When the Maxxis AT-771s first came out, we got one of the very first sets to add to our Equator and try out for some long-term testing. During our time with the AT-771, we had the opportunity to hit some of Big Bear, California's finest trails. The great thing about a destination like Big Bear is the numerous trail conditions you can hit all in a day. While making our way to some of the more aggressive sections, the Maxxis was a solid performer through lower-level trails. We ran a majority of these trails in 2WD, pushing the tire to see how quickly we could find its limits. Though they drove nicely on the highway at 40 psi with the smooth and comfortably-riding tread design, we wondered how the tread would fair in the dirt. Once off the pavement, we adjusted the air pressure down to 22 psi to keep it firm but with a little more give for some fire road riding. The tire proved to be a solid all-terrain choice on moderate trails in both 2WD and 4WD staying on track through soft dirt and fist-size rocks.
Just because a tire doesn't have M/T written on the side of it doesn't mean it won't perform in mud, but these AT-771s weren't one of those mudders in disguise. We hit Big Bear during the winter season, which meant plenty of snow at higher elevations and wet, muddy trails running down the mountain. The AT-771s worked great for the first few feet until they became clogged with mud, and they spun and spun (no digging down though). One look at the tread will obviously tell you this tire is meant for mostly highway driving (where most trucks spend 95 percent of their life) with some light trail play ability cut into the tread lugs. But we just couldn't help ourselves and had to at least try one dip in the mud.
Coming down the mountain we opted for the back way that would lead us through Joshua Tree. There we would find tons of sand to continue our tire test. The great thing about Joshua Tree is that it's not just big sand dunes. There are miles of trails that will shoot you over a dune one minute, then twist you through a sand wash for miles. At 15 psi, the Bravo series A/T did an excellent job keeping us moving. Compared to some other all-terrain tires we have run through the sand, we would place the Maxxis somewhere in the middle. We weren't robbed of confidence but didn't feel as safe as we had with other choices.
If you have traversed through the John Bull Trail in Big Bear, you know that it's a nice, scenic trail that presents some decent challanges. We often found our limiting factor on the trail not the tires but rather the almost stock height of our Suzuki Equator. John Bull has some pretty large rock to overcome we eventually made it through with a few tugs from a friend.
Although we would love to all own dirt-only vehicles, many of us are driving our off-road rigs on the highway most of the time. That means we also want a tire that keeps our fuel economy high and that's not overly noisy at highway speeds. The Maxxis proved to be one of the most excellent highway tires we have used. They are extremely smooth and corner much like a sports car tire. We haven't had the tires long enough to tell you how they wear, but after 4,000 miles on them we can tell you they are still as smooth as day one. Upwards of 80 mph on the highway, tire noise was negligible.
If you are seeking a good all-around, long-lasting tire that will get you through most terrains well enough, give the Maxxis a look. Although, we proved it wasn't a mud tire, it was definitely worthy in all other terrains and won't leave you stranded. We are curious to see how the tire does after some serious time and mileage pass. We're betting that with proper rotation this will be one of the longest lasting A/T tires on the road.
|SPECS (As Tested)|
|MAKE/MODEL:||Maxxis 771 Bravo A/T|
|MOUNTED ON:||Stock 16-inch aluminum wheels|
|SIZE ON SIDEWALL:||LT285/75R16|
|MAX LOAD:||3,400 pounds|
|# PLIES IN SIDEWALL:||Three plies|
|# OF PLIES IN TREAD:||Eight plies|
|AVAILABLE SIZES:||Most popular sizes from 205/70R15 to LT325/60R20|
|AVAILABLE FOR:||Light and Medium duty trucks|