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The top 6 best 29 inch tubeless gravel tires

In this article I’m going to give you a list of the very best 29 inch tubeless gravel tires.

To do so I turned towards the cross country section of most brands. It’s these tires that are basically exactly the same as gravel tires meant for rougher conditions. With the only exception that they come in 29 inch packages and offer much more width.

Whereas your standard gravel tire has a width of about 40 mm, in this list you’ll find tires going up to 60 millimeters. That means more volume, more comfort, more grip, more cornering confidence, more traction and basically a 29er that looks the part.

So whether you’re going bikepacking, gravel riding, touring round the globe, or light trail riding, this overview of best 29 inch tubeless gravel tires will serve you well.

Maxxis Ikon

Maxxis Ikon
Maxxis Ikon

The absolute cross-country king in Maxxis’ lineup. The Maxxis Ikon has near perfect all-round 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 Pace

Maxxis Pace
Maxxis Pace

The Maxxis Pace is a cross country tire with the most minimal tread pattern in Maxxis’ XC lineup.

It’s an excellent tire if you want to keep the MTB nature of your bike, being able to ride comfortably and confidently on surfaces other than flat tarmac. The tire has excellent rolling-resistance characteristics which makes it perfectly suitable for urban riding, while the minimalistic knobbies still provide enough bite for hardpack and gravel riding in dry conditions.

And with a 2.1 inch width the tires don’t feel out of place on your 29er. Furthermore it displays other features of a full-blown mountain bike tire, with it being tubeless compatible and having Maxxis EXO puncture resistance in a relatively lightweight package of 650 grams.

Maxxis Rekon Race

Maxxis Rekon Race
Maxxis Rekon Race

The Maxxis Rekon Race is a perfect allround option to use as a 29 inch gravel tire.

Multiple widths are available from 2.25 up to 2.40 inches. In general the entire premium lineup of Maxxis are great tires, and I particularly like the Rekon Race.

The reason is that the tire provides lots of grip for true gravel riding in dry conditions. And if there’s one thing I love to do is moving through a forest at lightning speed.

Maxxis often makes heavier tires than the counterparts of either Continental or Schwalbe, but their EXO casing has proven over the years to be extremely reliable. And speed is great, but reliability is more important if you ask me.

And in the end weight isn’t the only factor that makes up a high-quality tire. And I firmly believe the 120 TPI versions are fantastic tires for your gravel setup.

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.

Schwalbe Thunder Burt

Schwalbe Thunder Burt
Schwalbe Thunder Burt

Another fantastic option from Schwalbe, and on the more premium side, is the Schwalbe Thunder Burt. It’s a very lightweight XC tire with hardly any tread pattern in the center to speak of.

If you feel that you might be gravel oriented with your bike this is an excellent choice. The raised knobbies on the side will give you the confidence you’re looking for, while the extremely low weight of just 510 grams also means these mid-size tires are very fast.

Vittoria Mezcal

Vittoria Mezcal
Vittoria Mezcal

Another cross-country crossover well-suited for bikepacking is the Vittoria Mezcal. The single 2.1 inch width version available for 26 inch tires, has a very low-profile tread pattern to improve rolling-resistance.

The 620 grams for a single tire is very light. And it’s this tire that has been on several cross-country championship bikes. So as far as speed is concerned, it’s extremely fast.

But for bikepacking you’ll need much more than speed. You want longevity and durability. Vittoria Mezcal uses their proprietary graphene enhanced 4C compound. It prevents the knobs from squirming on the hardpack, which in turn increases speed and durability.

The Mezcal is most at home on hardpack, but does perform well on other surface types. But like all of the other tires mentioned here, you will run into issues when encountering mud. The knobs are simply bunched too much together.

The Vittoria Mezcal makes for a fast and durable dual setup.

Specifications 29 inch tubeless gravel tires

Name
Size
ETRTO
Weight (gr)
Tread color
Sidewall color
Compound
Puncture protection
Tire bead
TPI
Buy at Amazon
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.20
57-662
685
Black
Light Tan
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.20
57-662
735
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Ikon
29×2.35
60-622
830
Black
Black
3C MaxxSpeed
EXO
tlr
120
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
Maxxis Pace
29×2.10
53-622
650
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Rekon Race
29×2.25
57-622
691
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
120
Maxxis Rekon Race
29×2.35
60-622
805
Black
Tan
Dual
EXO
tlr
60
Maxxis Rekon Race
29×2.35
60-622
762
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
120
Maxxis Rekon Race
29×2.40
61-622
759
Black
Black
Dual
EXO
tlr
120
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.10
54-622
550
Black
Black
ADDIX Speed
tlr
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.10
54-622
545
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Speed
tlr
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.25
57-622
615
Black
Black
ADDIX Speed
Super Ground
tlr
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.25
57-622
645
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Speed
Super Race
tlr
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.35
60-622
745
Black
Black
ADDIX Speed
Super Ground
tlr
Schwalbe Thunder Burt
29×2.35
60-622
730
Black
Transparent
ADDIX Speed
Super Race
tlr
Vittoria Mezcal
29×2.25
57-622
690
Black
Tan
4C Graphene
XC Race TLR
tlr
Vittoria Mezcal
29×2.10
54-622
680
Black
Anthracite
4C Graphene
XC Race TLR
tlr
bio vanseijen

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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