Disclosure: When you click a link and buy stuff to pimp up your build, I may earn a commission so I can put some more bling on my rides as well.

The top 10 best 26 inch road tires for mountain bikes

In this article Im going to give you my top picks for the best 26 inch road tires for mountain bikes for this year.

It makes perfect sense to turn your mountain bike into something more suitable for urban riding, or maybe even everyday commuting.

I live in a country thats devoid of any mountains and I have to travel to get anywhere something you could call hilly. Thats great since I have a penchant for mountain bikes that predates the change of the millennium.

Those mountain bikes dont have the best suspension in the world, but have a certain allure that, in my mind, is hard to beat. And especially rigid vintage mountain bikes make for awesome urban cruisers.

Luckily theres a broad choice of 26 inch road tires for mountain bikes thatll suit your need. From all-year-round tires that score high in the puncture-resistance department, to ultra-light, fast-rolling urban slicks for those looking for a sportier experience.

This list of the best 26 inch road tires for mountain bikes only feature tires that start at a width of 2 inches. I feel that anything less than 2 inches take away from the concept of being a mountain bike. If you disagree, well maybe theres some other list out there for you.

So without further ado, here they are.

Maxxis DTH

Maxxis DTH
Maxxis DTH

The Maxxis DTH is probably the tire I see most often on retro MTB builds besides the Nobby Nic and Billy Bonkers. Its a semi-slick meant for BMX, dirt-jumping, and pump tracks.

Maxxis is known for providing a wide range of high-quality tires, and with the added benefit of providing both a standard black and tan version, it’s no wonder many older mountain bikes get outfitted with a pair of these.

Sizes range from 2.15 up to 2.3 inches, which will make for a great-looking setup with a very plush road feel.

Reasons To Buy

– Fast and reasonably light, with tan options available.
– Great for vintage MTB builds
– Excellent puncture protection

Reasons To Avoid

– None

Maxxis Hookworm

Maxxis Hookworm
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.

Reasons To Buy

– Long lasting slick mile-cruncher
– Wide tire

Reasons To Avoid

– Heavy wired tire
– Might not fit every frame

Panaracer RiBMo

Panaracer RiBMo
Panaracer RiBMo

At 26 x 2 inches and 560 grams the Panaracer RibMo is among the lightest tires for its size on this list. Its minimal tread pattern moves it into the direction of being a slick tire, perfect for fast urban commuting.

The Panaracer RiBMo uses their proprietary ProTite technology, which is an extra puncture-resistant layer which runs the entire length and width of the tire. And they offer a more durable, commuter-friendly compound.

The conclusion is this tire will make your bike feel fast and nimble for many many miles at a reasonable enough price.

Reasons To Buy

– Ultra-light slick tire
– Affordable, durable, and supple
– Japanese build quality

Reasons To Avoid

– None

Panaracer Gravel King

Panaracer Gravel King
Panaracer Gravel King

The best option for gravel afficionados is the Panaracer Gravel King. Im a fan of the Panaracer brand ever since I first used these tires on my Koga Miyata Adventure.

In all honesty, looking at the tread pattern, they are the only tires that are true to their name and 100% meant for pure gravel riding. So if thats what youre looking for, this absolute beauty of a tire should be your go-to choice.

I cant find the 26 inch version of this tire on their website, but I know for sure they exist in a 26 x 2.1 inch version.

These ones are truly meant for hardpack and gravel only, providing practically zero grip in rougher conditions.

Reasons To Buy

– Superb allround gravel tire
– Very lightweight
– Japanese build quality

Reasons To Avoid

– None

Schwalbe Big Apple

Schwalbe Big Apple
Schwalbe Big Apple

The beaded Schwalbe Big Apple tires is a great value for money and coming in three different sizes, from 2 to 2.35 inches.

It’s not my favorite in the racing department, they’re simply too heavy for that. But as mentioned before, extra rubber does mean more durability in general, and more miles.

So besides already being cheaper than other options on this list, it will last you a long time as well and you’ve got the RaceGuard puncture protection to boot.

Reasons To Buy

– Affordable excellent commuter tire
– RaceGuard puncture protection

Reasons To Avoid

– Heavy

Schwalbe Big Ben

Schwalbe Big Ben
Schwalbe Big Ben

The Schwalbe Big Ben is the Big Apples brother, which means its even heavier. In fact, theyre almost the heaviest tires overall in this list. But on the flipside it does come in a number of brown colors other than black to accentuate your frame and make for a cool retro build. And its also reflected in a price which will hurt your wallet the least.

