Can you put road tires on a mountain bike? Find the perfect tire for your bike

You may have seen this question asked multiple times on cycling sites and forums. Most people answer that road bike tires won’t work for mountain biking because the tread pattern and thickness aren’t enough. But, this is an incomplete answer. Can you put road tires on a mountain bike?

Yes, you can put road tires on a mountain bike. However, this will not be the most ideal situation for your bicycle. Road bike tires are designed for use on pavement, and mountain bike tires are designed for use on dirt. The tread of each type of tire is optimized for its intended usage. While it is possible to put a road tire on a mountain bike, this will not provide the optimal performance for either type of terrain.

In the following article, you can find some basic information about road and MTB tires, with guidance on how to replace them. Let’s check it!

Can you put road tires on a mountain bike?

The answer is: YES, you can ride mountain bikes on bike tires for the road. However, it’s not recommended.

The main reason is that the two types of tires have different treads and different rubber compounds.

Road tires are smoother and more flexible than mountain bike tires, so they grip the ground better.

The tread pattern on the road tires is designed for high speeds and long distances, not for off-road use.

Mountain bike tires are designed for rugged terrain and bumps in the road, so they have deeper tread patterns and a harder rubber compound.

Road tires also have fewer spikes on their sides than mountain bike tires do because they’re meant to be used on smooth surfaces like concrete or asphalt instead of rough surfaces like dirt or gravel roads.

This means that if you use road wheels on a mountain bike, there’s less traction between the tire’s surface and the ground which could cause slippage or loss of control while riding off-road terrain.

How to put road tires on a mountain bike?

Can you put road tires on a mountain bike

If you also want to know how to put road bike tires on your mountain bike, you’re probably going to need a few things.

First, you’ll need some kind of rim tape. This keeps the tube from rubbing against the tire and helps prevent flats.

The rim tape should be also long enough to go around all sides of the rim once.

You’ll also need a pump with an adaptor that fits into the valve stem of your tube – this will allow you to inflate it without having to open up the valve.

Now, let’s get started! First, remove your old tire and tube by loosening the nuts that hold them in place with a wrench or pliers.

Then take off any old rim tape (if there is any) and clean both rims with soap and water.

Next, place one end of your new tube over one side of each rim so that it sits just above where the valve stem is located on each side – this should allow for plenty of room for inflation later on if needed during the installation process when putting road tires on mountain bikes.

Then, wrap each rim thoroughly with new rim tape, making sure there are no gaps between layers where air could escape from inside the tire chamber if inflated properly during the installation process when putting road tires on mountain bikes.

Now, if everything looks good, it’s time to inflate and install it!

What’s the difference between road tires and off-road tires?

Road tires and off-road tires are generally very different in their construction.

A road tire is designed to be lightweight, have a smooth surface for easy gripping and rolling, and be able to withstand high temperatures from friction.

An off-road tire, on the other hand, has more treads on its surface and is made of a tougher material. This allows it to get better traction on rough terrain.

Also, to give you a better overview and answer you about what’s the difference between road tires and off-road tires, I’m giving you a chart with their main attributes and characteristics.

SIZE700c26″ – 29″
WIDTH18c – 38c2.0″ – 3″+
TREADSlickVery knobby

How to choose the right road tires for an MTB?

If you’re also wondering how to choose the right road tires for an MTB, then you know that it could be tricky.

First off, you need to ask yourself: what are you going to be doing with your MTB?

Or would you use your narrow bike tire for adventure, or you’ll ride it on a comfortable Sunday afternoon?

We are in love with the mountain and mountain bike, but it doesn’t mean that we will put MTB gearing and wheels for a city ride.

If you want to go on long rides with friends and family, you’ll want a tire that can handle the speeds and distances of road biking.

If you’re looking for something more geared toward racing, then you’ll probably want a different kind of tire.

Next up, take a look at what kind of terrain you’re riding on.

If you’re spending time in the mountains or on gravel roads, then consider getting something wider than 23mm – it’ll provide better stability and traction on these kinds of surfaces.

Also, decide what kind of width and diameter you want for your tire.

The wider the tire’s diameter, the more air it can hold and the softer its ride will be – but the slower it will roll. Smaller diameters are faster but give a stiffer ride.

A mountain bike wheel is better for rough terrain because it provides more surface area for gripping the ground, but road bike wheels will be faster on smoother surfaces.

Finally, think about whether or not you need puncture protection from thorny plants or sharp rocks in your local area (or just wear heavy-duty gloves!).

Recommended Road Tires for Your MTB

Even though many producers advertise their products as the best ones, there are some recommended road tires for your MTB that really stand out from the crowd.

We chose these three road tires which perfectly suit most mountain bikes.

1. Maxxis Dissector Exo

Maxxis Dissector Exo is a great choice for road tires for your MTB. The Dissector is a semi-slick tire, with a tread pattern that provides some traction on technical terrain.

The center of the tire has an open design that allows you to rely on your front wheel to handle speed and cornering, while the outer treads help you keep your bike upright at slower speeds.

This tire has a smooth ride quality that makes it perfect for long comfortable rides on smooth surfaces.

It also rolls fast and has a good amount of grip when cornering or riding off-camber trails.

What to considerBe aware
  • Fits for all weather conditions;
  • Developed by professional cyclists;
  • Contains EXO protection for extra grip;
  • A great choice for different terrains.
  • Sticky rubber may wear quickly;
  • The price.

2. WTB Slick 2.2 Comp Tire

The WTB Slick 2.2 Comp Tire is a great option for your MTB, whether you’re looking for a new front tire or rear.

This tire features a race-ready tread pattern that helps you grip corners and stay in control on technical trails.

