Mtb Reifen Test 29

Schwalbe, MAXXIS, Continental, Michelin, WTB, Kenda… ns range des mountain bike tires on offer ist huge and sometimes confusing. We tested more than 50 tires and although we couldn’t agree on a clear favourite, we kann tell you how zu find the perfect tire zu suit you und your bike.

Du schaust: Mtb reifen test 29


Table of content

One caveat prior to we start: this ENDURO gruppe test has no Best bei Test, nor oase we selected a ideal Value pointer either. Wie man it comes zu tires, over there are plenty of factors to take right into account that influence its performance, which zu sein why tire manufacturers sell a variety des models weil das different types des riders, follow conditions and skill levels. Someone who Enduro bike just gets ferried to the top von a hill on ns trailer von a shuttle has an extremely different demands to bei alpine adventurer that has kommen sie earn every descent. Also if us could schutz agreed top top “one” tire, the would blieb only be ns best feasible compromise zum all-round use. You see, there is no one ideologen tire to suit every biker! Instead, we’ll tell freundin about our mitarbeiter favourites und explain how kommen sie find the right tire for you.

In order zu keep jene as an easy as possible, we split the group test into a total des three parts. The zuerst part covers the fundamentals you’ll need kommen sie know about tires. In the 2nd part, us will zeigen you the four most vital factors kommen sie consider wie man choosing new tires. And bei the tonnage part we tell freundin how zu find die right tire zum you. As soon as we’ve covered the basics, we’ll provide you in overview von all the well-known brands. Us tested every tread pattern, rubber compound und casing.

All ns models in test







Part I – Theory: what sie need kommen sie know around tires

If you’re still running tubes, you’re on your own

The advantages of tubeless are obvious: less weight, more grip, reduced rolling resistance and improved puncture resistance. Although setup them up kann be a bit tedious (though modern rims and tyres generally make ns process painless nowadays), virtually all modern-day Enduro tires und rims room tubeless ready. An case you’re blieb running tubes, we schutz detailed indict on just how to fit tubeless tires und we urgently recommend that sie finally convert. We just ride tubeless and that’s exactly how we the review all the tires here.

Never heard von tubeless? in our ultimate guide kommen sie MTB tubeless, we describe everything sie need kommen sie know about tubeless setup, tires and much more!

It’s all about tire pressure

The appropriate tire pressure is essential: auch much und you kann sein say goodbye to comfort and grip. Auch little und the handling becomes imprecise und spongy and you’re viel more likely to puncture. That said, die right pressure ist dependent on mitarbeiter preference and countless other variables. Nevertheless, we have some accuse on how zu find the perfect tires pressure zum you und your style des riding. If you’re just looking for a starting point that works well bei most cases, then us recommend 1.8 riegel (26 psi) weil das tires indigenous 2.35″ to 2.5″ wide, front and back.

Tire pressures above 2.5 riegel lead kommen sie a serious loss des grip!

Tire broad ≠ tire width

How wide ist too wide und how narrow ist too narrow? A broader tire has actually a larger footprint und can hence generate an ext grip. Die increased volume can so lead kommen sie increased puncture protection and comfort. However, through tires the are more comprehensive than 2.6″, aggressive riders will oase to fight with some von the negativ side effects in the corners. Die handling i do not care spongy und inaccurate so that stop a an exact line becomes difficult. An berms, wider tires tun können collapse much more easily with a viel more pronounced impact on handling. Both the rim und the tire profile oase a big effect on the actual width von the tire. Various rim widths will be more suited kommen sie particular size ranges von tires and the last tire size kann sein be influenced über fitting it kommen sie a narrow or large rim. Die actual tires width zu sein always measure up at the widest point: at ns edges of the shoulder knobs.


Don’t underestimate ns weight von your tires. A set on the own möchte add about 2 kg zu your bike. Also though lock aren’t much heavier 보다 a full water bladder, ns weight des the tires has a noticeable impact on die handling since the tires room part des the wheels’ rotating mass, which you have to accelerate und decelerate wie man you pedal and brake. Although tires have a damping result that reacts kommen sie bumps a gewächs quicker than your fork can, they deshalb form a part of the “unsprung” mass von your bike und thus have a massive impact on your suspension. However, a heavy tire can also have a positive influence on handling. When sachen get rough, heavy tires wollen help freundin hold her line v a absent garden or over roots together lateral results don’t upset them together easily. However, there’s a really fine line betwee too heavy and too light, though on ns whole we prefer to have a bit more weight on the tires kommen sie save our rims und spare tubes.

Tough, thick casings space heavy, deshalb many bike brand resort zu speccing fragile tires on their builds zu reduce the weight of the bike. What a pity!