The Plus version is also probably the plushest ride here, but with almost a kilo per tire dont expect to be flying away went the light goes green.

Reasons To Buy

– Plush ride
– Extremely durable

Reasons To Avoid

– Heavy

Schwalbe Billy Bonkers

Schwalbe Billy Bonkers
Schwalbe Billy Bonkers

The Billy Bonkers is Schwalbes answer to the popularity of the Maxxis DTH for pumptrack and slopestyle. They also come in an extremely light 490 grams 26 inch version, making it the perfect tire for fast city flying, gravel and cross country riding.

The Billy Bonkers replaces the Schwalbe Table Top, which was a heavier, wider, and slower tire.

And with a max PSI of 80 (thats 5.5 bar), you can turn them into a proper set of fat road tires as well. Just make sure you get the Performance versions, which are the lighter ones.

Reasons To Buy

– Very lightweight tire
– Tan option available

Reasons To Avoid

– None

Schwalbe Fat Frank

Schwalbe Fat Frank
Schwalbe Fat Frank

The biggest appeal of the Schwalbe Fat Frank is that they come in a variety of great colors. Besides your standard black, you have, beige, creme and tan options for both tread and sidewall.

So if you’re looking to add some design flair to your ride you can get the Fat Frank with a brown tread pattern and creme sidewalls, or entirely creme.

The also come in a 2.35 inch width version besides the standard 2 inch. So if you can get over the weight of 975 grams per tire you’re in for both a colorful and plush ride.

Reasons To Buy

– Great for vintage MTB builds
– Multiple colors available

Reasons To Avoid

– Heavy wired tire

Schwalbe Hurricane

Schwalbe Hurricane
Schwalbe Hurricane

I also decided to include the Schwalbe Hurricane in this list. Its a shame they dont sell them in skinwall versions as well. But the tire packs a solid combination of a flat centerline and side knobs.

So 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.

Reasons To Buy

– Allround gravel and light XC tire
– Affordable quality

Reasons To Avoid

– None

Schwalbe Super Moto-X

Schwalbe Super Moto-X
Schwalbe Super Moto-X

If you want to go really wide with your tires then the Schwalbe Super Moto-X is what you need. Make sure your frame and fork actually fits the enormous 2.4 inches before placing the order though. You wouldnt be the first with rubbing problems. And that your rims arent too narrow. You dont want the tire to blow of the wheel as well.

Reasons To Buy

– Balloon tire

Reasons To Avoid

– Might not be compatible with your rims
– Very heavy

Specifications best 26 inch road tires for mountain bikes

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorCompoundPuncture ProtectionTire BeadBuy at AmazonBuy at Ebay
Maxxis DTH26×2.1552/54-559570BlackBlackSingleSilkwormfoldablelinklink
Maxxis DTH26×2.1552/54-559555BlackLight TanSingleSilkwormfoldablelinklink
Maxxis DTH26×2.3055/58-559650BlackLight TanSingleSilkwormfoldablelinklink
Maxxis Hookworm29×2.5063-6221230BlackBlackSinglewiredlinklink
Panaracer Gravel King26×2.1054-559590BlackTanZero Slip GripAX-Alpha / ProTite Shield Plustlrlinklink
Panaracer RiBMo26×2.0048-559560BlackBlackMile CruncherProTite Shieldfoldablelinklink
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.0050-559675BlackBlack/reflexADDIXRaceGuardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.1555-559710BlackBlack/reflexADDIXRaceGuardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.3560-559780BlackBlack/reflexADDIXRaceGuardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559760BlackBlackwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559910BrownBrownSinglewiredlinklink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559910CremeCremewiredlinklink
Schwalbe Billy Bonkers262.1054-559490BlackBlackADDIXfoldablelinklink
Schwalbe Billy Bonkers262.1054-559490BlackTanADDIXfoldablelinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815BlackBlackSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815BrownCremeSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815CremeCremeSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975BlackBlackSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975BrownCremeSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975CremeCremeSBCK-Guardwiredlinklink
Schwalbe Hurricane262.1054-559620BlackBlackwiredlink
Schwalbe Super Moto-X26×2.4062-5591095BlackBlackwiredlinklink