I live in NE Ohio and every other year we tend to get a lot of snow [like the global warming of 2009]. It'll be my first winter with my JK, and being a Mountain edition it has the same Mud Terrain tires as the Rubicon. I keep reading that mud tires are bad for the snow and am wondering why? I don't see why the aggressive tread would be bad for snow, especially on unplowed streets. Now, I've driven 4x4 vehicles in the past with all-terrain tires and all-season tires, fwd and rwd vehicles as well. In my area, driving with common sense goes a long way, but a lot of people don't have that [Great Lakes members know what I'm talking about]. So could someone fill me in why mud tires are bad in the winter?
You could survive with them on but from what i understand, the biggest problem with running a mud tire in the snow is that the mud tire wants to dig into the snow because of the large gaps where the preferred means is to float over it.
siping works by allowing water to displace from the flat surfaces of those flat surface can grip the pavement. though i have no experience with mud tires in the snow, there are mud tires with quite a bit of siping. though with snow you do want a thinner tire so it can cut into the snow, you definitely do NOT want to be floating on the snow, you would be spinning out constantly.
It comes down to the drive and how he/she feels the their ride. Heavy foot on the gas or the brake are obvious errors. Bottom line tires do make a difference but on a slick surface you just have to know you ride and how to drive it.
I love mine. Some people bitch about how they wear. As long as you keep them balanced and watch your tire pressure, there's no reason why you can't get a ton of miles out of them. I've had mine for 2.5 years and they still have well over half of their original tread left on them. Some people bitch about the noise they make.....yes, they're somewhat loud, but not as loud as Swampers. They get crazy traction if you're not too wild with the skinny pedal. I've been super happy with my Claws in every offroading medium I've had them in, including rocks, sand, mud, snow, and loose gravel.
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I personal love the road noise the tires make. I like the agressive look it gives the jeep and it's my DD and i don't see to bad of wear. I agree rotate mine (front to back) about every 5k or when i do my oil, which too is about 5-8k (love that royal purple).
My jeep came with supersport radial HT's 30x9.5. They have insane traction I wish I could find them to put them on again. I almost never had to go in 4 wheel drive with the snow.....actually I just didn't want to I like to kick it out sideways here and there (nothing to extreme). In the mud they did excellent. Went through a long trail with mud atleast 6 inches deep no problem in 4hi. I wish I could find these tires again (need new tires before winter comes along)
I forgot to throw in that when driving in the snow I'll grab 6; 50lb sandbags and throw them in the back to help even out traction weight, and it really does help
Not really tire related but meh
I made it through a number of winters with an 85 Delta 88 doing that...RWD, no abs, traction control, stability control...heck not even a limited slip!! And I lived on a hill...with my driveway going up another hill off the main road (I literally tossed the thing into the driveway hoping for enough grip to turn the car while maintaining enough momentum to get up the hill ).
Granted it wasn't the kind of snow that some areas get (I think the most we got was around 6")...but with a bit of weight and paying a lot of attention to momentum, I was pretty happy with its performance
I have to say I am a bit confused by the talk of a soft tire compound being bad in the winter. Every thing i have ever encountered states that softer is better in the winter. A summer tire that gets good wear will be rock hard in the winter with no grip due to a harder compound and the cold making it even harder, while a softer compound tire, which is what snow tires use, stays more flexible and will have more traction in the cold at the expense of faster wear if used in warmer weather.
I have run Maxxis Bighorns for a few winters and they were hands down the best tire I have had on a pick up in the winter, They have some siping, and that does make a world of difference on packed down roads etc I live in Maine so a foot or more of snow at a time is rather common and we never had a storm that required me to plow or shovel to get out.
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I agree about the baja claws,I ran 33/12.50 and every time my neighbor would get his toys out to play in the snow I would have to jump in the jeep and join in on the fun I couldnt get those tires to slide anywhere,as far as rocks they didnt hook up untill they where about wore out.I just recently put 35/12.50 km2se hope I get the traction in snow like I did with the claws,on rock the km2s got them beat by a long shot!