Front tires ≠ rear tires

The requirements zum the front tire differ native those von the behind tire. On bei Enduro bike, freundin want kommen sie generate as much traction as feasible at ns front, while die rear will be a compromise between grip and rolling resistance. Wie man it comes kommen sie puncture protection, there space massive distinctions as well. Ns forces on the rear wheel are usually higher und when we consider all the punctures we schutz had, the majority have been at the rear – it might be precious fitting a much more durable tire.

MAXXIS Minion DHF – Vorderreifen
MAXXIS Minion DHR ii – Hinterreifen
Yes, tires room expensive!

Even if freundin don’t fit new tires every job as the pros do, replacements execute make quite a dent in your holiday fund. Die fact ist that a high-quality tire is relatively high-quality but deshalb has a massive affect on your bike’s follow performance. A tire isn’t just a consumable teil – instead think about it as something that permits you zu tune her bike und its handling. Instead des carbon spacers, the pays viel more to invest in a high-quality tire.

What are the benefits des tire inserts?

Tire inserts have become a dime a dozen und the price range von these systems is huge. Die operating principle zu sein generally die same: a foam insert acts together a cushion betwee the rim flange und the tire during heavy impacts. As a result, ns tire no much longer slams into the rim und doesn’t gain damaged together easily. Other problems such together burping can only it is in prevented von very few systems. We’ve currently reviewed many von the renowned tire inserts on die market, trial and error them the end on ns trails and in the lab. However, as whole we typically prefer just fitting a tire with a more thick casing. Why? die weight difference between the tires insert and a thicker casing is often just marginal. ~ above top von that, ns tires are viel more robust, don’t puncture together easily und offer much better cornering stability.

The area von application isn’t set in stone

Even if a tire was specially designed zum the former or behind wheel, sie don’t necessarily oase to stick to these instructions. A Minion DHRII (Downhill behind II) so works fine on the front und offers a slightly narrower different to die bulky Minion DHF. Even Michelin’s grausam Enduro prior tire kann offer an ext traction on ns rear wheel bei muddy problems than their “intended” behind tire.

You’re so free kommen sie use die tires in whatever conditions sie prefer. A dirt tire frequently performs excellently an summer when ns trails space covered an a special layer von dust. Tire manufacturers give you a rough tip on what ns tire is good for, yet this isn’t carved in stone: freundin decide!

Who states that a dirt tire can’t work in deep dust?

How did us review deswegen many tires?

Good jene take time: no other group test hinweisen ENDURO has actually taken us as long and involved together many prüfung riders as this one. All von our editors gott involved. Over the last two years, we’ve reviewed about 200 bikes. That makes 400 tires ~ above which us rode countless kilometres of trails. This has allowed us to draw ~ above a wealth von experience in the assessment of tires. We evaluate ns characteristics of the most common models bei all your variations with every ride on our test bikes.


Experience, assessments und test rides are one thing, yet what really matters zu sein how ns tires to compare directly zu each other. Throughout our back-to-back sessions in various cycle parks, ours tubeless pump verlief at complete tilt together we swapped tires. We focussed on specific criteria and only contrasted selected tire combinations – there ist no point comparing a mud tire and semi-slick tire wie man you’re looking weil das the perfect all-rounder. What really matters is the difference between two tires with die same purpose: on which tires do die shoulder knobs fold auch easily, i m sorry offer far better self-cleaning und which don’t let sie down wie man you obtain on die brakes?

By far the most typical cause des punctures in tubeless tires are pinch flats. Again, we fell back on ns testing experience of all our editors. But since no 2 punctures are alike, we also tested ns tires’ pinch-flat resistance an Schwalbe’s tire experimentation laboratory – set up tubeless, obviously!

The trace isn’t a lab. Riding problems can’t be reproduced correctly with any machine.

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Part II – the four most important factors in tire selection

Whether you’re planning in Alpine crossing, want zu race downhill next weekend, or you’re to plan a week-long bike holiday with your buddies, if you’re looking zum new tires, there are four basic things to consider when looking for the “perfect” tire.


Kids’ bicycle or wagon wheels? sie obviously need die right diameter tire for your wheels, but here we’re talking about finding die right tires width. It have to suit her rim and your riding style. A wide, high-volume tire offers an ext “suspension” und increases comfort. Traction and pinch-flat resistance so improves with raising tire volume (using die same tire in different widths). However, as ns width increases, the precision of the tire zu sein reduced, and if it’s not supported über a matching (wide) rim, ns tire wollen squirm a lot in the corners. V rims des around 30 mm interior width, you kann sein run many tires bolzen 2.4″ kommen sie 2.6″ wide. If her rim ist narrower 보다 25 mm internally, the maximum perfect tire width is 2.4″. MAXXIS tires come in either conventional or wide Trail (WT) widths. The tread profile of WT tires ist optimised weil das 35 mm large rims, but we uncovered that they deshalb worked well on 30 mm rims. Anything narrower 보다 that und we wouldn’t recommend a WT tire.


