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The top 10 best 27.5 puncture resistant tires

In this article I’m going to give you the ultimate in 27.5 puncture resistant tires. Since you don’t specifically see mountain bike tires written down here, there are two very distinct categories to be found here.

Basically the tires on this list are split up into urban tires which are extremely durable and compatible with e-bikes and speed pedelecs. The other category is the enduro and downhill category of MTB tires. Two disciplines that demand the most of a tire and are made with added puncture protection and reinforced casings.

The technologies used for both tires doesn’t really vary a lot. Brands simply use different names. The only difference between trail tires and tires for commuting purposes is the various compounds used in trail tires and tread patterns to accommodate the dynamic use of the tire. E.g. you don’t go in a straight line all the time.

But both types of tires have added layers of fabric or specialized rubber under the center tread to prevent punctures. And with heavy e-bikes demanding more from your average tire, reinforced sidewalls aren’t just found in trail tires anymore.

So with that out of the way, let’s head over to my list of the best 27.5 puncture resistant tires.

Continental CONTACT Plus

Continental CONTACT Plus
Continental CONTACT Plus

The Continental CONTACT Plus is another great allround commuting tire from the German brand.

It sets itself apart from the other tires in the lineup because of a cut resistant casing, besides the puncture-resistant belt and reinforced sidewalls.

The tire sacrifices a low weight in favor of basically never running a flat, and does so perfectly. It’s flat center tread pattern means it’s a great long-lasting-durable commuter option.

Expert Experience

Shaun Audane | Technical writer – July 11, 2017

Although there are faster tyres around, the weight penalty and more pronounced rolling resistance isn’t going to be apparent on a heavily laden expedition bike, tandem, or off-road on an adventure type build for that matter. The 35mm section is noticeably quicker, much easier to mount, and my choice if you wanted a super-dependable four-seasons road-biased tyre.

Pros and Cons

Continental Kryptotal Fr

Continental Kryptotal Fr
fallback

The Continental Kryptotal Fr is part of the German brand’s new trail, enduro, and downhill lineup of premium tires.

There are a number of tires for these disciplines and the Kryptotal Fr is meant as a front tire. With three different casings you can choose your weight and puncture protection, with more protection and weight as you move into the direction of downhill.

This tire outshines the competition with its casing, with the downhill version offering a 6-ply casing, or a 4-ply with dual breaker. This is something I’ve never seen on a mountain bike tire and makes for a near-indestructible tire.

To ensure it doesn’t feel like you’re riding with wooden tires, the plies tapers off to the side. With the downhill from 6 to 4, and both enduro and trail version from 3 to 2.

Furthermore the trail and enduro version have reinforced sidewalls, and I guess Continental decided 4 plies was enough for the downhill version.

The tread pattern is similar for all three versions, and is characterized by a fairly densely populated center tread. It offers allround reliability.for a tire that’s meant to be ridden with its twin brother: the Kryptotal Re. This really is a tire designed for the front.

I know other brands, most notably Maxxis, dominate the professional scene, but on paper at least, this is one of the most impressive mountain bike tires I’ve ever seen.

Expert Experience

Dario DiGiulio | Contributor – October 25, 2022

With a full redesign of their casings and compounds, Continental has brought their tire lineup close to the top of the heap, with seriously impressive performance across the board. Massively improved from their previously mediocre offerings, the new tires are absolutely worth a try, if you’re interested in migrating away from the big brands.

I’ve been impressed with every tire in the lineup and will be running the stickiest options as a baseline for the foreseeable future.

Pros and Cons

Continental Kryptotal Re

Continental Kryptotal Re
fallback

The Continental Kryptotal Re is the rear wheel version of the Fr also coming in trail, enduro and downhill specific casings.

Those casings are the same, and you can read in the Fr section what I think of the casings, which are nothing short of astounding.

This tire comes in three different versions, so be sure to get the right one based on your preferred mountain bike discipline. You can obviously choose a soft downhill compound for an enduro racer, things are not set in stone.

The tread is optimized for both braking power and traction, and is really meant to be mounted in the rear.

