Best 26 Inch Mountain Bike Tires

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Which is the best tyre for my mountain bike? This question is heard almost daily by sellers of bike accessories. However, it is not possible to give a blanket answer to this question. Because when buying 26 inch mountain bike tyres, it is primarily the field of application of the tyres that counts. From enduro and freeride to race and tour, every riding style has its own individual rubber and profile requirements. An all-round tyre that works equally well off-road as well as on asphalt and gravel does not exist. For mountain bikers, this means thinking carefully about the characteristics of the tyre before buying it.

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Our Top 26 Inch Mountain Bike Tires Pick

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Downhill through the muddy forest or mountain tour over roads and forest paths – on which surface the 26 inch MTB tyre is used is important for the choice of the ideal tyre. Because there are many differences: Manufacturers such as Continental, Schwalbe, Michelin or Kenda offer their tyre models in different widths and profiles as well as rubber compounds adapted to the respective terrain. The tyres have completely different values for adhesion, rolling resistance and traction and also for weight and wear the tires sometimes vary considerably.

If you mainly ride your mountain bike on asphalted roads, you are best advised to have as narrow a tyre as possible with as little tread as possible. The low profile reduces rolling resistance and enables maximum performance on roads with comparatively little effort. Ideally suited are 26 inch MTB tires with a 2.0 width. Tires that meet these requirements are the Continental Race King MTB Mountain Bike and the Continental X-King Skin Performance.

By far the most mountain bikers are attracted to easy terrain on forest roads and country lanes. Tyres adapted to this terrain are often referred to by manufacturers as “All Mountain MTB tyres”. The designation means that the tyres are suitable for all mountain surfaces. These include muddy roads as well as gravel roads and paved roads. They offer good adhesion on a wide variety of floors. The optimum tyre width is 2.0 to 2.4 – the larger the proportion of terrain, the wider the tyre should be. The Continental Mountain King II 26 x 2.4 inch clincher tyre, for example, is well suited for changing terrain.

Those who feel most comfortable with their bike in difficult terrain and like downhill rides through the woods most, need a 26 inch MTB tire with a width between 2.3 and 2.5 and as coarse a profile as possible. The tread pattern – alternatively with studs – gives maximum grip on soft and unpaved surfaces, but at the same time provides high rolling resistance when driving on normal roads and therefore requires a lot of effort. Recommended specimens for changing forest soils and rocky surfaces are the Continental MTB tyre Der Baron in 26 x 2.5, the Continental MTB tyre Der Kaiser in 26 x 2.5, the High Roller II Exo Protection in 26 x 2.40 and the Maxxis Exo 60A Minion Dhf in 26 x 2.5 inch

As already mentioned, there is no MTB tyre that works equally well on any surface. Nevertheless, some manufacturers offer all-round tyres that represent a compromise and offer acceptable properties on different surfaces. They are particularly suitable for newcomers who do not yet know whether they would prefer to be off-road or on the road in the future. A good tyre for this purpose is the Continental MTB tyre Vapor 2.1 in 26 x 2.1 inch. The tyre offers good grip and low rolling resistance on asphalt and mud. As a brand tyre, it is also very durable and less susceptible to damage.

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