All bikes have a unique factor in them which could be in their design or use. Whichever it is, their tires are a crucial feature affecting their usefulness.
And in off-road bikes like BMX and MTBs, it’s no different.
However, switching to another bike tire might seem helpful if you’re used to Mountain bikes and want a different feel while cycling on off-road terrains. But will BMX tires work on MTBs?
BMX tires only work on a mountain bike when using accurate rim sizes. But due to wheel size differences, you only have 24” and 26” models available. Also, ensure the wheels fit to prevent giving the bike an off posture. Unfortunately, since BMX rear wheels for MTBs are impossible to find, it’s best to stick to front wheels.
If you’ve ever considered changing tires in your MTB to know how it feels and what difference it makes, here’s an article just for you.
It covers the differences between BMX and mountain bikes, lists criteria to follow for a successful bike change, and pros/cons.
Can I Put BMX Tires on My Mountain Bike?
Yes, you can put BMX tires on your mountain bike. It gives your bike a different aesthetic, making it lighter and easier to jump over obstacles.
But if you’re about to change the tires, these requirements below are beneficial, so work with them to avoid complications.
#1. Proper Size
The conventional BMX tires are designed precisely for 20’’ rims, while newer mountain bikes use wheels within the range of 27.5’’ to 29’.
Hence, using this standard tire type on a mountain bike rim is impossible.
Fortunately, MTBs and BMXs have some models in common, which are 24’’ and 26’’, so you can only mount a BMX tire on such specific MTB models.
#2. Rim Width
Your MTB’s rim should be wide enough to house the BMX tire comfortably. Fortunately, this won’t be a big deal, as many mountain bikes use tires wider than those in BMXs.
However, a problem may arise if you have converted the mountain bike you wish to install a BMX tire into a hybrid bike, as such bikes have thinner rims.
What Is the Difference Between a BMX and Mountain Bike Tire?
BMX and MTB tires have one thing in common. They’re both made for offroad cycling, but aside from this, we’ve outlined other differences you should know below.
Conventional BMX bike wheels have a diameter range of 20, while the cruiser category has 24 inches.
And its wheels are more rigid and robust to cushion the effect of heavy landings from high places.
In contrast, MTB wheels need larger wheels ranging between 26 to 29 inches to make rolling over objects and obstacles on rough terrains easier.
#2. Width Difference
Mountain bikes have wide tires and suspension, a crucial feature influencing performance. In addition, these wide tires make it easier to ride comfortably on rough roads.
With such tires, you can move past obstacles without worrying about getting holes, as they can cushion erratic landings.
But BMX bike tires are narrow, meaning they can make you ride faster in mud and sand since they’ve got higher rolling resistance.
#3. Tire Pressure
BMX bike tires use higher pressure. And most times, they mandate using highly inflated ones. And this, unfortunately, makes it lose air faster.
On the other hand, Mountain bikes have lower tire pressure making them more powerful and shock-absorbent. Hence, their tires can cushion the effect of high landings.
What Kind of Tires Can You Put on a Mountain Bike?
Your Mountain bike can work with any tire, provided they’re of the same wheel/rim size.
However, choosing these tires depends on your terrain and preference. So below, we’ve outlined some different MTB tires you can mount on your bike.
#1. Cross-Country Tires
Cross-country MTB tires are a good choice for anyone who prioritizes speed and agility. They’re lighter, and their tires have minimal rolling friction and a small tread.
With such tires, you can go comfortably on flat trails and hills and quickly corner and steer around.
#2. TRAIL / ALL-MOUNTAIN Tires
Trail bikes are suited for technical terrains with mud, rocks, roots, water, and obstacles that can test a cyclist’s skill and endurance.
Its tires are powerful and better equipped for such rough roads.
Also, they have an extra rubber cover giving it additional puncture protection and an aggressive tread fitting for proper braking, cornering, and improved traction.
#3. ENDURO Tires
Enduro bikes are next-level bikes for expert cyclists. Their tires have sturdy and aggressive treads giving them the power to survive extreme riding conditions.
They’re perfect for any terrain cycling. And the rubber composition in their tires makes gripping the dirt quick.
#4. DOWNHILL MTB Tires
Downhill mountain bike tires are equipped with durable casings and powerful tread patterns, making them strong enough to withstand the effect of high jumps while going downhill.
Their tires also have puncture-resistant rubbers to help them maintain traction and avoid ruptures in the tire.
Crucial Factors before installing Tires
Below are three crucial factors to contemplate before installing any tire on your mountain bike.
#1. Tire Width
A bike’s tire width is divided into three categories which are section, overall, and tread width.
The first deals with tires’ sidewall measurement, the second is the total tire width, and the last involves measuring a tire’s tread pattern.
All these measurements are vital, and you should include everyone as they ensure your tire sits appropriately on the bike for proper performance and handling.
#2. Tire Tread
Tire treads play a crucial role in performance, especially on off-road terrains. And for mountain bikes, choose tires with aggressive tread patterns that can withstand rough roads and punctures.
#3. Type of Tire
Tires come in different types, like tubeless, folding, and compound categories. Consider each kind and how suitable they are on off-road terrains for mountain bikes to know which is best.
For example, tubeless tires work on low pressure and are great for MTBs, so getting them is a great choice.
Can You Put Thinner Tyres on a Mountain Bike?
Yes. You can install thinner tires on mountain bikes, but narrow tires won’t feel like wide tires as they’ll have minimal cushioning.
And this implies that you’ll be responsible for absorbing shock from obstacles instead of the bike. On the other hand, a mountain bike’s wheels are responsible for motion and influence your ride quality.
Hence, consider your cycling pattern and terrain type before choosing these narrow tires. Also, below are some crucial things you must do.
- Ensure to use the same rim size you used in previous tires
- A puncture protection belt will help you, so remember to install one.
- Use a low limit of 28mm as it guarantees safety.
The importance of sticking to the exact size of wheels and tires cannot be overemphasized, as it guarantees you’re using the right wheels for your MTB.
And puncture protection belts offer more protection as they give you peace of mind knowing that your tires are less vulnerable to ruptures along rough terrains.
While narrow tires seem to be a good choice, they also have their downsides, and below is a table highlighting their pros and cons.
|Thinner tires make the bike lighter and climb better.||On rough surfaces, there is less cushioning.|
|They’re suitable for racing as they’re not vulnerable to aerodynamic drag.||Thin tires are a poor choice for off-road terrains.|
|Thin tires provide excellent traction on smooth terrains.||Less comfort, which can cause poor handling|
|Quicker acceleration||Thinner tires increase rolling resistance, which is bad for cycling.|
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