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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 2020 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.

Maxxis Aspen
Pushing the limits of a lightweight XC tyre designed to have minimal rolling resistance, the Aspen is designed with a high-volume casing to smooth out the roughest roots and rocks, while the dual compounds gives optimal traction in the corners.

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.

Schwalbe Magic Mary
Super grippy and durable, there’s a reason the Magic Mary is the go-to choice for trail riders across the globe. Due to its intermediate tread profile, the Magic Mary provides excellent corner grip and braking traction and its aggressive shoulder lugs and aggressive open tread design holds on tight to any trail obstacles you speed over or need to slow down unexpectedly to tackle.

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.

Six of the best summer 2020 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.

Michelin Power Competition Road Bike Tyre

The Michelin Power Competition model is the fastest tyre in the Michelin Power range and provides a 10-watt power gain compared to its predecessor the Michelin Pro4 Service Course.

Vittoria Rubino Pro Control G+ Road Tyre

Using Graphene+, a revolutionary substance that’s only 1 atom thick but 200 times harder than steel and the lightest material known to man, the Rubino Pro Control G+ is Vittoria’s strongest and most puncture resistant road tyre..

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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