Find, Compare and Review MTB Tyres for your Rides
That means checking brake and fork gaps. Even if you've got clearance a muddy trail can cause problems if there is a narrow gap between the tyre and parts of the bike.
However, when you consider that a very competitive mountain biker might have several thousand pounds worth of bike, it makes sense to perhaps test a few tyres on your bike, even if that results in scrapping a few or just using them for leisure.
This is particularly important when you consider that the individual bike, the rider and the riding style have an effect on the tyre performance.
Once you're down to a shortlist the final selection may just be a matter of personal feel, particularly with how much confidence the tyres give you under braking and cornering.
If you are going to see a variety of terrains on a single event, then you're stuck with a single tyre choice so above all look for all-round performance often indicated by the "all mountain" label.
Be careful to look in reviews for any weaknesses on particular surfaces, particularly skidding on tree roots (most tyres struggle but some are much worse than others) and puncture resistance against rocks.
On the other hand, if you know your surface and its condition (dry, hard-packed, tree-rooty etc), then selection is much easier, as the manufacturers categorise their tyres quite well.
Just bear in mind that if you have got used to choosing tyres for the variable UK weather and you're planning an overseas MTB trek, you could well find yourself cycling in consistent conditions e.g. dry and dusty.
So you could be safe choosing a specific tyre for those conditions and you won't be wasting your money.