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The top 5 cheap 26 inch mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you a list of what I feel are solid choices for cheap 26 inch mountain bike tires.

When I try to think of the most likely scenario where you’d want cheap tires for an older-style mountain bike, is when you actually need cheap tires for an old MTB. Maybe you just want to get a fixer-upper running again, and you’re not looking to spend a 100 dollars or more on some fancy tires.

Or you’re looking to sell an old mountain bike with dried out tires, and you want to spend as little money as possible. Or you’re simply interested in replacing tires on a bike you’re using and just don’t want to spend a lot of cash. Things are expensive enough as it is.

With those scenarios in mind I looked at the range of tires I believe are best-in-class in the affordable apartment. Whatever scenario describes yours best, with this list of the best cheap 26 inch mountain bike tires, you’ll get up and running again without spending an arm and a leg.

Schwinn Mountain

Schwinn Mountain
Schwinn Mountain

Coming in a variety of sizes the aptly named Schwinn Mountain tire is as cheap as they come.

The tread pattern actually supports commuting with a fairly unbroken center tread line. So whether you want to slap a pair of cheap tires on your fixer-upper you’ll be going to use as a fun daily driver, or you actually want to rock your local trail, the trail will serve you fine on both occasions.

Don’t expect anything fancy other than a bit of added puncture protection. But there’s enough rubber to keep you going a long time.

Pros and Cons

Schwinn Cruiser

Schwinn Cruiser
Schwinn Cruiser

The Schwinn Cruiser is actually a great-looking and very cheap tire for urban, commuting, and gravel use.

It will turn your mountain bike into a perfect commuter, while still maintaining some off-road capability for gravel and light cross country riding.

It’s a bit too light to take on the trail, but if you grew up riding mountain bikes in the 90s, nothing is too light probably.

The main attraction is obviously the price, which is about half you’d pay for a more premium counterpart. So unless you want to move into the territory where tires begin to have unpronounceable names, this is the go-to solution for the cheapest light off-road tire.

Pros and Cons

Bell Mountain

Bell Mountain
Bell Mountain

I didn’t realize Bell actually made tires before I stumbled upon this one. I’m riding with one of their helmets for years. It’s heavy but does the job. The same goes for the Bell Mountain tire.

It’s heavy but does the job more than adequate for providing your bike with a bit of grip. The small knobbies make for a relatively speedy setup for gravel and cross country and looks pretty decent.

It’s very cheap, so it’s a solid option for people who just want a good-looking pair of tires.

Pros and Cons

Kenda Smoke

Kenda Smoke
Kenda Smoke

The tread pattern of the Kenda Smoke is over 3 decades old and is an absolute classic for retro mountain bikes.

I deem this tire budget-friendly because I’ve bought the versions from Panaracer, which are twice as expensive as this one.

Granted, I have skinwalls, but in terms of riding capability on the trail, these tires will perform just as great for half the money.

So if you’re looking for the cheapest solution to actually do so trails with your mountain bike, this is the tire.

Pros and Cons

Kenda K838 City Slick

Kenda K838 City Slick
Kenda K838 City Slick

The Kenda City Slick looks remarkably like the Kenda Kwest, only this one comes in a classic mountain bike width.

They are slicks with a minimal tread pattern, so great for people who want to use their mountain bike for non-offroad purposes. And wide enough to still maintain an actual mountain bike feel.

And, last but not least, cheap enough to not hurt your wallet.

Pros and Cons

Specifications cheap 26 inch mountain bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Schwinn Mountain
26×1.95
50-559
Black
Black
wired
Schwinn Cruiser
26×1.95
50-559
Black
Black
wired
Bell Mountain
26×1.75
42-559
Black
Black
foldable
Kenda Smoke
26×2.10
54-559
Black
Black
wired
Kenda K838 City Slick
26×1.95
53-559
Black
Black
wired

Sources

bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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