Expert Experience

Jeff Barber | Editor in Chief – October 13, 2023

In the end I don’t think it’s fair to call the Continental Kryptotal Re a trail tire; it rides more like a burlier, all-mountain option. Or aggressive trail, perhaps? With a 1,000g+ weight and surprisingly stiff sidewalls, this is a trail tire for those who tend to be tough on tires, or who want a tire that can handle a wide variety of conditions while lasting a season or more. And if you’re still not convinced the tire is tough enough for your style of riding, there are two more aggressive levels of Kryptotal Re tires to choose from.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Minion DHF

Maxxis Minion DHF
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 all-round trail-riding and downhill.

Expert Experience

Jeff Barber | Editor in Chief – August 24, 2023

I’ve found the Maxxis Minion DHF truly serves as an all conditions tire, from loose to firm and from wet to dry. Obviously the compound makes a difference when it comes to hard surface traction, as does tire pressure. The Minions do a good job clearing mud and clay, and cut through sandy washes better than most.

Thinking back over hundreds of rides on the Minions DHF tires, I can’t recall a single pinch flat despite running “just” EXO/TR casings. Honestly most riders should be able to get away with a lighter casing on the DHFs since it is a front tire after all. That’s not to say I haven’t had punctures due to sharp objects, though no more or less than other tires.

Pros and Cons

Maxxis Minion DHR II

Maxxis Minion DHR II
Maxxis Minion DHR II

The “DH” in DHF and DHR stands for “downhill”. The “F” and “R” for “front” and “rear” respectively. The “downhill” in the name is a bit misleading, because the horizontal tread pattern of the DHR not only aids braking but also gives more traction when going uphill. Both tires have the same side knobs to maximize grip while cornering.

Maxxis intended these two tires to be used together as their go-to allround solution for trail riding. And these tires are in some many lists that it’s probably the best allround no-worries solution money can buy.

Together with the Minion DHF, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is a fantastic and confidence inspiring tire that will take your downhill rides to the next level.

Expert Experience

Jeremy Benson | Product reviewer – November 22, 2018

I’m a pretty big fan of this tire. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option for a rear tire for aggressive everyday trail riding. The combination of cornering confidence and pedaling and braking traction is hard to beat. There are faster rolling tires out there, but few that can dominate the trail like the DHR II. Mount this up as a rear tire with a Minion DHF up front and you’ve got our winning combination for aggressive trail riding.

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 Judge

WTB Judge
WTB Judge

The WTB Judge is the burliest rear-oriented enduro and downhill option. Huge side knobs flank an aggressive tread pattern for maximum braking power and traction in wet, muddy, and loose trail conditions.

With those huge knobs grip is superb, but still lacks that unwanted transition feel normally associated with widely spaced trail tires. You get the traction you want when climbing. Braking power when going downhill, and grip on off-camber and loose sections.

Like a lot of enduro and downhill options, this is a heavy tire. So you pay a certain price for all that rubber. And naturally you’ll lose some speed when the trail isn’t rough enough to warrant such a tire.

Expert Experience

Richard Cunningham | Contributor – July 18, 2019

The Judge is the first WTB tire that I have ridden worry-free in the corners. With rare exceptions, WTB’s aggressive trail tires stick like glue – until they don’t. They do have a predictable release, which showcases riders with drifting skills. Look no further than WTB test rider Mark Weir, one of the world’s most adept drift-meisters.

Pros and Cons

WTB Verdict

WTB Verdict
WTB Verdict

The WTB Verdict is a versatile MTB tire for wet and muddy conditions.

Since WTB states this is a front tire, you might want to combine it with the WTB Vigilante mentioned here as well. The reason this is a front tire is because the core focus is grip. The soft compound does not perform well on hardpack, but gives amazing levels of traction and grip in loose, wet, and muddy conditions.

With so much grip at your disposal it also means that climbing becomes easier as well. Which means this is a very solid enduro tire for allround rough trail conditions.

There are two different casings to choose from a single and dual ply. The single is obviously faster, but the dual will provide you with more protection and a longer life, so it’s up to you what you prefer.

