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June 27, 2014

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Mud (and Snow and Sand and Rocks): RNR Talks Off-Road Tires

Last week, Ready for Anything asked about the differences between all-terrain and off-road (or mud-terrain tires).  All-terrains, as I explained, are a great compromise for those who want some mild to moderate off-road action but will be taking it to the streets most of the time.  They don’t pack the same kind of noise that off-road tires do on the highway, and they tend to last a long time.  There’s a huge variety to choose from based on where your tires will be spending the bulk of their time, too.  So, if you’re not heading out into the great unknown but sticking to parts a bit closer to home (or at least civilization), then all-terrain tires are probably for you.

But what if you are an adventurer set on bumping away over rocky slopes, slogging through mud holes to see what’s on the other side, or scaling some sand dunes at the beach?  What’s an adventurer to do?  Get some off-road (or mud-terrain) tires!  While all-terrain tires have deeper treads than your all-seasons and they’re multi-faceted, mud-terrain tires have aggressive tread designs and deeper lugs that extend all the way to the sidewalls (with reinforced sidewall construction).  What’s that all about, you ask?  Well, when you’re doing some extreme off-roading, you never know what you’ll run into, literally.  Say you’re rock crawling, you need durable sidewalls that won’t puncture easily, and since those sidewalls have tread, they’ll grip more surfaces and get your where you want to go.  Off-road tires are made of durable, cut and puncture resistant compounds (much more so than your all-seasons or even all-terrains), and off-road tires come in either radial or bias ply, but most people agree that they perform best in low-pressure bias ply (so the tread can conform to surfaces and really gain traction).

The downside to off-road tires?  While you can drive them on the street (and at highway speeds, if need be), the ride will be a bit rougher and a lot louder.  Why are they louder and rougher?  All of those great things that make them perfect for trekking into the wilderness, like tread design and thicker plys, make them less well-suited to the street.  They’re super durable, but you’ll have to pay more for that durability than you would for all-terrain tires, and off-road tires tend to lose tread faster, so if you’re really putting down miles, you’ll be replacing your tires more often.

And just as we mentioned with all-terrain tires, think about your wheels, too.  Bigger wheels aren’t strictly necessary for going off road, but many people like to bump up their size when they bump up their adventure level.  If you do opt to go for bigger wheels as well, we can help, but know that sometimes alterations may also need to be made to your vehicle.  Lots of people who go all out and live by the motto “Go big or go home” may even trailer their vehicle until they arrive at the beginning of their off-road trek.  There are so many possibilities when you start looking into off-road adventures; you just have to decide how far you want to go and what kind of terrain you want to tackle, then adjust your tire type accordingly.

Whether you go all-terrain or mud-terrain, RNR has got you covered!  We have a huge selection to choose from, and we can help you figure out just which kind is best for you and your trip.  Come on in and talk to us.  We love to hear about all the places our tires will go–it gives us ideas.;)

Be safe!


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