It is starting to warm up little by little here in Northern Utah and it’s about time to get out riding again. I want to get out as soon as possible. I can’t wait until the snow has all melt and the ground has thawed and isn’t mushy anymore. I need a good mud tire to help me still make it up the hill when there is snow and mud on the ground.
The best option would be a medium mud tire. If you are going to the hassle of buying a different set of tires for mud riding you might as well get the best your bike can handle. They will give you more traction than a basic mud tire but won’t require anything special done to your bike like the beefier tires would.
There is a rather big selection of mud tires on POR and after some quick research all the tires seem to do great on any terrain. Looking at the tires there seem to be 3 main components that help you make your decision.
First is the tread depth. 1-1/8″ is the standard tread depth but you can find anything from 5/8″ on the GBC Gator to the 1-1/4″ on the Kenda Executioner. The choice of tread depth really just depends on local conditions and personal preference.
The second thing to consider is the tread design. The Gator seemed to win in the traction department. It has over sized lugs that reach out over the center point of the tire. The rest of the tires have a conserved tread that makes for easy clean up and you won’t have to worry about the tread getting plugged up and losing traction. The Interco Swamp Lite has a unique tread as well as the STI Mud Trax XL. Both have been said to keep traction and add a little flair to the tire. I personally lean toward the ITP 589 tread design.
Next is the tire weight. Most of the tires run about the same weight. A couple standouts in weight were the Maxxis Zilla and the ITP Mud Lite XL. You notice a little difference in tire weight and if you are looking for a littler ride those would be good options to consider.
All in all, mud tires are a treat to have when you head out before the ground is back to normal. They will keep you riding all day and you won’t waste the afternoon trying to dig your bike out of a mud puddle.