Off-Road Tire Options Bias Ply or Radial - Which One to Buy

Off-roading presents a new set of challenges for any vehicle and its equipment. There are many choices in gear including tires. Here is our take on the Bias Ply versus Radial tire debate.

Off-Road Tire Options Bias Ply or Radial - Which One to Buy

Picking the right off-road tires can really help your experience. Tires like these bias-ply are great, but they have their drawbacks.

This debate is focused around the fact that Bias-Ply tires are the best option for the trail. Why? It is because of their unique construction where the tread and sidewall are one solid piece. This means that the sidewalls are extremely resistant to punctures. Plus, they hold up really well when you under inflate them and don’t lose the structural integrity that radial tires do.

Underinflating tires is a common practice when off-roading to obtain more grip. This make bias-ply tires a great option, but what about radial?

Radial tires are a great choice as well. While they don’t have the underinflation advantage they are superior in different ways. Radial is better than bias-ply:
More stable on the highway
Superior at high off-road speeds
Longer lasting
Better consistency in performance (no flat spots, less flex)

There is a great article on Fourwheeler.com that breaks down the pros and cons, check it out for more detailed information. Here is a quick summary from the article:

With the advances in radial technology, we’d have to side with the majority when we choose radial tires for our own rigs. Not only are radials very good on the trail, AND exceptional on the pavement, their all-purpose nature fits the multi-purpose use of today’s four wheelers that see both daily driver and weekend-warrior duty.

However, if you are a hardcore wheeler who has a trail machine that is used solely for trail work, a bias-ply tire is worth considering. In a trail environment, you can’t go wrong with the durability and capability of a bias-ply tire.

As you begin looking at new tires options for off-roading, it is important to look at all the situations you will be driving in. Once you figure out where you spend the majority of your time, then you can make the right tire choice. Of course, buying both sets isn’t a bad idea either!

Written by Tim Esterdahl