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The 4 Best Mountain Bike Tires of 2020

Your mountain bike tires are quite literally where the rubber hits the road. They’re the one contact point between your bike, and whatever trail you’re riding. As such, your choice of tires is very important. The best bike in the world won’t feel good with poorly chosen tires on it. But there are so many tire options out in the world, each one boasting a unique combination of tread pattern, rubber compound, casing, and width. It can be difficult to figure out which are the best mountain bike tires for your bike.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best mountain bike tires out there, to remove the guesswork for you. These are our top choices for all-round mountain bike tires that are ready to take on a little of everything. From Colorado moon dust, to PNW loam, these tires will have you covered.

But even amongst this group of the “best” tires we’ve found, each tire still has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. So we’ve broken down what type of rider will prefer which tire, as well as including a table of diameters and widths available for each tire. So stop settling for inconsistent traction - your bike deserves the best bike tires for the trails you ride.


Maxxis Minion DHF

Best mountain bike tires of 2020
 
 

Maxxis’s “Minion” series of tires has become almost synonymous with the category of high-traction, aggressive tires that can handle everything from trail riding to full on DH racing. The DHF is designated as a front-specific tire, that’s what the “f” stands for. It’s a fast rolling, hard cornering tire, that works well on everything from hardpack flow trails, to loose loamers.

The Minion DHF might be the most versatile tire in this list. Plenty of folks love it as a front-only tire, however, an equal number of riders run a DHF front and rear. That’s because it rolls a little faster than the Minion DHR II, while only sacrificing a little bit of climbing and braking traction. A common combo is to run a 2.5” wide DHF on the front, with a 2.3” wide DHF on the rear. If you’re looking for the most versatile all-round tire you can find, the DHF is one of the best mountain bike tires you can choose.

Wheel SizeWidth Original Price
24”, 26”, 27.5”, 29”2.3”, 2.35”, 2.5”, 2.6”$75-85

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Maxxis Minion DHR II

Best mountain bike tires of 2020
 
 

As its name suggests, the DHR II is the rear-specific tire from Maxxis’s lineup. This second iteration borrows some design cues from the also-popular High Roller II. It has very similar cornering characteristics to the DHF, and offers plenty of cornering traction on a wide variety of trail surfaces, but it doesn’t roll quite as quickly. That’s because it’s got more aggressive center knobs to aid in braking and technical climbing.

If rolling speed is less important to you than traction and control on steep ups or downs, the DHR II is the perfect rear tire option for you. It’s the kind of tire you can throw on your bike and not have to think about no matter what the weather does.

Wheel SizesWidths Original Price
24”, 26”, 27.5”, 29”2.3”, 2.35”, 2.5”, 2.6”$90

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Maxxis Assegai

Best mountain bike tires of 2020
 
 

While the DHF and DHR II are nearly legendary tires that have been winning races for many years, the Assegai is a relative newcomer to Maxxis’s lineup. The Assegai isn’t designed to be some kind of jack of all trades, instead it’s got one focus: traction. Tons of traction. This is not the tire for folks trying to set uphill KOM’s. This is not the tire for people riding mellow, rolling terrain. This tire is meant to hold traction while you’re going fast in chunky, technical terrain.

The Assegai has one of the most aggressive knob patterns on the market. Much of its power comes from its cornering knobs, but it holds its own braking or climbing up loose terrain as well. For most folks the Assegai works best as a front tire, many riders don’t need the locked-in traction the Assegai provides as a rear tire. But for those looking for the most grip they can find, this is one of the best mtb tires you can choose.

Wheel SizeWidth Original Price
27.5”, 29”2.5", 2.6"$65 - $90

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Maxxis Aggressor

Best mountain bike tires of 2020
 
 

The Maxxis Aggressor might not have the cache some of the other options on this list do, but it’s an awesome option for anyone looking for a little faster rolling rear tire. Contrary to its name, the Aggressor has the least aggressive tread pattern of any tire on this list. Instead, it’s got more moderately shaped knobs, that still offer plenty of traction, but roll much smoother. Maxxis advertises the Aggressor as a do-it-all tire, appropriate for the back wheels of everything from aggressive XC bikes to enduro rigs. The Aggressor has even been ridden to some EWS wins. That said, we’d mostly recommend the Aggressor to riders who fall somewhere within the “trail” spectrum.

Strong riders on technical trails will quickly find the Aggressor’s limits if the conditions are moist, but in dryer regions, especially on more moderate rolling trails, the Aggressor rolls much faster than a Minion while still offering good cornering traction. If you’re looking for something more efficient to run on the back of your bike, and you don’t often find yourself pointed down wet, rooted out chutes, the Aggressor is a great choice.

 

Wheel SizeWidth Original Price
26”, 27.5”, 29”2.3”, 2.5”$65 - $85

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