LAST UPDATED: February 02, 2021

The Best Hybrid Bike Tires (Review and Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice Continental Contact Plus Continental Contact Plus
Best Value Schwinn Hybrid Bike Tire Schwinn Hybrid Bike Tire
Premium Pick Schwalbe Marathon PlusTour HS Schwalbe Marathon PlusTour HS

Hybrid bikes may be the bikes of the future. They take advantage of a variety of features, but the most important feature and the very heart and soul of the hybrid design is the tires. Hybrid bike tires are the main factor in determining a bike’s ability to roll smoothly and safely over paved paths and rutted roads alike. The right tires complete any hybrid bike, but hybrid tires have the added advantage of transforming a number of bicycles into a hybrid platform that is capable of conquering the most common terrain in North America, from asphalt to dirt and concrete to gravel. So, rather than purchasing a new bike, save some money and skip the hassle of donating or selling your old bike. Pick up a set of hybrid tires, and you’ll be set to handle almost anything.

The Best Hybrid Bike Tires

Despite impressive competition, our pick for the best all-around hybrid bike tire is the Continental Contact Plus, perfect for most bikers. This one is available as a 27.5 x 1.6-inch tire, although other sizes are available as well. This tire is perfect for hybrid biking use with its narrow profile and directional, all-terrain tread, and despite its non-continuous centerline, it boasts a low rolling resistance that does little to slow riders down. The wire bead and Extra PunctureBelt provide strength and durability for added confidence, and the reflective sidewalls promote safety on the road. This tire is e-bike rated for city and trekking use at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. The Continental Contact Plus is an ideal choice for commuting and urban adventures.

However, this heavy tire is difficult to install, and its tubeless-ready features are incompatible with some tubeless rims.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 27.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Directional, all-terrain tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
Specification
  • Brand Continental
  • Model B0778D9365
  • Weight 2.25 pounds
PROS

Low rolling resistance

Reflective sidewalls

Extra PunctureBelt

E-bike rated for city and trekking use (30 miles per hour max speed)

CONS

Heavy

Difficult to install

Tubeless capability incompatible with some tubeless rims

If you’re looking for a hybrid bike tire to get the job done without spending too much, then the Schwinn Hybrid Bike Tire may just be the perfect solution. This 26-inch by 2.0-inch tire was made with both casual and semi-casual riders in mind. The directional tread features an all-terrain pattern that can handle pavement, gravel, and more without breaking a sweat. The non-continuous centerline provides a solid balance between reliable on-road traction and a smooth ride with low rolling resistance. This tire includes widely-spaced lugs along the outside edges to improve traction and cornering ability on loose surfaces, such as gravel bike paths, and the soft, foldable bead and minimal tire structure allow riders to pack the affordable Schwinn Hybrid Bike Tire virtually anywhere.

The biggest drawbacks to this tire are its high weight and lack of sidewall structure which can complicate installation.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 26 x 2.0 inches
  • Directional all-terrain tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Soft, foldable bead
Specification
  • Brand Schwinn
  • Model B08MK5HF3W
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Affordable

Low rolling resistance

Wide lug spacing for better traction and cornering

CONS

Heavy

Not structured

Not the easiest to install

For serious commuters and other bikers needing a solid hybrid tire, the Schwalbe Marathon PlusTour HS proves to be quite an impressive solution for long-term use. Like its Schwalbe brethren, this 700 x 40C tire is built to last even with rough use. The directional tread features an aggressive, all-terrain pattern that successfully balances comfort with performance. Despite a non-continuous centerline, it features a comfortable, cushioned ride with low rolling resistance and the ability to grab hold of virtually any terrain feature commonly found in urban or suburban settings. The wire bead provides strength and added structure, while the puncture-resistant belt keeps things rolling smoothly. The Schwalbe Marathon PlusTour HS also includes reflective whitewalls and an e-bike rating for city and trekking use.

