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The top 7 best 29 inch road tires for mountain bikes

In this blog I’m going to cover what I feel to be the best 29 inch road tires for mountain bikes.

I currently am the proud owner of 5 mountain bikes, and if I’m honest, only one of them is decked out to be trail worthy. I find the combination of a mountain bike and road tires much more appealing than road or gravel bikes. And from personal experience I can attest to the fact that you can still go very fast with today’s high quality options.

There are a number of great, plus size options for mountain bikes with 29 inch rims, thanks to the incredible popularity of e-bikes. Since an e-bike basically does all the work for you, and needs a strong tire, you’ve got amazing, fast-rolling, durable, incredibly puncture-resistant options out there.

And those are exactly the type of tires that have made it onto my list of the very best 29 inch road tires for mountain bikes. Enjoy!

Schwalbe Hurricane

Schwalbe Hurricane
Schwalbe Hurricane

The Schwalbe Hurricane tires stand out as an excellent choice for touring and diverse terrains. With impressive ride quality, minimal rolling resistance, and exceptional puncture resistance. The wider 2.4 inch design, used during testing, provides stability and confidence, making them suitable for off-road adventures. Overall, for those seeking a reliable and high-performing tire, especially for touring, the Schwalbe Hurricane emerges as a strong contender.

Ride Quality:
Having lived with these Schwalbe Hurricane 2.4 tires for an extensive period of time and covering around 800 miles has been a revelation. I’ve used these tires on my daily driver, encountering varied terrains. Despite the challenges, the ride quality was consistently excellent. The 2.4 inch width I used offered stability, especially on off-road and sandy surfaces. The tires provided a smooth and confident ride, with exceptional grip on split-level roads.

Rolling Resistance:
One of the standout features of the Schwalbe Hurricane tires is their minimal rolling resistance. For a mid-tire touring tires I never felt they held me back, even during an longer rides. Running them at 45 pounds of pressure for a loaded touring bike, the tires performed admirably. They allow for a comfortable cruise even at higher speeds.

Puncture Resistance:
The Schwalbe Hurricane 2.4 tires, used in a tubeless setup, have demonstrated remarkable puncture resistance. I’ve yet to experience my first puncture. The reliability and durability of these tires, even in challenging conditions, is one of the biggest plusses and highlight their puncture-resistant nature.

Ease of Installation:
The fact that I was able to successfully used these non-tubeless tires in a tubeless setup demonstrate their versatility.

Price:
Depending on the size you’ll need the prices range between 35 and 45 dollars, which is about what you’d expect for a mid-tier touring tire with the aforementioned qualities. Considering the fact I got a carefree ride now nearing 1000 miles, I have nothing but praise for these tires, which feel like they’re well worth the money.

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 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

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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