Whether you're heading off-road or plus-sizing to the nth degree, running the right tire will make a world of difference for your ride. After all, it's the tire that puts you in contact with the road, dirt, mud, or snow.

Your tire selection is going to have a profound effect on everything from ride quality and noise to acceleration and handling, not to mention style. That's why you'll want to take a few minutes and make sure you wrap the right rubber around your rims.

Speed Reading
Now you can impress your friends with your vast knowledge of what all those speed ratings really mean.

Speed Rating Maximum Speed
Q 99 mph
S 112 mph
T 118 mph
U 124 mph
H 130 mph
V 149 mph
W 168 mph
Y 186 mph
Z 149-plus mph

Firestone Destination LE
Sizes:
14, 15, 16, 17 inches
Design: outstanding performance on wet and dry roads with the comfort and quiet of passenger tires; rounder overall tire shape provides better balance for wet or dry handling; L.L. Carbon uses a special form of molecular re-engineered carbon black to improve tire wear, while enhancing wet performance; 5 Degree Noise Reduction produces noise-canceling sound waves to significantly reduce tire noise on road surfaces; Spiral Wrap encircles the whole tire, providing a higher level of uniformity and helping to hold its original shape; Weathergrip tread compound blends special polymers to promote traction on wet surfaces
Speed rating: R, S
Contact: Firestone, Dept. ST, 50 Century Blvd., Nashville, TN 37214, (615) 391-0088, www.bridgestone-firestone.com

Toyo Open Country A/T
Sizes:
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22 inches
Design: M&S-rated all-terrain radial tire; great-looking dual-purpose tread; DSOC II computer-designed for exceptional all-around performance
Speed rating: Q, R, S, T, H
Contact: Toyo Tires, Dept. ST, 6261 Katella Ave., Ste. 2B, Cypress, CA 90630, (800) 678-3250, www.toyo.com

Bridgestone Dueler H/P
Sizes:
16, 17, 18, 20 inches
Design: ultra-high performance; exceptional handling in wet or dry driving conditions; aggressive tread pattern; black sidewall lettering; a wide profile for a sporty, yet refined look
Speed rating: H
Contact: Bridgestone/Firestone, Dept. ST, 1 Bridgestone Park, Nashville, TN 37214, (615) 391-0088, www.bridgestone-usa.com

Nitto Terra Grappler All Terrain
Sizes:
15, 16, 17, 18, 20 inches
Design: balanced void ratio for excellent off-road traction and on-road behavior; coupling joints between tread block elements reduce excessive flex for better traction and steering; staggered shoulder lugs ensure traction in deep sand, loose gravel, and mud; uniquely angled circumferential grooves for water evacuation; two full-width steel belts ensure optimum contact patch both on- and off-road; M&S-rated for all-season performance; high-density siping optimized to resist aquaplaning and provide snow traction
Speed rating: Q, S
Contact: Nitto Tire North America, Dept. ST, 6261 Katella Ave., Ste. 2C, Cypress, CA 90630, (800) 648-8652, www.nittotire.com