Sadly, this tire is expensive, and on wet pavement traction can be somewhat limited.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 700 x 40C
  • Directional, all-terrain tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
Specification
  • Brand Schwalbe
  • Model B07C276HZY
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Comfortable cushioned ride

Low rolling resistance

Reflective whitewalls

Puncture-resistant belt

E-bike rated for city and trekking use

CONS

Limited traction on wet pavement

Expensive

The Serfas Drifter City CTR is a hybrid bike tire unlike any other tire on the market, hybrid or otherwise. This tire comes in a 26 by 1.5-inch configuration with other sizes also available, and it features an unusual inverted tread pattern designed to tackle both smooth pavement and rough trails with ease. Unlike its knobby counterparts, this tire grabs the ground using grooves and insets to promote traction without sacrificing ride or rolling resistance, and the tire’s continuous centerline further promotes on-road performance. This lightweight tire employs a wire bead and Serfas’s Flat Protection System to enhance durability, and the company’s Dual Density Technology maximizes performance with its hard and soft rubber compounds. The Serfas Drifter City CTR also stands out for its ease of installation.

The only knock against this tire is its less-than-stellar cornering abilities at speed, but that’s somewhat forgivable for hybrid tires.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 26 x 1.5 inches
  • All-terrain tread
  • Continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
  • Inverted tread pattern
Specification
  • Brand Serfas
  • Model CTR-tire
  • Weight 1.15 pounds
PROS

Lightweight

Low rolling resistance

Dual Density Technology maximizes performance

Flat Protection System

Easy to install

CONS

Not the best at cornering while at speed

Schwalbe is known for producing high-quality bike tires, and the Schwalbe Marathon HS provides riders with a relatively well-priced option for those who want an upgrade in the rubber department. This 700 x 35C tire features an all-terrain, directional tread pattern that shines on the road while also performing reliably off it too. It comes in additional sizes as well, but all versions boast a continuous centerline which provides a smooth ride and low rolling resistance for maximum efficiency. GreenGuard puncture protection and the wire bead team up to provide riders with a reliable tire that can withstand impressive amounts of punishment. With its reflective whitewalls and solid traction on most dry surfaces, the easy-to-install Schwalbe Marathon HS was made for city life.

While well-priced for Schwalbe, this heavy tire is still expensive. Also, like its upscale big brother, it can struggle to get a solid grip on wet pavement.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 700 x 35C
  • Directional, all-terrain tread
  • Continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
Specification
  • Brand Schwalbe
  • Model B004YIC0YI
  • Weight 2.40 pounds
PROS

Low rolling resistance

GreenGuard puncture protection

Reflective whitewalls

Good traction on most dry surfaces

Easy to install

CONS

Heavy

Limited traction on pavement, especially when wet

Expensive

Not every hybrid bike was destined to concentrate on smoother surfaces. No, the Panaracer Gravel King SK was intended for taking the road less traveled. This 700 x 35C tire loves the loose gritty surfaces known to less urban settings. Also available in other sizes, this tire boasts a dedicated gravel tread, perfect for shredding the loose surfaces of rougher neighborhood trails and old-school bike paths. Still, despite its decidedly non-continuous centerline, this tire behaves well on smooth surfaces with a very low rolling resistance for a gravel tire. The upgraded Kevlar bead provides impressive durability, yet it also allows the tire to be folded and stored in a variety of convenient locations. The Panaracer Gravel King SK is also quite easy to install.

