ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Mountain Bike Tires For Muddy Conditions

Updated on April 8, 2013
CyclingFitness profile image

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist as well as being a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

You need the right mtb tires for muddy conditions

The best mtb tires for muddy conditions will provide grip and control when the going gets sloppy.
The best mtb tires for muddy conditions will provide grip and control when the going gets sloppy. | Source

A guide to choosing the best Mountain Bike tires for mud

The arrival of winter brings with it a challenge for all mountain bikers- Mud, mud,glorious mud!

When an MTBer talks about a 'dirty weekend'. It usually means that conditions have been particularly sloppy underfoot and when you're cycling through the mud ends up going everywhere! Which is why you need the best mountain bike tires for mud.

When you buy a mountain bike it will generally come equipped with a general purpose tire which will often be designed to perform mainly on hard, rocky or loosely packed trails. That tire will also have a very large volume to provide grip and comfort. These features will likely slow you down in the depths of a muddy winter so a change to a mud specific mountain bike tire for the winter months is a requirement.

Choosing a mountain bike tire for the mud

A regular, large volume mountain bike tire (such as a 2.1 inch diameter tire) will tend to float when a rider hits puddles of thick mud. Therefore when looking for winter mud tires for your mtb a 'less-is-more' attitude to tire casing size is often a requirement as narrower tires will allow you to slice through the mud and gain more traction whether you're racing after a week oof incessant rain or heading out on your favourite ride on a damp December day.

When it comes to tire tread to deal with muddy conditions you need to look for a tread which has tread knobs spaced well apart to allow the mud to clear.

The guide below showcases some fantastic MTB tires to tackle mud in recreational riding and race conditions while potentially throwing up tire choices you may never have thought of.

Lets bring on the mud!

Pick up your Michelin Country Mud's for less than $15 (A bargain tire!)

MICHELIN Country Mud Tire (Black, 26x2.0)
MICHELIN Country Mud Tire (Black, 26x2.0)
The Country Mud makes for an awesome low price mud specific MTB tire- an absolute bargain!!

Mud performance for the budget conscious mtber

If you're looking for a winter mountain biking tire on a budget the Michelin Country Mud is definitely worth consideration. Their design has been around for some time however they're a great cheap tire for winter conditions

The tread pattern features deep but well spaced tread knobs which clear relatively well. The tread is relatively multi-functional so you don't need to worry excessively on any hard pack. Although the soft compound which works great in the mud has a habit of wearing quickly in other conditions.

You can pick them up for less than $15 (usd) if you shop around which is exceptionally good value for an aggressive, mud specific tire.

Cheap and cheerful performance in the Mud- Michelin Country Mud

The tread of the Michelin Country Mud tire. A cheap and effective mountain bike tire for the mud with a narrower profile and lots of widely spaced tread knobs
The tread of the Michelin Country Mud tire. A cheap and effective mountain bike tire for the mud with a narrower profile and lots of widely spaced tread knobs | Source

Panaracer Smoke tires for mud performance

panaracer Smoke Classic Folding Bead Tire, 26 x 2.10-Inch
panaracer Smoke Classic Folding Bead Tire, 26 x 2.10-Inch
If you still want tire volume but a classic mud shedding tread- look no further than the Panaracer Smoke as your rear tire. It's a classic tire which is big on performance.

A classic mtb tire tread for mud performance

Designed primarily as a rear tire to really dig into the dirt to propel yourself forwards, the Panaracer Smoke tire is a tried and tested favourite for winter mountain biking.

The Smoke clears mud well and has an aggressive tread pattern to really dig in like a tractor tire and keep you moving. Sadly only available with a clincher bead but combine it with the front specific Dart for steering precision.

A modern classic for gooey trails- The Maxxis Medusa

If you really feel you suffer on trails which are extensively gooey with clay-like soil- You need a mud specific tire which isn't going to clog and wimp out whilst having a large volume

Consider fitting a set of Maxxis Medusa tires. The Medusa features widely spaced knobs and is available in a particularly mud slicing 1.8 inch format which many xc racers feel is ideal as a rear tire when combined with a wider front tire. The Medusa has been a particularly successful tire for British mountain bike racers who suffer with damp summers and wet winters.

The Medusa comes in a number of formats including UST friendly and various different widths so you can choose your preference.

Available from 26x 1.55 inch narrow profile up to a large volume 2.1 inch profile for those who like a fat tire.

The right tire will help you drive through winter mud
The right tire will help you drive through winter mud | Source

Houffalize World Cup- Muddy Mayhem

Retro slim profile tires that love the mud: Specialized Houffalize: Tires named after the muddiest mountain bike racing circuit

It rains a lot in Belgium which leads to lots of mud. It rains so much that it led Specialized to name a mud specific tire after the legendary Houffalize World Cup racing course.

The Specialized Houffalize appears to be no longer in production but is a classic retro mtb racing tire for wet and muddy conditions which can be picked up on sites like eBay at sensible prices. With the popularity of wide profile mtb tires the Houffalize offers a reassuringly different narrow profile tire which will prevent almost any frame clogging in the mud.

The Houffalize is a fantastic tire for those who are looking for something different as a bit of 'bling' for their bike. Old-school mtbers will take one look and give you a nod of approval at this retro tire choice.

Wildcard Tire: Consider a cyclocross racing tire for your MTB

A cyclocross specific tire for your mountain bike will help you to cut through the mud.
A cyclocross specific tire for your mountain bike will help you to cut through the mud. | Source

Consider cyclocross tires to slice through the mud on your MTB

A cyclocross tire on your MTB may seem a bit of a wild card choice. If you're really looking for a tire to cut through the mud- a set of cyclocross specific tires could be a great wild card option.

When it comes to racing in muddy conditions- no cyclesport does it better than cyclocross. The demands of a cyclocross race are determined by their racing conditions and deep into a notoriously wet Belgian winter that means courses which involve lots of mud.

A cyclocross type tire will allow you to consider entering a few cx races during the winter on your mountain bike to allow an alternative focus to your riding and fitness development.

Using significantly narrower tires will also challenge your riding abilities as large volume MTB tires absorb a huge amount of the difficulty while riding over roots and rocks . By running narrow tires you'll be challenged to follow the best lines on the trail and help improve your bike handling skills.

Schwalbe CX tires for you MTB

Schwalbe have been producing their classic CX Pro tires for a number of years. They're a simple, lightweight cyclocross racing tire that will help you to really slice through the mud.

Their 26 x 1.35 inch size will feel like you're riding a slim road tire when compared to regular MTB rubber but you'll be pleasantly surprised by their performance in soft conditions.

Thanks for reading and good look riding in the mud

Liam Hallam (CyclingFitness @Hubpages)

What's your favourite tire for the mud?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks MarleneB - we all have our own comfort zone, thanks for your comment cf

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hahahaha! I laugh because, while I can ride a bike, I take the easy route. Just give me straight roads along the sidewalk and I'm happy.

    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      7 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks MarleneB, mountain biking often involves lots of mud so thank you so much for sharing. Have you considered joining them for a ride?

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 years ago from USA

      Lots of great information here. I have friends who enjoy mountain biking as an ameteaur sport. Definitely sharing your hub with them.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)