How Much Tire Sidewall Damage Is To...
How Much Tire Sidewall Damage Is Too Much

Can I Put Road Tires On A Mountain Bike? Find Out

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Mountain bikes differ from road bikes in the sense that they have wheels that are different in both their tire and wheel diameters. Specifically, mountain bikes use predominantly 26-inch tires, while road bikes utilize a paltry 700c sizing. Therefore, you cannot put road tires on a mountain bike and vice versa.

Why Would I Want To Put A Road Bike Tire On A Mountain Bike In The First Place?

Putting road bike tires on a mountain bike will enable the tires to roll or rotate faster and also give you a more comfortable ride, especially when you stand up while riding. If you wish to get a faster tire setup, most professional mountain bike riders utilize slick tires, particularly while on long rides to enable them to get road training.

Are There Things I Need To Keep In Mind If I Choose To Replace My Mountain Bike Tires With Road Tires?

Before you undertake any change of mountain bike tires with road tires, remember that mountain bike tires are designed to absorb shock on strong impacts with rocks or other obstacles in rough terrains.

Mountain bikes also have a suspension that is meant for offroad uses only, but which is quite needless if these bikes are used on the road. Should you have a lockout, it becomes easy to use mountain bikes for road rides. Despite all these differences, their tires are very interchangeable, especially if their dimensions are compatible.

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Essentially, therefore, you can use mountain bike tires on road bikes and when you do so, it will help the tires to move faster and you will also feel more comfortable during rides. Consequently, switching mountain bike tires for use on road bikes is bound to give you a very comfortable experience.

Although you will have more pleasure and ease of ride after this conversion, but you should know that doing so will not transform your mountain bike into a road bike. Finally, if you must undertake this conversion, use wide tires in the front and narrower ones in the rear, which will be quite useful for road use. There are other issues you should keep in mind before this conversion, but these are some of the commonest.

How Much Difference Do Road Bike Tires Make On A Mountain Bike?

To start with, road bike tires are smaller than most mountain bike tires and also do not have the kind of strong sidewalls that mountain bike tires have. So, essentially, when you put a  road bike tire on a mountain bike, it will become susceptible to easy and quick damage when ridden on rough terrains.

In addition, using road bike tires on your mountain bikes will reduce the comfort you get from such expeditions and in extreme circumstances, even the bike itself will suffer faster degradation too. All in all, replacing mountain bike tires with those of a road bike is not as harmless as when you replace road bike tires with those of a mountain bike.

What Are Some Of The Best Road Tires For Mountain Bike 29er?

It should be noted that the 29er mountain bike wheels are the same in virtually every respect with the 700s such as in the diameters and widths of the tires. For this reason, you can use a wider 700c tire on your mountain bike 29er without any complaints whatsoever. In conclusion, the best tires that you can use for the 29er mountain bike are the 700 X 35 tires or any other tires that have wider diameters.

Should You Ride A Mountain Bike On The Road?

Though mountain bikes are said to be tougher to pedal or operate and are also slower comparatively when placed beside road bikes, they still give a pleasurable ride on the road too. Mountain bikes permit a cushy, upright riding position than road bikes and are known to also move easily on a range of surfaces or roads.

They are almost as fast and as easy as road bikes, while also being as comfortable and versatile as road bikes too. So, yes, you should ride mountain bikes on the road.

Is Using  Road Bike Wheels On A Mountain Bike Frame A Good Idea?

The short response to this question is that yes, it is a good idea, in fact, a great one really. However, you cannot convert a road bike wheel to that of a mountain bike for the simple reason that a road bike frame cannot accommodate the wider mountain bike tires. (Read Also: How Long Will Tires Last With Cords Showing?)

If you are able to change the front fork to accommodate wider tires, for instance, it is still very impossible to put wider tires at the rear. However, you can always convert a mountain bike to a road bike without any qualms, but not the other way round

How Do You Convert A Road Bike To A Mountain Bike Without Going To A Mechanic?

You cannot convert a road bike to a mountain bike, but can easily change a mountain bike to a road bike for reasons which we have explained adequately above. Though riding a mountain bike on the road may look weird, but mountain bikes are cheaper, more durable, and safer than road bikes.

In order to convert your mountain bike into a road bike, you simply have to reduce those features that make it suitable for offroad purposes such as the suspension, tires, gearing, and position. For a more permanent or seasonal change, you require a rigid fork that makes your bike lighter and stiffer for improved road rides. The following are some of the major changes to be undertaken in the conversion. 

Can I Put Road Tires On A Mountain Bike – Tires And Wheels

For the tires, simply pump them up to about 40 to 50 PSI. This will assist the tires to roll quicker and also feel better too, especially when you stand up. The maximum PSI on the tire sidewall will give you a good idea of how much you need to inflate them.

