Mountain biking and road biking have a lot of similarities, but there are also some key differences between the two. One big question for mountain bikers is whether or not they can put road tires on their bike to make them more suitable for paved roads.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of doing this and help you decide if it’s the right decision for you.
Can You Put Road Tires on a Mountain Bike?
Yes, you can install road tires on a mountain bike. But because of the different designs between a mountain bike and a road bike, you also need to make other adjustments.
If you’re planning on using your mountain bike mostly on paved roads, then road tires might be a good option for you. You can use them as your second set of tires for commuting purposes.
Things to Consider Before Installing Road Tires
Tire Type: Clincher vs. Tubeless vs. Tubular
The first thing you need to think about is the type of tires you want to put on your mountain bike. Road bike tires are much narrower than mountain bike tires, and they don’t have nearly as much tread.
This can make them faster on pavement, but it also means that they won’t provide as much traction or comfort on rougher surfaces.
Clincher tires have an inner tube that holds air. They are good options when it comes to road tires because they can be used on a variety of different surfaces.
Tubeless tires don’t have an inner tube, which can make them lighter and more puncture-resistant. They use liquid sealant instead to keep the air in. They can be a good option if you’re worried about punctures, but they can be more difficult to install.
Tubular tires are another option and the most expensive, but they’re typically only used by competitive cyclists.
Road tires come in a range of widths, from 23mm to 32mm. The wider the tire, the more comfortable it will be. But wider tires can also be heavier and can slow you down on the pavement.
If you’re not sure what width to get, start with a 25mm tire.
Mountain bike tires have more tread than road bike tires, which helps with traction on dirt and gravel paths. But too much tread can slow you down on the pavement.
If you’re planning on using your mountain bike mostly on paved roads, then you might want to consider getting road tires with less tread. This will help you go faster on pavement, but it might make riding on dirt and gravel paths more difficult.
You can also get tires that are specifically designed for paved roads, like cyclocross tires. These tires have minimal tread and are meant to be used on hard surfaces.
Mountain bikes come with either 26-inch, 27.5-inch, or 29-inch wheels. If you’re switching to road tires, you’ll need to make sure that your wheels are the right size.
What size road tire will work on my mountain bike?
The most common size is ISO 622 or 700C, which fits most mountain bikes and is ideal for the street. 700C wheels work great for all 26-inch, 27.5-inch, or 29-inch mountain bikes.
Will a Road Tire Make My MTB Go Faster?
Yes, road tires can make your mountain bike go faster. They are designed to be more aerodynamic and have less rolling resistance. This can help you pedal faster and save energy on long rides.
Tips on Getting More Speed Out of Your MTB
If you’re looking to go even faster on your mountain bike, there are a few other things you can do.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. This can help reduce rolling resistance and make pedaling easier. Inflate your road tires to a higher pressure of 50 psi or more.
- Invest in a good pair of clipless pedals. Look for clipless pedals that are designed for speed and efficiency.
- Get aero bars. These can help you ride in a more aerodynamic position and can help you go faster on flat roads and downhill slopes.
- Adjust saddle and seat. Increasing the height of your saddle can help you pedal more efficiently. And moving your seat forward or back can help you find the perfect balance between comfort and speed
- Lower your handlebar height. This can help you ride in a more aerodynamic position. With a few simple changes, you can make your mountain bike go faster on the road
- Lockout suspension. If your mountain bike has suspension, make sure to lock it out when you’re riding on the road. This will help you pedal more efficiently and go faster.
- Use a road bike chainring. A smaller chainring will help you pedal faster on the road. Most mountain bikes come with a 36-tooth or 38-tooth chainring. You can find road bike chainrings that are as small as 34 teeth.
Road tires can make your mountain bike go faster on the pavement. They are designed to be more aerodynamic and have less rolling resistance.
But before you switch to road tires, make sure that your wheels are the right size. You’ll also want to consider the width, tread, and pressure of the tires.