Choosing ATV Tires
An all-terrain vehicle is a fun way to get out for a ride while testing your limits. Fun to ride while offering a bit of adrenaline, an ATV can be used for work, play, or a mix of both. In order to make the most out of this exciting vehicle, you need the right tires. Here are a few things you need to know when choosing ATV tires.
The first step in choosing ATV tires is knowing when they need an upgrade in the first place. The tires are key to grabbing the ground and providing traction so they should never be overlooked. If you are looking to replace the stock tires the ATV came with to something more custom, it is a matter of preference rather than wear and tear. If you have been riding your ATV for some time now, you may need to change the tires due to wear. An easy way to tell if you need new tires from wear and tear is to pay attention to the way the ATV handles. If the tires seem like they are having a hard time gripping the ground or giving you enough traction on turns, it is time. You should also take a look at the way the tire looks. If the tire has rubber that is discolored, cracked, or dry, then it is time for a new set. It is also worth noting that most ATV tires are usually only good for around 4 years on average. If you ride a lot or take on particularly tough terrains on a regular basis, this 4 year shelf life may be shortened.
Types of Tires
The key to choosing tires is to know what type of riding and conditions you plan to use the tires in and go from there. There are plenty of options for each category on the market so once you narrow down the type, it is just a matter of going over the choices in terms of brands, price, and features.
When choosing ATV tires, all-purpose is a common choice for a few good reasons. This type of tire provides solid grip and control for a range of terrains which makes it the ideal go-to for riders looking for a middle ground choice. They aren't specialized like other options so they are more of a general tire ideal for the average rider taking their ATV out in fields, pavement, or trails. That isn't to say that all of the all-purpose tires on the market are the same and you can just pick any set without careful considerations. There are many different price points on the market for all-purpose tires with the higher price points offering more in terms of matters like traction, grip, and longevity. For example, a basic starter all-purpose tire will offer details such as tread wrapped around the sidewall for extra bite and 2 ply construction, but a more expensive all-purpose tire may have 6 ply construction and more intricate patterns to give more control. There are also a few all-purpose tires on the market that offer the ability to ride over sand and mud as part of their design to give more variety in terrains. The key is to find the right tire for the price and go from there in terms of what is available in an all-purpose tire. If you only ride over mud or sand occasionally, then a high grade all-purpose tire with that feature is the best bet.
One of the specialized tire options on the market, sand tires have a unique look to them that makes it easy to spot when shopping. The rear tires have large raised paddles and the front tires are smooth except for a rib down the side or middle to help with steering. The paddle design helps to spin out the sand so you get better traction on what is an otherwise hard terrain to navigate. Just like all-purpose tires, sand tires come in a range of prices and therefore features. There are different patterns from the standard 8 paddles to the newer, more expensive option of V-shaped paddles and corner ribs to provide better control. The key is to look at how much you are willing to spend for this type of tire and go from there. It should also be noted that sand tires are specialized ATV tires meant for use only in sand. If you ride them in other terrains, the tires may not give you enough control and you run the risk of wearing down the paddles.
When choosing ATV tires, you should consider if you plan to do any riding in tougher conditions like mud or snow. While a high grade all-purpose tire may be able to give you some traction in these conditions, only a mud tire gives the ultimate control for this type of riding. Most mud tires also double as snow tires because of the way they are designed. This type of tire has deep lugs that are thick to provide a level of traction that your general use all-purpose tires simply can't compete with thanks to the intense grip. The large knobs act in a similar way to sand tires to churn out the mud and snow so you get traction and movement. If you plan on doing any muddy or snowy riding, you need this type of tire to make the most of it.