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255/85 R16 Owners Experience

View Poll Results: 255/85 R16's?
My tire of choice has worked great in all conditions 7 58.33%
Ran em but didn't work for me, went wider and am happy I did. 2 16.67%
Ran wide before now run the skinnies and am much happier 3 25.00%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-08-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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255/85 R16 Owners Experience

Been reading for over a month on this tire size including the write up at expeditions west. Seriously looking at going this route on my 2011 o/r dc and wanted those who currently run or have run these tires to offer their opinions and experience with this tire.

My tentative plan is to run an icon suspension set-up and mount the KM2's on either my stock rims or maybe go with an 8'' rim. I live in socal so primarily will be doing desert driving, loose sand, rocks etc...

Thanks for the input
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:37 AM   #2
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Love em! I have the Cooper ST though.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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I ran the cooper s/t for a while but ended up switching them out because of all the freeway driving I do now. I loved the size though and would go back if I ever got a car to DD.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve o 77 View Post
I ran the cooper s/t for a while but ended up switching them out because of all the freeway driving I do now. I loved the size though and would go back if I ever got a car to DD.
My experience is similar but I had 255/80/17 KM2s (same diameter)

For freeway driving I actually had an increase in MPG coming from 265/70/17. This is due to the larger diameter tire, which will allow engine RPMs to be lower at the 60 mph (for instance) vs. a smaller tire. At least that's the way I understand it.

But stop-n-go daily driving really hurt the MPG and my auto trans would shift at weird times making me think that is not a good tire size for automatics with 3.73 gears. I sold mine and went back to 265s.

With that said, they do look bad ass.



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Old 05-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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I run this size in the KM2's and they are great. Works actually good on the freeway because of the higher size compensates for the too-low 6th gear in the manual transmission.

Also since a narrower tire has a smaller contact patch, you will have much greater friction than the same tire size that is wider.

Plus you can fit a 255/85r16 tire on a small easy to do lift with no cutting/folding etc. No rubbing.

You have a very large sidewall in comparison to absorb rocks, less rotating mass, and all kinds of advantages to off-road traction.

The KM2's are actually -very- quiet as well on the road (at least for a mud terrain, quieter than other all-terrain's ive run in the past) and seem to be very tough. I've crawled up some pretty crappy places with em and they did fantastic in mud, snow, and hardpack.

EDIT: Agreed I also think they look pretty bad-ass. Tall and skinny has a certain military vibe to it. You'll notice every military truck out there NEVER uses wide tires, always tall and skinny. And those guys -need- their vehicles to perform haha.



Here is a better shot of the tires.

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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167 Views and 4 guys have experience with this size tire Thanks for the 4 replies though!
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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You got what you need haha. All the technical data saying they are better in almost every situation, and a few guys saying that yes in the real world they are great too. Go for it!
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anethema View Post
You got what you need haha. All the technical data saying they are better in almost every situation, and a few guys saying that yes in the real world they are great too. Go for it!
x2, the only situation i found them to not be as good as a wide tire was in deep sand.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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Ya. Though in lots of expedition write ups, I read aired down they form a ski like shape on the sand and for the same PSI fared better than the wider brethren. No experience myself, it is all hard pack, shale, rocks, etc around here. Sharp steep, rutty mountains.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anethema View Post
Ya. Though in lots of expedition write ups, I read aired down they form a ski like shape on the sand and for the same PSI fared better than the wider brethren. No experience myself, it is all hard pack, shale, rocks, etc around here. Sharp steep, rutty mountains.
When I aired down my 285's in a 17" wheel to 10 psi, I had the same tread patch as my buddies 285's in a 16" wheel @ 25 psi. Because of the sidewall size.

The only thing I have found that makes the wider tires better are on road handling, mud, snow, and deep sand. You really have to drop the 255's low to get a wide patch and when you go to low you risk popping a bead.

I have found 285's work for 99% of my off roading in the sierras. That being said I am looking to get a set of 255's for the summer months here as I do almost no deep sand or mud.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:03 PM   #11
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Tread patch is going to be the same because the tires get longer instead of wider at a certain point.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #12
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My point is wide or long doesn't matter. Look at skis. You can go in snow with them and barely sink and they are only a couple inches wide!

Narrower tires do end up with a smaller contact patch though and while this is normally an advantage (higher PSI on the ground) in sand this may get you.

I'm just regurgitating what I've read though as I have 0 sand experience in my 255's. There simply isn't any around here.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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Just thought I'd post up a pic of the coopers for comparison.

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
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I'm rocking some 265/75/16 BFG AT at the moment but as soon as these are done I'm slapping on some 255/85/16 BFG KM2s. Can't wait!
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:13 PM   #15
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The science and a LOT of comparison posts disagree with you lrgrnr. Friction has nothing to do with width, only pressure. Smaller contact patch=more pressure. Larger aspect ratio/skinnier tire also gives you more ability to air down and get friction from other means.

http://www.expeditionswest.com/resea...tion_rev1.html

Agreed on far less tire choices. The #1 MT is available in it though(BFG KM2), in E load rating, so I'm pretty much happy with that. Also agreed on the road handling, lower aspect ratio the better for the road.

I have a feeling your comparison was driver skill or familiarity.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:19 PM   #16
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Again friction has nothing to do with contact area. Area is not even in the equation for friction force.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anethema View Post
Again friction has nothing to do with contact area. Area is not even in the equation for friction force.
area has to do with the ammount of pressure put down on the rocks which does affect friction.

edit: nevermind you're right. Friction force = μ*N
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #18
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I have the BFG KM2. I like them they have a great reputation and while they are 10 mm narrower they do weigh 10 Lbs more than stock so I think you will lose some milage but that is expected with bigger and heavier tires.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve o 77 View Post
area has to do with the ammount of pressure put down on the rocks which does affect friction.

edit: nevermind you're right. Friction force = μ*N
Ya narrower tire = higher psi=more friction and surface molding = better
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #20
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So basically what yall are saying is that a tire the width of a bike tire and a 12.5" tire will yield the same traction results? I doubt it. Skinny tires are better in some situations(like slick grass going up a hill) and wider tires for mud/sand
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