mountain biker riding through water

Best Winter MTB Tyres

When the weather closes in and the heavens open, you’ll need an MTB tyre that will cut through the gloop to give you the traction you need. Here is our pick of the best winter mountain bike tyres to help you decide which ones are right for you.

The best winter MTB tyres can make a big difference to your enjoyment, performance and control. In the wet you need mud tyres with spiked tread and softer rubber compounds. All the tyres featured here are good for UK trail conditions and will perform well in muddy conditions but are also good for loose rocky terrain. While a little slower than summer tyres, they also grip well on hardpack trail centre surfaces, so you can leave them on all winter with no worries.

We’ve chosen the best winter MTB trail riding rubber for wet conditions. DH tyres have thicker sidewalls to run lower pressures and improve grip, as well as reducing the chance of flats. Enduro tyres are lighter but are just as tough and are also great for aggressive trail riding. Trail tyres are lighter but features like EXO sidewalls offer protection from cuts. Tubeless ready tyres allow you to run lower pressures to improve traction on muddy trails.

When setting up for winter some mountain bikers will choose a mud tyre for the front wheel for grip and control where it’s needed and then run a regular tyre at the rear. A Maxxis Shorty with an Aggressor, a Specialize Hill Billy with a Butcher or a Schwalbe Magic Mary with a Hans Dampf are popular choices.

Maxxis Shorty

Winter tyres tend to have softer rubber compounds for extra grip in slippery conditions. High-end tyres are available with two or three rubber compounds used in the same tyre. You’ll find harder rubber in the centre to reduce rolling resistance and softer edges for more cornering grip.

The tyres we’ve picked here are sometimes known as ‘cut spikes’ or intermediate tyres, as the tread has prominent blocks with wide spaces between them. These tread blocks are not as long as mud specific race tyres, so you can still ride in dry conditions. Intermediate tyres clear mud well and offer good grip but stay predictable on the hard stuff. It’s this combination of characteristics that make these MTB tyres so good for winter riding.

Schwalbe Magic Mary Detail

Best Winter MTB Tyres


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