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The top 8 best 29 inch mountain bike street tires for 2023

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 where road bikes, and city bikes. That’s it. Now, you’ve got all kinds of two-weeled 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 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

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.

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.

It’s 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.

Maxxis Grifter Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Strong, well-reinforced tire, fast-rolling, and reasonably lightweight
Reasons to avoid
None

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 whatsover. The swirling patterns probably do a 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 type 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.

Maxxis Hookworm Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
long lasting slick mile-cruncher, wide tire
Reasons to avoid
Heavy wired tire, might not fit every frame

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

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 it’s 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 condtions, 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).

WTB Slick Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Semi-slick
Reasons to avoid
No added puncture protection

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.

WTB ThickSlick Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
True slick with no tread pattern. Unique-looking tire
Reasons to avoid
Meant for urban riding only

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.

Kenda Kwick Nine Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Great allround, e-bike certified commuter tire, with solid puncture protection.
Reasons to avoid
None

Specifications 29 inch mountain bike street tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
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
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

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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