Unfortunately, this tire is a bit pricey, and it lacks an integrated puncture-resistant component, making it a little more prone to flats.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 700 x 35C
  • Gravel tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Kevlar bead
Specification
  • Brand Panaracer
  • Model B07QTVKR5M
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Very low rolling resistance

Foldable

Easy to install

CONS

No integrated puncture resistance

Expensive

Despite its name, the Goodyear Folding Bead Mountain Bike Tire is an excellent option for converting a dedicated mountain bike into a well-behaved hybrid. This 27.5-inch tire fits rims ranging between 2.0 and 2.125 inches wide, making it incredibly easy to transform a mountain bike without spending on new rims. The directional gravel tread is ideal for bikes destined more for loose paths rather than city commuting, although its rolling resistance leaves only a little to be desired, ensuring comfortable use on roads and sidewalks despite its non-continuous centerline. Commuters and casual riders with lots of dirt and gravel paths on the menu will also appreciate the soft, foldable bead, ensuring they have a spare Goodyear Folding Bead Mountain Bike Tire available anytime, anywhere.

Of course, no tire is perfect, and this one’s lack of sidewall structure can make installation somewhat annoying.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 27.5 x 2/2.125 inches
  • Directional gravel tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Soft, foldable bead
Specification
  • Brand Goodyear
  • Model 91066
  • Weight 1.60 pounds
PROS

Decent rolling resistance

Fits multiple 27-inch wheel sizes (2.00 to 2.125 inches)

Foldable

CONS

Not structured

Somewhat difficult to install

Need a trekking tire better suited to rocking gravel than pounding the pavement? Check out the Bell Gravel Hybrid Bike Tire, and save some cash in the process. This 700 x 40C tire covers all the basics for both on-road and off-road adventures. The dedicated gravel tread ensures good grip on loose surfaces, yet even with the non-continuous centerline, this tire still behaves well on smoother surfaces thanks in good part to its small, low-profile traction lugs. This tire provides a smooth, comfortable ride on numerous surfaces, further justifying its place on this list. The wire bead enhances this tire’s durability over time, and Bell’s Flat Defense Technology helps reduce downtime. Of course, the Bell Gravel Hybrid Bike Tire also earns plenty of kudos for its affordable price tag.

The only real knock against this tire is its high weight.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 700 x 40C
  • Gravel tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
Specification
  • Brand Bell
  • Model B07N29FZNL
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Affordable

Smooth ride

Good traction on loose surfaces

Flat Defense Technology

CONS

Heavy

Most hybrid bike tires focus on either pavement or gravel, but the Vittoria Terreno Dry G2.0 TNT manages to combine the best of both worlds with impressive results. This 27.5-inch by 1.75-inch tire uses a unique directional gravel tread to provide solid traction on a variety of surfaces and a low rolling resistance simultaneously. The non-continuous centerline consists of smooth, closely-arranged hexagons, while the edges of the tread pattern feature grippy lugs for safe, confident cornering on firm and loose surfaces. The tire’s makeup consists of a wire bead and Vittoria’s Graphene 2.0 which uses three distinct rubber compounds to provide maximum performance. The Vittoria Terreno Dry G2.0 TNT also boasts a lightweight design and construction and is available in multiple sizes.

The only issues with this tire are its high price tag and the difficulty of installation.

Key Features
  • Single tire
  • 27.5 x 1.75 inches
  • Directional gravel tread
  • Non-continuous centerline
  • Wire bead
Specification
  • Brand Vittoria
  • Model B07PQFHTDR
  • Weight 1.15 pounds
PROS

Lightweight

Low rolling resistance

Corners well

Good traction on various surfaces

Graphene 2.0 rubber compound

Tubeless-ready

CONS

Difficult to install

Expensive

Best Hybrid Bike Tires Buying Guide & FAQ

Hybrid bike tires may just be the best all-around bike tire on the market today. Not only do these tires handle a wide variety of different terrain types with ease, but they also work in plenty of different road and weather conditions.

These tires are the central component to purpose-built hybrid or trekking bikes (not to be confused with Trek brand bikes), turning what may look like a slightly tame mountain bike into a go-anywhere, do-anything bike for the masses. Of course, non-trekking frames need not be sold, donated, or put up for scrap, as hybrid bike tires can easily breathe new life into old frames. The right tires can turn any bike into a commuter bike, a trail bike, and a family-bike-ride bike and eliminate the often unnecessary option of purchasing multiple bikes for a single rider.

