Rock Crawling Tires: Buyer's Guide

October 31, 2012

When you are searching for the right rock crawling tires there are several tipsyou have to keep in mind. Tires can be the most important part of the vehicle you have chosen for rock crawling. This means you need tires that can withstand hard and difficult work on unpaved and often rocky roads. Take a look at these simple tips on the differences between ordinary tires and rock crawling tires.

Types of Tires

There has been considerable discussion in the rock crawling fraternity about the use of bias ply or radial tires. And the issue has not yet been settled with enthusiasts of each side swearing by their individual choices. Bias ply advantages include:

  • Bias ply mud tires specially made for off-roading are great in deep mud and on rough terrain.
  • They also offer great self cleaning of the treads as compared to radials.
  • The bias ply also offers a stronger reinforcement of the sidewall of the tire and is ideal to prevent ripping and tears.

Radial tires have their advantages too like

  • Surface traction is much better and the tires have a longer life span
  • If you are a weekend roadie them these are the best choice and cost alternative.

Finally the choice of the tire depends on you. Bias play tires are not used nowadays but are available if you order from a specialty dealer.

Tread Differentials

Again this has been an area of serious interest. Most serious roadies have recommended a tread that will allow the tire to wrap around rock surfaces without getting blown. And this is possible only with a spaced out tread that has large open spaces in between quite unlike passenger tires. But these tires will have to be changed when you drive your car on the road, as they can create a bumpy and noisy ride on ordinary tarred surfaces.

Choosing Off Roading Tires

Most roadies who are into rock crawling will choose 33x12.50R15 tire size from Dunlop. These are the best size, as they usually fit most off roading vehicles and can stand the stress of the uneven road too. Another good variant is the BF Goodrich Radials with Mud-Terrain T/A LT285/75R16 size tires. But the actual wheel and tire you use will depend on the locality you are using the vehicle in. Make sure you choose the right wheel with the tire to get the best out of the tires. The dealer will be able to help you with this, but most wheel rims come coordinated with the tires that are made by the same company. You can also choose different sized ones according to the locality you will be using the car in. But the entire process can be somewhat hit and miss. Make sure you check with the dealer, the factory service manuals you have, off-road magazines, as well as local 4x4 clubs for ideas on what would be the best tire to use in a particular area.

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