Best Mountain Bike Tires in 2019:  For Trail/Cross Country Riders

Best Mountain Bike Tires in 2019: For Trail/Cross Country Riders


What Mountain Bike Trail Tires Will Make You a Cross Country Speed Demon in 2019?

Having the right rubber underneath you can be the difference between a good run and a podium finish. From hitting the single track for your weekly ride to competing in your local cross country circuit, the right bike tires will provide a more enjoyable experience and make you a faster, safer rider. There are a number of reputable manufacturers putting out tires designed to eat up singe track and cross country style trails. Maxxis, Schwalbe, and Vittoria will be the three we'll focus on today.

We have a break down of the hottest trail/cross country racing tires on the market today, each with their own take on minimizing rolling resistance while providing reliable traction and stopping power. While there are many great options available to choose from, from pros to average joe's we have seen these top picks time and time again when it comes down to the starting line.

Continental Race King Mountain Bike Tire

Terrain: Hardpac / Dry / Allround

Continental Race King Mountain Bike Tire Tread Close Up

This tried and true competitive bike tire finds it's home on the dirt for Cross Country World Cup and marathons. With a low rolling resistance, great self-damping and light weight design this tire is an easy choice for race bikes all over the world. The tread compound found in the Race King's is unique to Continentals line, produced in Germany. The BlackChili compound has achieved the optimum balance of grip and rolling resistance for cycling. From laboratory testing, to proving in winning races, these tires are designed from the smallest particle for unique, high performance.

BlackChili compound Logo

BlackChili compound diagram

Schwalbe Racing Ralph Mountain Bike Tire

Terrain: Hardpac / Dry / Allround

Schwalbe Racing Ralph Mountain Bike Tire Tread Close Up

The Racing Ralph, by Schwalbe, dubbed "The Perfect Racer" by the manufacturer, is designed to face the extreme challenges of today's cross-country (XC) tracks. The Racing Ralph has been completely revised in recent design resulting in a very fast and versatile XC profile, specially developed for the rear wheel. The profile design features numerous gripping edges in the center tread for reliable traction and superior acceleration. Good rolling properties and an extremely quiet roll is what to expect from these racing tires. The Racing Ralph is also tubeless ready with ADDIX technology for speed, stability, and durability.

Winner of the Innovativstes Produkt 2017 Award

Winner of the Innovativstes Produkt 2017 Award


Maxxis Ardent Mountain Bike Tire

Terrain: Hardpac / Dry / Loose over Hard / Wet / Allround

Maxxis Ardent Mountain Bike Tire Tread Close Up

The Maxxis Ardent tire is considered a "do-it-all trail tire". Featuring EXO protection in select models and an aggressive, high volume tread this tire is focused on great traction and speed. Large block-style side knobs offers numerous edges for high-speed cornering. The center tread offers texture for braking and acceleration traction, but also features ramped knobs to minimize rolling resistance. Available in a variety of sizes, the Ardent captures every mountain bikers needs.

Maxxis Ikon Mountain Bike Tire

Terrain: Hardpac / Dry / Loose over Hard / Allround


The Ikon is considered the most versatile XC tread in the Maxxis line up. The tire offers EXO protection in select models with a high-volume, lightweight design inspired by racing. The Ikon is the true race tire for true racers. With 3C Triple compound technology, high-volume casing, and a fast rolling tread design, the Ikon holds high marks in all riding conditions. As the tire's name entails, the Ikon represents all that is true in racing.


Vittoria Mezcal Mountain Bike Tire

Terrain: Hardpac / Dry / Allround

Vittoria Mezcal Mountain Bike Tire Tread Close Up

Vittoria brings us the Mezcal tire, a versatile all-rounder that will perform just as well in the backyard as it will getting you onto the podium. Does your riding feature a combination of varying terrain? Perfect! The Mezcal is the choice of professionals across the XC scene. Featuring a unique low-profile tread pattern taht is tightly spaced in the center, achieving a low rolling resistance and high durability. Numerous effective edges work together to grip any technical terrain you can throw at these tires. Direction siping on each knob is designed to hold traction in chunky root sections and rock gardens. Starting with the proprietary Graphene enhanced 4C compound, the Mezcal attains the holy grail of XC tires; grip, durability, and low weight.


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