IF YOU belong to those strong men who turn off the road to give their tyres a dirty job while getting to your fishing venue, you must have considered buying mud tyres to make your off-road adventures cooler and safer. If you have, you are spot on!
Angler’s Mail understands that ‘mudders’ are really glorious when it comes to slogging through the sticky substance to get to the waterside… but they still have some trade-offs you must know.
So are those mud tyres really that mandatory if you’re the kind of angler who likes to drive down all kinds of approaches to be away-from-it-all, fishing?
Mud tyres: are they all-purpose?
If you are about to buy the next set of rubber shoes for your off-road journey, think about the terrain you’ll be trekking through.
If you are going to deal with the mud itself pretty often (like once a week or more often), then mudders would be a great solution that will help you stay steady and safe on your tyres.
If you encounter mud quite rare, switching over to mud tyres would introduce more drawbacks than benefits. Why?
Mud tyres are unbeatable on mud but bad-mannered on the pavement. Their aggressive tread pattern is designed to repel mud and offer fantastic grip where other tyres are simply miserable.
They have stronger sidewalls and a puncture-resistant tread. But the situation changes completely when mud tyres get on the road. They have shown themselves as pretty noisy and rough in handling.
Modern technologies try to balance their off-road advantages with on-road manners, but the fact is: mud tyres are good for mud only.
So it’s important to be realistic about your needs. How often are you going to set off to areas with muddy terrain?
If the answer is ‘every weekend’, then the superior traction and resilience in wet areas are worth some extra noise.
Mud tyres won’t work if you buy them ‘just in case’ for rare off-road occasions (unless swapping wheels every time is easy and/or free of charge for you).
When all-terrain tyres are better
If you need a compromise between off-road competency and on-road traction, opt for the all-terrain tyres.
Although they won’t slog through the mud as good as mudders will, but, if compared to regular on-road tyres, they’ll provide better traction on mud, rocks, gravel and loose dirt without compromising comfort.
All-terrains are quieter and better in handling than mud tyres. What is more, they have longer tread life.
Pros and cons of plus-sizing
Some people decide to upgrade to larger wheels (and, therefore, tyres) for better off-road traction, but this measure has downsides as well.
If you overdo, increased centre of gravity will affect your vehicle’s stability. This will also cost you more money as your engine will work harder to push that extra weight and the fuel efficiency will decrease.
Don’t forget that such upgrade will also affect other components of your car (brakes, CV joints, wheel bearings, and steering boxes) and cause additional spending down the road.
You will probably need to upgrade brakes and modify the engine to make up for the lost performance.
What is more, you’ll probably have to recalibrate your speedometer as larger wheels will show incorrect numbers.
Make sure that you are ready to go this way and that the efforts are worth the result.