While most mountain bikes are designed for going off-road and aren’t designed for speed, some mountain bikes have been designed specifically for racing on the road and other flat surfaces, including the skinny tire mountain bike. But what is it? And what advantages does it have over a standard mountain bike? Let’s find out.
The skinny tire mountain bike is a mountain bike with narrower and lighter tires. Putting thinner tires on your bike entails easy navigation and faster speed. Yet, they are more prone to punctures, have less grip on rough terrain, and can be challenging to handle on wet roads.
This article will look into the pros and cons of the skinny tire mountain bike, so you can decide whether it is best for you or not.
Learning about Mountain Bike Tires could take years. Let me help you just a bit quicker with some articles.
- Can a tire be great for both street and trail? – Find out in this article: Best MTB Tire for Street and Trail
- Are 26 inch Tires Dead? Heck no…Read – Who is a 26 inch MTB For
- Love playing in MUD – Read What tire is recommended – Mountain Bike Tires for Muddy Conditions
- Rocks can destroy a mountain bike tire – Find the Best MTB Tire for Rocky Conditions (PRO RECOMMENDED)
- Thinking about getting a 26 inch MTB let me help – Should I Get a 26 Inch Mountain Bike?
- Does sand slow you down? It might be you’ve got the wrong tires. Read – The Best MTB Tires for the Sand
Can I Put Skinny Tires on A Mountain Bike?
You can put skinny tires on a mountain bike. Mountain bikes are designed for off-road riding and are built with knobby tires with large treads and deep grooves that give them extra traction on rough ground.
They also have suspension systems that allow them to absorb bumps in the road, so riders don’t feel every bump when they ride their bikes.
These bikes are lightweight and easy to maneuver around obstacles like rocks or trees without having to worry about getting stuck or losing control because of the weight of their bikes.
For reference, skinny tires have less air pressure than fat tires, so they can roll over obstacles more quickly, whereas fat tires are great for riding on soft terrain and going off-road. (source) Still, the fat tire can be a bit less maneuverable than skinny tires, so they’re not always the best option for a quick turn or swerve.
The thinner rubber also has less weight and wind resistance, which helps with speed.
Now, let’s check out the pros of putting skinny tires on your mountain bike.
What Are the Pros of Skinny Tires?
Putting skinny tires on your mountain bike provides increased speed and easier navigation.
Many mountain bikers have been told that bigger tires will make their mountain bikes more stable, but that’s not always the case.
Smaller tires will lower the mountain bike, making it easier to maneuver around obstacles on your path. (source)
It also means you’ll have a better view of what’s ahead of you, which can help you avoid obstacles and navigate rugged terrain.
Skinny tires are a great choice if you’re looking to go fast. They provide fantastic traction on smooth surfaces like pavement or concrete.
Skinnier tires are a great way to keep your bike running smoothly. They are usually made from a lighter-weight rubber material, which is often less expensive than other tires. They also have thinner walls, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear.
DIY MTB Pro Tip: Learn about what all those numbers mean on the side of your bike tire in this article 👉 How to Measure MTB Tires
What Are the Cons of Skinny Tires?
Putting skinny tires on your mountain bike may entail higher maintenance efforts than on average bikes and an increased risk of accidents.
Skinny tires aren’t all good news: they also have some drawbacks. For example, skinny tires don’t provide much grip off-road. If you’re riding on soft sand or mud and need to stop quickly, your wheels may easily slip out from under you if not properly maintained.
Skinny tires can be challenging to handle on wet roads and in snow. The tread on these tires is narrow and shallow, meaning less water is dispersed from the tire’s surface as you drive over wet surfaces. It can lead to hydroplaning or even skidding when the road is wet.
For reference, hydroplaning is the phenomenon that occurs when water builds up between the tires and road surface, reducing friction between them. (source)
It can happen when there is too much rain, driving too fast on a wet road, or if your tires are worn out.
Tires with thinner treads can be more prone to punctures, which can cause blowouts and lead to dangerous accidents. (source) If you’re driving in areas with lots of rocks and other sharp objects on the road, it’s best to opt for a thicker tire.
What Are Bikes with Skinny Tires Called?
Bikes with skinny tires are called road bikes. They’re lightweight and more suitable on smooth pavement, so they’re perfect for urban commuting.
The term “road bike” comes from the fact that these bikes are designed for roads or paved surfaces. Road bikes have narrow wheels and tires to reduce wind resistance and make them more aerodynamic. The handlebars are often flat or swept back, which allows riders to sit in an aerodynamic position while riding. (source)
Road bikes are a type of bicycle built for riding long distances. They are best in city streets, country lanes, and mountain bike trails. The most common types of road bikes are hybrid, touring, and racing.
They’re typically equipped with drop bars (a type of handlebar) that allow the rider to easily change their hand position while riding without significantly shifting their body position.
So, what are the pros of riding a road bike? Let’s see.
What Are the Pros of Riding a Road Bike?
Road bikes are lighter, faster, and provide better control than other bikes.
