Can You Put Road Tires on a Mountain Bike?

We all know cyclists are much trendy and from the latest trend all cyclists come up with a common question of can you put road tires on a mountain bike? Here, the trend seems to replace mountain bike tires with road tires because of saving money, enjoying all of the mountain bike convenience with a commuting flavor.

Furthermore, purchasing a road bike is expensive, sometimes you need to change your riding type for many reasons. For example, you used to ride for touring or pleasure and but you need to use the bike for commuting regularly. For this kind of case, purchasing another bike can’t be an option. There’s the idea has come up to convert mountain bike to a road bike. Let’s find out the convenience of putting road tires and how most worth it.

Why are Road Tires Convenient for MTB?

Are you on the to changing mountain bike tires to road tires? But what is the specific reason do you want mountain bike conversion to touring bike? In most of the case, you don’t know how road tires or thin tires affect your commuting.

Raise the Rolling Speed

So, let’s evaluate the reason behind using a road or thin or sleek tires for commuting. We have already known most of the mountain bikes have big fat tires and road bikes have narrow tires. Most of the road tires seem inflated to almost 100-120 PSI. That’s why a thin or road tire doesn’t flatten much on the asphalt surface. So, it’s pure science, the less contact you will have on the surface, the less you’ll get friction. So, using a road tire on a mountain bike will give you a smooth and swift experience of riding.

Now another question can come, if thin tires are more comfortable for commuting then why not mountain bike companies are adding this feature on their bikes. The answer is quite simple. MTB bikes are for riding on mountain terrain, rough and dirt trail. For those terrains, you’ll need more grip, which comes from fat MTB tires.

Easy to control

On MTB tires you’ll get more grip on the surface, but it will slow you down a bit, and also MTB tires need more energy to be maneuvered. So, no need an extra bit of grip on a plain asphalt. A suitable amount of grip is perfect for riding on the flat track.

How to Measure the Right Size of Road Tire for MTB

Typically, road bike tires are slick and pretty thin. Most of the Road bike tires are suitable for 700c rims. But mountain bikes are coming with 20 inches to 29 inches. To be more specific, we are popular with the 27.5-inch wheel size, which is known as 650b, or 29 inches which are known as 29er. Both are way thicker than road bike wheels.

That’s why we need to know about our wheel sizes before buying a road tire for our MTB. I want to suggest you a road tire of 1.5-inch width would be suitable for 27.5 inch/650b rims. They are light in weight, durable and you’ll get the speed eventually you need.

If you look for the ISO(International Standards Organization) sized tire which is authorized by ISO, you’ll get 5 different sizes. The common one is 700C or ISO 622. It fits most of the MTB. But the best narrow tire will be ISO 584 of 27.5 inch which is suitable for 650b wheels. Also, there is ISO 559 with 27 inches popular for the latest mountain bikes. But as we already told, the most common size of mountain bike tire is 26 inches. So if you search for the best 26-inch road tires for mountain bike, you’ll find out some real good road tires.

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Road Tires for 29er Mountain Bike

29er is a mountain and hybrid bike which has build for 700c/ ISO 622 mm wheels. 29er mountain bikes have a larger wheel and can rollover the larger obstacles quite easily. As the 29er wheels are 10% larger than 26-inch wheels, it can roll over 10% larger obstacles than 26-inch. Also, 29er bikes have more angular momentum, that’s it loses less speed to barriers. But 29er has some drawbacks too, among them less responsive handle control is the main.

It’s time to know about the best road tires for a 29er mountain bike.  For replacing 29er mountain bike’s tire there, you can include tubeless tires, tubular tires, and clincher tires. Clincher tires are very easy to replace with 29er. The inner tube comes up with a separate casing. But the clincher tire is pretty expensive.

Tubular tires are also having an inner tube but have a difference from the clincher. Also, tubular tires need to be glued with the wheels. As a result, when it gets flat, the tire can be ridden. Finally, tubeless tires have no tube. But maintaining proper air pressure in tubeless tires is a must. Otherwise, the tire will be ridden.

Hybrid Tires for Mountain Bikes

Hybrid indicates a combination of various types of features. Same for a Hybrid tire for mountain bike too. It means you can use a hybrid tire on a mountain bike to make it suitable for riding on a smooth road. Yeah, you can use hybrid tires on the mountain bike rims just like road tires. A hybrid tire will run on roads, rough terrain, paved bike paths, and dirt paths.

But you can use a hybrid bike on a mountain track because the frame and the whole structure of a hybrid bike aren’t suitable for riding on the mountains. Hybrid tires are eligible only.

What to Ensure of Road Tires for a Mountain Bike?

It’s not like you have bought road tires for your mountain bike, and after installing the tires, you must get an excellent and comfortable road riding experience. Yeah so far, we have been saying road tires would make riding better for commuting. But first of all, there are some facts about road tires you should know.

Front and Rear Road Tires

Front tires are responsible for more control and maneuvering. So front tires should have to provide much control. In contrast, rear tires are more about getting speed and lifting weight. Try to find a road tire which has both capabilities of the act for both front tire and rear tire.

Pertinence of Rubber

The quality of rubber ensures the durability of the tire. Road bike tires are not suitable for tackling much weight. That’s why the tire companies come up with road tires for mountain bikes. So, don’t forget to ensure your mountain bike thin tires have a good quality rubber.

Ensure the Tires Width

Select road tires according to the width of your mountain bike’s rims. Proper width restrains tires coming off from the rims.  

Defense against Puncture

Though road tires are not for the off-trail eventually, they can get punctured even on the flat smooth track. You should find the tire which uses cotton or silk with high TPI (Thread per inch) which eventually helps to reduce rolling resistance.

Tread Patterns

Before replacing the road wheel for a mountain bike, it is essential to ensure its traction, balance, and rolling resistance. For smooth asphalt round-shaped tread patterns with closer spacing is good. In contrast, if your commuting road has damaged asphalt, then square-shaped patterns with more spacing will provide better traction.

Frequently Ask Questions – FAQs

Why Do People Put Road tires on Mountain bikes?

Mountain bikes are suitable tour rough terrain. Yeah, it’s not like they don’t run the flat road. But the fat tires of mountain bike provide much friction with surface, and it slows the down the speed of the bike and rider need more energy to run. That’s why for comfortable riding experience people are now leaning on the 27.5 road tires for the mountain bikes.

How to Convert Your Mountain Bike for the road?

If you don’t want preciseness, then replacing MTB tires with road tires would enough to convert mountain bike for the road. Changing suspensions, wheels, seats, and gearings will make the mountain bike perfect for the road.

So, Will You put road tire on MTB!

Using mountain bike tires, fat tires, narrow tires, street tires all depend on the terrain and the size of the wheel. The specialty of mountain bikes is that it looks better at all kinds of tires and suitable for off-road and both smooth road riding. If you want to change the tires only for short commuting, my suggestion will be not to change the tire. But for long riding, you should change the tire for a better riding experience.

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