Road tires on a mountain bike?

Posted by: ZachBilous

Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/10/14 07:51 PM

So I will be doing bike tours, including the camping aspect. Mainly, I will be riding on highways, roads, and occasionally light/ medium trails. I have bought a mountain bike because I can't afford a touring bike. My question is: Considering I will be cycling on pavement, for a majority of the time, should I put road tires on my mountain bike? If yes, do you have suggestions as to what specific kinds are good options? I have a Haro V1 bike, front suspension, v-brakes.

I greatly appreciate your time and opinions!
Posted by: ETSU Pride

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/11/14 08:54 AM

If you're going hit some trails, then NO! Skinny road tires will be really difficult. Not to mention factoring in skinny tires, with the equipments you'll need, etc., yeah, I can't see that working out.

You'll need cyclocross tires, I believe.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/14/14 11:05 AM

Actually, they sell road tires for mountain bikes. They are not as skinny as road bike tires, but they are much smoother than MTB tires...and thus work much better on pavement.

But I can't help thinking that you'd be better off with a hybrid bike--MTB frame and architecture, and road bike tires and wheels. Just about every bike company makes one.
Posted by: ETSU Pride

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/14/14 02:13 PM

Are you sure we aren't thinking of the same tire? I had no idea they did. I only noticed skinny road tires, mountain bike tires, and cyclocross was cross between the two, so I thought?
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/15/14 10:46 AM

The tires they sell for MTB use on regular roads are called "slicks." The have virtually no tread, so friction resistance on the road is minimal
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 03/25/14 09:54 AM

I don't have as much experience as many here with this topic, but I would recommend against front suspension. The only time I like my front suspension is when I am on a really rough trail. But it is less efficient on a road, or sidewalk or any other hard surface.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 04/19/14 09:32 PM

I took a Stumpjumper to NZ back in the 80's, before the days of suspensions. I took off the mountain bars and put on touring bars with bar end shifters. I put Blackburn racks on it front and back (side racks and a back rack), four panniers and a handlebar bag. I changed the gearing, but you may not need to do that.

For tires, I think I had 1.75 MTB tires, which were a lot smaller than a 2.25 or whatever the standard size MTB tire is. Worked fine. I wouldn't put on anything smaller or with less tread. A fully loaded touring rig is hard enough to control and I wouldn't want to try it on slick tires. Slicks and rain are a bad combo. I've gone down on my road bike on slicks and if there is any sand on the road (like on paths along the beach), same problem.

You may be able to lock the front forks, but I wouldn't worry about it if you can't. If you have front racks, those should take up some of the spring in the shocks. You may want to change the saddle too. I now have a Serfas split saddle on my MTB, which is quite comfortable. You may want fenders. I didn't have them, so when it rained, I just got a bit wetter, not that big a deal since I was cold and wet anyway.

I would take spares and tools. I took spare tubes, a folding tire, spare cables and a tool kit. Never needed them, as I recall, other than for minor adjustments. Some tours carry your stuff for you and have spares and tools. I was alone, so I was totally self contained.
Posted by: tonkota

Re: Road tires on a mountain bike? - 05/20/14 05:41 PM

I ride my Trek 930 (fully rigid) on some Kenda Kwest tires down a lot of dirt trails with sharp basalt. They have been great. I think you'd be good to go with a Michelin Country rock tire for touring or perhaps some Maxxis Holy Rollers or Kenda Slant six?