The casing is the backbone des your tire. The gives ns tire its shape and structure and significantly impacts cornering stability, puncture protection and weight. First und foremost, freundin shouldn’t choose ns casing based on its weight, however rather on her weight, talk style and trail conditions. Ns sturdier the casing, the lower you tun können have your tire press without running the risk von getting a pinch level on every rock and root, or die tire folding bei the corners. If in doubt, you’ll do better resorting to the sturdier casing so you don’t risk damaging your new tire on the zuerst ride.

Rubber compound

Tire manufacturers guard the secrets of their rubber compounds prefer McDonald’s guards ns recipe zum their BigMac sauce. They schutz good reason for doing so: while practically all rubber compounds kann generate sufficient grip in dry conditions, over there are substantial performance differences as soon as die trails are wet. Tire manufacturers are bei a continuous struggle kommen sie find ns perfect compromise between grip, roll resistance und durability. To achieve this, most des them no longer rely on a einzel rubber compound, combine up zu three various mixtures with various properties instead. For example, a triple-compound tire i.e. A tires made of three different compounds, uses the hardest compound together a base to give ns tire its stability. The softest compound, offering boosted grip but viel less durability zu sein used for the shoulder knobs. They just contact ns ground wie you corner, offering much more traction as you lean ns bike over right into a turn. Die centre knobs use in “intermediate” compound zu reduce rolling resistance und increase die longevity von the tire. Together if this wasn’t already complex enough, manufacturers also offer different combinations of triple link constructions. WTB, for example, keeps things simple und designates their tires either High fixed or schon fast Rolling. On in Enduro bike, us like zu use a soft ausführung with a lot of grip trost front und a more difficult triple link at die rear weil das less rojo resistance. Tires with just one or 2 rubber compounds room usually a bit much more affordable, making castle a particularly an excellent alternative weil das the behind if sie want kommen sie go a wenig easier on her wallet.


The tread pattern is the separating feature of every tire und has in enormous influence on handling. Die tread has three sections: die centre knobs, which influence rolling resistance und braking traction; ns shoulder knobs, i beg your pardon provide die necessary cornering traction, und the shift knobs in between the centre and shoulder knobs. They provide the transition betwee centre and shoulder knobs und offer traction as sie lean her bike fully onto the tire’s shoulder. Over there are many tread variations in terms of the spacing, shape and size von the knobs. When choosing die right tread, sie should pay specific attention to die conditions on your trails. In soft, moist soils sie should go for in “open” sample with big knobs and big gaps bolzen them. This guarantee that the tread doesn’t obtain clogged up with mud und the knobs kann dig deep into ns soft ground. If you’re looking zum a tire the rolls fast and doesn’t squirm on difficult rock slabs or berms, you will need a an ext “closed” pattern.


Part III – How to choose ns right tire

The best beginning point zum finding the right tire, or ns right combination for the front and rear wheels, zu sein your existing setup. Now it’s her turn kommen sie do some troubleshooting: analyse how the tires law on the trail, wherein they perform well and where they don’t, und consider wie you tonnage punctured. Below are part tips on how zu get rid of your tire problems:

Pinch flats

Pinch flats are nur like die snakebites you used to get with tubes in your tires. A tough landing or affect results in the tire gaining pinched between a rock (or any kind of other trail obstacle) and the rim puncturing the tire in two locations – über the rim und between die centre and shoulder knobs. If you regularly experience pinch flats in spite of running a high tire pressure, die casing ist too thin weil das your weight, your riding style and your trails. In interim solution zu sein to increase die tire pressure also more. However, in the lang run, sie should resort kommen sie a thicker casing (like Schwalbe’s Super heaviness instead von Snakeskin). If freundin only occasionally schutz pinch flats on die rear wheel and you’re otherwise satisfied with your tires and they’re ausblüten new, a tire insert might make sense.

I’m too slow on the straights

Want to roll quicker on die descents? Or have in advantage over her riding buddies on ns climbs? If ns rolling resistance von your tires zu sein too high zum your liking, it’s either due to die tread or the rubber compound. Concerning rubber compound, die solution zu sein simple: a tough compound roll faster. Since you almost only use die centre tread ~ above even terrain you kann confidently select a triple compound tire with a tough centre compound and a soft compound zum the shoulder knobs. That way you kann sein roll faster and still advantage from the increased grip of the soft compound in the corners. When it comes to the tread pattern, a semi-slick tire with tiny centre knobs on the rear wheel möchte roll a lot faster. The resulting compromise an traction ist usually just worth that on very hard pack ground. Tires with bigger knobs can so roll fine if ns tread ist very tightly spaced. A an excellent example of this ist the MAXXIS Aggressor.


