People love offroading because of the adventure and challenge it brings. It doesn't take long to realize that the upkeep of the vehicle can be the biggest challenge. Along with paying for it. That's an adventure.
At some point, it's going to need tires. Or maybe it's time for an upgrade. If it's not performing as it should, the tires might be at fault.
Before buying new tires, it's important to be realistic about where most driving will take place. Unless the office is on top of a mountain or deep in a canyon, the daily commuter will need drastically different tires than one that barely sees pavement. Another factor is whether the ground is usually muddy, snowy, sandy, or rocky. Determining what the tires need to do goes a long way in figuring out what to buy
The Bigger The Better...Right?
Not necessarily. Taller tires mean greater clearance and avoiding damage to the underside, but it gets more expensive, too. Check the manufacturer's suggestion for maximum size, and if going larger, expect modifications.
Lifting a vehicle more than a few inches usually means adjusting the gear ratio and replacing the driveshaft, steering, and other things. Fuel efficiency drops and larger tires don't perform as well on the road. Gauge how much height is needed (or wanted) and expect some trade-offs.
Remember the "be realistic" discussion? This is where the importance of that stands out. Clear expectations will help decide which of the five types of tires to choose. It's probably safe to assume that street tires are out. Those have no benefit off-road. That leaves the following options:
- All-terrain: Offers a quiet ride and solid performance on pavement, but greater traction on ice and smooth surfaces because of the siping and larger voids
- Extreme all-terrain: Similar to the all-terrain but with better traction and aggressive side lugs
- Mud-terrain: Less ideal on the pavement and lower tread life, but larger lugs and voids mean greater grip on rough terrain and easier to clean with a spin
- Rockcrawler: With puncture-resistant sidewalls, huge lugs and voids, and soft rubber, these tires are made to hug rocks
Size Vs. Tread
In the end, there are many things to consider when buying tires for off-roading. Tire composition and construction are other factors to consider. Please contact us if you have questions or to check out our tire selection.