"Skinny" Tires...

JSimmons

Casual Observer
Hi all,

I am a lurker around these parts but have been doing quite a bit of research/searching on these forums (and others) with regard to so-called "skinny" tires. Namely, the 255, 245, 235 over a 75 or 80 sidewall are what I am interested in. Now, I have never run anything like that before so I am skeptical about the on-road manners of such a tire. To those of you running skinny tires, do you experience less control or wandering at highway speeds? The off-road benefits of skinny tires make sense to me in terms of the whole contact patch argument, etc. etc. But what sort of sacrifice is being made for those of you that daily drive your rigs as well? I guess I am asking for the skinny on skinny tires.

Just to give a quick bit of information about my rig:
'08 4Runner V6 w/ 17 inch wheels, no lift yet, more hunting/fishing/camping/exploring oriented than rock-crawling or mud-bogging. My inclination is toward all-terrain tires but they are hard to find in a skinny combo.

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.
 

Redline

Likes to Drive and Ride
I would observe that the arguments for narrower tires are easiest to make for on-highway travel over off-highway. I'm not arguing against narrow for off-pavement, just saying narrow is certainly good on-highway.
 
Worry not, Joel. Long-time skinny tire guy here. Never a problem on the highway or trail.

Good luck with your choice, whatever it ends up being!
 

TexGX

Explorer
I am in the same boat. I am going with a skinner tire on my 04 GX. I like you have had a hard time finding skinny all terrain tires. I have finially narrowed it down to these:

http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/tires/hankook/size/viewProductDetail.do?pc=10809

They are rated very well and come in 255/75/17 which is a little over 32 inches and 50,000 mile warranty. I also have a thread in the firesite chat were others have given thier option on the tire and most are good to great:

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/73049-Hankook-ATM-s

You can search the site and you will find several threads on skinny tires.

TexGX
 

downhill

Adventurer
I find it amusing that you would suspect the skinny tires would be a problem on road. Quite the opposite is true! They track well, ride well, steer well, everything well. They are great on icy roads, and they don't hydroplane. I think you would be way ahead of the game by getting 16" wheels though. In the 16 there are countless excellent choices. You also want a high sidewall on a skinny tire because it works better when airing down. My favorite is the 235/85-16, 32" tall. I have found that the perfect fit for my 07 Tacoma. It clears everything without modifications, and also allows the use of chains, which for me is a no brainer. The narrow spare fits up high under the truck where it's out of the way. With chains and ARBs it's like driving a tracked vehicle. :sombrero:
 

upcountry

Explorer
Jsimmons - I like the avatar pic.

Ua mau ke eia o ka aina i ka pono o hawaii.

Myself, born and raised, upcountry Maui. Land of the Paniolo.

Regarding the tires:

X2 on the 235/85-16. I have one as a spare. It fits well.

Check out the toyo M-55 in that size. Great pattern. Heavy sidewall.

I run 285/7o/17s, but wish I had gone with a narrower tire.

I am about to add a rear swinggate bumper and will add a full size 285/70/17 as a spare.

I think the largest spare you can squeeze under a double cab short bed is a 235.

I have tried others but they hung down too low and reduced clearance and rubbed the diff cap at full articulation.

IMG_20120207_055823.jpg

IMG_20120207_055847.jpg
 
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Owyhee H

Adventurer
I like the 235-255 tires, Especially 235/85R16. Recently I have been lusting over the 245/75R17 which is the same height as the 235's but a little wider. I am running the stock diameter with 245/75R16 to keep my gearing and find that I am not wanting for clearance. My 245's ride well and track like rails on the pavement, no complaints at all.
 

skiroc

Observer
I just bought a 2006 Tundra TRD 4x4 that has 265/70/16's in an off brand make. I am replacing with Michelin 245/75/16's. A little narrower and a little less aggressive will get me better mpg and be quieter on my 95% highway and 5% forest service/BLM roads.
 

Desert Dan

Explorer
255 x 17 x 75 are availble in Goodyear MTRs and GSA

I have that size Goodyear MTR on my 4 Runner and they are great.
 

89s rule

Adventurer
I ran 255/75/17 on my old pickup with the Seq. rims they worked great. If you can find some KM1's Rubicon takeoffs thats your best deal. If you see snow or ice get the center lugs siped and you should be good to go.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Skinny tires are great. Honestly, if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get new tires back in August I might have waited an extra week to get my new Hankook Dyna Pro AT-M's in 235/85/16. Not only skinnier but also lighter and less expensive (by about $20/tire.) I only went with 265/75/16's because they didn't have any 235's in stock and I needed tires before my Labor Day trip.

I had 235/75/16's on my 2004 Tacoma and they did fine both on and off pavement.
 

olsen_karl

Adventurer
Just to give a quick bit of information about my rig:
'08 4Runner V6 w/ 17 inch wheels, no lift yet, more hunting/fishing/camping/exploring oriented than rock-crawling or mud-bogging. My inclination is toward all-terrain tires but they are hard to find in a skinny combo.

I have a 2008 4Runner, SR5, V6, with factory 17" wheels. It has 255/75 Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires on it, no wheel spacers. Only other pertinent mods are some front fender liner relocation & trimming (no painted surfaces, only the black plastic fender liner), and Bilstein 5100 shocks (front are adjustable height, set at the +0.85" setting; rear are not adjustable). A 255/75/17 also still fits in the stock spare tire location under the rear of the vehicle.

Some photos and more discussion here: (not sure if you have to log in to be able to view photos)
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/4th-gen-t4rs/84780-bilstein-install-2.html

I think it rides/drives/handles just fine on road and off, no noticeable difference in handling. OTOH, an old XJ Cherokee I used to have was a scary drive with ~ 4.5" lift and 33x9.5 BFG M/Ts on stock wheels -- that vehicle was much better with 32x11.5s on slightly less-backspacing wheels. The XJ had a much higher center of gravity and flexy suspension. Oh, and a Detroit locker in the rear too, which didn't do much for its on-road handling...
 

bigreen505

Expedition Leader
Where people get into handling trouble is putting too narrow of a tire on too wide of a rim. Sure, 235/85 is a great size, but not on an 8" rim. Also, I think wider tires feel better in off camber situations with a top heavy vehicle.
 

Redline

Likes to Drive and Ride
Where people get into handling trouble is putting too narrow of a tire on too wide of a rim. Sure, 235/85 is a great size, but not on an 8" rim. Also, I think wider tires feel better in off camber situations with a top heavy vehicle.

Excellent reminder!

Just like we need wider wheels for a good fit for wider, aftermarket tires... If we have wide-ish wheels, super narrow tires like 235s may be too narrow for our wheels.
 

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