A compromise was found and I settled for the Schwalbe Land Cruiser. That's a tough, puncture-resistant and versatile mixed surface tire. The tires have a central pattern for tarmac but also serrated side knobs for dirt roads (and hence also snow). With 15€ per tire they are quite cheap too. For more information have a look at the Schwalbe homepage.
To explain the title of this post I must admit that at first I had some trouble when mounting the tires. Well, usually the direction of wheel travel is pretty obvious from the tire pattern itself but this time I was really confused because there were two direction arrows written on the tire sidewalls, pointing in opposite directions:
What was that supposed to mean? Should the
Well, according to the explanation on the Schwalbe homepage the front and rear wheel should really be treated differently for mountain bikes. Curious as I am, I tried to find out why that makes sense. Apparently, directing the tires this way leads to better braking characteristics on muddy surfaces. I don't know if it actually makes a difference, but I'm ready to give it a go.
What kind of tires do you ride? Does anybody out there know more about the sense of differently directed front and rear tires?