I finally am getting around to replacing the stock BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires on my 2010 Frontier (fine on-road but not so great off-road). I hated these tires from the start (came from BFG A/T KO which I thought were very good) and figured I would replace them immediately. I ended up just putting up with them until they wore out. I'm at 46K now and they would probably last longer, but just figured at this point it was easy for me to justify the cost of a better tire, especially with winter coming.
I just ordered the the Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx, from Tread Depot. I priced the tires locally (almost no one sells them here), and even with shipping and additional mounting costs and such, it was cheaper to get them online. My price was $177/each and $72 for shipping.
I haven't even received the tires yet, but I wanted to start this thread, as I'm sure I'll be reviewing the tires at somewhat regular intervals. I read a ton of reviews before deciding on this tire. I had a hard time convincing myself to go with anything other than the BFG A/T KO. I just have the most experience with that tire, over many years, in all conditions, and on many different vehicles. That tire has it's shortcomings, but it was an awesome all around tire for my typical usage, and I just didn't want to spend on a different tire and end up feeling like I should have stuck with the BFG's.
On the other hand, there's no substitute for personal experience, and like every tire, the Cooper S/T Maxx had very positive and very negative reviews. My feeling was that they would likely be as good or better than the BFG's, I was bored sticking with the same tire, and felt I just had to find out for myself if there was something else that I might like better.
Other background information that might be helpful before I begin the review is below. The truck I have is a Nissan Frontier Pro-4X. Somewhat unfortunately (gas prices), it is my daily driver, but I off-road a lot too. I'd say I'm about 50/50 on/off road, with a lot of the off-road just being very poor dirt/gravel roads. I do a ton of hiking (multiple times / week, year-round), and I tend to try to get as far away from people as I can, so I'm often on very rough trails in difficult conditions. I think I cover a very wide range of terrain and trail types, usually covering stream crossings, deep rutted muddy conditions, deep snow, tree roots, and not what I'd really call rock climbing, but driving on very rocky terrain, sometimes smaller boulders, sometimes more shale and loose stone, but generally lots of moderate sharp inclines and declines on that type of stuff. I don't tow anything, but haul a good bit in the bed, generally the heaviest being full loads of dirt and/or mulch. Anyway, I'm not a serious off-roader I just always need a vehicle that is going to get me where I want to go, and that's definitely more off the beaten-path than the average truck owner.
As soon as I get the tires in I'll get some pictures before and after mounting. I'll be out immediately testing them, and I'm sure I'll have some tough conditions to test them in over the next few months. I'll get pictures of some of the more difficult terrain I test them on too, so people have a better idea of what I'm putting them through. Good or bad, I can't wait to finally test something different on the trails!
From the description of your off-roading terrain variations, I would say you made a better choice with the Coopers. I have been a BFG ATO fan for 15 years as well, but now find that the shortcomings offroad warrant trying new tires, and the Copper ST Maxx are definitely on my list to consider.
Looking forward to your reviews - especially that "sidewall flexing" feeling others report - I am curious if that is just the deep tread that rolls slightly when new.
__________________ 2007 Frontier LE Crew Cab LWB 4x4 w/leather
Just same size tires as stock. P265/75R16. Even an extra inch of clearance would help me a bit with all the driving through water I do, but I didn't want to risk having to make any modifications, changing the driving behavior too much, and I really just couldn't come up with a great reason for upsizing other than possibly appearance...which no doubt would have been nice!
I'm already not liking the idea of even a slight decrease in gas mileage. I can get pretty good gas mileage now (for this truck anyway), usually between 18-19 average depending on the mix of city/highway I'm doing. Typically it's including a lot of stop-and-go back and forth to work, and a lot of off-road driving so I can't complain. I can get as high as 26 on the highway if I'm light on the pedal, but I can't keep that up. It's tough for me to even maintain a 19mpg average unless I at least get a fair amount of highway driving in at some point during the week. Everything I've read indicates I'm likely to drop 2-3 mpg, at least in city driving, with these tires. I'll find out soon enough. Just wish they'd stop making mid/small size pickups bigger and bigger or at least do something to improve gas mileage.
