Best tyres for CX

AT the moment I have Mitas Xfield 33s but in my grade we are allowed to run 35s. I got the Panaracer Gravelking SK 35 but now I’m wondering if they won’t be suitable for CX. Lots of good reviews for them but the knobs are quite small. What have other CX racers had good results with. By the way, here in Australia most of our CX races are quite dry so I don’t need mud tyres.

Vittoria terreno dry is awesome for dry conditions here in Florida. Also the wtb raddlers worked pretty well for me.
I personally find that Vittoria tires last longer than other brands. I’m sure someone could prove me other wise but check those two out!


clement/donnely MXP or similar treads(challenge grifo etc) are great and popular for a reason. Even if conditions are dry you’ll probably be faster with a more aggressive tire that doesn’t slip out or spin if you can’t keep traction. Tubeless is a must so find some that work well with your wheels, or tubular.


The best tyres really, really depend on the conditions. The easiest way to find out is, at your next race, have a look what the fast riders are using. It’s very hard to say over the internet.

Tyres are the biggest topic in cross, so it’s very unlikely anyone will be offended by you asking them.


Do not look at what the fast riders are using. The pro’s will often choose less grip for a trade of in lower rolling resistance, which for amateurs might be the wrong choice. Because the more gippier tire might be faster overall because it gives more confidence and less slip ups.

I personally always use a very aggressive (mud) tread profile in the front and an all round tread profile in the rear. This for me is a good trade off between grip (confidence) and rolling resistance. If i had multiple wheelsets, i would get some more options, but as I’m running the same wheels and tires all year long, and don’t care to change them depending on conditions, this is what I use. YMMV

So for example
Schwalbe X One Bite front
Schwalbe X One Allround front

Vittoria Terreno Wet front
Vittoria Terrena Mix rear

Dugast Rhino Front
Dugast Typhoon front

+1 for tubeless. And if its allowed, go wider


Ive loved the Donelly PDX, but havent tried the mxp. I feel like the wider spacing of the lugs, as compared with the mxp, allow the lugs to better dig into grass. Where we ride, in the south, the big challenge for the tires is to hold a curve without washing out on wet grass/mud. Another note, I also liked the shape of Donelly tires compared with the Scwalbe’s I had a few years ago. The Donelly’s were rounder and I could more easily roll the bike over to grab with the side knobs rather than just turning the bars. YMMV.

That being said, Ive got a set of the maxxis All Tarrane’s that came on a recent purchase, and Im going to give those a try this fall.

Also, get one of those digital tire guages and really dial in the lowest pressure you can without ripping the tire off the tubeless rim.

1 Like

The Pdx is my mud tire of choice and currently have a set of tubs mounted. It’s weakness is the center tread row is too narrow and squirmy so it breaks loose too easily with moderate traction conditions. A common setup here in the pnw where the Pdx was born is a pdx front with an mxp rear. The wider paddle like tread grips grass and sand better to power through terrain

1 Like

As someone stated above - it’s all about conditions. Here in CO I run Challenge Grifo up front and Challenge Chicane rear or something more ‘grippy’ when we get a wet/mud course - which is super rare. This year I’m going to throw some inserts in with this setup. I have cushchore on my enduro bike and it has been so amazing.

Let me throw one more thing in… I just recently got a digital tire guage. I discovered that the guage on my floor pump was pretty accurate in the “road range” of 55-75, but that it was reading way high in the mtb/cx/gravel range. In other words, I was running everything very soft! That being said, the right tire for the right conditions is a must, but running the right tire at the right pressure is also really important!

I won my first ever cx race on SKs. They really aren’t that different from a file tread CX tire. Jsut run low enough pressure that the tread flattens out in corners and you’ll be fine. I actually think the SKs make a purrfect rear tire for dry conditions.

1 Like

I love Donnelly MXPs. They are a good all conditions tire.

I previously ran Donnelly PDXs, Bontrager CX3s, and I think a Vittoria before that.

I found that the MXPs excelled in a wider range of conditions. I have friends that swear by PDXs in all conditions but I found the only thing that PDXs are good for is shedding mud. The MXPs had greater grip in corners and less rolling resistance in a straight line.


If there was one tire to rule them all (in NE) it would be the mud tread. I like PDX or BOS, the clemente now donnelly brand mud tread line. Obv, certain tread is better in different conditions, but if I had to choose just one to run all season, I would go with mud tread.