In simplest terms, a mountain board is very much like a skateboard – only a mountain board can be ridden on almost every kind of terrain, which isn’t always the case with a skateboard.
That directly translates to mountain board tires being very different from skateboard tires. Let’s take a quick overview of mountain board tires and what you need to know when choosing the right kind for you.
Mountain Board Tires
One of the biggest differences between mountain board wheels and skateboard wheels is that the latter are often made out of various materials such as polyurethane and synthetic rubber, while the former are pneumatic tires.
What Are Pneumatic Tires?
Before we delve further into the different types and sizes of mountain board tires, it’s best to understand why the term “pneumatic” is important and what it means. Pneumatic tires are very much like the tires you have on your channel truck or your car. These are tires designed to be used outdoors on rough terrain, meaning that they are a bit more rugged and tough on the road.
There are two main types of pneumatic tires:
- Solid pneumatic tires: These are made of rubber and tend to be more puncture-proof. These types of tires are ideal for people who intend to go mountain boarding in areas with road hazards such as nails, sharp rocks, and other sharp objects that may easily puncture their mountain board tires. They are also ideal over rough terrain.
- Air pneumatic tires: These require air to fill up the tube and make the tires firm. The main advantage of these types of tires is that you can customize their level of firmness by letting more air out or in to give you a better riding experience.
Mountain board tires are pneumatic tires because they need the capability to absorb the unevenness of the terrain. Since you will probably be riding your mountain board on a rough road, the side of a hill, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of without worrying about the terrain, these types of tires provide you with a smoother and less bumpy ride every time.
Furthermore, pneumatic tires tend to have a thicker tread, which gives them extra traction, allowing you to easily ride over uneven and loose surfaces. It is also important to keep in mind that higher tire pressure reduces rolling resistance, so you will go faster but it may be a bumpy ride on the road or over rougher terrain.
Mountain Board Wheel Sizes
Another massive difference between mountain board tires and skateboard wheels is that mountain board tires tend to be much bigger in size. You will find mountain board wheel sizes ranging between 8 and 13-inches.
8″ Mountain Board Wheels
These size wheels are the ideal type for most riders. They are the easiest to learn and the best option when it comes to achieving the right kind of balance, carving capability, and speed. In many cases, you will find that beginners and even experienced riders use this wheel.
9″ to 10″ Mountain Board Tires
Most people get into mountain boarding because they like the freedom that comes with using a mountain board instead of a skateboard. On a mountain board, you can ride anywhere and on any kind of terrain, including the side of a hill.
You will probably need mountain board wheels in the 9″ to 10″ range if that interests you. These mountain board wheel sizes are ideal for rough riding and speeding down hillsides.
As a rule of thumb in mountain boarding, the bigger the tire size, the more stability and speed you will achieve.
Note: Mountain board wheels don’t work quite like skateboard wheels for high speed. In skateboarding, the harder the wheels, the more speed you will achieve on tarmacked tracks. When mountain boarding, on the other hand, the durometer doesn’t come into play since these tires are often inflatable.
Therefore, if you want to achieve more speed, all you have to do is increase the pressure within the tire, and if you want to go at a much slower speed, reduce the air pressure within the tires. Also, mountain boards come with a braking system that slows them down as needed.
Mountain Board Tire Types
Since mountain boarding became popular, more manufacturers have entered the industry and brought many innovations. One of these innovations has come in the form of available mountain board wheel choices and tire specifications.
The options are seemingly endless, with tires getting branded with memorable names like “MBS Roadie Tire.”
Every single tire type has a specific use. For example, the MBS Roadie Tire mentioned above is specifically designed for riders who prefer to ride on pavements and tarmacked surfaces. Other types designed for speed are the MBS T1 Tire or the MBS T2 Tire. Other MBS mountainboard types are designed for extra rugged terrain.
As far as the specifications are concerned, there’s one major aspect you need to consider when choosing the type of mountain board wheels you want for your mountain board: tire thickness.
Tire thickness varies from tire to tire, with the most common type being either 2 or 4 ply.
- Two-ply mountain board tires: These are much lighter wheels and tend to be a bit more susceptible to punctures than their 4 ply counterparts.
- Four-ply mountain board tires: These are thicker, tougher, and less susceptible to punctures, but they are also heavier.
You also get to choose the type of thread pattern that works for you. In most cases, the thread pattern you choose should be determined by the type of riding you intend to do.
There are street slicks designed for mountainboarding on paved tracks, and there are deep treads designed to give you maximum grip. You will also find that many mountain board wheels have split center beads that channel water away as you ride.
Finally, the width and diameter of your mountain board tires will also vary. These two factors have a big role to play in terms of stability and the overall comfort of your ride, even over rough terrain.
The best way to choose the best mountain board wheels is to start by determining what kind of riding you intend to do and go from there. One huge advantage is that mountain board wheels are interchangeable – as long as they are compatible with your braking system.
Additionally, when mountainboarding over rougher terrain, be sure to wear all the right protective gear, including a good fitting helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.