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The top 8 best 29 inch mountain bike street tires

I’ve converted many mountain bikes in urban commutes, so I have no trouble at all giving you my list of the very best 29 inch mountain bike street tires.

I don’t personally own an e-bike, but I’m very much aware of the fact that in 10 years time probably 95 percent of the population will use one. And with that popularity comes a demand for large volume, grippy, durable, reinforced tires you can use somewhere else than on the trail.

When I grew up, there were road bikes, and city bikes. That’s it. Now, you’ve got all kinds of two-wheeled contraptions giving personal injury lawyers a field day. A good set of mountain bike street tires at least will ensure your tires can handle whatever urban challenge you throw at them. And tire manufacturers have come up with great crossovers.

The technology was always there. There’s nothing a high-quality XC, trail, or enduro casing can’t handle in urban environments. So it’s basically slapping on a semi-slick thread pattern on any of those and you’re good to go. So I guess that’s what they did more or less.

With all that out of the way, now let’s see what I came up with on this list of the best 29 inch mountain bike street tires.

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

Maxxis Grifter

Maxxis Grifter
Maxxis Grifter

It’s funny that depending on the size, 20 vs 29 inch, the Maxxis Grifter falls into the category of either BMX or urban commuter tire.

Whatever size you pick it’s a very strong tire indeed. It offers the Silkshield bead-to-bead puncture protection and sidewall reinforcement.

Its BMX nature makes this a fast-rolling, relatively lightweight tire. And it comes in plus sizes as well for a very plush and comfortable ride.

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

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

WTB Slick

WTB Slick
WTB Slick

The WTB Slick is, especially when compared to other tires in the WTB lineup, a reasonably affordable semi-slick tire.

It has a lot in common with the very popular WTB ThickSlick, except for its tread pattern. Because it actually has one, whereas the ThickSlick doesn’t.

So if you really want to use this tire as a commuter tire, and plan on also using it on wet road conditions, it’s safer without compromising on speed versus the ThickSlick.

That being said, there are tires which I feel score (much) higher in both durability and puncture protection (looking at you Schwalbe Marathon MTB).

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

Kenda Kwick Nine

Kenda Kwick Nine
Kenda Kwick Nine

The Kenda Kwick Nine is an e-bike certified commuter tire of both reasonable weight and price.

It offers a K-Shield puncture belt of 3mm underneath the center tread, which will do a solid job of preventing you from running a flat.

Being e-bike certified also means it adheres to standards of greater durability, sidewall strength, and braking power, necessary when dealing with a heavier bike.

A great allrounder for any big-wheeled commuter.

Pros and Cons

Specifications 29 inch mountain bike street tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Continental Double Fighter III
29×2.00
50-622
915
Black
Black
Sport
wired
Kenda Kwick Nine
29×2.20
56-622
964
Black
Black
SRC
KS
wired
Kenda Kwick Nine
29×2.00
52-622
889
Black
Black
SRC
KS
wired
Maxxis Grifter
29×2.00
52-622
911
Black
Black
Dual
wired
Maxxis Grifter
29×2.50
60-622
1090
Black
Black
Dual
wired
Maxxis Hookworm
29×2.50
63-622
1230
Black
Black
Single
wired
60
Schwalbe Hurricane
29×2.25
57-622
740
Black
Black Reflex
ADDIX
Performance
wired
Schwalbe Hurricane
29×2.40
62-622
940
Black
Black Reflex
ADDIX
RaceGuard / Double Defense
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
29×2.10
52-622
1275
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB
29×2.10
52-622
1350
Black
Black
ADDIX
SmartGuard
wired
WTB Slick
29×2.20
54-622
979
Black
Black
DNA
wired
WTB ThickSlick
29×2.10
52-622
705
Black
Black
DNA
folding
30

Sources

Alaskan, New Favorite Tire – Schwalbe Hurricane, Electric Bike Reviews, December 2017, 2019
Steve Inindy, Maxxis Hookworm Tire review, Bentrider, June 11, 2006
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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