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The top 7 best 650b trail tires

In this article I’m going to give the the very best 650b trail tires.

When it comes to trail tires I’m looking for those tires that offer premium characteristics of grip, traction, cornering control, speed and puncture protection. And the tires on this list score well in all of those departments, with individual tires favoring one feature more than the other. When you want the ultimate in puncture protection, it always means adding some weight for example.

I’ve also added tires that move into the direction of light trail riding or cross country. They are very good on their own or offer a great combination with another tire on this list if you want to make use of the benefits that riding a different set of tires offers you. For example, you could ride a lighter less aggressive tire in the back, where grip is less important, while still enjoying the benefit of reduced weight or increased traction.

Enough talk, let’s head over to my picks for the best 650b trail tires.

Maxxis Ikon

Maxxis Ikon
Maxxis Ikon

The Maxxis Ikon is one of the best if not the best lightweight allrounder. It’s perfect for cross country and trail riding in normal conditions, though you might want to look to the DHF or DHR II for more cornering grip.

Compared to those trail tires meant for rougher conditions, the Maxxis Ikon is extremely lightweight, with weights ranging from 590 to 700 grams, depending on the size and chosen compound.

It’s tread pattern is versatile enough for the tire to be mounted both in the front and the back. And it also means it combines good cornering characteristics with braking power and traction.

The EXO compound means the tire is pretty durable compared to competition, and all in all it means that as far as lightweight allrounders is concerned, the Ikon is at the top of its game.

Maxxis Minion DHF

Maxxis Minion DHF
Maxxis Minion DHF

When you’re looking for a mountain bike tire it’s almost impossible not to have heard of the Maxxis Minion DHF. The reason being it’s like the ultimate fit-and-forget mountain bike tire on the market. That means that the tire is just about perfect for any local trail riding, to enduro and downhill races.

The tread pattern shows that this tire prefers to sit on your front wheel. You can opt to put another fan favorite, the Maxxis Minion DHR II, at the back. That tire has horizontally aligned knobbies for increased braking power.

On its own, or paired with the Minion DHR II, the Maxxis Minion DHF is such a no-brainer that it’s hard to not recommend it to anyone for allround trail-riding and downhill.

The DHF comes in a tan version.

Maxxis Minion DHR II

Maxxis Minion DHR II
Maxxis Minion DHR II

The DH in DHF and DHR stands for downhill. The F and R for front and rear respectively. The downhill in the name is a bit misleading, because the horizontal tread pattern of the DHR not only aids breaking but also gives more traction when going uphill. Both tires have the same side knobs to maximise grip while cornering.

Maxxis intended these two tires to be used together as their go-to allround solution for trail riding. And these tires are in some many lists that its probably the best allround no-worries solution money can buy. The reason is that the combination is extremely versatile for a huge number of riding conditions. Both dry and wet, trail, enduro, downhill riding, the combination is as yet unmatched.

Maxxis offers a huge range of this tire, both in widths and compounds. So you can choose the tire that suits your riding style best. Whether its maximising speed or caring more for longevity.

Together witth the Minion DHF, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is a fantastic and confidence inspring tire that will take your mountain bike rides to the next level.

The DHR II comes in a tan version.

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8

The WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.8 is a solid contender to many of the premium offerings from other high-quality brands.

Obviously there are a number of tire widths to choose from, depending on your personal preference when it comes to grip. What this tire has got going for it is that’s prefers grip and handling over weight. The rather widely spaced and high soft knobbies do very well in keeping your bike connected to the trail, ensuring high levels of confidence in hard cornering.

WTB offers this tire in their TriTec compound, which basically means that the casing consists of three layers, with each layer having a different firmness. The harder durometer is reserved for the center, reducing the risk of punctures and making the tire faster in a straight line. This gradual increase in softness from center to side sounds great on paper, and indeed works exceptionally well on the trail. It makes for a really grippy and reliable tire in corners and reasonably fast on the straights with adequate levels of puncture protection.