Find 1.5-inch slick tires that will fit your bike wheels or if you can afford them, consider getting a second pair of tires so as to avoid spending valuable time switching between road and mountain settings.


You may have to get a new set of wheels so that you can get a new cassette ( or rear gears) which will help to improve the gearing on your mountain bike. Cassettes used on the road have more gears in such a close range to enable you to adjust your cadence in gradual installments.

Since mountain bikes are designed to tolerate steep climbs and slower average speeds, while on the road, you will be required to spin faster once the speed comes up. Mountain bikes mostly use a chainring nowadays, so the possibility of swapping to a larger chainring is highly advised in this conversion.

Minor Changes In Position

Drop your handlebars a little lower when you plan to do a lot of riding with a mountain bike on the road. It is preferable for road riders to use lower handlebars for improved aerodynamics, whereas mountain bike riders predominantly use higher handlebars. Ensure that your body can adapt to this position too. It is quite possible to use your mountain bike on the road and though it may not be perfect when used like this, you still have a lot of benefits to derive.

Can I Put Different Tires On A Mountain Bike?

It is known that mountain bikes come with three different diameters in their tire designs: 26, 2.5, and 29 inches. Though the 26-inch variety has been recognized as a standard mountain bike for very long,  most adult mountain bikers use the 27.5 and the 29-inch tires.

Hence, it is okay to put different tire sizes on a mountain bike either in the front or rear tires. The rear tires of mountain bikes tend to wear faster than the front tires and hence, whatever tires you choose for the rear, always get the best you can afford.

In essence, you can use any of these tires on your mountain bike. So, yes, you can use different tires on your mountain bike, even though their manufacturers do not recommend this tire mixing. This means that using the same brand, size, tread pattern, load index, and speed rating on both the front and rear tires is not advised, though certain conditions may necessitate tire mixing.

Can I Put Tubeless Tires On A Mountain Bike?

Tubeless tires do not utilize tubes in their tires, for this reason, the tires, rims, and valves stay sealed perfectly which guards against them going flat unduly. In some cases, there are tire sealants that are added to the inside of the tire that will assist to keep the air from leaking. Yes, you can put a tubeless tire on your bike.

Is It Bad To Put Thin Tires On A Mountain Bike 

Road and touring bikes have skinny tires,  but mountain bikes have big fat ones. A firm and slim tire won’t flatten much on asphalt surfaces and the less any tire flattens, the less the surface area it has in contact with the road, which implies less friction and more speed.

Certainly, you can make use of narrower tires on a mountain bike, though there is a minimum size for every rim. Do not also forget that narrow tires have their downsides:  they are less shock-absorbing when you hit a rock or any other obstacle.

Traction is improved when you have more pressure per square inch or use a wider contact area with the road. Consequently, narrow or thin tires perform better in snow, since they dig deeper into it, which accords greater traction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are There Puncture Proof Mountain Bike Tires?

Yes, there are puncture-proof bike tires that can be used on either touring or road bikes, but not on mountain bikes. If you must use any tires that are less prone to punctures on mountain bikes, it will be good to go for tubeless bike tires but not puncture-proof ones. In essence, though there are puncture-proof tires, there aren’t puncture-proof mountain bike tires.

Why Do I Keep Getting Flat Tires On My Bike?

Many reasons can be attributed to why you keep getting flat tires on your bike. Some of these reasons could be an irregular inspection of your tires to ascertain where and when they need attention, especially after a long ride.  You can also use tire sealants to guard against developing punctures in your bike tires and where you fail to do so, your tires are bound to go flat frequently.

You may also get regular punctures in your tires in cases where you use them roughly. Finally, whenever you are buying tires, always get those that enjoy excellent customer reviews due to their qualities and durability. In this way, you will avoid getting regular flats

Is It Bad To Ride A Bike With Flat Tires?

Yes, it is. Doing that has several means of affecting the bike in adverse ways. To start with, it may lead to the total destruction of not only your tire but also the tube in it. In extreme situations, this may also lead to irreparable damage to your bike rim as well. Finally, riding on a flat is highly uncomfortable to you also which may lead to severe body aches and other complaints.

What Are Airless Bike Tires?

Airless bike tires are those tires that do not require any inflation, and hence protect you from getting flat tires unnecessarily. They are tires that accord you a great riding experience that is puncture-free.

Are Bicycle Tire Liners Worth It?

These are thin strips of plastic that fit between the tire and the tube. They extremely reduce the chances of getting a punctured tire from glasses, stones, thorns, or other sharp objects. For the invaluable function they serve and the little or no cost of getting them, you can be quite certain that they are indeed worth it.

Can I Put Road Tires On A Mountain Bike – Conclusion

We have satisfactorily discussed everything about the bike, and what is left now,  is for you to put all this information to good use.

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