Expert Experience

Richard Cunningham | Contributor – July 18, 2019

As promised, the Verdict grips corners insanely well. When I eased my way around a fast turn, it responded with “very good” traction – similar to a brand new Maxxis DHF. The key to getting the most from this tire, however, was to push into the apex with the cranks and pressurize the tires. Do that and the Verdict delivers the pizza with extra toppings. Similarly, the Verdict digs in to deep, sandy turns until it finds enough resistance, then it settles in for a smooth apex and exit.

Pros and Cons

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

The WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8 is a solid contender to many of the premium offerings from other high-quality brands.

Obviously there are a number of tire widths to choose from, depending on your personal preference when it comes to grip. What this tire has got going for it is that’s prefers grip and handling over weight. The rather widely spaced and high soft knobbies do very well in keeping your bike connected to the trail, ensuring high levels of confidence in hard cornering.

WTB offers this tire in their TriTec compound, which basically means that the casing consists of three layers, with each layer having a different firmness. The harder durometer is reserved for the center, reducing the risk of punctures and making the tire faster in a straight line. This gradual increase in softness from center to side sounds great on paper, and indeed works exceptionally well on the trail. It makes for a really grippy and reliable tire in corners and reasonably fast on the straights with adequate levels of puncture protection.

I tend to disagree that this tire works as well in the rear as it does in the front when it comes to braking and traction. The widely spaced tread pattern without those distinctive horizontal rows simply isn’t the best setup to support those two rear tire characteristics. On the other hand, if you like a loose feel and don’t mind the occasional drift, this tire actually enhances such a way of riding.

In the end the WTB Vigilante rightly deserves its spot on this list with grippy and fun riding characteristics that’ll suit a great number of riders.

Expert Experience

Jim Bland | World Cup Downhill Mechanic – September 10, 2020

The overall feel of the tread pattern remains reliable and grippy across a broad variety of terrain and there is definitely more of a distinct cut feel from the new wider profile when banking over in turns. Occasionally during flatter corners there can be a slight skip before the side knobs really lock in and we put this down to the way every third side knob is more inboard, and if the load begins at this point it can translate to a split second of vagueness before properly engaging with the ground. This characteristic doesn’t seem to affect performance too much, but it certainly isn’t something I feel when riding our current favourite rubber from other brands. After plenty of riding the tread does seem to wear better than many other soft compound tires though.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 27.5 puncture resistant tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
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 Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
27.5×2.60
65-584
1340
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.50
63-584
1005
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHF
27.5×2.60
66-584
1010
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.40
61-587
1126
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
Maxxis Minion DHR II
27.5×2.60
66-584
910
Black
Black
3C MaxxTerra
EXO+
tlr
60
WTB Verdict
27.5×2.50
65-584
1190
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr
60
Continental CONTACT Plus
27.5×1 1/2
42-584
990
Black
Black
SafetyPlus Breaker
3/180
Continental Kryptotal Fr
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill casing
tlr
6/660
Continental Kryptotal Re
27.5×2.40
60-584
1220
Black
Black
BlackChili
Downhill casing
tlr
6/660
WTB Judge
27.5×2.40
60-584
1281
Black
Black
TriTec Dual
tlr

Sources

Shaun Audane, Continental Contact Plus tyres, Road.cc, July 11, 2017
Dario DiGiulio, Continental Kryptotal and Argotal Review – Fresh rubber from an old player, The Loam Wolf, October 25, 2022
Jeff Barber, The Continental Kryptotal Re is More Than a Trail Tire, Singletracks, October 13, 2023
Jeff Barber, The Maxxis Minion DHF Tire is Still the One to Beat, Singletracks, August 24, 2023
Jeremy Benson, Maxxis Minion DHR II Review, Outdoorgearlab, November 22, 2018
Alaskan, New Favorite Tire – Schwalbe Hurricane, Electric Bike Reviews, December 2017, 2019
Jim Bland, WTB Vigilante 2.5in tire reviewed, Bike Perfect, September 10, 2020
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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