The Best Mountain Bike Tires of 2016 – Readers’ Choice Awards

10 Best MTB Tires

Our staff has often argued that a fresh set of mountain bike tires with an appropriate tread pattern for your trails is one of the best–and most affordable–upgrades you can make to your bike. However, with all the tire companies and their various offerings out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Well, wonder no more! During our reader’s survey conducted this summer, we asked you to tell us what your favorite treads are. Below are the top 10 picks, according to the results from that survey. While one company in particular dominated this list, the mountain bike tires our readers picked span the spectrum of trail conditions. Some of the tread patterns may be better suited to your trails or riding style than others, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

Without further ado, here are the best mountain bike tires of 2016, as chosen by our readers.

10. Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tire: $45-$100

schwalbe racing ralph

It doesn’t take an astute reader to discern the intentions of this tire–the Racing Ralph is all about maximizing speed. To do so, the center tread blocks are low and closely-spaced. Currently in its third generation, Schwalbe offers the Racing Ralph in a dizzying array of casing, compound, and size options.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.10″, 2.25″, 2.35″

[offer keyword=’schwalbe racing ralph’]

9. Kenda Nevegal Tire: $40-$65


The Nevegal has been the do it all, aggressive trail tire in Kenda’s line for about as long as I can remember. As such, the Nevegal has chunky cornering knobs and large center knobs which are heavily ramped in an effort to reduce rolling resistance. Kenda also offers a DH version of the Nevegal for those that need ultimate durability.

Diameters available: 24″, 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.10″, 2.20″, 2.35″, 2.50″, 2.70″

[offer keyword=’kenda nevegal’]

8. Maxxis Ikon Tire: $55-$100

maxxis ikon

With small, tightly-spaced knobs, the Ikon from Maxxis is another mountain bike tire intended for XC racing. It’s certainly not limited to buff trails, though, particularly if you opt for the larger, 2.35″ width. The high volume casing gives a comfortable ride, which is especially beneficial on a hardtail. One of the traits I like best about the Ikon is that it’s very predictable. The tire loses traction gradually, which allows you to correct before you end up on the ground.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.00″, 2.20″, 2.35″, 2.80″

[offer keyword=’maxxis ikon’]

7. Maxxis Minion DHR II Tire: $61-$105

maxxis dhr II

How can I say this? The original Minion DHR was, um, well, it sucked. Thankfully though, the second generation DHR II is an excellent tire. Essentially, the tread pattern is a mashup of two of Maxxis’ other standout tires–the High Roller II and Minion DHF. The center tread is similar to that of the HR II and the side knobs are copied straight from the DHF, with a little boost in size. If you have shied away from the DHR II because of a bad experience with the original, fear not. It’s a wholly different tire, and that’s a good thing.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.30″, 2.40″, 2.80″, 3.00″

[offer keyword=’maxxis minion dhr ii’]

6. Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire: $46-$97


Schwalbe bills the Hans Dampf as a jack-of-all-trades mountain bike tire. It’s not the fastest-rolling or the best-cornering, but it does both fairly well. Since it works across a variety of conditions, many companies who use Schwalbe spec the Hans Dampf on their trail bikes. Personally, I like it better as a rear tire than a front since it has a tendency to feel vague at the limit.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.25″, 2.35″

[offer keyword=’schwalbe hans dampf’]

Click to page two for #5-#1.

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