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The top 10 best 29 inch touring tires for 2023

With this article I’ll be providing you with an overview of what feel are some of the best 29 inch touring tires.

Of all the tire characteristics I can think of, when it comes to touring, I would like my tires to be long-lasting, durable, and be above-average puncture-proof. Low weight, low rolling-resistance, and even grip are important, it’s just that the other characteristics should come first.

Depending on the actual road conditions you could go for a sturdy commuter with a semi-slick tread pattern, or for a grippier offroader. It might be tempting to slap a pair of trail tires on your 29 inch touring bike, but trail tires (and enduro, and downhill) are tires with very different compounds. And you don’t want a tire with a very soft compound (for added grip) since they wear out much faster than you’d probably like to.

So with that in mind I’m going to be covering a wide array of tires, for more urban applicationis as well as gravel, and even some light trail action. With that out of the way, let’s head over to my list of the best 29 inch touring 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.

Continental Cross King ProTection

The Continental Cross King ProTection is the newer version of a magnificent, lightweight cross-country racer.

ProTection replaces the RaceSport moniker. It’s a three- and four ply system underneath respectively the tread and sidewall, ensuring maximum puncture protection and shieldwall tearing.

This doesn’t take away from the fact that this tire is still one of the lightest in its category. A true racer.

Continental Cross King ProTection Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Maximum puncture protection in a lightweight cross-country racing tire.
Reasons to avoid
None

Continental Race King ProTection

The Continental Race King ProTection is an extremely light tire. In the weight department it means it outshines every comparable tire from every other brand by far. And it’s also the best XC tire in the rolling-resistance department.

I cannot stress enough that with respect to speed and acceleration, a light tire makes all the difference. And tires are also the most cost-effective way to reduce the overall weight of the bike.

Try reducing a couple of hundred grams of any other bike component and be ready to spend in the hundreds of dollars. Not so the case with tires. And on top of that the tire has the advanced ProTection puncture protection, with a composite breaker and a bead to bead sidewall protection polyamide fabric.

All that speed comes at a price, because traction is not this tire’s strength when compared to other mountain bike tires. And it’s the reason this tire performs best in dry conditions.

But when riding in those conditions getting up to speed and keeping it is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It rightly deserves its name.

Continental Race King ProTection Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
One of the lightest mountain bike tire on the market, with excellent puncture protection. Geared towards speed in every way.
Reasons to avoid
None

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 Crossmark II

The Maxxis Crossmark II is fast-rolling, dry condition, XC or gravel tire with the shallow center knobs and minimal side knobs.

It’s designed for speed on dry hardpack when going in a straight line, with the most minimal tread pattern you can find within this mountain bike category.

The hard-wearing 60 TPI dual casing and EXO reinforced sidewalls make it an excellent companion for long gravel and/or touring rides as well. Especially if you want to have the flexibility to veer off the beaten path yet still ride with confidence.

Maxxis Crossmark II Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fast-rolling, and versatile tire, Maxxis' build quality with EXO protection.
Reasons to avoid
None

Maxxis Ikon

The absolute cross-country king in Maxxis’ lineup. The Maxxis Ikon has near perfect allround tire characteristics, which makes it an excellent option for diverse road and trail conditions. Though it’s categorized obviously as an XC tire, it’ll also perform superior for bikepackers and gravel riders.

That being said, this is a racing tire, which means it’s light. But the reliable EXO compound, also used for harsher enduro racing, also means you’ll enjoy this tire for many miles.

As with any tire with this type of tread, it’ll perform well in dry conditions. The 26 inch version has both a 2.35 and 2.2 inch width option. You can run this tire both front and back, and might opt for the wider version in the front for some added grip. Especially if you expect some portions of your ride to be particularly rough.

It’s undeniable that the top-of-the-line products of Maxxis are superior to many if not all of their competitors. And the Maxxis Ikon shows it, with a perfect blend of weight, speed, grip, and protection.

Maxxis Ikon Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
The cross-country king. Highly versatile tire which excels in XC, bikepacking, and gravel, lightweight. Can be used front and rear. Pair with Ardent Race in the front for ultra-fast yet grippy XC setup. Tan options available
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

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

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

Specifications 29 inch touring tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Continental Cross King ProTection
29×2.20
55-622
630
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
tlr
Continental Cross King ProTection
29×2.30
58-622
755
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
tlr
Continental Race King ProTection
29×2.20
55-622
595
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
foldable
Maxxis Crossmark II
29×2.25
57-622
780
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
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
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.20
57-662
618
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.20
57-662
680
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.20
57-662
685
Black
Tan
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.35
60-622
755
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.60
66-622
799
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
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
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

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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