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The top 6 best all-round 29 inch mtb tires for 2023

I know it makes sense to want an overview of the best all-round 29 inch mtb tires, but to provide you with one is not as straightforward as I would like it to be.

You see, the more all-round a mountain bike tire is, the more options the tire manufacturer gives you. In turn you can have the same type of tire, where at opposite ends of the spectrum of options those tires perform completely different from each other.

This has to do with tire width, the specific casing, the specific tire compound. Sometimes the tire width can be so different within the same type of tire, that even the tread pattern differs completely. Luckily, that’s not going to be the case here. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the term all-round in of itself is difficult enough, let alone the many options you have to decide to choose from after it’s clear what type you’re going for.

I’ve chosen tires mainly from the trail discipline. I use just such a tire for an aggressive and grippy XC front option, but it could just as well be used as perfect trail tire, or reasonably lightweight enduro rear tire. Versatility is what’s important here.

I’ve included a handy table at the end of the article that’ll make it much easier to choose between all of the entries you’re going to find here. So here’s my list of what I consider to be the best all-round 29 inch mtb tires.

Maxxis Ardent

If you want more grip than the Ardent Race might offer, you’ll be looking for the Maxxis Ardent. It’s a crossover tire sitting somewhere in between a trail and a cross country one.

When you resize the knobs on the Ardent Race and make them bigger, you’ll trade in a bit of speed for more grip. And that’s what they did with the Maxxis Ardent.

And trading in speed has to be taken with a grain of salt, for this is still a very fast tire, which excels on dry, hardpack trails.

Maxxis Ardent Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
More grip than the Ardent Race. Makes for a grippy combination with the Maxis Ikon.
Reasons to avoid
None

Maxxis Ardent Race

The Maxxis Ardent Race is a great option to mount as a very grippy dual XC setup, an aggressive XC front tire, or a lightweight, fast-rolling trail tire.

The triple compound provides a fast-rolling center with softer and grippier side knobs for added traction and cornering confidence.

In dry conditions the traction will prove to be outstanding. In wet conditions the small close-knit knobs can get packed with mud. So you’ll need to resort to a different tire if you want to ride year round without swapping tires.

Maxxis Ardent Race Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
A highly versatile grippy XC, or aggressive, lightweight trail tire.
Reasons to avoid
None

Schwalbe Wicked Will

The Schwalbe Wicked Will is one of the latest additions to the German tire manufacturer’s lineup. Its role is to be a sort of jack-of-all-trades mountain bike tire, which was the same with its older brother, the Nobby Nic.

To be able to fulfill this role, there are indeed many sizes, and casings to choose from. But you’ll be out of luck if you thought this tire will come in the classic 26 inch size, for also Schwalbe is following the industry trend of ditching 26 inch tire sizes from their premium lineup.

What I can appreciate is the fact that Schwalbe actually included a true skinwall version they call “transparent”. That means that looking at the tread pattern you can opt for a very grippy XC tire, or a more standard allround trail tire.

To further support the fact of its allround nature you have the ability to choose from 4 different casings, depending on your preferred type of trail. From the lightest Super Race, to the Super Ground, and most durable (and heaviest) Super Trail.

I think the Nobby Nic is the most-used trail tire where I’m from, but I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot of Wicked Wills as time moves one, because this tire is just as good and deserves the moniker fit-and-forget just as easy.

Schwalbe Wicked Will Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fantastic allrounder, with many options to choose from to suit riding styles from aggressive XC to trail riding.
Reasons to avoid
None

WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4

The WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4 caters to today’s demand for very fast tires sitting somewhere between XC and trail.

Since almost all versions use a fast-rolling compound and casing, it kind of depends on what width you choose. From a more XC-oriented 2.25, to your standard 2.4 inch trail width.

The tread pattern showcases the hybrid between small-knobbed XC tires and a burlier widely spaced trail or enduro as well. Smaller knobbies for the center tread enable fast rolling over dry dirt and hardpack, while raised knobbies enable grip in cornering. There are transition knobs to prevent that wavering feeling when going into a turn.

