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Do bigger tires generally mean better offroading/traction?

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Vrbas, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Mar 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM
    #1
    Vrbas

    Vrbas [OP] Well-Known Member

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  2. Mar 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM
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    ericb

    ericb I'm a very neat monster

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    Bigger tires to me, mean better ground clearance. If I were looking for traction I would be looking at gearing and lockers if you dont need the ground clearance.
     
  3. Mar 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM
    #3
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    To a point... bigger compared to what?

    There is no need to go bigger than what will fit on the truck in a stock condition... as in 265/75-16 tires.

    Over size will rob horsepower, require body lifts, etc. Perhaps the tranny gearing will need altering.

    You will be surprised what a stock Off Road TRD 4WD Tacoma can do, straight from the showroom!
     
  4. Mar 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM
    #4
    Burgman

    Burgman I KEEEEEL YOU

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    Bigger tires mean More ground clearance and more surface area for traction
     
  5. Mar 21, 2011 at 9:36 PM
    #5
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Bigger tires have bigger contact patch.

    Airing down vastly increases contact patch. It's the single biggest thing you can do to increase traction while off-roading. I'd take a 31x9.5" tire aired down to 12-15 psi over a 33x12.5 running 40psi for off-roading.

    There are other considerations. Bigger doesn't fit the wheelwell as well, and rubs when stuffed. If you hit hard (e.g. jumping) you might break stuff with tires that are too big. But I don't speak from experience on that.

    There's a minority opinion that says that narrow tires serve up better traction than wider tires of similar diameter. (Pizza cutters.) However, it remains a minority opinion.

    Go out wheeling where you plan to do most of your off-roading, and see what everyone else is running, and what happens when they stuff the wheels on various types of obstacles.

    But 285/75R16 on a 3" lift is a pretty popular combination - it's a good compromise of traction, not being too oversized for stock gearing, and clearance on fenders/body parts. Yes, you can rub it against something if you stuff it right. And yes many folks do run even bigger (sometimes much bigger) than that.
     
  6. Mar 21, 2011 at 9:44 PM
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    achirdo

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    Think about this. When ever you have those big ol mud bogging trucks I guarantee you that they would get stuck with a 30" diameter mud tire and they would normally be able to get through with a 44"+ tire
     
  7. Mar 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM
    #7
    Vrbas

    Vrbas [OP] Well-Known Member

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    All good info, thanks for the input.

    I'm in a 5 lug so I was thinking of upping my 215 tires to like 225 or somethin because I like my gas mileage but I still want to fair in offroad situations. I don't have 4x4 or a fancy lift so I won't be doing anything too extreme, just want to have some additional traction when the occasion arises and was trying to decide if upping my tire size was worth it, even for that little of an increase
     
  8. Mar 21, 2011 at 10:59 PM
    #8
    krimson

    krimson Nothin

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    The tire's height matters.. Height = more ground clearance.
     
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