- A road bike is lightweight and easy to handle. It makes it ideal for beginners and those who want a more comfortable ride than what you get with a mountain bike. (source)
- A road bike allows you to go farther and faster than other bikes, which makes it perfect for long distances or races. (source)
- Road bikes are often equipped with disc brakes, providing better stopping power in wet or slippery conditions than traditional rim brakes.
But riding road bikes also have its drawbacks.
DIY MTB Tip: Let’s talk about putting road tires on an MTB, can you do it? Find out 👉 Road bike tires on an MTB
What Are the Cons of Riding A Road Bike?
Road bikes don’t have less cargo capacity, are more expensive, and are harder to ride at slow speeds compared to other bikes.
- Road bikes are not as versatile as other types of bikes. They can’t be used for off-road riding and don’t have the same cargo capacity as hybrid or mountain bikes.
- Road bikes are more expensive than other bikes because they have more specialized parts and materials. (source)
- Although road bikes are easier to pedal uphill and allow bikers to reach high speeds easily, they are less stable at low speeds. So, it might not be the right choice if you’re planning on riding on uneven terrain or taking curves too quickly.
Now, let’s see if skinny bike tires are faster than the standard tire size.
Are Skinnier Tires Faster for a Bike?
Thinner tires allow your bike to roll faster over bumps in the road because they have less rubber, so they can easily compress into smaller spaces than wider tires. It means that riding over a bumpy surface will feel smoother and less bumpy with thinner tires than with wider ones.
Another reason why thinner tires affect your ride is that they provide less resistance against air pressure when inflated at a higher-pressure level than average.
It means you will get more speed out of each revolution of your wheel by using thinner tires while riding at high speeds or over longer distances.
What Are Thin Tire Bikes Good For?
Thin tire bikes are ideal for those who want something easy to carry around without sacrificing performance.
Thin tires are great because they provide traction on smooth surfaces but aren’t as heavy as regular bicycle tires. It makes them perfect for commuting or riding in areas with few bumps or potholes in the road.
Thin tire bikes are also suitable for racing because they have less air resistance and can go faster.
When you think of racing, you usually imagine a heavy, sturdy bike. But as the sport has evolved, so has the equipment. Thin tires and racing have gone together for a long time.
The thinner the tire, the faster you can go, but at the expense of stability.
Today’s racers are starting to use thinner tires, which are lightweight and fast. These bikes are more like BMX bikes than they are traditional road bikes.
These bikes are also an excellent option for younger riders who may not be as strong or physically developed as some competitors, as they are lighter and easier to maneuver.
DIY MTB: Hybrid bikes are designed for skinny tires, while still having “dirt” capability. Learn more in this article. 👉 Hybrid Bikes on Trails What You Should Know
Road bikes are a popular choice for cycling enthusiasts for many reasons. They are lightweight and fast and provide better control than other types of bikes. They are perfect for long distances or races and are often equipped with disc brakes for better stopping power in wet or slippery conditions.
However, they are not as versatile as other bikes and can’t be used for off-road riding. They are also more expensive than other bikes.
Skinny tires allow road bikes to roll faster over bumps in the road, and they are ideal for commuting or riding in areas with few bumps or potholes.
Today’s racers are starting to use thin tire bikes, which are lighter and easier to maneuver. These bikes are more like BMX bikes than they are traditional road bikes.
So, if you’re looking for a fast, lightweight bike that’s perfect for racing or long-distance riding, the skinny tire mountain bike is a great choice. But if you’re looking for a bike that can do it all, you might want to consider another type of bike. You could always add some thinner tires.
Learn more about Pedals, Handlebars and Brakes
- Handlebars on MTBs are wide, find out why – Why are MTB Handlebars so Wide?
- Should you upgrade your handlebars? Read – Are Handlebars Worth Upgrading?
- Universal pedals? Read all about it here – 9 Universal Pedals for Your MTB
- Learning how to Jump? Learn more with – How to Jump a MTB with Flat Pedals
- Keep your disc brakes clean – How to Clean Mountain Bike Disc Brakes
- Is their a difference? – Mountain Bike V-Brakes vs Disc
David Humphries is the creator of DIY Mountain Bike. For me a relaxing day involves riding my mountain bike to decompress after a long day. When not on my bike I can be found wrenching on it or making YouTube videos at 👉 DIY Mountain Bike Read more about David HERE.
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- www.citybicycleco.com. (August 24, 2018). The Ultimate Guide to Bike Handlebars. City Bicycle Co. https://www.citybicycleco.com/blogs/city-bicycle-co-garage-resources/45179589-the-ultimate-guide-to-bike-handlebars, Accessed August 18, 2022.
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- Lindsey, J., & Lindsey, J. (2022b, August 1). The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Type of Bike for You. Bicycling. https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a23067076/types-of-bikes/, Accessed August 18, 2022.
- Loveridge, M. (April 21, 2021). What is a road bike? The basics are explained. BikeRadar. https://www.bikeradar.com/features/what-is-a-road-bike/, Accessed August 18, 2022.
- Curran, D. (November 2, 2021). Why Are Road Bikes So Expensive? (Explained With Examples). Condition and Nutrition. https://conditionandnutrition.com/why-are-road-bikes-so-expensive-explained-with-examples/, Accessed August 18, 2022.