Choosing the Right Tires for Bikepacking

Bikepacking is a great way to explore and adventure on two wheels, but it requires careful consideration of equipment. Among the most important pieces of gear is the tires that are going to carry you across a variety of terrain. Below are some factors to consider when selecting tires for bikepacking.


Bikepacking can take you on a variety of terrains, from gravel roads to singletrack trails, and everything in between. It is important to consider the conditions you will be riding in the most, and choose a tire that will perform well on that terrain. For example, if you will be riding on gravel roads and hard-packed dirt, a tire with low rolling resistance and good puncture protection would be ideal.

Tire Width

The width of your tire can make a big difference in how your bike handles on different terrain. Wider tires provide more stability and control on rough terrain, while narrower tires are more efficient on smoother surfaces. Generally, tire widths for bikepacking fall between 35mm to 50mm.

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern of your tire can greatly affect its performance. Knobby tires with larger and deeper knobs are ideal for loose terrain such as gravel or dirt, while smooth tires are best for paved roads. If you will be riding on mixed terrain, it is best to choose a tire with a versatile tread pattern that can handle a variety of surfaces.

Puncture Protection

One significant downside to bikepacking is the potential for punctures. When selecting tires for bikepacking, it is important to consider their level of puncture protection. Look for tires with reinforced sidewalls and puncture-resistant casings to help avoid unwanted flats.

Tubeless or Tubed

Tubeless tires are becoming more popular for bikepacking due to their resistance to punctures and their ability to run at lower pressure for increased traction. However, they require a tubeless-compatible rim and tire sealant. If you prefer to stay with traditional tubes, make sure your tires are compatible with your tubes and carry spares.


Bikepacking requires carrying gear and equipment, so the weight of your tires may seem insignificant. However, heavy tires can significantly impact your bike's speed and maneuverability, so it is important to choose tires that are lightweight and suited for your needs.


When choosing tires for bikepacking, consider the type of terrain you will be riding on, the tire width, tread pattern, puncture protection, tubeless or tubed, and weight. Selecting the right tires can make a huge difference in your overall ride experience and enjoyment on the trails.

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