One good thing about mountain bikes is that they are complex enough to perform well , but simple enough to customize when needed. The chainring, wheels, handlebars, and seat can all be switched out (some easier than others) to make the bike more suitable for different terrains.
Changing mountain bike tires to hybrid tires is a simple and affordable way to upgrade your riding experience. Buying a new bike is inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming, so we always encourage riders to find small ways to tweak the bike they already own instead.
Here’s what you need to know about hybrid tires, how well they’ll work on a mountain bike, and how to go about changing them.
What are Hybrid Tires?
Hybrid tires are designed to ride on several terrains. They are all-encompassing and work well on pavement, and switch between manmade and natural terrains smoothly. Essentially, this type of tire is a mix between a mountain bike tire and a road tire.
To start, hybrid tires can work on road and mountain bikes, unlike mountain tires, which exclusively work on mountain bikes. Mountain bike tires can technically work on the pavement, but you’ll quickly find they wear down much quicker than hybrid or road bike tires do.
Hybrid tires have a smooth tread so they can coast along pavements and smooth surfaces. They can help you pick up speed quickly and maintain it without having to wear yourself out by pedaling excessively.
While hybrid tires aren’t as knobby as mountain bike tires, they still grip to surfaces well. Road tires have almost no grip, which means you can’t use them on anything but paved roads. Mountain bike tires, on the other hand, are covered in knobs that work fantastically on uneven terrain but can slow you down on the pavement.
Hybrid tires provide a smooth riding experience on both terrains. They are great for touring when you know you’ll be riding on a mix of manmade and natural surfaces. If you want to protect the longevity of your tires, you should always be mindful of how rocky or smooth the surface you’re going to ride is.
Can You Change Mountain Bike Tires to Hybrid Tires?
Yes! You can change mountain bike tires to hybrid tires. There are lots of rides that have made the leap from mountain to hybrid and enjoyed the results.
The real question is: should you change your tires?
Hybrid tires are not going to improve your performance on a traditional mountain bike trail. Mountain bike tires are specifically designed to thrive in difficult, hilly areas where you have to climb many steep hills and safely ride down tall descents.
If you are riding on mountain bike trails, keep your mountain bike tires on! They will get you where you need to go and prioritize grip and stability over speed.
With that being said, hybrid tires will still work well on mountain bike trails. They are wide enough to provide the comfort you need when riding over pebbles and other uneven debris.
Why You Might Want to Change to Hybrid Tires?
Here are a few reasons you might want to swap mountain bike tires to hybrid tires.
1/ You aren’t sure what the terrain is going to be like
Sometimes, it’s hard to plan ahead. You might be one of those people with friends who love to make last-minute plans, or you’re still exploring the mountain biking world and don’t want to limit yourself to only riding on trails.
Hybrid tires give you a little leeway when it comes to where you can ride. The last thing you want is to accidentally destroy your tires because you ended up spending more time riding on pavement than you did on dirt.
2/ You’re on a budget
You can put road tires on a mountain bike, and some riders like taking advantage of this if they hop between city and trail riding. However, owning two separate pairs of wheels is a luxury not everyone can afford.
Buying two wheels or tires is cheaper than buying four. If you know you’ll be using your bike in the city during the week and taking it out on hilly trails on the weekends, opting for hybrid tires will cost half as much and be just as effective.
3/ You prefer tubeless tires
There are lots of perks to using tubeless tires. They protect you from punctures much better than traditional tires and mean you only have to worry about one layer of tires ripping or popping.
However, tubeless tires require sealant, and some riders hate dealing with the important but sticky substance. Every time you change tubeless tires, you need to coat the inside of the tire in a sealant to ensure no air gets out. This isn’t a particularly difficult process, but it can be tedious if you haven’t done it before or are in a rush.
4/ You want to go fast
This is a perfectly good reason to switch over to hybrid tires. They still have the grip and control of mountain bikes but can build and maintain speed significantly better.
