Tires, tires, tires…

They wear out. They need to be checked with every trail ride. We air them down and then we air them back up. We abuse them on the trail, then scream down the freeway at 60mph.

It’s arguable that they are THE single most key component on our rigs.

I’ve had a bad run with tires this summer. But it started last summer. Below is the flat I got on the Rubicon.

Being a little cheap, I did not buy four new tires. I bought two in 2020 and figured I’d buy two new tires to match in 2021; spreading out the pain a bit.

Then, early this year, while washing my rig, it took out a valve stem and had to use my Colby Valve Stem to repair it.

So, in March of 2021, I went shopping for two more tires. BFG was backordered or not available until July. I said order them up, let me know when they’re in. I called in June and the tire shop said they were out until September. Not good as I was planning to run Sierra Trek (Fordyce Trail) in August.

I found a set of (5) used BFG mud terrains (KM2) online. They were priced fair, so I checked them out. Four were great, one had some sun cracking but it would be the spare. $700 later, they were mine. $125 later, they were mounted and balanced.

One trip down and back up Cadillac and one of the sidewalls had split and was leaking.

I got out and home on the sun cracked spare. Nobody repairs sidewalls. I never really trusted the spare. Now I don’t trust any of the three remaining ‘good’ tires.

My advice, be very weary about buying a used set of tires. Check the date code. Check for damage; any cracks and the entire set of tires should be avoided. Don’t even consider tires with uneven wear.

Time to bite the bullet, step up and buy four new tires. I’m serious about rock crawling so I went for the Goodyear MTRs. Great traction, but wears out quicker than others. Not in stock in my size. Pivot to Pro-Comp tires as they have like a 40,000 mile guarantee. Again, my size was not in stock. Let’s change the question, what tire do you have in my size?

Meet the Cooper Discoverer STT:

So, days before Sierra Trek, I got a new set of tires (4). Never before had I wheeled this tire. I’ve run Coopers on my pick-up for years, so I had high hopes. I barely had a chance to get them up to speed on the freeway, let alone trail test them, before I headed to Meadow Lake to set up camp.

Sierra Trek is THE hardest trail I’ve run and this year it was even harder. And I was doing it with a tire I wasn’t familiar with. Look for a report on Trek in a few days. Spoiler alert: the tires did awesome.

Bottom line, take our sport seriously. When you know you need tires, don’t delay, buy a set of four.


Rubicon Ronin

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