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The top 7 best 27.5 semi slick tyres for 2023

In this article I’m going to cover some of the best 27.5 semi slick tyres you’ll be able to find.

I have a lot of mountain bikes and the majority of them are not die-hard trail beasts but have semi-slick tires to make them more versatile for urban use and gravel riding. A semi-slick has a tread pattern with no or very small knobbies for to minimize rolling-resistance. They may have larger side knobbies to aid you in keeping some cornering confidence, should you decide to take your bike offroad.

They can be lightweight but don’t necessarily have to be if they pack more rubber to become very puncture-resistant and have an added breaker under the center tread.

So let’s see what made it onto my list of the very best 27.5 semi slick tyres.

Maxxis Pace

The Maxxis Pace is a cross country tire with the most minimal tread pattern in Maxxis’ XC lineup.

It’s an excellent tire if you want to keep the MTB nature of your bike, being able to ride comfortably and confidently on other surfaces than flat tarmac. The tire has excellent rolling-resistance characteristics which makes it perfectly suitable for urban riding, while the minimalistic knobbies still provide enough bite for hardpack and gravel riding in dry conditions.

And with a 2.1 inch width the tires don’t feel out of place on your 29er. Furthermore it displays other features of a fullblown mountain bike tire, with it being tubeless compatible and having Maxxis EXO puncture resistance in a relatively lightweight package of 650 grams.

Maxxis Pace Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Semi-slick XC-oriented tire, use front or rear
Reasons to avoid
Not the grippiest

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 occassional trail as well because of the added grip.

Schwalbe Hurricane Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Great allround gravel and light XC tire, with an affordable quality.
Reasons to avoid
None

Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB

The Schwalbe Marathon is the ultimate allrounder in the tire department and one of the best-selling tires in 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 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.

WTB Groov-E Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
E-bike compatible, very wide, plush ride quality
Reasons to avoid
Heavy

Continental CONTACT Urban

The Continental CONTACT Urban is, as it name implies, a slick tire meant for urban commuting.

It’s one of the fastest tires for urban applications, and has a certificate for it to be mounted on speed pedelecs up to a speed of 50kmh. It has the performance-oriented PureGrip compound, which is a step below their race compound BlackChili used for mountain bike tires.

A strong nylon breaker sits underneath the center tread and serves as a lightweight, flexible, yet very puncture-resistant protective layer.

Continental CONTACT Urban Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very fast, lightweight, yet puncture-resistant slick tire
Reasons to avoid
For those who prefer speed over durability

Continental Double Fighter III

The Continental Double Fighter III is an affordable semi-slick tire. With lots of sizing options you can turn any mountain bike into an urban commuter, or a road bike into one with a beefier tire setup.

It doesn’t pack any tire technology to speak of, hence should be used for dry conditions on tarmac.

Continental Double Fighter III Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Affordable allround semi-slick for dry conditions
Reasons to avoid
Doesn't excel in any category

Panaracer GravelKing Semi Slick Plus

It’s hard to beat a winning formula but I believe Panaracer has done just that with their Panaracer Gravel King Semi Slick Plus.

The original Gravel King is one of the best if not the best gravel tires in the market, and with the SS or semi-slick they cater to riders who want that plush ride and some extra speed with an improved rolling-restance.

Besides that, all Panaracer tires are known for their extreme supple nature and low weight, and this tire is no exception to that rule.

And I know from experience running multiple Panaracers that the ProTite Protection ensures thousands of miles without flats.

A big thumbs up for this fantastic addition to the Gravel King lineup.

Panaracer GravelKing Semi Slick Plus Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
semi-slick version of one of the best gravel tires in the market, extremely lightweight
Reasons to avoid
none

Specifications 27.5 semi slick tyres

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.00
50-584
610
Black
Black
ADDIX
Performance
 
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.40
62-584
885
Black
Black
ADDIX
DD, RaceGuard
 
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
27.5×2.10
54-584
1200
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
27.5×2.25
57-584
1270
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
Continental Double Fighter III
27.5×2.00
50-584
860
Black
Black
Sport
 
wired
Continental CONTACT Urban
27.5×2.20
55-584
690
Black
Black reflex
PureGrip
SafetyPro
wired
Continental CONTACT Urban
27.5×2.00
50-584
615
Black
Black reflex
PureGrip
SafetyPro
wired
Continental CONTACT Urban
27.5×1.60
42-584
515
Black
Black reflex
PureGrip
SafetyPro
wired
Maxxis Pace
27.5×2.10
53-584
620
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
WTB Groov-E
27.5×2.40
62-584
970
Black
Black
Dual DNA
 
tubeless
Panaracer GravelKing Semi Slick Plus
27.5×1.90
47-584
590
Black
Tan
ZSG (Zero Slip Grip) Advance
 
tlr
Panaracer GravelKing Semi Slick Plus
27.5×1.90
47-584
590
Black
Black
ZSG (Zero Slip Grip) Advance
 
tlr

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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