Are Wider MTB Tires Better? 6 Things to Consider

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​If you’ve been biking for quite some time, a pipeline of upgrades for your MTB is probably in order.

Whether it’s for an off-road adventure or just fun trail rides, number one on your list is probably a change of tires.

If your goal is to improve ride performance without breaking the bank, changing tires should be a priority.

​But, there is a tricky question before you change

​Are wider MTB tires better?

​Shall I get a wider tire for my mountain bike?

​Well, This post will answer your question. 

The decision on what type of tires to get depends on your ride requirements. MTB tires should be selected based on terrain and riding style.

Are wider MTB tires better?

​In general, wider MTB tires are better for various reasons such as improving traction, maintaining balance along with increasing stability.

Tires are vital to the quality of ride with your MTB. Choosing the right tire for your needs would give you the best riding experience.

Bikers would choose to replace tires that are still in perfectly good condition if the MTB tires don’t ride the way they want it to be. It is a very common practice for mountain and trail bikers who needs a specific type of ride depending on the course of ride they take.

Tire width varies and is measured in inches. Narrow or wide, the benefit from MTB tires is relative to your needs. Wider tires work well on uneven trails because of its grip while narrow ones struggle especially on bumpy and rocky ground. Narrow tires are built for road biking instead of mountain trail biking.

It is best to assess the normal ride you take- the surface you’d roll on and the weather conditions that you encounter. Although there are tires that can adapt to variable ride requirements, to achieve optimal ride performance, you should choose the tire specifically built for your ride.

Why wider MTB tires better?

1.Wider MTB tires help improve traction

Because they are thicker, their grip to the ground is stronger resulting in an increase of rolling resistance. Although speed is compromised because of the increased grip to the ground, it is not really the top priority of mountain trail bikers. Traction and rolling resistance ensures a bold traverse over the uneven and unexpected terrain of mountains and trails.

2.Wider MTB tires help maintain balance

​The thickness of the tire helps the rider avoid losing balance when going over uneven surfaces. The thickness of the tire allows riding in lower psi. Low psi + thick tires can result in a more comfortable, less demanding and adaptable ride.

​3.Wider MTB tires help increase stability

​The better grip to the ground helps gain stability and is unflustered by uneven trails. It also aids in preserving momentum even when the bike gains speed. A wider tire equals a wider pivot point, thus, fewer chances of tipping over during tight turns.

​4.Wider MTB tires help handle ride control

For bumpy rides, wider MTB tires can take in a higher volume of air resulting in better shock absorption giving the rider a better ride feel because of the higher amount of control. They are perfect for uneven roads and rough trails.

When biking on mountains, the downhill ride will present to you the challenges of going against gravity, surviving bumps and conquering uneven turns. The wider MTB tires can help you resist the gravitational pull because of its good grip to the surface. They can absorb the shock that comes from the rocky and bumpy landings and also keep the ride steadfast as you go through unexpected and uneven turns.

​5.Wider MTB tires are versatile

An all-around tire is needed for trail biking. It is best to have a good level of traction and still be able to keep up to speed. Wider MTB tires can do that and more because they also work perfectly when riding mountains. Climbing the top is one thing but it’s on descents that the biker needs a huge amount of control with his bike. Wider tires grip well when taking turns even at high speed and can withstand impacts from bumps and rocks.

6.Wider MTB tires are perfect for beginners

Wider MTB tires are best for beginners because they contribute to finer balance which is essential for a new biker to gain confidence with his or her ride. They help maintain a good grip on the ride surface making it easier for the biker to focus on moving forward rather than worrying about plummeting due to loss of balance. They also help a lot to maintain ride stability. and control even when riding at high speed. In spite of the downsides, wider MTB tires offer greater advantages for mountain and trail bikers.

You may need to sacrifice speed at some point but riding conditions in uneven trails and steep mountains can be surmounted by having bike tires that can maintain balance and stability. 

Choosing the right mountain bike should rely on different factors. And it is a personal decision a rider makes based on her personal preferences and situation.

Most of the time, riders have multiple situations and would need more than one set of MTB tires. 

It is best to start with a single set of tires, the ones that are perfect for your usual roll. Assess your riding pattern, think about the surface you would normally roll on.

Don’t discount the weather conditions in your area which can make the ground wet or very dry.

Depending on your assessment, you can start building up different sets of tires that you can use for different types of riding conditions.

Some MTB riders also mix and match their tires: a front tire with more traction and a back tire with less rolling resistance.

The front tire with greater traction keeps the grip of your bike even on wet pavements and muddy trails. The back tire with less rolling resistance helps gain speed. 

Traction, balance, stability, and control are important factors to consider when choosing MTB tires.

In addition, you should also opt for the ones that can withstand punctures and extreme weather conditions.

Too much heat from the sun or too muddy soil can alter the quality of the material and can easily wear and tear if not given the proper care.

Related read: Why Are MTB Tires So Expensive?

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