I've a full suspension mountain bike with a 26 inch knobby on the front wheel, this knobby has got these rectangular knobs poking out. My problem is that I find my bike's ride "not so smooth". I currently inflatate my front tire to 32 PSI and the rear one, with a better tread and sleeker dimension, to a 34 PSI. The knobbies are particularly buzzy and make this very unlikeable buzz, even on low speeds. Plus my bike's rear hub makes the rear wheel and freewheel wobble, plus the wheels doesn't rotate very smoothly, what should I attribute the bumpy and seemingly harsh ride to? Also, what degree of changes should I make to my inflation levels? My knobby front is new, so changing is really not an option and well, the knobby owes itself to my unknowing self a while back. What I'm looking for is a better riding experience and satisfaction. And, how urgent is the rear hub overhaul, really? I mostly ride on nice paved roads with zero dirt trail encounters (a metropolitan, no far-off excursions)


I have similar treads and vibration on my hardtail. Some solutions:

  • Reduce the pressure, but this will increase rolling resistance, thus reducing efficiency. I don't recommend this one. I would prefer to keep the vibration than to reduce my efficiency.
  • Just replace the tires to smoother ones. I recommend this one because smoother tires will not only make your ride smoother, but also increase efficiency. You should do this unless you are on a limited budget.
  • Well, the budget here is a problem and further, the pressure is low already if you noticed: 32, 34 PSI while the recommended goes up to 45. Another thing I've noticed, the buzzing kind of goes up if the pressure goes below 32 on the front one. – Dan Jul 30 '17 at 16:15
  • @Dan you can cut some/all knobs with a wire cutter, but you might damage the tire in the process. If you decide to do this cut the middle knobs and keep the side ones because they can help in sharp turns. – Tooniis Jul 30 '17 at 17:32

On the road knobby will buzz. If you want less buzz then less knob. You need to get the hub serviced and wheel trued. Why did you buy a knobby if you mostly ride on roads?

  • Well, I was an amateur in matters of tires then, let's just say that. – Dan Jul 30 '17 at 17:00
  • Buck it up and save your knobs for the dirt. You will burn through them on the street. – paparazzo Jul 30 '17 at 17:20
  • I mentioned I get no time for the dirt, a rather scary metropolitan with no dirt around? – Dan Jul 30 '17 at 17:22
  • 2
    So you are never going to ride your full suspension mountain bike in the dirt? Got to ask why did you get a full suspension mountain bike? – paparazzo Jul 30 '17 at 17:25
  • A gift, actually and then my miserly housemates never bothered to let me get more. Tho I do have a hardtrail with even noisier Kenda knobbies. A hardtrail, yep! And that wasn't me either. – Dan Jul 30 '17 at 17:27

Increasing pressure a few PSI may help or it may be worse - you'll need to experiment yourself on this.

You can try wearing your knobs off by riding, but this will leave you with relatively thin carcass and more vulnerable to punctures. And it'll buzz until worn smooth.

I've never tried this, but I have seen someone's effort to make slicks.


From instructables site

However this will drastically reduce your tyre life, and one slip with a grinder will leave you needing a new tyre anyway. Plus it makes a huge mess.

Also, the rubber inside the tyre is softer than the rubber on the surface, so it will wear quicker.

  • 1
    A brand new commuter tyre is $13 USD retail price. Just buy two (and you probably need thinner tubes to go inside them as well) wiggle.com/lifeline-essential-commuter-26-tire – Criggie Jul 30 '17 at 20:16
  • 1
    You see, Criggie, I don't reside in the States. Thanks for the suggestion :)). My problem does seem to have to do with the front tire plus the rear hub plus the pressure. I'll just be patient with tire now, though, and will get the hub overhauled soon enough. – Dan Jul 31 '17 at 14:48
  • 1
    @dan Neither do I. There are a bunch of on-line shops that will freight stuff worldwide, and if you exceed a minimum (about 50 pounds or 80 euros) then freight is free. Wiggle is based in the UK, Chain Reaction is based in Ireland. Freight to New Zealand takes 2-3 weeks. Or try your Local Bike Shop - you get the parts immediately, and generally they're not much more expensive – Criggie Jul 31 '17 at 19:56
  • @dan Another option is to look for a donor bike, and swipe all the useful parts. Downside there is tyres are consumables and may be no better than yours. – Criggie Jul 31 '17 at 19:57
  • Thanks for the help @Criggie. I'll get some supplies at once to save the fright then. :) Um yeah and I've got some pretty awfully kept bikes but, again, they're hardtrails and the one that's not happens to be fully worn out, so yeah you're right there. My region isn't very bike infested and the local shops here are terrible, so yeah I'm gonna get some nice slicks once my pockets can take it. – Dan Aug 2 '17 at 14:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.