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General Articles - Product Reviews


TreadWright MTG ~ A Bitter Sweet Tire.

Article written by Dr. Jones

Date Added: 06/14/2009

We put the new TreadWright MTG tire to the test in Moab… Twice

Our regular readers will be familiar with HiTech Retreads from our previous reviews. With a new name and a new emphasis on light truck tires, we decided it was time to pay them another visit; and check out their new tire.
TreadWright’s new MTG tire is unlike anything we ever saw from HiTech. Previous retreads have always been great performing tires, but they looked… well kind of like what we expect a retread tire to look like. The D/MUD tires we’ve used in the past had obvious seams along the sidewall and even down the middle of the tread. The new MTG, on the other hand, looks awesome. Probably the best thing we can say about this tire is it doesn’t look like a retread. If it weren’t for the BF Goodrich on the sidewall, we’d swear we were looking at a set of brand new Goodyear MTRs.
The tread is a continuous piece with no obvious breaks. The aggressive lugs wrap around the shoulder and blends smoothly into the sidewall. The quality finish of these tires is miles ahead of the retreads we have known and loved over the years. But do they work? We’ve always touted the awesome traction of our old retreads, but can the hot new kid live up to the legacy of top-notch performance at a bargain price?

In a word, yes. Not only is the MTG a looker, we’d dare say it works even better than the D/MUD. TreadWright nailed the rubber compound and tread design with this tire. It sticks like glue to the Moab slickrock no matter the weather. Over the course of two different trips, we had everything from hot direct sunlight to 20 year flash flooding torrential rain, and even 6” deep snow. These tires held where more expensive ones scrambled for traction.

But there is more to the correct rubber compound that just traction. If the rubber is too soft, it will work well off road, but fall apart on the freeway. It’s a fine line to walk (or drive) getting off road traction and good on road tread life. Has TreadWright found that sweet spot?
For now the results are looking good. This picture is after daily driving, both Moab trips - driving each way and running ten different trails. That’s over 3000 miles of freeway driving and some borderline abusive off roading (hey, we’re thorough in our testing). Of course we'll report back with how well they hold up for the rest of the summer. Of course we will report in again after a summer of driving, crawling, and whatever else we can throw at these tires.

There is; however, a catch. All this performance and quality comes at a cost. No, not the price; at about $110 each they are a screaming deal. The cost is the MTG is only available in a limited number of sizes, and they’re all metric. This means we can’t get our new favorite tire in a 33 or 35x12.50x15. This is a problem for a couple of reasons. First, the 285/75r16 size we tested is quite narrow. The actual face of the tread is only about 9”. The actual height is good at 32.5” (mounted on the Jeep), but the contact patch is much smaller than a traditional 33x12.50x15 tire. This means less rubber touching the rock and less traction. We’ll give the tires props for how well they stick considering the narrow footprint, but just think of how much better they would work with some width.

The second problem with the size is the small volume of air in the tires. Basically the weight of the Jeep is supported by the air pressure and the volume of air in the tires. With less volume, more pressure is needed. This means our 285/75r16 tires need to be run at 30psi vs the 25psi we ran in our 33s (Find out how to determine the correct pressure for your tires). This makes for an even rougher ride in an already bumpy, short-wheel-base Jeep. Another side effect of this small air volume is the tires are very sensitive to small changes in air pressure. From airing down in the morning to stopping for lunch, we picked up 3psi from the tires warming up in the hot desert sun. This pressure increase meant the difference between crawling smoothly up ledges, and clawing violently over them in a cloud of smoke and noise.



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Final Thoughts

So, is it worth it? Is the stellar performance and value of these tires worth the drawbacks of the available sizes? Absolutely. Even in spite of the truck-tire size, they still work exceptionally well. Still, we sure wish we didn’t have to make that decision. If TreadWright would produce the MTG tire in more traditional off-road sizes, we wouldn’t buy anything else.

After checking out TreadWright's tire prices you may find yourself really wanting a set of these tires, but you're apprehensive about using a retread tire. Let me dispel your concerns.

Q: I see remains of retread tires on the highway all the time. Will they come apart?
A: The loads that a tire sees under a semi truck on the open highway cannot be compared to your vehicle. Your passenger vehicle will never see the miles, loads, or heat buildup of the tires under a semi truck. However, using what Treadwright has learned from the construction of semi truck tires allows them to build a solid tire for your vehicle.

Q: Are they safe?
A: All retread tires have to meet the standards of the Department of Transportation to be sold for passenger vehicle use. This is why you will find the "DOT" stamp on all of TreadWright's tires.

Q: What kind of condition are my tires (carcass) going to be in?
A: We have run variations of Treadwright tires for many years. Some we have written about and others we have not. We can attest to the fact that every tire has been in top condition and tires are always matched as a set of two, or as a set of four tires (at your direction), so that the handling characteristics are the same.


Vendors Comments
On the 33” and 35”, we are taking your recommendation into consideration and are actively looking at the possibility of producing larger sizes in 2010. We are researching producing the larger sizes in both the MTG and the ATB tread designs. Currently the MTG is available in 31x10.50R15, 245/75R16, 265/70R16, 285/75R16, and 285/70R17. Starting in August the MTG will also be available in 265/75R16 and 265/70R17 sizes.

Joel

Joel Hawkins (I drive on retreads!)
TreadWright, Inc.

Purchase / Vendor Info

Vendor Name: Treadwright Inc.
Address: PO Box 763
Edgemont, SD 57735
Phone: 1-877-439-0759
E-Mail Address:
Website: www.treadwright.com/
 

Our Thank You's!

MOABJEEPER Magazine would like to thank TreadWright, Inc. for providing a stellar tire at a seriously discounted price.
 


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