Mountainbikes were preceded by cyclocross bikes, which were, and still are, raced in the winter, often in snowy, usually muddy woods. In Holland, “stepcross” racers use Kickbike Cross Country bikes, Footbike Trail Models and sometimes, in the spirit of cyclocross, regular footbikes with knobby tires.
In that same spirit, I bought a Panaracer cyclocross clincher and a knobby BMX tire for my Footbike Street Model, and took it to the local woods. W00t! The footboard’s higher setting came in handy on some of the rougher patches, the tires did yeoman work and I got a great workout.
It was easy to pick the bike up, too, with a hand on the handlebars and one on the frame, for leaping logs and the like; certainly easier than dismounting and mounting a cyclocross bike!
Just riding a footbike in the woods doesn’t really require huge knobby tires, as both wheels are passive, but they do help braking and preventing sideslippage on hills, and there is the form of the thing..4