The brands on this list of best MTB tire manufacturers are represented in World Cup MTB racing in some form. Either in Cross Country, Enduro or Downhill depending on which tires they offer.

All of them focus on XC and Trail / Enduro tires, and some on Downhill and even more niche bikes like Fatbike tires.

Out of all of them, Maxxis tires are by far the most popular brand for mountain bikers.

image 17
MTB tire brand user poll. // Source: VitalMTB Trends

Most popular tires are available at Jenson, Competitive Cyclist, Backcountry, Rose and Amazon.

I’ve been using many different tires, casings and brands over my years of MTB riding. If my tire choice was ever wrong, it was usually my fault. No catastrophic tire failures or construction errors I’ve ever experienced. Tire wear issues also seem to have been fixed with current MTB tire compounds.

And I have been having the traditional bike-park-gondola-chat with many riders on all kinds of interesting bikes and components to find out their experience.

maxxis logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Dirtjump / Kids / Fatbike

Maxxis is arguably the biggest player in the MTB tire market, known for versatility and reliability. Almost too much versatility with such a huge range of tires for all disciplines.

Their most popular gravity models, the Minion DHF and Assegai, stand out for their exceptional grip and control in most conditions.

Maxxis is also one of the few using triple compounds (3C) in their top-range tires.

  • XC: Ardent and High Roller II
  • Enduro / Trail: Assegai & Dissector
  • Downhill: Minion DHF and Assegai

schwalbe logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Dirtjump / Kids / Fatbike

Schwalbe is also known for the wide variety of reliable MTB tires in treads, casings and EVO compounds. Many of the top World Cup teams are on Schwalbe tires as well.

The Magic Mary is a personal and a general favorite among riders, loved for its superb all-round capabilities.

The Racing Ralph, on the other hand, is a go-to for speed and efficiency, especially in cross-country racing.

  • XC: Racing Ralph & Racing Ray
  • Enduro / Trail: Nobby Nic & Hans Dampf (rear)
  • Downhill: Magic Mary

continental logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill

Continental is a big name in automotive tires with a smaller bike tire range. In recent years a couple of new models helped Conti rise to the top three MTB tire brands with many World Cup winning teams running Continentals.

  • XC: Race King
  • Enduro / Trail: Trail King
  • Downhill: Kryptotal

Specialized logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Kids

More known for high-end bikes, Specialized is all about fine-tuned components. Their tire line-up is relatively small but got everything you need.

Their Butcher tire is a hit for its aggressive tread design, offering great overall grip. The Ground Control model is another standout for XC.

  • XC: Fast Trak
  • Enduro / Trail: Purgatory
  • Downhill: Butcher

onza logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill

Onza may not be as big as others, but it’s known for quality and reliability. Their gravity tire Aquila, Aaron Gwin’s signature tire, won multiple World Cup DH races.

While I can’t recommend the Porcupine from personal experience, this full white tire is certainly up there in terms of style.

  • XC: Canis
  • Enduro / Trail: Ibex
  • Downhill: Aquila

michelin logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Dirtjump

Michelin is a powerhouse in the tire world, and their mountain bike tires are no exception. They’re known for impressive grip and durability – and a higher price tag.

Their Gum-X and Magi-X rubber compounds provide a great balance of grip, rolling resistance, and wear, making them ideal for a wide range of conditions.

  • XC: Force XC2
  • Enduro / Trail: Wild Enduro & Wild AM
  • Downhill: DH34

pirelli logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill

Pirelli might be more famous for their car tires, but they are newer to the MTB scene compared to some other brands. But Pirellis quickly became known as high-performance MTB tires.

Their Scorpion MTB series offers tire models for specifics terrains and conditions – using simple enough naming more brands could implement (see below).

What’s really interesting about Pirelli is their SmartGRIP Compound. This technology is designed to maintain consistent performance in both wet and dry conditions, which is a big plus for predictable grip.

  • XC: Scorpion XC
  • Enduro / Trail: Scorpion Trail & Enduro
  • Downhill: Scorpion Race DH

kenda logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Dirtjump / Kids / Fatbike

Kenda’s main selling point is affordability and selection. The taiwaneese brand offers any type of bike tire you can imagine.

The most popular tires were developed with World Cup riders’ help.

  • XC: Booster
  • Enduro / Trail: Hellkat
  • Downhill: Pinner



Cross Country / Trail

Trek’s brand Bontrager is known for high-quality and research-driven designs. And a naming scheme for their MTB tires taht only makes sense if you know how to descipher:

  • the higher the number, the more agressive the tread.
  • XR = XC, SE = Enduro

They got everything covered you’d expect from a modern tire: grippy durable compounds and puncture protection casings.

  • XC: XR4
  • Enduro / Trail: SE4

WTB logo


Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Fatbike

WTB stands out for its performance but they’re not the cheapest around. The American brand has a 40+ year history in making bike components.

The Vigilante is a popular model, known for its aggressive tread and versatility in loose conditions. The Trail Boss is another fan favorite, offering great traction and control.

The WTB Verdict is a great front tire for dusty or muddy conditions.

  • XC: Nine Line
  • Enduro / Trail: Trail Boss
  • Downhill: Verdict

vittoria logo vector


Cross Country / Trail

Italian brand Vittoria builds their MTB tires a little differently: unique graphene-enhanced compounds and the only 4C quadruple compound tires in biking.

They’re very prominent in the Cross Country scene but also have some capavle Enduro tires on offer.

  • XC: Barzo & Mezcal
  • Enduro / Trail: Mezza

Vee Tire Co logo

Vee Tire Co

Cross Country / Trail / Downhill / Kids / Fatbikes

Vee Tire Co might be a lesser-known, new brand from the UK. But VTC is quickly gaining attention from the community after a couple of World Cup DH podiums.

It’s a solid choice for riders looking for performance without breaking the bank.

  • XC: Mission
  • Enduro / Trail: Crown Gem
  • Downhill: Attack

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