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Best summer road and mountain bike tyres

Choosing the best summer bike tyres for you is key to getting the most out of your time on two wheels.

Whether you’re looking for the fastest road bike tyres for a sportive, or the best enduro bike tyres for your summer shredding, it’s important your tyres are built to make the most of dry, loose and dusty conditions this season.

Key features to look for

Grip vs Durability

If you’re searching for either mountain bike tyres, or a fast rolling road tyre that performs well in dry conditions, you won’t want to sacrifice too much in rolling resistance or wear.

A tyre with a softer compound will provide better grip but will wear faster. A harder tyre will last longer but have less traction. Getting the balance right will largely depend on how aggressive you ride and the terrain you ride on.

An indication of a tyre’s hardness is measured in numbers. The higher the number, the harder the tyre. A 60a compound will be very durable and might last a few seasons, whereas a 42a compound will be very soft, provide lots of braking and corning traction but would maybe need replacing twice a season.

Most manufacturers provide a mix of multi-compound tyres which offers a good compromise between the two.

Puncture Protection

You want to ensure you stay puncture free on your ride. If you haven’t gone tubeless, nothing spoils a ride more than a burst inner tube.

Although we do everything in our power to try and prevent punctures, every now and again our luck runs out. Ensure you pick a tyre that allows you to easily remove it without too much hassle.

You need a tyre that will be able to put up with the changing conditions, allowing you to rack up the miles without needing to have a spare set of tyres at the ready.

For road tyres, we recommend going for the widest tyre your bike allows to give you maximum comfort and grip. A 25c wide tyre will fit most modern bikes and provide great cornering grip with no speed compromise.

The best 2021 summer mountain bike tyres

We’ve handpicked some of the best tyres for your summer season rides, broken down by types of riding.

Cross-country mountain bike tyres

Fast-rolling, lightweight rubber for racing or sending it through the trails with speed. 

Schwalbe Racing Ralph
The perfect balance of speed and grip. It has a low tread depth for high speed and low weight without sacrificing stability making it an excellent choice for Cross-Country Racing.

Continental Cross King
The tyres that tick all the boxes, designed with XC and marathon use in mind. Speed is the main feature, engineered with help from the Topeak-Ergon professional MTB team.

Trail centre/General riding mountain bike tyres

Reliable, grippy tyres that’ll cope with a multitude of trail conditions and keep you stuck to every corner with ease.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Really grippy multi-use tyres with a SnakeSkin sidewall to prevent cuts and blows – perfect if you’re riding on rocky terrain. A high-traction choice which comes alive in tricky technical conditions.

Maxxis High Roller II MTB Tyre – TR
A legend amongst mountain bike tyres, this trail version of the High Roller has been built with braking performance and traction on hard surfaces in mind. A lightweight super-grippy all-rounder.

Enduro/All-mountain bike tyres

Take a look at these if you’re racing enduro trails or heading off-piste on natural expeditions.

Michelin Wild Enduro
Michelin’s Wild Enduro mountain bike tyres are ready to thrive on any trail and in any type of weather. Compared to other enduro-focused MTB tyres, they offer much more speed and traction. The reason for this is the Gum-X compound and revised tread block design, giving you better directional control, versatility over mixed terrains and better grip under braking.

Maxxis Minion
The Minion SS MTB tyre fills the gap between fast-rolling cross-country tyres and a grippy downhill tyre. Its cluster of short, ramped knobs, flanked by the much-loved Minion shoulder knobs, make it a fast-rolling tyre with a square profile that hooks up in loose terrain.

Downhill mountain bike tyres

Thoroughbred gravity-focussed tyres with tough puncture-proof casings and grippy tread patterns.

Action from the Garbanzo Downhill at Crankworx Whistler. Credit: Fraser Britton / Crankworx 2018

Schwalbe Magic Mary
The gravity-focussed Magic Mary has a tough outer casing and durable side knobs, which helps with both puncture protection and grip when you’re pushing hard. Its Addix Ultra Soft compound ensures shockingly good grip.

WTB Vigilante
A good choice if you regularly ride through rocky trails, the tough casing on the Vigilantes will fend off the worst of it and keep away any punctures. They come in a variety of different compounds, so you can choose the best one for you depending on your personal preference and where you ride.

Michelin DH Range
These tyres are specifically designed for MTB riding as they give you tough, gripping design for the muddiest of downhill tracks. Featuring an aggressive tread pattern with a tall spike design, which delivers incredible traction and maximum braking grip in all weather conditions. Michelin has also equipped all models in this range with a Magi-X DH compound for exceptional cornering grip in all conditions and temperatures, while the DownHill Shield allows you to excel even in wet riding conditions.

Six of the best summer 2021 road bike tyres

Michelin Power Road Tyres

Michelin’s top-performing Power road range has been a big hit since its release, and their updated collection sees a choice of improved rubber for racing, commuting, gravel riding and everything in between.

Schwalbe One Road Tyre – V-Guard

The fastest tyre in Schwalbe’s range, the One offers impressive puncture protection and assured traction on a variety of road surfaces and weather conditions.

Continental Grand Prix 5000 Road Tyre

One of our best-selling road tyres and for good reason. The updated Conti GP500 tyres provide improved grip, increased puncture protection and greater comfort.

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport Road Tyre

Whether you’re training or competing, this road bike tyre is engineered for maximum performance. Goodyear has equipped this model with R:Shield puncture protection technology. Exclusive to the SuperSport version, this tyre is kitted out with an optimised tread cap and features class-leading lightweight design that provides a lower rotating weight for faster acceleration, lower rolling resistance and a superior ride.

Vittoria Rubino Pro IV G2.0 Road Tyre

This incredibly versatile road tyre from Vittoria offers high-quality race performance, ideal for demanding training or show-stopping race days. Known for its unrivalled grip and control in a variety of weather conditions, this tyre has been designed to perform, whatever you encounter on the road.

Continental Grand Prix TT Road Tyre

A lightweight thoroughbred time trial tyre for serious competitors, they grip well in dry conditions and cope well in the wet too.

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