The tire is reasonably fast enough on the straits, as predicted. Should you really want faster than this tire has to offer, you should simply go for a true XC racer. The same goes for grip while cornering. This is not an enduro tire, yet it’ll still holds his own enabling you to corner with confidence.

WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4 Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
A solid allround mountain bike option, sitting somewhere between a fast XC racer and a true trail tire. Best for dry hardpack, and mild loose conditions.
Reasons to avoid
Not the fastest and not the grippiest.

WTB Trail Boss 2.25

The WTB Trail Boss 2.25 is a great, premium allround trail tire with fast-rolling XC characteristics. Its densily packed knobs are a good option for fast riding in dry conditions.

As it should be, the tread pattern offers enough grip in normal conditions, and is on the faster side of the mountain bike spectrum. So it’s either a solid dual setup in dry condtions for aggressive XC and trail riding, or mounted in the rear for a faster-rolling, lightweight enduro option.

A great allround option for people who prefer fast and relatively straight.

WTB Trail Boss 2.25 Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Fast-rolling, grippy tire for aggresive XC and trail riding.
Reasons to avoid
Might be to light for some in rough conditons

Continental Trail King ProTection Apex

The aptly named Continental Trail King ProTection Apex is the German brand’s allround trail-tackling solution.

It performs exceptionally well in all sorts of conditions, and might only wafer a bit on the steepest of technical downhill sections. That means this tire is a very good and lightweight all mountain solution indeed.

It’s one of the faster tires on this list, well-suited for those among you who don’t shy away from a steep climb. The tread pattern provides high levels of traction and with even the 2.8 width version sitting at just over a kilo, which is about 20 percent lighter than its competitors.

The knobs are rather spaced-out from each other, which means this might not be the grippiest tire in the front. On the flip side, riding in wet conditions is marginally improved because it’ll shed mud better and won’t clog up that easily.

Continental Trail King ProTection Apex Value
Brand link
Reasons to buy
Very fast allround trail tire, that's extremely puncture resistant.
Reasons to avoid
Not the trail tire with the most grip.

Specifications all-round 29 inch mtb tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
Buy at Amazon
Continental Trail King ProTection Apex
29×2.20
60-622
820
Black
Black
BlackChili
ProTection
tlr
Maxxis Ardent
29×2.25
56-622
800
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ardent
29×2.40
61-622
925
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
link
Maxxis Ardent
29×2.40
61-622
964
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
Maxxis Ardent Race
29×2.20
56-622
767
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
Schwalbe Wicked Will
29×2.40
62-622
920
Black
Black
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Trail
TLE
Schwalbe Wicked Will
29×2.40
62-622
820
Black
Transparent
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Race
TLE
Schwalbe Wicked Will
29×2.40
62-622
845
Black
Bronze
ADDIX SpeedGrip
Super Ground
TLE
Schwalbe Wicked Will
29×2.40
62-622
760
Black
Black
ADDIX
Performance
foldable
Schwalbe Wicked Will
29×2.60
65-622
810
Black
Black
ADDIX
Performance
foldable
WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4
29×2.25
55-622
832
Black
Black
Dual DNA
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4
29×2.25
55-622
782
Black
Tan
Dual DNA
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
link
WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4
29×2.25
55-622
851
Black
Black
DNA
Comp
foldable
WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4
29×2.40
59-622
875
Black
Black
Dual DNA
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
WTB Ranger 2.25/2.4
29×2.40
59-622
875
Black
Tan
Dual DNA
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
WTB Trail Boss 2.25
29×2.40
54-622
909
Black
Black
TriTec Single
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
WTB Trail Boss 2.25
29×2.25
54-622
909
Black
Tan
TriTec Dual DNA
Light/Fast Rolling / SG2
tlr
WTB Trail Boss 2.25
29×2.25
54-622
914
Black
Black
DNA
Comp
foldable

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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