Search
Close this search box.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, when you buy through our links, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

The top 7 best 27.5 semi slick tyres

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 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

Maxxis Pace
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 surfaces other 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 full-blown mountain bike tire, with it being tubeless compatible and having Maxxis EXO puncture resistance in a relatively lightweight package of 650 grams.

Expert Experience

Rachel Sokal | Technical writer – May 9, 2017

For XC race-orientated tyres, both the Pace and Race TT have been solid and predictable performers. And with the EXO reinforcement, they’ve remained stable at lower pressures and so far (touch wood…) haven’t delivered me any sliced sidewalls. The tread and sidewalls are also showing little sign of wear despite some high mileage and ham-fisted use over the test period, which is a nice change from some of the more delicate race tyres on the market.

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

Continental CONTACT Urban

Continental CONTACT Urban
Continental CONTACT Urban

The Continental CONTACT Urban is, as its 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 50 km/h. 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.

Expert Experience

Jarno Bierman | Tire tester – March 4, 2022

I’m impressed by the performance of the Contact Urban, especially when considering its friendly price. It’s one of the fastest rolling touring bike tires, offers excellent tread puncture resistance, and is simply the best performing tire in our wet grip test. The main weakness can be found in the sidewalls as they aren’t really up to touring bike standards.

Pros and Cons

Continental Double Fighter III

Continental Double Fighter III
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.

Pros and Cons

Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)

Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)
Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus (Tubed)

The tubed version of the Panaracer GravelKing SS Plus is a gorgeous plus sized gravel tire.

Fairly lightweight with excellent longevity and puncture protection, the black or tan-wall version are supple tires that will last you a long time.

Just as the slimmer version they offer minimal grip with an almost slick tread pattern adn extremely small side knobbies. It means that they are both excellent and fast-rolling road tires as well as light gravel and hardpack. The round profile of the tire with the minimal tread pattern ensures a plus ride in these conditions.

Expert Experience

Iain Treloar | Contributor – May 31, 2023

A bit of a mixed bag, really. They’re a little narrowly focused for what I’m personally looking for in a gravel tyre, but if you’re mostly riding on well-made surfaces they may be just what you’re after.

If it’s a toss-up between these and the Gravel King Slick, I’d go for the SS for a bit of extra capability without too much downside. But for a lot of people and a lot of conditions, I think the Gravel King SK – and other tyres like it – is going to provide a more well-rounded experience.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 27.5 semi slick tyres

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Schwalbe Hurricane
27.5×2.00
50-584
610
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
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 Breaker
wired
Continental CONTACT Urban
27.5×2.00
50-584
615
Black
Black Reflex
PureGrip
SafetyPro Breaker
wired
Continental CONTACT Urban
27.5×1.60
42-584
515
Black
Black Reflex
PureGrip
SafetyPro Breaker
wired
Maxxis Pace
27.5×2.10
53-584
620
Black
Black
Dual
tlr

Sources

Rachel Sokal, Review: Maxxis Pace & Race TT Tyres, Singletrack World, May 9, 2017
Alaskan, New Favorite Tire – Schwalbe Hurricane, Electric Bike Reviews, December 2017, 2019
Jarno Bierman, Touring Bike Tire Test: Continental Contact Urban, Bicycle Rolling Resistance, March 4, 2022
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. 

You might also like

fastest 27.5 mtb tires
27.5 inch tires

The top 8 fastest 27.5 mtb tires

In this article I’m going to focus on providing you with a list of the fastest 27.5 mtb tires.

Truth be told “fastest” is highly dependant on the road conditions. Nobody’s going to argue with the fac

Read More »
cheap 27.5 mountain bike tires
27.5 inch tires

The top 4 cheap 27.5 mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best cheap 27.5 mountain bike tires.

To be honest, that’s not an easy thing to do. 27.5 inch is a wheel size for bikes which are relatively

Read More »
27.5 inch hybrid bike tires
27.5 inch tires

The top 14 best 27.5 inch hybrid bike tires

In this article I’m going to cover the best 27.5 inch hybrid bike tires.

The term hybrid within the bicycle industry originated in the 90’s, when there was an explosion of different bike types on th

Read More »
27.5 downhill tires
27.5 inch tires

The top 7 best 27.5 downhill tires

In this article you’ll learn what the best 27.5 downhill tires money can buy are.

The downhill discipline of mountain biking necessitates tires that brings the maximum in grip, puncture protectino, b

Read More »