I tend to disagree that this tire works as well in the rear as it does in the front when it comes to braking and traction. The widely spaced tread pattern without those distinctive horizontal rows simply isn’t the best setup to support those two rear tire characteristics. On the other hand, if you like a loose feel and don’t mind the occassional drift, this tire actually enhances such a way of riding.

In the end the WTB Vigilante rightly deserves its spot on this list with grippy and fun riding characteristics that’ll suit a great number of riders.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Schwalbe Nobby Nic

The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is more of an allround tire than a cross country one. And one look at the tread pattern reveals why.

It has considerable more pronounced knobs that are much higher. The side knobs are twice the size of Continentals Cross King.

If youre looking for a solid allround setup, meant for every conceivable condition, dry and wet, hardpack and forest trail, and you want to ride a tan version, this is the tire for you.

Be sure to either buy the Super Ground or Speedgrip version (with the blue line in the tread) to take advantage of the increased rolling resistance. Or alternatively, the Super Trail (red line), which is softer and gripper. They are more expensive but the advantages are extremely noticeable and absolutely worth the money.

The tire widths range from 2.25 to 2.6 inches which is more than adequate to cover rider’s wishes. The weight ranges from the mid 700’s to just over one kilo for those riding in rougher downhill conditions.

Schwalbe Racing Ralph

Schwalbe Racing Ralph
Schwalbe Racing Ralph

The Schwalbe Racing Ralph is the go-to option to combine with Schwalbes Nobby Nic. As stated on the website, the Racing Ralph was designed for the rear.

This means the Super Ground Speedgrip version is a fast-rolling tire with a tread pattern support good acceleration and braking power.

Although its meant for a combo setup with a grippier tire in the front, you could use it as a dual setup when you prefer riding mostly in dry conditions and the occasional trail. Also when you do a lot of climbing.

Kenda Regolith Pro

Kenda Regolith Pro
Kenda Regolith Pro

The Kenda Regolith Pro is similar to Schwalbes Nobby Nic, and as such can be used in combination with the Booster Pro as a front tire.

It’s a very solid allround option, if you want to move your bike into the direction of becoming more surefooted on the trail.

Also coming in a 2.40 inch version it means you can have a low tire pressure, grippy combo to get you through the corners. And you have to worry less when the conditions become more wet and muddy.

Specifications 650b trail tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at Amazon
Kenda Regolith Pro27.5×2.6066-584849BlackBlacklink
Kenda Regolith Pro27.5×2.8070-584829BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Ikon27.5×2.2056-584590BlackLight Tanlink
Maxxis Ikon27.5×2.2056-584668BlackTanlink
Maxxis Ikon27.5×2.2056-584630BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Ikon27.5×2.3560-584700BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Forekaster27.5X2.3560-584690BlackBlack
Maxxis Forekaster27.5X2.6066-584820BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Shorty27.5X2.4061-5841136BlackBlack
Schwalbe Big Betty27.5X2.4062-5841300BlackBlack
Schwalbe Racing Ralph27.5×2.2557-584605BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Racing Ralph27.5×2.2557-584680BlackBlacklink
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.827.5×2.5060-5841092BlackBlacklink
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.827.5×2.5060-5841174BlackBlacklink
WTB Vigilante 2.5/2.6/2.827.5×2.6065-5841340BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty27.5X2.6065-5841180BlackBlack
Maxxis Minion DHF27.5×2.5063-5841005BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Magic Mary27.5X2.4062-5841110BlackBlack
Maxxis Minion DHF27.5×2.5063-584956BlackTanlink
Schwalbe Magic Mary27.5X2.8070-5841205BlackBlack
Maxxis Minion DHF27.5×2.6066-584965BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHF27.5×2.6066-584925BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.3058-584800BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.3058-584805BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.4061-584900BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.4061-586940BlackTanlink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.4061-5871126BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.6066-584910BlackBlacklink
Maxxis Minion DHR II27.5×2.6066-5841065BlackBlacklink