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The top 6 best 26 inch mountain bike tires on Amazon for 2023

In this article I’m going to give you an overview of the best 26 inch mountain bike tires on Amazon.

I’ve written a lot of articles on the topic of tires in general, mountain bike tires more specifically, and 26 inch mountain bike tires in particular. So I know that 26 inch mountain bike tires cover an extremely broad spectrum.

You’ve got urban or commuter tires. Slick tires, tires for XC, trail, enduro, and downhill. Tires for touring, bikepacking, and gravel. And even 26 inch tires for fatbikes or to ride on ice and snow. And I’ve literally researched hundreds of different tires through the years.

Here I’m not going to cover exotic tires. I’m going to cover a number of tires ranging from very affordable to more premium. And they range from tires which will enable you to turn your MTB into a speedy commuter or into a trailworthy mountain bike.

So let’s see what made it on my list of the very best 26 inch mountain bike tires on Amazon.

Maxxis Minion DHF

When you’re looking for a mountain bike tire it’s almost impossible not to have heard of the Maxxis Minion DHF. The reason being it’s like the ultimate fit-and-forget mountain bike tire on the market. That means that the tire is just about perfect for any local trail riding, to enduro and downhill races.

The tread pattern shows that this tire prefers to sit on your front wheel. You can opt to put another fan favorite, the Maxxis Minion DHR II, at the back. That tire has horizontally aligned knobbies for increased braking power.

Its popularity ensures there are many options to choose from, both with respect to size, as well as casing. And all of them offer either the EXO sidewall protection, or Double Down breaker. For those with a penchant for tan sidewalls, there are those as well.

On its own, or paired with the Minion DHR II, the Maxxis Minion DHF is such a no-brainer that it’s hard to not recommend it to anyone for allround trail-riding and downhill.

Maxxis Minion DHF Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Superb allrounder with loads of sizing / compound combinations possible. Combines with Maxxis Minion DHR II for an excellent allround trail setup.
Reasons to avoid
None

Maxxis Ikon

The absolute cross-country king in Maxxis’ lineup. The Maxxis Ikon has near perfect allround tire characteristics, which makes it an excellent option for diverse road and trail conditions. Though it’s categorized obviously as an XC tire, it’ll also perform superior for bikepackers and gravel riders.

That being said, this is a racing tire, which means it’s light. But the reliable EXO compound, also used for harsher enduro racing, also means you’ll enjoy this tire for many miles.

As with any tire with this type of tread, it’ll perform well in dry conditions. The 26 inch version has both a 2.35 and 2.2 inch width option. You can run this tire both front and back, and might opt for the wider version in the front for some added grip. Especially if you expect some portions of your ride to be particularly rough.

It’s undeniable that the top-of-the-line products of Maxxis are superior to many if not all of their competitors. And the Maxxis Ikon shows it, with a perfect blend of weight, speed, grip, and protection.

Maxxis Ikon Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
The cross-country king. Highly versatile tire which excels in XC, bikepacking, and gravel, lightweight. Can be used front and rear. Pair with Ardent Race in the front for ultra-fast yet grippy XC setup. Tan options available
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Cross King ProTection

The Continental Cross King ProTection is the newer version of a magnificent, lightweight cross-country racer.

ProTection replaces the RaceSport moniker. It’s a three- and four ply system underneath respectively the tread and sidewall, ensuring maximum puncture protection and shieldwall tearing.

This doesn’t take away from the fact that this tire is still one of the lightest in its category. A true racer.

Continental Cross King ProTection Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Maximum puncture protection in a lightweight cross-country racing tire.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Trail King ProTection Apex

The aptly named Continental Trail King ProTection Apex is the German brand’s allround trail-tackling solution.

It performs exceptionally well in all sorts of conditions, and might only wafer a bit on the steepest of technical downhill sections. That means this tire is a very good and lightweight all mountain solution indeed.

It’s one of the faster tires on this list, well-suited for those among you who don’t shy away from a steep climb. The tread pattern provides high levels of traction and with even the 2.8 width version sitting at just over a kilo, which is about 20 percent lighter than its competitors.

The knobs are rather spaced-out from each other, which means this might not be the grippiest tire in the front. On the flip side, riding in wet conditions is marginally improved because it’ll shed mud better and won’t clog up that easily.

Continental Trail King ProTection Apex Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very fast allround trail tire, that's extremely puncture resistant.
Reasons to avoid
Not the trail tire with the most grip.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB

The Schwalbe Marathon is the ultimate allrounder in the tire department and one of the best-selling tires on the market. So the German brand decided to make a MTB-specific version of this tire: the Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB.

Although it looks like a knobby tire, if you look close enough you can see that center tread will let you run smoothly across pavement. And just like the standard Marathon is meant for commuting and touring, the same goes for this one.

It’s a heavy tire when compared to some of the XC racers. But the biggest plus for hauling all that extra weight is that in terms of puncture protection, this tire has no equal. The reason is pretty simple. Schwalbe stuffed a 5mm strip underneath the center tread, made from highly puncture resistant rubber. And as simple as that sounds, it’s extremely effective in preventing punctures.

So for those of you who want the risk of flats nearing zero, this is the tire for you.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Mile cruncher, unparalleled puncture protection
Reasons to avoid
Heavy, meant for commuting, touring, and bikepacking.

WTB ThickSlick

Of all the tires I’ve come across, none is as true to its name as the WTB ThickSlick.

The high-contrast white letters on the smooth carcass is one of the most distinctive designs for a black tire you can find. A tire with a non-existent tread pattern such as this one is obviously meant for riding on pavement and tarmac. And it does so admirably, with a reasonable enough weight and rolling-resistance.

It’s a very niche-oriented tire to turn your bike into something more. And one of the best-looking slick mountain bike tires ever to hit the market.

WTB ThickSlick Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
True slick with no tread pattern. Unique-looking tire
Reasons to avoid
Meant for urban riding only

Specifications 26 inch mountain bike tires on Amazon

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.50WT
55-559
860
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO
foldable
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.30
58-559
840
Black
Black
3C MAXX TERRA
3CT/EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Minion DHF
26×2.50WT
63-559
905
Black
Black
DUAL
EXO/TR
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
26×2.20
55-559
676
Black
Tan
DUAL
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
26×2.35
60-559
742
Black
Black
3C MAXX SPEED
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
26×2.20
55-559
592
Black
Black
DUAL
 
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
26×2.20
55-559
657
Black
Black
3C MAXX SPEED
EXO
tlr
Continental Trail King ProTection Apex
26×2.40
60-559
875
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection Apex
tlr
Continental Trail King ProTection Apex
26×2.20
55-559
735
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection Apex
tlr
Continental Cross King ProTection
26×2.30
58-559
675
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
tlr
Continental Cross King ProTection
26×2.20
55-559
565
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
tlr
WTB ThickSlick
26×2.00
50-559
620
Black
Black
 
 
 
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
26×2.10
54-559
1150
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard, E-50
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
26×2.25
57-559
1260
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard, E-50
wired

Bicycle tire puncture resistance

EXO, GreenGuard, AGC, AEC, ATC, do you ever get confused with all the jargon related to puncture protection. I know I did? That’s why I’ve written a separate article about puncture resistance technologies. That way, you’ll be able to better understand what’s out there and if it’s worth your money.

Johan van Seijen

FoundeR Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His passion for cycling in general, and restoring older bikes turned into a website to share his knowledge with a broader audience. Starting out on his father’s road bike and riding classics as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege he has shifted his attention to trail, XC, and gravel riding since. No matter how much he loves writing about everything related to cycling, nothing beats actually using his ever-expanding bicycle collection.

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