The components that make up a mountain bike can be drastically different depending on many things. For example, the person who uses the bike, as well as the terrain and type of biking the bike is used for can all be major factors.
The tires, frame, and other components can all have their own specified use. In that sense, the mountain biking repertoire is never-ending. And that can make the process of choosing features to fit your needs a daunting, overwhelming process.
If you own a 29er (a mountain bike with 29″ wheels) and need some new tires, then this post is for you.
At 29 inches, the Minion DHF Maxxis tire is a tubeless ready mountain bike tire, ready for any aggressive and extreme mountain biking.
It uses an efficient knob to prevent slipping and skidding. The tire material is malleable, but firm enough to allow for bouncing off of objects. It fits well with the sturdy nature of most tubeless tires. This is a lightweight wheel with the ability to be used in a variety of environmental settings.
- Larger tire frame for racing and downhill use
- Tubeless setup
- Tire material allows for shock absorption as well as durability
- Only a single ply casing
The 29-inch Schwalbe Nobby tire is able to take on just about any type of terrain. The tire is able to be converted to a tubeless setup and has a very stable and durable sidewall.
The balance of soft material for grip and efficiency is thought to be mixed with the perfect amount of rigidity. This gives the Schwalbe Nobby a significant advantage with versatility and longevity.
Because of the good traction from the knobs and the rigid reinforced interior, the life of this tire is known to be much longer.
- Longer lifespan
- Good grip in any weather and terrain conditions
- Tubeless ability and rigid reinforced interior
- Maintenance needs to be considered due to the softer rubber used for the grips
The 29-inch Maxxis Ardent Skinwall tire is recommended for use in specific types of terrains, due to its unique treads. The knobs and pattern of threads on this tire suggest that cornering and lessened resistance are specialized for this tire. Therefore, they are good in dry, loose terrain.
- The simpler design allows for more biker creativity
- Excellent treads for dry terrain and cross-country riding
- Specialized tire design that can improve riding performance
- Limited in the terrain and type of riding that can be done
This 29-inch Maxxis Ikon 3C tire is a great option for racing. The traction, tread wear, tread pattern, and knob placement are all conducive to optimized racing performance.
This tire has a large volume and densely reinforced sidewalls to help with its durability in high-intensity terrain. It resists the abrasive nature of some mountain biking terrain, too.
- The large variety of terrain uses
- Potentially longer lifespan
- Optimized performance in racing environments
- More suited to mountainous, racing, and downhill riding types
What to Look for in the Best 29″ MTB Tires
There are a variety of things that go into making a mountain bike effective, efficient, safe, and enjoyable to ride. These components rely on judgment from you, as the rider. You should also consider the conditions and environment in where the biking takes place.
Thinking about the needs of tires varies widely, depending on the terrain that you may encounter. Winter tires, thicker or thinner tires, as well as racing tires all exist for mountain biking.
Within the tires, the diameter and grip type can be different, even when within the individual categories of tire use.
Environmental factors, such as snow, ice, wet dirt, dry conditions, and more can impact what kind of tire you want to use.
Along with that consideration, you may also take into consideration the way you plan on using your mountain bike.
For example, there are racing tires, downhill tires, and conventional or cross-country tires. These tires range in size from about 25 inches in diameter to about 30.
Benefits for using 29″ Tires/Wheels
29″ tires tend to be best for racing and downhill use. A 29″ tire has a larger surface area over a 27.5, which in turn means more grip.
Though 29″ tires are not fast accelerators, when they are up to a riders full speed, they will be more efficient.
29″ tires/wheels are better and going over objects due to a greater ‘attack angle’.
29ers are also recommended for larger riders or those carrying more weight, see sizes and weights below.
Between Having Tubes and Choosing Tubeless 29″ Tires
The most common deliberation when choosing tires for mountain bikes is choosing between those with or without tubes. Most are tubeless. However, there are still some great options with tubes.
The main difference when talking about tubed tires versus tubeless tires for mountain bikes is the durability and the likelihood of a flat.
This is why many mountain bikers advise that tube users convert to tubeless tires.
When you use tires with tubes, there is an increased risk in the occurrence of flat tires. They are, in that case, less suited to more aggressive riding. They are more commonly used for cross-country riding or conventional use.
The tubeless tire has the potential to be more aggressively used and ridden on a range of terrain that might be more damaging to the tires themselves.
This is due to the fact that many of these tires are reinforced and made with materials that can easily withstand aggressive rides. Some are layered several times to keep the tires in good condition. They can even survive massive pressure and abuse from rocks in the terrain.
Many of these tires also utilize a mixture of materials to make the best tire that can withstand anything from gravel to thorns and beds of rock.
MTB 29″ Tire Maintenance Tips
The first part of your bike to take the pressure and absorb the shock of rocky terrain, are your tires. They take the hardest beating of your bike and thus need maintenance to ensure good working order and longevity are maintained.
Tubeless bikes have rigid interiors and reinforced materials that help protect them from losing air or puncturing, so they likely have a longer life on average. But that doesn’t mean that you can get out of keeping them up to snuff.
Regular cleaning, as well as assessing the wear on the treads and spikes can help you know when it’s a good time to replace or repair an issue. That issue could have potential safety hazards if left untouched.
Another huge concept to keep in mind is the terrain in which you bike on in relation to the type of tire you have. It can be dangerous and unsustainable to use the wrong type of tire for a certain course, as certain tires just aren’t meant to take the abuse that some terrains offer.
There are many bikes, tires, environments and terrains for each of them to live up to their potential. Finding the right one is as easy as identifying the priorities you have for your bike.