It also has a reinforced casing and lightweight tread compound to help you get the most out of every ride.

What to considerBe aware
  • A smooth centerline minimizes rolling resistance;
  • Outer grooves provide cornering traction and water evacuation;
  • Ideal for those who commute year-round, regardless of the weather;
  • Long-lasting material.
  • Some people were complaining that the tire edge ring isn’t as strong as it should be.

3. Michelin Force AM2

The Michelin Force AM2 road tire is a great option for riders who want to take their mountain biking experience to the next level.

The tire’s pattern is designed to provide increased traction, while its casing provides ample protection against punctures and cuts.

The Force AM2 also comes with an anti-puncture belt that helps prevent punctures from occurring in the first place.

This is an excellent option for those who are looking for something durable but aren’t willing to compromise on performance.

What to considerBe aware
  • Great all-around traction;
  • Low rolling resistance;
  • Excellent durability.
  • It may not be suitable for all types of bikes due to its large size and weight (700x28c);
  • Not as fast as some other options.

Will putting road tires make my mountain bike go faster?

If you’re asking the question: “Will a road tire make my mountain bike go faster?”

The answer is simple: yes, a road tire will make your mountain bike go faster.

The reason is that road tires have more grip than mountain bike tires. They don’t have as much traction, but they have more grip.

When you’re riding on pavement, you want to be able to turn quickly and stop quickly, so a road tire is more appropriate.

On the other hand, if you’re riding in rough terrain (like on trails), then you’ll want a mountain bike tire because it has more traction and will give you better control over your bike in those situations.

Things to consider before installing road tires

There are several things to consider before installing road tires on your mountain bike.

First and foremost, you should never attempt to fit any tire that is smaller than the recommended size for your bike.

Doing so could result in your wheel slipping off the axle and falling off the bike!

You should also be aware that if your mountain bike uses rim brakes (as opposed to disc brakes), it is important not to use road tires with a different width than what came standard with your specific model.

If you do so, there is a chance that the brakes will not function properly, which could lead to serious injury.

What size road bike wheels will work on my MTB?

What size road tire will work on my mountain bike?” That’s the question many people ask these days. So, here’s an answer.

The most popular size of road tires is 700×23. The 700 refers to the width of the tire, which is measured in millimeters.

The 23 refers to the size of the bead, which is measured in inches. In this case, 23 refers to 23mm wide.

If you have a mountain bike that has a rim width of 40mm or greater, then you can use this size of tire on your bike without it rubbing against your frame.

If your rim is smaller than 40mm, then you may want to consider getting a wider rim so that you can fit 700×23 tires.

How to convert a mountain bike into a road bike?

Can you put hybrid tires on a mountain bike?

Converting a mountain bike into a road bike can be done in just a few steps:

1. step

Dismantle the brakes on your mountain bike by removing the brake pads from their mountings and removing the cabling from the frame of the bike.

2. step

Remove any remaining parts of your mountain bike’s suspension system, such as air springs or shock absorbers.

3. step

Remove any accessories that are attached to your bike, such as lights or water bottle cages.

4. step

Take off any fenders that may have been included with your purchase of this bicycle and remove any reflectors from them as well (if applicable).

5. step

If possible, switch out your handlebars for ones that are more comfortable when riding on roads instead of trails.

You can put hybrid tires on a mountain bike. Hybrid tires are designed to be flexible and conform to the shape of the road, but they also have a tread that’s suitable for trails.

The one thing you’ll want to consider when putting hybrid tires on your mountain bike is the weight.

Mountain bikes usually require very lightweight tires, which are more difficult to find in hybrid designs.

Replace mountain bike tires with hybrid

If you’re aiming to replace mountain bike tires with a hybrid you’ll need to know what size wheels your bike has.

If your mountain bike wheels are 700c and the tire is 26″ x 2.1″, then you’ll need a 700c wheel.

Hybrid tires are ideal for anyone who wants more versatility from their bicycle without having to buy multiple sets of wheels or constantly switch out their tires depending on where they’re riding that day.

The best part about hybrids is that they’re not only suitable for riding around town but also useful for mountain bike road adventures as well.

Can you put gravel tires on a mountain bike?

If you’re wondering if you can put gravel tires on a mountain bike, it’s simple: yes, you can put gravel tires on a mountain bike.

Gravel tires are typically lightweight, with a tread pattern that makes them suitable for off-road riding, but they’re also thin enough that they don’t add much weight.

So if you’re looking to upgrade your bike without adding extra weight, gravel tires could be a great option for you.


In the section below we wrote answers to the most common questions when it comes to this specific topic. You can check it out, maybe you’ll find the information you need.

Can I put road tires on my 29er mountain bike?

Shortly said – yes. But, you still need to pay attention to different mountain bike designs and maybe some adjustments will be needed.

Why do I keep getting punctures on my bike?

Non-optimal pressure has a great impact on punctures on your bike. To avoid this common bike problem we recommend you check your tire pressure regularly.

Can you put inner tubes in tubeless MTB tires?

You bet, you can. There will be no issues with using inner tubes within tubeless tire systems.

Why does my bike keep getting flats?

The most common reason for your bike getting flats is too low pressure.

Can I put tubeless tires on my mountain bike?

Yes, you can. Almost all mountain bike rims can change over to tubeless.

Final word

To sum it up! The decision of whether or not to change a mountain bike’s tires is entirely up to the rider.

The rider will need to weigh the pros and cons of using road tires, versus using mountain bike tires.

If you are unsure about which type of tire is best for you, then it could be worth speaking with your local bike shop about the matter.

If you still have any questions on this or on any other cycling matter, feel free to leave a comment and we will share our knowledge with you.

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