Mountain bike tire knobs are very important on uneven terrain, but they slow down the rider. We all have that need for speed every now and then, and hybrid tires can give us what we want out of a bike ride without compromising our safety or the bike frame’s condition.
How to Change Mountain Bike Tires to Hybrid Tires?
Installing tubeless tires may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel satisfied and proud of yourself every time you pop a new pair of tires on.
First, you will need to gather all of your tools. To start, you’ll need a good pair of hybrid tires; we’ve taken the liberty to list some of our favorite ones below. Make sure they are the same diameter as your wheel!
You will also need tire levers, sealant, and a floor pump.
Now, you will need to remove the wheels. Start with the back wheel, as this one tends to be more difficult, so it’s best to get it out of the way first. Shift your bike into the lowest/most difficult gear and pull out the skewer. Then you can pull the derailleur back (located next to the center of the wheel) and lift the tire out.
It’s time to take out all the air from your tires. If you have some time and like the sound of air wisping out of a tire, you can gently press it out. Otherwise, pull out the valve core for a speedier option.
Popping the bead is next. Go around the wheel and squeeze the tire into the center of the wheel. You should hear a small pop and feel the edges of the tire release from the wheel’s rim.
Time to reach for your tire lever. Insert it into the tire and pull it around the tire to release it from the bead. You can use multiple tire levers to keep the bead separated from the rim, but you don’t need to. Do this for both sides of the tire.
Once the tire is completely off, you should find a lot of leftover sealant on the wheel. Alcohol works well for this. Make sure it dries completely before moving on to the next step.
Time to put the new tires on! Make sure you’ve aligned the tire to the wheel correctly so they are both going the same way (check the arrows on the tire). Put the tire into the center of the wheel.
Now you can fill your tires up with air! It’s important to do this before adding your sealant.
After that’s done, inject your sealant into the valve and fill the tire up with more air. Turn the wheel around several times to distribute the sealant around the inside of the bike.
Now all you have to do is pop your wheels back on your bike and you’re good to go!
Best Hybrid Tires
Here are a couple of reliable hybrid tires we love:
1/ Fincci Pair MTB Hybrid Tires
- Foldable Tires. Size: 700 x 35c. ETRTO 37-622. Suitable for 700c Wheels
- 1mm Nylon Anti-Puncture Protection. Weight: 430gr 0.95lb each tire. Package consists of 2 x tires. 1 Tire size when folded: 26x13x10 cm
- Made of high quality nylon and rubber compound. Kevlar wire to make the tire foldable
- Fast Rolling high traction tread for faster and more comfortable ride. Also, provides good grip on uneven surfaces like tarmac roads or pavement. Perfect replacement tire for road bicycles with 700c wheels
- Fincci - buy with confidence from UK brand. Full after-sale support and manufacturer warranty.
Customers have been very happy with these tires. They have good grip and work well on mountain bike trails and in the city. They’re lined with wire, which makes folding them up and storing them much easier.
2/ Kenda Tires K838 Commuter/Cruiser/Hybrid Bicycle Tires
- Sleek tires for efficient mountain biking/hybrid road and trail riding
- Lower rolling resistance for increased speeds, inspired by traditional motorcycle tires
- Smooth edge with water dispersal grooves for confident gripping without slowing you down
- Wire beads for improved reliability and durability
- 26x1.95" for gnarlier riding everywhere
Kenda is a well-trusted tire brand so these hybrid bike tires are sure to meet your expectations. They have wire beads and enough traction to grip the surface without slowing you down. Customers have been satisfied with these tires.
There are a lot of perks to changing your mountain bike tires to hybrid tires. They’re faster, sleeker, and more diverse than traditional mountain bike tires. Some riders like having both sets of tires on separate wheels to make changing them out quick, but you don’t need to do that.
Do you think hybrid tires would work better with your lifestyle? Why? Let us know in the comments below!