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

5. Continental Trail King Tire: $30-$70


The Continental Trail King mountain bike tire took the third spot on our list last year, but slips a couple spots to number five for 2016. As the name suggests, the Trail King is an all-purpose trail tire. With tall blocks and plenty of space between them, the Trail King can claw its way over trail features such as roots and rocks. Continental offers two casing options: RaceSport and ProTection, the latter of which offers the most puncture resistance. It’s also available with Continental’s Black Chili rubber compound, which has excellent grip and tread wear–a tough feat to accomplish.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.20″, 2.40″

[offer keyword=’continental trail king’]

4. Schwalbe Nobby Nic Tire: $30-$102

schwalbe nobby nic

Schwalbe’s Nobby Nic might just be the most commonly spec’d tire on new mountain bikes. It’s available in a wide variety of configurations, price points, and the tread pattern itself is versatile. Many companies chose the Nobby Nic because it is light, which keeps complete bike weights down, but that often came with a serious tradeoff in durability. However, Schwalbe has just revamped the Nic, making the knobs larger and the casing more robust. After riding it on a handful of test bikes, I have to say I was impressed with the updated version.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.10″, 2.25″, 2.35″, 2.60″, 2.80, 3.00″

[offer keyword=’schwalbe knobby nic’]

3. Maxxis Minion DHF Tire: $51-$105

maxxis dhf

There’s a reason the Minion DHF hasn’t seen a redesign à la the DHR. It’s because the DHF is damn-near perfect as it is. Many riders–myself included–consider it the gold standard for aggressive treads. It rolls well for such a burly tire thanks to the heavily-ramped center tread, and it has a predictable transition to the side knobs. And once you’re on those side knobs, you can really lay into the tire. If you want more confidence in the corners, mount up a set of these.

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

Widths available: 2.30″, 2.50″, 2.80″, 3.00″

[offer keyword=’maxxis minion dhf’]

2. Maxxis Ardent Tire: $61-$65

maxxis ardent

The Maxxis Ardent is another mountain bike tire you often see spec’d stock. It bridges the gap nicely between the XC-focused Ikon and the more aggressive Minion DHF, which makes the Ardent ideal for short travel trail bikes. The tread pattern works well in a variety of terrain, but does struggle in loose over hard–tough conditions for any tire. I personally am not a fan of the Ardent, as I find it to be vague at the limit like the Schwalbe Hans Dampf. However, if you can ride just inside that limit, it’s a ripping trail tire.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

Widths available: 2.25″, 2.40″

[offer keyword=’maxxis ardent 27.5′]

1. Maxxis High Roller II Tire: $62-$105


Messing with a mountain bike tire as legendary as the original High Roller was risky. After all, humans in general are averse to change. However, once most people tried the High Roller II, they forgot all about its predecessor. That’s because the High Roller II does everything better–it rolls faster, brakes better, and has a slightly better transition to the side knobs. I say slightly because there is still a little bit of vagueness in that transition zone going from the center to side knobs. It’s best to use a firm, deliberate hand to get over on those knobs quickly. Once you get used to that quirk, you’ll be schralping berms with the best of them.

Diameters available: 26″, 27.5″, 29″

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

[offer keyword=’maxxis high roller ii 27.5′]

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