02-14-2020, 04:10 PM
5-Year WF Supporting Member
WF Lifetime Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bellingham, WA
In my humble opinion, we tend to over-report how much "better" large tires are, and under-report their real-life tradeoffs.
My last two Rubicons had 35" tires: yes, they were beasts on the trail, but they drove so-so the 90% of the time they were on pavement. They both had a 2" Mopar lift, which is a good quality lift, and BFG KO2s, which are among the most comfortable tires you can put on a truck. But the fact remained that each wheel and tire weighed 100 lbs, on each corner, and that is going to hurt the Jeep's on-road handling. You really notice the difference when you go from a Jeep with 35+ tires back to a stock Wrangler and realize how much nimbler it feels, and how much nicer it drives.
If you are going to lift your Rubicon, yes, the stock tires are going to look puny. JL Rubicon already comes with a huge tire-to-fender gap, particularly in the front. If I were in that situation, I'd try to find a tire size that is as close as possible to 35 inches, but no more than 285 wide. That will look good and drive okay.
If you plan to wheel regularly, disregard all of the above and get some 35s.
My two pesos.
My prior 2018 Rubicon Recon on 35x12.5 KO2s
My 2013 Rubicon with 35x12.5 MTs
My 2015 JKU Sahara with 2” Mopar lift and 34x10.5 KO2s. It drove and rode the best of all my Wranglers.
My current setup: JLU Sahara with 275/70R18 KO2s. It drives close to stock and can still handle quite a bit
2018 JLU Sahara
Eight prior JKs and JKUs