There are a bunch of pictures of the tires pre and post install, on the stock Nissan Frontier Pro-4X wheels. FYI, tread depot was excellent with the pricing and shipping on these tires.
Initial impressions, after just over 200 miles on the tires, mostly on-road, are below.
I can't detect any additional noise compared to stock tires. I've listened with the windows down at every speed from 0-70 and can't notice anything, although with all the wind noise it would have to be a big difference in my opinion to notice. Can't notice any difference with the windows up either. Maybe someone on the road could notice a difference but honestly the Frontier is kind of noisy all around and I can't imagine hearing a difference in anything other than possibly a serious mud tire.
Tires ride much better than stock 'in my opinion'. Ride is definitely firmer, not dramatically but noticeably. I like the firmer ride and I've always been used to that because I've almost always run similar load 10 ply tires on my trucks, and had the off-road suspensions, so anything less than a stiff jolting ride doesn't seem right to me . If you want a truck that rides like a car, better to stick with something else, but if a 'real' truck ride makes you smile, these are great.
Definitely lost some on the gas mileage. It's very obvious after even just the 200+ miles. I had 46-47K on the truck and I knew exactly what kind of mileage I got just about anywhere I go on a regular basis. No doubt I lost 1-2mpg minimum with these tires, from stock, and at the very least it's on the high side of that estimate, possibly even higher. I notice this in all driving, highway, city, and any combination. Not a big deal for me, but I wasn't believing it until I saw it for myself.
I haven't had a chance to test in bad conditions or in anything really tough off-road. I've had quite a bit of driving on gravel already, and crawled through mud that was over the bottom of the rims, in 2WD, no problem, but the bottom was probably pretty firm. Tires do throw stones like nothing I've ever had, definitely more and bigger stones than the stock BFG's or BFG T/A KO's. I would not want these tires wider than the fenders as I'd guess you'd have no paint left on your vehicle after a few thousand miles! After pulling out off gravel roads, even driving slow it sounded like someone was shooting at my car the gravel was coming off the tires so hard. The same thing actually happened with mud when I got back on the road (didn't need to spin the tires in the mud). The second I hit the road, all mud was immediately thrown at mach speed from the tires. Initial impression was that these tires would have no problem shedding anything, snow, mud, etc, once you got them going. Can't wait to test them out in worse conditions.
If you look at some of the close-ups of the tread, notice the siping on the outside tread. Looks like that's done pretty well and I'm expecting these tires to do just fine on wet pavement. Should be able to test here within the next week.
Finally, in the first day of having these tires on I had 3 people ask about them. Maybe just coincidence but I've never had anyone ask about tires on one of my vehicles. Got comments ranging from "those are boss", to what are they and where did I get them. Look nice on the truck for an all season, not strictly off-road tire.
Anyway, I'll update again when I've put some more miles on and especially when I've had a chance to hit some more difficult conditions with them. Right now I'd say I like them more than BFG A/T KO's in appearance and just for being something not so ordinary, and on the road they seem as good or better than any truck tire I've ever driven on, but I'll reserve the off-road judgement until I've had some more time with them. It will obviously be a while before I can say much about how they wear and hold up too, but initial impression is definitely very good.
I finally am getting around to replacing the stock BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires on my 2010 Frontier (fine on-road but not so great off-road). I hated these tires from the start (came from BFG A/T KO which I thought were very good) and figured I would replace them immediately.
I wish I'd seen this sooner. I just replaced my Michelin's with Rugged Trails! They actually arrived today from TireBuyer. I drive 90% offroad (sand). They'll probably be fine though, any tire is if you air it down around 15lbs. Well, as long as the sidewall can flex. Actually, the less aggressive the tread is, the better. I was originally looking at Cooper's, but had a hard time finding anywhere that carried them at a competitive price.
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