Why Do You Need Hybrid Bike Tires?

Hybrid bike tires come with a surprising array of benefits not available with their more specialized counterparts. Sure, road bike tires maximize speed and efficiency, but they limit the places a bike can go. Cruiser bike tires provide bikers with comfort sure to increase the enjoyment of a leisurely ride around town, but when push comes to shove, they too suffer from a lack of friendly terrain options, albeit less so than road tires. Of course, mountain bikes can go virtually anywhere, but their tires make for a rather noisy and somewhat uncomfortable ride on paved surfaces.

A bicycle tire
Hybrid bike tires are the main factor in determining this design’s ability to roll smoothly and safely over paved paths and rutted roads alike.

The hybrid tire, however, manages to combine the best of all these worlds, giving riders an ideal balance between comfortable, efficiency, and adventure. This combination of features allows riders to experience new sights and extend their riding time beyond anything they could have imagined on their previous cycles.

Arguably, the most beautiful feature of hybrid bike tires is their ability to transform almost any old, forgotten, or neglected bike into a hybrid. With the exception of most road bikes, the proper hybrid bike tire can transform virtually any bike into a perfectly balanced bike capable of doing virtually anything.

  • Get the best of all worlds.
  • Enjoy new and extended riding experiences.
  • Resurrect old bicycles.

Types of Hybrid Bike Tires

By nature, hybrids are less standardized than most of their counterparts, and as such, two main variations exist in this new world of tires, although more specialized designs also exist. Usually, riders can choose between road-centric commuter or touring tires, while more adventurous types may find enjoyment in gravel-focused hunks of rubber. Either way, options abound.

Commuter and Touring

The first category of hybrid bike tires is the commuter and touring category. These tires were designed for riders who tend to spend more of their ride time on smooth, paved surfaces with fewer adventures on loose surfaces. As such, these tires tend to emphasize on-road features more than off-road features.

These tires usually deemphasize off-road traction and focus more on minimizing their rolling resistance. To do so, they inevitably include a continuous centerline, often widening it compared to more off-road-oriented trekking tires, decrease their overall width, and minimize or eliminate lugs in favor of grooves. As such, these tires are ideal for commuters and riders interested in long-distance touring rides.

Gravel

Hybrid bike tires focused more on tackling loose gravel or packed dirt will often fall into the gravel category of trekking tires. These tires still focus on providing a smooth, comfortable ride with low rolling resistance, but by design, they will be a little less successful in this effort than commuter or touring tires.

Gravel tires usually lack a continuous centerline, although many will create a semi-continuous centerline with smooth, closely-arranged lugs or scales designed to mimic a consistent contact surface along the main contact surface. Not surprisingly, these tires also include a good number of rubber lugs, although these lugs are much smaller and have a lower profile than those found on mountain bike tires.

What to Consider When Buying Hybrid Bike Tires

By far, the most important factors to consider when buying hybrid bike tires are the type of riding you do or plan to do and the rim of your bike. If you mainly plan to take adventures down bumpy gravel trails or explore dirt trails near your house, you will likely benefit most from a tire designed for such use. However, if commuting, long-distance tours, or simple family outings make up the majority of the agenda, then something more road-friendly is likely in order.

Hybrid bikes usually fall into one of three categories: sport hybrids, cruiser hybrids, or repurposed bikes. Sport hybrids are the most versatile, allowing riders to choose virtually any tire they desire. Cruiser hybrids tend to be more city-focused and benefit most from urban-oriented tires. Repurposed bikes are the wild card but tend to fit roughly into one of the previous two categories, so choose tires accordingly.

The Most Important Features of Hybrid Bike Tires

Trekking/hybrid bike tires stand apart from other tires due to their specific combination of critical features that all other competitors lack. Of course, features such as durability and rim compatibility matter for all bike tires, but hybrids require a balance of on-road and off-road performance unheard of in all other biking categories. So, let’s explore these features.

