Getting the right tires for your riding style essentially means getting a tread pattern that works for you. On mountain bike tires, the tread consists of a wide variety of knob patterns. On road bikes, the tread pattern ranges from none (slicks) to more subtle grooved patterns. Translating all of that into the type of tire you need, though, is less straightforward. A tire’s intended use (best use) is a good clue. Here introduce 2 types of bike tire:

Knobby mountain bike tire types

Road-bike tire types


Knobby mountain bike tire types introduce.

  • Small, closely spaced knobs are suitable for smooth, dry trails.
  • Widely-spaced knobs improve handling in both muddy and loose dirt conditions.
  • Siping (a pattern of tiny slits) helps with grip in technical terrain like roots and rocks.
  • Small, evenly spaced knobs help with cornering on hardpack.


Road-bike tire types:

  • Slick bike tires: Feature a barely-there tread pattern for unhindered rolling speed on smooth surfaces like asphalt.
  • Semi-slick bike tires: Made for mostly smooth surfaces and some off-road riding, these feature a smooth center for fast rolling, along with aggressive side treads to help with cornering.
  • Inverted tread tires: Also designed for some rough-surface riding, they offer a compromise between rolling speed on smooth surfaces and grip on not-so-smooth ones.