The Right ATV Tires for Your Terrain
July 6, 2018
ATVs were once primarily known for rugged off-road riding, but the market has seen a surge in popularity among farmers, hunters, landscapers, and construction workers. Each user's application varies, which requires a different type of tire. We've provided a quick overview to help you determine which tire is best for you. If you need help, please call us! 1-855-681-8326
Mud tires have larger gaps, deeper lugs, and more angled treads than all-terrain tires which optimizes self-cleaning and grip on slippery surfaces. If you can only afford one set of tires, a medium-depth mud tire is your best choice for use in a variety of muddy conditions.
If wet conditions are a regular occurrence where you ride, it is vital to change your tires when the tread starts to disappear. Failing to do so increases the odds of skidding, as the tread is designed to wick water away from your contact patch to provide a smooth, stable ride.
Mud tires are excellent for their intended purpose, but they experience excessive wear on hard pack and asphalt surfaces due to the nature of their construction. They provide poor performance on side hills, and ride quality suffers in other conditions when compared to all-terrain tires. Below are a few mid-range treads for mud tires, but our store has several options for more or less aggressive mud use.
Trail tires are also known as all-terrain tires due to their ability to tackle a wide variety of settings. No single tread design is able to handle every single terrain type with high performance, which means manufacturers seek to offer better all-around performance and a balance of traction for different surfaces. Tread pattern varies greatly between brands, which makes knowing exactly what kind of terrain you plan to ride on important in determining which tread depth and pattern will offer the most benefit.
Some things to consider:
- Self-cleaning characteristics
- Amount of grip
- Speed and horsepower
- Varying terrain
- Wet, dry, or combination performance
A paddle tire is a very specialized type of ATV designed specifically for sand use. With an appearance similar to webbed duck feet, paddle tires are designed to pull sand in, which allows them to dig in and push off. Less tread is better for this application, and it is not recommended that you attempt to substitute an alternative type of tire for this use. Why? Because it increases the risk of overheating or damaging your ATV engine.
Your vehicle’s horsepower is proportional to the size of your paddle scoops, which aid in acceleration across the dunes. Higher horsepower means you'll need bigger paddle scoops. Most sand tires feature front tires with a raised rib that runs through the centerline to provide steering, while the rear tires feature the paddles. Smooth front tires are an option, though not recommended for use unless you plan to run a straight line; they're difficult to use for steering purposes.
Note: It's not recommended to use these tires on anything but sand, as the treads deteriorate quickly when coming in contact with rough surfaces.
These specially-built tires are designed for relatively hard-packed trails and courses. They feature a knobby design with flat tops, often in an “X” type of pattern, but many different designs exist depending to suit racing styles that vary from tame to aggressive. Look for treads that are closely spaced, as maximizing your contact with the ground provides better grip and traction to build speed while avoiding spinning out.
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