Everybody knows that mountain bikes are for trail roads and road bikes are for paved roads. But sometimes, the features do overlap and provide benefits on other surfaces. In this instance, I think MTB tires could be a great addition to a road bike. But can I put mountain bike tires on a road bike, I once wondered?
Certainly, it’s a bicycle, not a 4-wheeler. But would it be a bad investment? I don’t think so. There are a few reasons why. Let us go over them together.
I think if we knew what makes the tires different it’d make things clearer.
How Do Road Tires Compare with Mountain Bike Tires?
Each tire has designed to run on specific surfaces. Your typical road bikes have thinner tires with a smoother surface. There’s just enough tread pattern to prevent slips.
On the other hand, mountain bike tires have been made to withstand the harshness of the trail. They are tougher, thicker, and certainly heavier.
Why Use Mountain Bike Tires on Road?
There are a few reasons why using mountain bike tires on road bikes could be a good idea.
One of the intuitive uses of MTB tires on road is the higher level of durability we have come to expect from mountain bike tires. Many cyclists have MTB tires installed on their city bikes.
They are chunkier and thicker than any regular bike tires you find. It’s tough, and the rubber doesn’t come off easily. The extra edge when it comes to longevity and performance endurance comes in real handy.
Due to the thicker walls and tread patterns, these tires are robust, which means they aren’t easy to puncture.
Installing MTB tires on road bikes allows you to go through rough terrains.
The moment you’re fitting mountain bike tires on road bikes, you’re essentially turning them into all-terrain bikes. With a pair of mountain bike tires, you can tackle the occasional off-roading.
They will prove to be more than enough on smooth paved roads.
When you were thinking of using MTB tires on road did it occur to you that you’re saving money by getting mountain bike tires? Since you already have a pair of those, you can just alternate them between your road bike and mountain bike. One solution for two vehicles, I’d say that’s a win.
To top it off, mountain bike tires are much sturdier than your road bike tires. If you can ignore the weight, it’s a brilliant thought.
Why It’s a Bad Idea to Use Mountain Bike Tires on Road?
I can think of a couple of things why it’s not such a good idea to use MTB tires on a road bike meant for paved roads.
I think it’s obvious why some people find the idea hilarious. I mean if you’re riding on paved roads, you want to glide through the streets with ease.
The weight of the MTB tires can be a hassle, especially for younger users and those who haven’t been physically active.
The main difference between mountain bike tires and road bike tires is the tread pattern. And this can become an issue because cleaning the tread pattern on the MTB tires is tough, especially if it dries up.
There’s another concern. The deeper tread design on the MTB tires could become home to small stones and debris from the road and create issues like screech sounds and tube puncture.
Some of you will adopt my way by installing mountain bike tires on your road bikes, while others won’t see the point in it.
But, after all this discussion, can you change road bike tires to mountain bike tires? Yes, you can. But you have to keep the considerations we talked about earlier in mind. There’ll be some benefits and tradeoffs, but you should choose what you see fit.