In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best 26 inch tubeless mountain bike tires.
Running tubes still has some advantages. I have a lot of bikes, and trying to run all of them tubeless would be a nightmare. Especially vintage wheels can be particularly troublesome.
Having said that, if you just have a single mountain bike (or maybe two or three), running tubeless tires does have a lot of advantages. No more pinch flats, being able to run a lower tire pressure, automatic tire repairs for small punctures, and a lighter weight.
Luckily for those runner older-tyle 26 inch wheels, some of the best tires are available in tubuless versions of this size. So here’s my list of the best 26 inch tubeless mountain bike tires.E
Kenda Regolith Pro
The Kenda Regolith Pro is similar to Schwalbe’s 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.
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.
Maxxis Minion DHR II
The “downhill” in the name (DH stand for downhill) 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 the DHF and DHR II have the same side knobs to maximise grip while cornering.
Be sure to buy the “super tacky” compound casing which will aid your grip. As a 26″ tire this means you’ll run a 2.35 DHF front tire and a slightly wider 2.4″ DHR rear tire to add a bit more cushioning for a tire that’ll needs to bear the brunt of your weight and impacts.
Maxxis intended the DHF and DHR II to be used together as their go-to allround solution for trail riding. And these tires are in so many lists that it’s probably the best allround no-worries solution money can buy.
Choose the dual compound for lower rolling resistance and longer life or the super tacky compound for more grip.
Together witth the Minion DHF, the Maxxis Minion DHR II is a fantastic and confidence inspring tire that will take your downhill rides to the next level.
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 Continental’s Cross King.
You can go up to a size 2.35 if you want to and it’s also the only tire that comes in a 26″ tan version. So if you’re 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 buy the Super Ground Speedgrip version (with the blue line in the tread) to take advantage of the increased rolling resistance. It’s much more expensive but it’ll improve rolling resistance, durability, damping ability and grip.
With 755 gr. for the 2.25 version and 810 gr. for the 2.35 one, it is be a grippy tire with good forward momentum. I’ve seen package deals with the Schwalbe Racing Ralph, which means this tire is a good front option, with the lighter Racing Ralph in the back.
Schwalbe Racing Ralph
The Schwalbe Racing Ralph is the go-to option to combine with Schwalbe’s 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 it’s 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 Booster Pro
The Kenda Booster Pro is a 26 inch XC tire that comes in a 2.4 inch width.
It’s unfortunate I don’t have the weight and rolling resistance numbers for that version of the tire.
The knobs are extremely densely packed with 6 in a row, so you know the tire is meant for speed and will loose it’s grip very fast in wet conditions.
It looks very similar to the Continental Race King RaceSport with its arrowhead like tread pattern.
Continental Race King Racesport
The Continental Race King RaceSport is an extremely light tire at 465 grams. In the weight department it means it outshines every tire from every other brand here by far.
It’s also the best 26 inch XC tire in the rolling-resistance department.
I would’ve loved to have seen a version wider than 2.2 inch for 26″ cross country tires, but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
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.
All that speed comes at a price, because traction is at the low end of the spectrum. If you’re doing any sort of hard trail riding and you still want to take advantage of this tire, consider combining it with the Continental Cross King RaceSport. Especially in wet conditions.
This tire performs best in dry conditions because of it’s shallow tread pattern.
Specifications 26 inch tubeless mountain bike tires
|Name||Size||ETRTO||Weight (gr)||Tread Color||Sidewall Color||Buy at Amazon||Buy at Ebay|
|Kenda Regolith Pro||26X2.40||61-559||692||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHF||26X2.35||52-559||1120||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHF||26X2.50||55-559||1205||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHF||26X2.35||52-559||1080||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHF||26X2.50||55-559||1265||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHR II||26X2.40||61-559||1,225||Black||Black||link||link|
|Maxxis Minion DHR II||26X2.40||61-559||1,265||Black||Black||link||link|