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The top 6 best 27.5 inch slick mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to cover my picks for the best 27.5 inch slick mountain bike tires.

Even though 29 inch wheels have taken over the bicycle industry by storm, there are still plenty of reasons why you want to opt for the smaller 27.5 inch wheel size. If not for the fact there are still plenty of them you can pick up for a decent price, because the first owner wants to upgrade to 29 inch wheels.

Another solid reason to go for 27.5 wheels is because you can indeed convert a 26 inch bike into one running these bigger wheels. And in the end the options for 27.5 inch slick mountain bike tires are simply different from the 26 inch slick versions.

Whatever your reason, if you’re looking to spruce up your frame with the best 27.5 inch slick mountain bike tires money can buy, I’ve got the list for you.

Continental CONTACT Speed

Continental CONTACT Speed
Continental CONTACT Speed

Meant for the road the Continental Contact Speed is a slick tire in the true sense of the word. A minimalistic profile will turn your bike into a city slicker.

In the commuting and touring range from this German brand, it sits in the fastest category and is one of the most affordable options to obtain a fast-rolling tire.

It also has excellent puncture protection with Continental’s more than adequate SafetySystem breaker technology. Chances of flats are minimized.

Expert Experience

Shaun Audane | Technical writer – June 30, 2020

For me at least, the Contact Speeds strike an excellent balance between speed, comfort and puncture resistance – in that order. The wide range of sizes is another big draw and I’d even do a bit of weekend/lightweight touring with them. If these are your priorities, there’s little to touch them. However, if you put reliability and durability over everything else, there are plenty of options for similar money and, indeed, less.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Hookworm

Maxxis Hookworm
Maxxis Hookworm

The Maxxis Hookworm is a durable urban road bike tire meant to last for many miles as a trustworthy commuting companion.

It’s a large volume, round, and heavy wired tire that smooths out small bumps and road buzz once it has gathered momentum. It’s definitely not a race tire.

It has one of the weirder looking tread patterns I’ve seen on a tire, which makes it fall into the semi-slick category since there are no knobbies whatsoever. The swirling patterns probably do well siphoning water away to the outside in wet conditions.

At 26 x 2.5 inches make sure you’ve got enough frame clearance to be able to actually run these big tires.

I’ve run these types of heavy round tires and can say they offer an incredible plush and comfortable feel, and once you get going are fast enough for quick urban assaults.

Expert Experience

Steve Inindy | Contributor – June 11, 2006

I really like these tires. Not just that they are tough but they ride real smooth. They swallow up holes and uneven pavement like they aren’t there. Seams in pavement that would have caused a loss of control on other tires are taken in stride on these. Need to ride in the grass or on a trail? No problem. For commuting on dilapidated city streets these tires are great.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Hurricane

Schwalbe Hurricane
Schwalbe Hurricane

I also decided to include the Schwalbe Hurricane in this list. It’s a shame they don’t sell them in skinwall versions as well. But the tire packs a solid combination of a flat centerline and side knobs.

The side knobs means the tire is more versatile than the average slick, opening up the possibility to take your bike offroad and away from the beaten path.

If you want to keep a MTB look for your tires without sacrificing too much speed on the road, this is the perfect tire for you. Especially if you like the occasional trail as well because of the added grip.

Expert Experience

Alaskan | Contributor – December 2017, 2019

This tire is whisper quiet on paved surfaces and rolls very easily. It is a very fast tire, almost as fast as Marathon Supremes. The traction on road and trail is very good, verging on excellent. It is sure footed on wet pavement as well.

For me the new Hurricane fits with my riding better than any tire I have ridden on. This tire comes across as the best all purpose tire I have ridden to date.

Pros and Cons

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
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 the 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.

Expert Experience

Mike | Site Owner – March 15, 2017

Since I’ve made the jump to these large-and-in-charge tires (in my case, on a drop-bar adventure bike rather than a pure mountain bike) I’ve felt like I’m getting pretty close to the right balance of tradeoffs and advantages.

I’m not whizzing through my city streets en route to my favorite forest getaways, but I roll smoothly and comfortably enough out of town. Once I’m on the rough gravel-and-clay surface of the C&O Canal towpath outside my Washington, DC home, I really appreciate the limousine-like feel and peace of mind these tires offer.

Pros and Cons

WTB Groov-E

WTB Groov-E
WTB Groov-E

The WTP Groov-E was designed for e-bikes, which is reflected in the weight of 970 grams.

The reason it’s on this list is because with its 2.40 inch width and weight, it will offer an extremely plush ride. Not everybody is looking for speed, and if comfort sits high on your list, this tire might be the one for you.

Pros and Cons

WTB ThickSlick

WTB ThickSlick
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.

Expert Experience

Dave Henly | Site Owner – March 6, 2017

For urban riding and as a road training tire, the ThinSlicks are perfect. If you want to ride gravel on a road bike, these might work ok, but you’ll be pushing them to their limit. And if you want to do a lot of touring, you can either go with these bad boys or the Gatorskins. The Gatorskins might be more comfortable over long straight stretches.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 27.5 inch slick mountain bike tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Continental CONTACT Speed
27.5×2.00
50-584
700
Black
Black
SafetySystem Breaker
tlr
3/180
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.00
50-584
610
Black
Black
ADDIX
Performance
wired
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.25
57-584
690
Black
Black
ADDIX
Performance
wired
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.40
62-584
885
Black
Black Reflex
ADDIX
RaceGuard / Double Defense
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
27.5×2.10
54-584
1200
Black
Black
ADDIX
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
27.5×2.25
57-584
1270
Black
Black
ADDIX
wired
WTB Groov-E
27.5×2.40
62-584
970
Black
Black
Dual DNA
tlr
WTB ThickSlick
27.5×1.95
50-584
713
Black
Black
DNA
folding
Continental CONTACT Speed
27.5×1.25
32-584
470
Black
Black
SafetySystem Breaker
tlr
3/180

Sources

Shaun Audane, Continental Contact Speed Reflex 26×2.0 tyre, Road.cc, June 30, 2020
Steve Inindy, Maxxis Hookworm Tire review, Bentrider, June 11, 2006
Alaskan, New Favorite Tire – Schwalbe Hurricane, Electric Bike Reviews, December 2017, 2019
Dave Henly, ThickSlicks Tire Review, Dave’s Cheap Bikes, March 6, 2017
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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