Tread Pattern and Traction

While some designs may lean towards one side of the spectrum versus the other, a true hybrid bike tire must achieve a reasonable balance between use on both paved and unpaved surfaces. In order to perform well on smooth, hard surfaces, a good tire will provide a low rolling resistance (see “Rolling Resistance”), but to handle dirt and gravel effectively, that same tire must also include lugs or other means to reliably grip loose surfaces.

Most trekking tires will feature low-profile lugs along the outside “corners” of the tire’s road surface. These lugs will look like baby mountain bike lugs and will rest just high enough of a flat, smooth surface to ensure they do not touch the ground to eliminate friction while rolling in a straight line. Once the bike turns, banks, or engages loose, uneven ground, those lugs dig in and provide the necessary traction.

Rolling Resistance

To new and casual bike riders, the term “rolling resistance” may be a little confusing and is an almost completely new term. As one might surmise, rolling resistance is a measurement of the friction a tire experiences as it rolls along the ground. Unfortunately, this measurement lacks any formal type of expression, making it a somewhat subjective, albeit important, feature to consider.

Tires with low rolling resistance require less effort per pedal stroke to propel a bike forward, so unsurprisingly, the more friction a tire experiences, the lower its rolling resistance becomes. As such, bikers looking for minimal rolling resistance should look for bikes with a smooth centerline that skips tire lugs with friction-happy, right-angle edges and a thin profile to minimize the amount of rubber touching the ground. By their very nature, hybrid tires cannot provide the best rolling resistance on the market, although they can come reasonably close.

Close look at a bycicle tire
The most beautiful feature of hybrid bike tires is their ability to transform almost any old, forgotten, or neglected bike into a hybrid.

Best Hybrid Bike Tire FAQs:

By their very nature, hybrid bike tires and purpose-built hybrid bikes necessary engender quite a few questions. Unlike their road, mountain, and BMX cousins, neither fits nicely into known biking categories, giving rise to questions concerning intended use, performance, and a whole host of other considerations normally taken for granted within more distinct classifications.

Q: Can you ride 100 miles on a hybrid bike?

Yes, purpose-built hybrid bikes are excellent bicycles for traveling longer distances at a time.

Q: Is a hybrid bike good for trails?

Purpose-built hybrid bikes can be a good choice for mild dirt and gravel trails, particularly those with a sportbike or mountain bike-like frame.

Q: Can I put road tires on a hybrid bike?

Hybrid bike rims will not work well with traditional road racing tires; however, there are dedicated road tires that will fit on larger-width rims found on hybrid and mountain bikes.

Q: Can I put hybrid tires on a road bike?

Oftentimes, this will be a challenge as most road bikes require very thin, low-profile tires; however, with lots of patience, road bikers may find a rare road bike-compatible hybrid tire.

Q: How long do hybrid bicycle tires last?

Like other bike tires, most hybrid tires will need to be changed once every 2,000 to 3,000 miles, although some high-end tires can last quite a bit longer.

Our Top Pick

When push comes to shove, the Continental Contact Plus wins this match as the best all-around hybrid bike tire. This trekking tire effectively balances both paved and unpaved performance with a slight bias toward the urban-centric majority of hybrid bike riders. Its all-terrain tread, low friction, durability, safety features, and e-bike rating are almost impossible to beat. Plus, the reasonable price tag bestowed upon it pushes it over the top, making it the clear winner of this competition.

Final Thoughts

Overall, nothing comes close to beating the Continental Contact Plus’s combination of performance, durability, safety, and price. That said, the Schwinn Hybrid Bike Tire is a great alternative option, particularly for those looking to keep costs down while sacrificing little in terms of biking performance.

Sources:

  1. Hybrid Bicycle – Wikipedia
  2. Bicycle Tire – Wikipedia