some great facts about bike tyres. When it comes to bicycle parts, one can really rely on the cycling experts.

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