There is a massive variance between mountain bikes and road bikes, and that’s why I received plenty of queries asking can you put road tires on a mountain bike; if yes, then how, and if not, then why?
As these both are bikes (though made for different purposes; one for racing and the other for suspension) still, you can use road tires on the MTB—in a nutshell.
However, the actual thing is not as simple as it seems. There is a twist, my friends.
To understand, you will require some learning, and then you can decide if to put road tires on a mountain bike. For instance, you should know the difference between different wheels and when, why, and how to change them.
Besides, you should also have a clear idea of your MTBs before and after the tire-changing performance, like the pros and cons.
In all my guides, I always put up the conclusion that knowing to maneuver is not enough if you don’t know about your bike and its gears. The best mountain biker is someone who knows his vehicle.
This is the reason most of my guides are related to gears and kits rather than tactics and tricks.
So, here is mine yet another guide to help you upgrade your Mountain Bike. In the end, you will know all about street tires on mountain bike escort.
Can you put road tires on a mountain bike?
Yes. Road wheels can be added to a mountain bike, but after making some amendments and adjustments in the overall bike designs.
An average person will consider both bikes to look like same, but from a technical point of view, there is a massive divergence between both.
No, no, you don’t need to take your bike to an expert engineer for such alternations as you can efficiently perform them at the ease of your garage.
All you need is to choose the right tires. Here is my personal recipe for changing mountain bike tires to road tires.
Difference between off-road tires vs. street tires
|Off-road tires||Street tires|
|Deeper tread sets||Soft treads|
|All-terrains grips||Roads and pavements|
|Reliable||Faster but cannot withstand obstacles.|
|Create vibration||Smoother on roads|
Mountain bike with street tires Performance: Pros & Cons
Here are some pros and cons you can imagine having after you put road tires on a mountain bike:
Can you put road tires on a mountain bike and enjoy some benefits? Yes. Here are some advantages or pros you will achieve by changing MTB wheels.
- Faster Speed
Without any other opinion, the road tires are given and offered for the faster speed. So, you can expect swift rides with low-pedal pressure.
Moreover, by paddling faster, you can generate more rapid passages without putting so much energy.
- Less rolling resistance
After you put road tires on a mountain bike, the rolling resistance will be reduced, and due to this, you will get a minor contact patch while you ride.
This means the tires will go smoothly on the roads without requiring too much pressure.
- Shrunk weight
Street tires are less noisy and have less weight compared to knobby tires. With this transformation, you can expect an overall reduction in the weight of your bike.
It means you will exert less pressure and use less energy during rides.
Let’s take our discussion on can you put road tires on a mountain bike next level. As nothing comes without cons or consequences, some rip-offs that will come upfront are:
- Harsh rides
Road tires are overblown to pressures of 50 psi and more, whereas trail tires are pumped to less than 35 psi. In simple words, this means you might get a rough ride.
- Less traction
As there is less traction, so you don’t have to put more effort while pulling your bikes. Now, you can do smooth pedaling and won’t feel tired after you ride a bike.
However, the problem is that now the maneuverability of your mountain bike has decreased because tires with more volume can bear more pressure off-road.
- Tough to control
Road tires have a smaller width. Although this property makes them faster and lighter, but it can result in difficult control of your bike.
Without practice, going on a mountain bike with road tires may end up in many falls before you get used to such type of driving. In short, you will need a lot of practice.
How to choose street tires for mountain bike?
On the basis of pros and cons, you can decide if you want to put road tires on a mountain bike.
Once you reach the decision, if it is in yes, then the next thing is to choose the right wheels and do other upgrades to your mountain bike.
For your information, road tires have different types (not brands but types). They come in different sizes, with different radii, volumes, etc. Many other things count too.
So, you go to do some tricks when you put road tires on a mountain bike.
