Tire Tread Pattern Types


I get this question asked a lot of times and thought it a good idea to do some future articles on the various tread types and how to treat them.

Below is an image I put together to help you understand the difference between the basic Tread Patterns: Non Directional, Directional and Asymmetric.

In following articles I'll refer to these basic images to make the differences in performance and use clear and help you on your way in making a more educated decision when buying tires for your Fourwheeler.


Wheel offset and backspacing.

Okay so you finally decided you want to get rid of the puny looking tires on your truck and took a lot of time looking at the pictures on this site - your choice is made!

Wheee ha, just the idea of how your truck will perform gets your heart racing - yea, yea we know the feeling, but hold on: Are you seriously going to fit those new rubber doughnuts on the cheesy looking factory wheels?
No sir, never - they might not even fit on those narrow biscuit-cutters.
Hold your horses, before you charge off to order a set of wheels for those tires you need to know a few things - hey you do want those rims to actually fit and be road-legal, yes? 

In some kind of order you need to look at the rim diameter and width - a quick look at the tire catalogue will show you the rim sizes that will work with the tire size you intend to buy - my advice is to stay conservative with your rim width...
If you decided on a width the next step will be to find a rim with the correct bolt-pattern (pcd) for your truck, then you need to calculate what rim-offset will keep the wheels from sticking out under the mudguards.


The most complete incomplete 4x4 tire listing available on the web today -

This is a continuous project to help guide you through the world of 4x4 tire-dom. One of the first upgrades most offroad vehicle owners do is fit a better set of rubber under their rig.

We are well aware that there is not a single tire available that is a true all-terrain all purpose wonder and this being a costly purchase that has 100% of your safety in their footprints it is important to make a somewhat intelligent decision.

Probably the single most deciding factor in buying a set of tires is EMOTION – it just feels better to drive off from the tire dealer with a set of super aggressive tires than it is with a milder “softer” looking tread – with this in mind and without diluting too much of this emotion we will bring you all the know-how to make a more informed decision.
Let we be the first to acknowledge that this list is still far from complete and that we are way too understaffed to get it all together in one go, so please let us know of news and if there are treads or topics you want us to investigate and do an article about. Feel free to rate the tires listed (this real world listing is there for all fellow off-roaders to use and share their experience.) If you have know-how you want to share, let us know and we will gladly post your article with full dues to you or your business. We will try to stay as neutral as possible but can not promise that our emotions might not be a bit biased if we find a real cool new product to review or write about.

We hope this will bring you many hours of reading-fun and that this will make the world of the 4x4 tire just a little more use-friendly,

welcome to the world we love!

  • Mud Terrian

    Probably the most versatile tire tread: The Mud terrain or M/T. While it states only "mud" in the name, these tires can work very well on rocks and sand under higher powered vehicles. Though they probably fall in the 30/70 asphalt/ dirt range these tires have very little problems doing duty as day to day tire and the tread patterns with a bit more sipes even work great in the snow. These tires have grown in popularity as more users discover that the compromises on the road is well worth the extra traction offroad.
  • Extreme Terrian

    Extreme Tires are what they say; Meant for extreme terrain. This will put them in the 10/90 tar/offroad range or go as far as being "offroad only". These tires are intended for very specific terrain, be it paddled dune tires or chevron patterned mud monsters. They are best used for competition use but find their way to show use on polished show rigs too. One thing is sure - they do not like asphalt! You find these in very large sizes and they can weigh quite a bit more than the comparitive size mud tire. These tires demand respect so make sure you know what you buy!
  • All terrian

    The word All Terrain or A/T in short is promising a bit more than the intention might be. The idea is for the tire to be a 50/50 street/trail tire, giving it decent street manners while still up to the task of trail use. Provided the terrain does not get too muddy or slimy. In sand and snow these tires usually work fine and they mostly carry the "mud and snow" or M+S rating. These treads sport decent siping that helps grip snow and hang on to asphalt when it rains. In real terms if you use your 4x4 mostly on-road but do need trail and gravel road durability, this is your ticket.
  • Winter

    Winter tires must be seen as street tires for winter use. The softer rubber compound and mega number of sipes helps this tire grip in icy conditions. A must for a Winter tire is the "Mountain and Snowflake" symbol - this is the proof that your tire is legal in winter on European roads! Bear in mind that these tires wear faster on tar and the handling in temperatures higher than 7 degrees Celcius is at best "mushy"..

  • Street


    Street or S/T tires carry a heavy weight on their shoulders: Promising saloon car handling to SUV owners...Though this might be a bit unfair, it is true that today's sporty SUV's demand a lot from a tire! These tires are designed to look good while carrying the weight of a full size SUV and deliver decent handling and wear. Most are available in larger rim sizes to cater for the more blingy low profile look. Please mind that most of these tires will NOT get you to the end of a muddy trail, but will get you home safe and fast after the polo-match.

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