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The top 15 best Schwalbe 26 inch mountain bike tires

In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best Schwalbe 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Of all the tire brands, Schwalbe is probably the brand I’ve used most through the years. And yes, that says something. I believe I use them for all of my tubes, and I’ve got tubes 2 decades old that still work just as fine as when they came fresh out of the package. I’ve also used multiple iterations of their phenomenal Marathon lineup, for daily drivers and touring cycles.

After diving more deeply into bike restorations Schwalbe lost a bit of its previous allure. Instead I started using Panaracer, mainly because that brand offers incredibly light true skinwall tires, which simply look awesome on vintage wheels.

Nonetheless, the Schwalbe lineup on this list offers incredible value for money. And it also contains one of my all-time-favorite allround mountain bike tire: the tan wall Schwalbe Nobby Nic.

So without further ado, here the list of the best Schwalbe 26 inch mountain bike tires.

Schwalbe Big Apple

Schwalbe Big Apple
Schwalbe Big Apple

The beaded Schwalbe Big Apple tires are a bit in the heavy department but a great value for money and coming in three different sizes.

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.

Schwalbe Big Betty

Schwalbe Big Betty
Schwalbe Big Betty

The Schwalbe Big Betty is the go-to rear tire for the Schwalbe Magic Mary. Where the Magic Mary has proven to be among the top tires in terms of traction, when combined with the Big Betty you improve your overall braking power.

It has a horizontal tread pattern to do so, that’s sufficiently spaced to have sufficient clearing characteristics as well when you release the brakes again.

Of all the downhill combinations available in the market today, I can’t think of a single one that beats Schwalbe’s current offering of Magic Mary and Big Betty. It’s one of the beaviest set of downhill-specific tires, that’ll provide you the ultimate in traction.

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.

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.

Im not to happy about the name though. Billy Bonkers sounds kind of goofy and it is emblazoned on the side of the tire in bold lettering, but Schwalbe has a penchant for quirky naming. The Billy Bonkers replaces the Schwalbe Table Top, which was a heavier, wider, and slower tire.

Schwalbe Dirty Dan

Schwalbe Dirty Dan
Schwalbe Dirty Dan

If the trail get’s really nasty you might want to opt for the Schwalbe Dirty Dan. This tire was designed specifically for the worst of conditions and feature the most aggressive tread pattern of any tire in Schwalbe’s lineup.

It features Schwalbe’s UltraSoft compound for maxium grip and feel as you plow through the mud. The huge blocks are spaced openly to keep in control of your bike as the tire sheds mud quickly and maintains braking power.

It comes in a 26 x 2.35 inch version, not to wide so mud won’t clog up your entire frame.

Schwalbe Fat Frank

Schwalbe Fat Frank
Schwalbe Fat Frank

The Schwalbe Fat Frank is a pretty heavy tire that’s nothing special, if not for the fact that they come in a couple of other colors than your standard black.

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 plush ride.

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.

Schwalbe Kojak

Schwalbe Kojak
Schwalbe Kojak

When used in their 26 inch variant, the Schwalbe Kojak feel very similar to WTBs ThickSlick: almost no profile, the same width, but slighter lighter at 570 grams. So if you dont like the screaming white branding of WTB, sporting a couple of Kojaks will be more your thing.

Schwalbe Magic Mary

Schwalbe Magic Mary
Schwalbe Magic Mary

The Magic Mary is Schwalbe’s grippiest tire from their entire lineup. It performs both brilliantly as a downhill tire, but is just as effective for allround trail riding in brutal conditions.

It has top-of-the-line traction combined with super fast rolling characteristic and a good feel for the trail at high speeds. If you want to be in the moment and experience flow going down sloppy slopes the Magic Mary delivers big time, with virtually zero cons.

Good braking power, allround riding characteristics in dry and wet conditions, this is Schwalbe’s top tire for all-mountain, enduro and downhill, no matter what the conditions are.

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme

Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme

The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is meant for speed with hardly any profile at all on very light tires. They offer only a single 2 inch width

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.

You can go up to a size 2.35 if you want to and its also the only tire that comes in a 26 tan version. So 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 buy the Super Ground Speedgrip version (with the blue line in the tread) to take advantage of the increased rolling resistance. Its much more expensive but itll 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 might be a grippy tire with good forward momentum, but its also heavy. Ive 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

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.

Schwalbe Racing Ray

Schwalbe Racing Ray
Schwalbe Racing Ray

Where the Schwalbe Racing Ralph was designed as a rear tire, the Schwalbe Racing Ray is meant for the front. It also means that one of the most obvious choices for a Schwalbe cross country setup would be the combination of the two.

And it seems that the combination works for a lot of people better than ever. with great braking power and traction in the back and great traction and grip in the front, even for wet conditions.

For a surefooted combination of 26 inch XC tires, why try anything else than the Racing Ray / Racing Ralph combo? You probably shouldnt.

Schwalbe Rocket Ron

Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Schwalbe Rocket Ron

Both the weight and tread pattern puts the Schwalbe Rocket Ron squarely into XC territory. The evenly spaced knobs mean you always hold contact with the ground ensuring a low rolling resistance.

They are small as well, which means you need to look for the Nobby Nic if you want a more allround and grippy trail tire. But if you want a bit more speed the 640 gr. for a 2.35 inch version you can run two of these.

You should be able to confidently do light trail riding in loose and wet conditions with these tires, and the XC-oriented tread pattern combined with either the Super Ground or Super Race compound will provide you with the speed you need.

Its worthy to note that the Schwalbe Rocket Ron performs really well in the rolling resistance department, as do all Schwalbe tires. So its both light and fast.

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.

Specifications Schwalbe 26 inch mountain bike tires

NameSizeETRTOWeight (gr)Tread ColorSidewall ColorBuy at Amazon
Schwalbe Nobby Nic26×2.2557-559720BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Nobby Nic26×2.3560-559810BlackTanlink
Schwalbe Nobby Nic26×2.4062-559775BlackBlack
Schwalbe Racing Ralph26×2.2557-559610BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Racing Ray26×2.2557-559610BlackBlack
Schwalbe Rocket Ron26×2.2557-559585BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Rocket Ron26×2.3560-559640BlackBlack
Schwalbe Magic Mary26×2.3560-5591210BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Magic Mary26×2.6065-5591320BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Betty26×2.4062-5591040BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Dirty Dan26×2.3560-5591030BlackBlack
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.0050-559675BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.1555-559710BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Apple26×2.3060-559780BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559760BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559910BrownBrownlink
Schwalbe Big Ben26×2.1555-559910CremeCremelink
Schwalbe Billy Bonkers262.1054-559490BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Billy Bonkers262.1054-559490BlackTanlink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815BlackBlack
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815BrownCreme
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.0050-559815CremeCreme
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975BrownCremelink
Schwalbe Fat Frank26×2.3560-559975CremeCremelink
Schwalbe Super Moto-X26×2.4062-5591095BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Hurricane262.1054-559620BlackBlacklink
Schwalbe Kojak26×2.0050-559570BlackBlacklink
26×2.0050-559560BlackBlacklink