Tires having a middle-width (smaller than MTB tires and greater than road tires)
Road tires have smaller width compared to mountain bike tires. So, you can select a little smaller width than an MTB tire and a little higher width than a road tire to make a balance.
For instance, if road bike tires come with 2.3 inches in width and knobs come with 2.5 widths. Then go with a value that is in the middle of both.
Use brand reviews to find the perfect tire
You can also take help from the companies selling tires because they are experts and can give you a better idea about the width and overall size of your street tires for your off-road bike.
Buy extra pair of wheels and switch them accordingly
You can get extra pair of wheels for smoother rides between terrains and roads. All you have to do is, switch to a wheel according to the journey ahead.
It hardly takes some minutes to change the tires. So, if you are someone who goes on dirt biking, riding on pavements, and racing on streets, this can be so far one of the handiest solutions.
Go with semi-slick tires – rather an expensive solution
Last but not least, here is another solution. As per my expertise, when I configured mountain bikes with street tires performance differences, I found using Semi-Slicks while switching the tires of mountain bikes. These tires offer an easy-practice solution.
What do semi-click tires do? Semi-slicks are the combination of both tires. You can say the best features of both tires are encapsulated in semi-slick tires.
By doing so, you are making your bike rides dirt and pavement friendly. Some best traits of semi-slick tires are:
- They have smaller knobs and a tread pattern that is smoother down the center, which makes it a good combination of both tires, providing what you exactly need.
- Rolling resistance, pedaling pressure, and contraction moderately to make bikes go on all surfaces – dirt and pavement.
- These tires provide traction for climbing mountain biking and are lightweight to run smoothly on the roads and pavements.
- Riding on loose materials or smoother ones, you can make it easy with semi-slick tires.
How to change mountain bike tire to road tire
Now you know can you put road tires on a mountain bike, and the tires are selected, it is time that you change them.
If you are a professional biker and already know how to change tires, you can skip this part, but for novice bikers, I have compiled these tips to come in extremely handy.
Moreover, I will also tell you what amendments you should make along with changing the tires and making rides smoother.
Check the video guide below:
Before you go, here are some other things you must know while you put road tires on a mountain bike:
- At the start, you might feel rides a bit stiffer; however, this is common and normal.
- The road tires might do some issues in areas without concrete or asphalt material.
- You will have to adjust the following things while switching from off-road to street tires:
- Air pressure
- Seat position
- Handlebar height adjustment
- Adding Lights and reflectors
With this, you can expect smoother rides without a doubt.
Now, as always, before compiling the entire discussion of ours, I would add some questions you sent me regarding mountain bike vs. road bike tires.
Can I use off-road tires on the highway?
Yes, you can because many mud tires are street-legal; however, the best you should do is go with all-terrain tires for your daily commute.
Is there any guide to converting mountain bike to road bike?
Yes. MTB Knowledge is the number 1 platform providing guides for all-terrain, road, and mountain bikes.
While converting mountain bikes to road bikes, you must change the tires and make other amendments. Check the complete guide by clicking this guide to converting mountain bike to road bike.
Why are mountain bikes so expensive?
Mountain bikes are built from luxurious material, which makes them expensive and hefty to buy. Not only this, the bikes are engineered by the expert labor force.
The high market demand is another reason that makes mountain bikes’ prices hefty. Read my price guide and hacks to find an inexpensive MTB at this link; why mountain bikes are so expensive.
What are signs my mountain bike is too big?
There are numerous signs that show your mountain big is too big for you, such as the lack of front wheel grip, feeling like a passenger, uncomfortable sitting position, and instability at speed.
More on signs your mountain bike is too big. I have prepared this helpful guide for novice and expert bikers.
Mountain biking offers a complete workout for weight loss. But, more specifically, the muscles that constantly work during mountain biking are the quadriceps and the glutes.
Here my guide ends. I hope your query can you put road tires on a mountain bike is answered in detail. For more guides, info, and tricks on biking, keep visiting my website.