In grippy corners and berms, the enormous lateral pressures that action on die tire kann sein unseat die tire bead from the rim, opening up a klein gap bolzen the rim und tire und resulting in a according to “burp” as air escapes. Besides losing pressure, various other tell-tale signs von burping include the residue des tubeless sealant on ns sidewall des your tire und your rims. Burping is especially likely kommen sie occur on tracks v a last of berms. You tun können simply placed a little more air in your tires zum these trails, however if the continues kommen sie be a problem, or if you’ve managed to literally pull your tire off ns rim, sie need a more thick casing. If the belästigung persists, die burping could so be due to in inappropriate rim und tire combination. If you’ve got a vast tire ~ above a very narrow rim, die tire won’t schutz enough support.

A last of grip an dry conditions but no grip bei the wet

As shortly as it starts raining ns demands on your tires change really quickly. Obviously, freundin can’t expect ns same level of performance on wet roots und rocks as in dry conditions, but you don’t have to resign yourself zu a complete loss von grip. Check your tire wie you’re riding in wet problems to lakers if it it s okay clogged trost with mud. If the tread doesn’t clean itself effectively, you’ll barely be able zu distinguish die tread pattern in ~ all ns mud. A more offen pattern with large gaps between knobs can make sense bei this case. An excellent examples des this encompass Schwalbe’s Magic Mary, die WTB decision Wet or MAXXIS’ Shorty.

When dinge get wet, you’ll quickly be able kommen sie tell ns good rubber compound from die bad. Only ns softest rubber link manage kommen sie find purchase on wet roots. Shot a soft rubber compound up front and a medium compound on the rear wheel an the wet winter months. That way you run less risk von the prior wheel sliding out and you can blieb keep hoch with her buddies on die climbs.

Cut sidewall

The sidewalls des your tires tun können get cut reasonably easily, particularly if her trails are an extremely rocky. One von the most usual causes of this zu sein if your rim zu sein too broad or her tire is too narrow. If die sidewalls von your tires rod out more comprehensive than die shoulder knobs, the sidewalls are viel more exposed und susceptible zu cuts native rocks lie at an angle to the trail and any other sharp objects. Die solution: mountain a wider tire. Ns tire casing deshalb determines how easily its sidewalls kann sein get cut. A higher TPI (threads von inch) casing kann imply much more protection against cuts, despite this rule of thumb doesn’t apply with super expensive Cross nation racing tires that have more 보다 120 TPI. Part tires also have a cut-resistant layer incorporated into ns carcass, together as die EXO casing used von MAXXIS.

There isn’t a single tire to suit everyone, yet everyone can find a tires suitable for them.

Editors choice: which tires execute we run?

Trev Worsey, 78 kg, Scotland: 15° und a drizzle: a beautiful Scottish day in August. For me to stay bei control on our steep and wet trails, i run a mud tire on ns front. Ns knobs on the MAXXIS Shorty aren’t rather as aggressive together some and still roll sensibly well on the climbs. Us don’t oase shuttles, so I placed a High Roller ii on ns rear wheel, i m sorry offers great self-cleaning abilities and also rolls schon fast enough.


Finlay Anderson, 74 kg, Scotland: with my weight, i don’t oase to problem too viel about punctures and like kommen sie save a couple of grams v a lighter casing. Ns wide WTB Vigilante with its soft rubber link literally clings to ns ground bei off-camber sections. However, on hard packed berms, the shoulder knobs fold easily. Might as well: braaap


Valentin Rühl, 85 kg, Stuttgart: I’m not too concerned about lap times. Having actually fun, getting into die flow und catching air ist my thing. I love die Schwalbe hans Dampf. It’s yes, really nice while drifting and always stays predictable. I absolutely oase to schutz the Super heaviness casing on the rear zum enhanced durability. Zum the winter, ich like kommen sie put a Magic mary tire hoch front.


Christoph Bayer, 87 kg, Alpine Office: for years my favourite tire front and back was die 2.4″ MAXXIS Minion DHRII. Michelin’s at sight grippy Enduro combination is slowly acquisition its ar though. The front tire provides tons des grip, however the zurück lets sie drift right into a corner when you feel favor it. At sight fast und pure fun!


Felix Stix, 92 kg, Stuttgart: hold on und charge v – mine riding style zu sein anything but clean. Thin-walled tires have bei average life expectancy von 5 minutes on die trail, so I will to ns most sturdy Enduro version for the casing. I’m loving die Super gravity casing von the Magic Mary. Unfortunately, ich always schutz to resort kommen sie downhill casings in wet conditions due to the fact that there zu sein no 29er modell with ns extra soft rubber compound.

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All the models in test

If you’ve gained this far: congratulations! now you’re in expert top top tires. Over die following pages, we’ll give you in overview von the different tires in our big gruppe test. Us tested every profile, rubber compound and casing kommen sie let sie find die best möglichkeit to suit her needs.