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.
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
General Tire Grabber MT
Sizes: 15, 16 inches
Design: serious off-road tire for 4x4s; aggressive off-road tread design; built to power through mud, snow, silt, and creek beds; pinned for studs
Load range: C, E
Contact: General Tire, Dept. ST, 1800 Continental Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28273, www.generaltire.com
Discoverer H/T Plus
Sizes: 18, 20 inches
Design: optimized pitch sequence by size reduces noise frequency; excellent all-weather performance
Speed rating: M, S
Contact: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Dept. ST, Lima and Western Ave., Findlay, OH 45840, www.coopertire.com
Baja Claw Radial
Sizes: 15, 16, 17 inches
Design: 23-degree lugs for superior grip in a variety of terrain, including mud and snow; Sidebiters for extra traction and protection; radial construction for superior handling and performance; polyester-ply, steel-belted, circumferential grooves for hydroplane resistance; SLT sizes feature an extra-heavy-duty three-ply sidewall for better impact and puncture resistance
Speed rating: not speed-rated
Contact: Mickey Thompson Tires, Dept. ST, 4670 Allen Rd., Stow, OH 44224, (330) 928-9092, www.mickeythompsontires.com
Michelin 4x4 Diamaris
Sizes: 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 inches
Design: highest level of wet and dry traction; advanced tread design contributes to high-speed stability and confidence, especially while cornering; quiet, comfortable rideSpeed Rating: V, W
Contact: Michelin North America, Dept. ST, 1 Pkwy. S., Greenville, SC 29602, (888) 642-43546, www.michelinman.com
Yokohama Geolandar H/T-S
Sizes: 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 inches
Design: designed for plus-sizing applications; high-performance feel with the practicality of a daily driver; directional design for outstanding steering response, grip, cornering, and water evacuation; comfortable ride; durable with sporty look
Speed rating: H
Contact: Yokohama Tire, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 4450, Fullerton, CA 92834, (800)423-4544, www.yokohamatire.com
Goodyear Fortera HL
Sizes: 17 inches
Design: smooth, quiet ride and rugged appearance for luxury SUVs; combines the assertive handling, traction, and responsiveness of an SUV tire with all the quiet comforts of a touring radial; deep blades and grooves; computer-optimized tire shape and tread pattern; footprint insensitive to load; all-season traction; excellent performance in rain and snow; even tread wear
Speed rating: Q, S
Contact: Goodyear Tire, Dept. ST, 1144 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44316, (330) 796-2121, www.goodyear.com.
Falken ZIEX S/TZ 04
Sizes: 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23 inches
Design: flat, even tread wear and whisper-like performance; deepest tread in sport truck category; sidewall styling; larger rim protection ridge for custom wheels; symmetrical non-directional tread pattern allows unrestricted rotation for superior life
Speed rating: H, S, T, Q
Contact: Falken Tire, Dept. ST, 10404 Sixth St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, (800) 723-2553, www.falkentire.com
Continental Tire ContiTrac SUV
Sizes: 15, 16, 17, 18 inches
Design: all-season performance; excellent durability for premium safety performance; balances traction, mileage, ride comfort, and noise performance; an ideal all-position tire for 4x4s, SUVs, and other light trucks
Speed rating: Q, S, T
Contact: Continental Tire North America, Dept. ST, 1800 Continental Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28273, www.continentaltire.com
Protecting Your Investment
These Wheel- and Tire-Care Products Will Keep You Rolling in Style
Wheels and tires are serious investments - especially if you've opted for some seriously large rims. The key, then, is to spend a little time taking care of your rolling stock so you can protect your investment and look fine at the same time.
We've gathered an assortment of wheel- and tire-care products that will not only keep your truck looking hot, but will also save you some elbow grease and time.
Buffalo Milke Tire Dressing
Why you want it: This dressing makes tires look new by putting on a protective satin sheen; wipe on, wipe off with no overspray worries. This product is available in a five-piece kit that includes two bottles of Buffalo Milke Spray Wax and Buffalo Milke Wheel Cleaner and Vinyl Protectant.
Contact: Buffalo Milke Automotive Polishing Products, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 1955, Pleasanton, CA 94566, (888) 462-8332, www.buffalomilke.com
Treatment Products Tire Gold
Why you want it: This is an easy-to-use spray-on premium tire dressing that leaves a super-high gloss and long-lasting shine. It contains a high silicone content with a blend of solvents that prevent dripping.
