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Tyres for a non-suspended trail MTB

LataxeLataxe Posts: 12
edited March 2017 in MTB buying advice
I have a Boardman MTB with 650C wheels fitted with 1.5" slick tyres, used on very hilly back (tarmac & gravel) roads, bought because it had slicks, no suspension (at the rear or in the forks) but very low gears.

Since moving to West Wales I've discovered (during dog walks) miles of forestry and other track. These are generally made with a mixture of crushed slate & mudstone, layered in patches of mud and rotted vegetation. I'd like to ride them on this non-suspended slick-shod MTB but assume I'll need to replace the slicks with something knobbly.

The trails and tracks are generally in decent fettle but the steeper sections often have sections of slippery rock interspersed with the crushed slate and muddy veg-rot. What kind of knobbly would be best on such terrain? I'm assuming there'll be a need for a compromise between wide-spaced big mud knobs and some feature that will grip better on slippery wet rock....?

Will this terrain also be better approached with wider rather than narrower MTB tyres, at a lowish pressure?

Any advice gratefully received

A roadie MTB novice.


  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Sounds like that is a hybrid not an MTB, so it would be better if you said what model it is to get better advice.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • LataxeLataxe Posts: 12
    It's an MTB with MTB geometry and clearance for fat tyres as well as the 135mm rear axle spacing and 650 wheels.

    The model is named "urban" and was intended for hard track and road but was reviewed as suitable for off-road with a change of tyres: ... -11-45603/

    What should be the off road tyres for the surfaces I describe in my OP?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Most people would call it a rigid MTB.....less of a mouthful!

    For wet rock it's compound that counts, something like a Racing Ralph in evo compound would seem to fit your bill, keep it narrowIsh, say 2.15 or so.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I only ride rigid and off road bigger volume tyres are very useful. You can run lower pressures and it therfore more comfortable while offer improved. You should convert to tubeless as well as this means even lower pressures and therefore more comfort.

    The bike I was riding tonight is a rigid 29er with 35mm wide rims and 2.3" Geax Gato TNT tyres set up tubeless. I can use 20 psi in these without issue. Wide rims help as those tyres look more like a 2.4" or 2.5" tyre.
    I did fit schwable pro core today and this has improved comfort alot.

    The OP should get some wide rubber with a good open block pattern and as wide as you have clearance. I'd try a conti mountain King Protection or trail King protection or the Vittoria Morsa G+ tyre. I like the look of the vittoria more. The older Geax tyres are pretty good and maybe the vittoria or the discontinued but still available Geax Saguaro would work for you. I have the tubular version of the saguaro and these are excellent tyres offering plenty of grip.

    I cant comment on what works on wet rock as I live in suffolk we dont have rocky trails here but the lower the pressures you have the more grip you have in general. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Maxxis Beaver might be relevant to your interests.
  • LataxeLataxe Posts: 12
    Thanks all for the various suggestions. I'll look at them all.

    I would like to go tubeless but that would mean new wheels as well as new tyres. This would also ease the change from one tyre type to the other - the ladywife still goes out on the MTB road-riding for which the slicks are ideal. (I now have a cross bike with absurdly low gearing for the steep Welsh lanes). It's a lot faster to change wheels than it is tyres. Perhaps the attic must once more be scoured for ebay fodder. :-)

    Low pressure and hence fairly wide, especially for tubed tyres, then. And sticky compound for the slippery rocks as well as knobbles for the clarty stuff. Is that a fair summary?
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