Off-Road Tire Use (Pros & Cons)

By: Leon Rhodes

Off-road tires can be used on the road where allowed, however, their performance will suffer. It's not good to drive on pavement with off-road tires because handling will be reduced and tire wear will increase.

Off-road tire

The benefit to using off-road tires exclusively is the ability to go off-road at any time, without changing tires.

Cons include increased tread wear, reduced handling and increased noise. Off-road tires tend to be LOUD on pavement.

Off-road tires are typically larger than road tires, have a harder type of rubber and use a more aggressive tread pattern. None of these things are good on the road as far as performance is concerned. Off-road tires should be changed before driving on the road.

How long do off-road tires last?

Good off-road tires typically last around 40,000 miles, however, that is assuming they are used in off-road applications. If off-road tires are used on pavement or asphalt they will wear out significantly faster.

Can you balance off-road tires?

Unless your off-road tires are mounted on rims with beadlocks they typically should not be balanced. This is because off-road tires have a tendency to spin on the rim during extreme off-road use. Tires with beadlocks can be balanced after 50 miles of use, long enough for the tire to settle on the rim, but most drivers don't bother.

Can off-road tires with beadlocks be driven on the road?

No, it is illegal to drive with beadlocks on many(most?) roadways. In the U.S., for example, the Department of Transportation requires that road use wheel and tire combinations cannot come apart for safety reasons.

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