Contact: Treatment Products Ltd., Dept. ST, 4701 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago, IL 60651, (800) 747-1929, www.thetreatment.com
Luster Lace Luster Pad Metal Polish
Why you want it: This product contains a specially formulated cleaner/polish impregnated into the cloth. A 3-inch piece will polish alloy wheels, engine parts, bumpers, diamond plate, and many other flat or uneven metal parts to a beautiful mirror finish. One container holds 3/4-inch by 5 linear feet of pad.
Contact: Luster Lace Polishes, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 278, La Habra, CA 90633, (562) 697-4649, www.lusterlace.com.
Meguiar's Hot Shine Tire Spray
Why you want it: This high-gloss formula delivers a deep-black wet look that lasts for weeks and features an easy-to-use, spray-and-walk-away formulation. A two-way sprayer provides maximum control over the spray pattern and can be adjusted for different tire dimensions. Engineered with water-resistant polymers and Meguiar's patented anti-ozonant technology to protect sidewalls and prevent cracking, browning, and premature aging, a 24-ounce bottle will treat approximately 50 average-size tires.
Contact: Meguiar's, Dept. ST, 17991 Mitchell S., Irvine, CA 92614, (800) 347-5700, www.meguiars.com
Proform 0- to 60-psi gaugeWhy you want it:
Proper tire pressure is a must for safety, tire longevity, and optimum gas mileage. This heavy-duty 0- to 60-psi gauge has an easy-to-read black-on-white 1.5-inch face; shatter-resistant glass; and a convenient flex hose.
Contact: Proform, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 306, Roseville, MI 48066, (586) 774-2500, www.proformparts.com
3M Chrome & Metal Polish
Why you want it: This polish removes surface rust, oxidation, corrosion, and tarnish. It works great on chrome, stainless steel, and other automotive metals such as brass, bronze, and copper. The product comes in an 8-ounce tub.
Contact: 3M, (888) 364-3577, www.3m.com
Impressive Reflections Heavy-Metal Ultra-Fine Liquid & Cotton Metal Polish
Why you want it: Recommended for polishing and maintaining smooth, lightly oxidized metals, especially billet rims, this product removes light corrosion, oxidation, tar, rust, stains, and tarnish from smooth aluminum, as well as from bronze, brass, copper, chrome, solid silver, and gold.
Contact: Impressive Reflections, Dept. ST, P.O. Box 1737, Gresham, OR 97031, (800) 529-9400, www.heavymetalpolish.com
Mothers Billet Metal Polish
Why you want it: Designed to assure the finest finish possible when used on brass, stainless steel, billet, forged, or precisely cast aluminum (not for clearcoated metals), this polish features a technologically advanced formula to assure easy application and a deep, luxurious finish. This product works for hand polishing or can be used with a machine to remove stains or oxidation without scratching, and will clean all polishable metals found in today's sport trucks.
Contact: Mothers, Dept. ST, 5456 Industrial Dr., Huntington Beach, CA 92649, (714) 891-3364, www.mothers.com
Simple Green Pro-Series Wheel Cleaner Foam
Why you want it: This specialized non-toxic, biodegradable formula effectively cleans all types of wheels. Quick-release foam clings onto hard-to-reach and vertical surfaces, allowing for safer and more effective degreasing. It removes brake dust, grease, oil, bugs, road grime, and much more.
Contact: Simple Green, (800) 228-0709, www.simplegreen.com
Eco Concepts High Performance Cleaner & Degreaser
Why you want it: This highly effective heavy-duty cleaner and degreaser offers safe and powerful cleaning action that removes grease, oil, and heavy soils from hard surfaces. It can be used with a mop, as a spray-and-wipe, or with an automatic scrubber
Contact: Eco Concepts, Dept. ST, 2450 NE. Miami Gardens Dr., Miami, FL 33180, (888) 326-6278, www.ecoconceptsusa.com
Eagle One All Wheel & Tire Cleaner
Why you want it: This cleaner penetrates and suspends brake dust and road grime; just hose it down and watch dust and grime quickly roll off. Quick and easy, in most cases it eliminates the need for scrubbing and agitation when wheels and tires are extra dirty. It is also safe and effective for all factory and aftermarket wheel finishes, including clearcoats.
Contact: Eagle One, Dept. ST, 3499 Blazer Pkwy., Lexington, KY 40509, (800) 432-4531, www.eagleone.com