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Mickey Thompson Baja STZ All-Terrain Tires

Posted in How To on October 1, 2011
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Looking for a tire that does what you need it to do, and without a bunch of fancy overly-large lugs and tread voids that will decrease your fuel economy? Look no further than the new Baja STZ from Mickey Thompson.

Created during a time of high fuel prices, a slumping economy, and an ever-increasing need for the do-all truck, Mickey Thompson bore a tire that would not only minimize rolling resistance (for better fuel economy) but also get better bite in the dirt than other all-terrain tires on the market. It does all this at a price of about $200 per tire (depending on which size you get, of course) and is a great choice for your daily-driven truck.

Mickey started with STZs ranging from 30 to 33 inches tall, made for factory-sized 16- to 20-inch wheels, since this tire is a perfect OE replacement for many stock or mildly-lifted trucks. You’ll see other sizes come along in the near future if Mickey doesn’t currently have the perfect size for you.

The Mickey Thompson Baja STZ is made to be an original-equipment replacement tire, and therefore fits most stock trucks and trucks with leveling kits.

Our test truck was a 2004 Dodge Ram 2WD 1500 with a lift knuckle in the front. We chose some 275/70R17s that fit on the truck’s factory 17-inch wheels with about a 31-inch height at 40 psi (when loaded with the truck’s weight). The STZs filled out the wheelwell a little better than the factory offering did, but still don’t get close to rubbing anywhere.

Initial Impressions

These tires have been great to us so far. The Baja STZs truly impressed us on some rather steep trails with a 2WD truck. We were expecting the truck to make it a few feet and spin out—like most all trucks do, no matter what tire, when in 2WD and facing up a steep trail. But these tires kept pushing the truck up the trail!

Since their primary intended use is on the street, it was no surprise that Mickey made these STZs stick to the pavement well, especially in corners!

Since they’re brand new, we only got a few weeks with them before shipping this issue to the printers, so we haven’t put too many thousands of miles on them yet. But they’re in a continuous testing process now and we’ll have more for you in the future.

Specifications as Tested

Make/model: Mickey Thompson Baja STZ
Mounted on: Stock Dodge Ram 2WD 1500 17x7
Size on sidewall: 275/70R17
Load range: E
Max load (tire): 3,195 pounds
Tire hardness: 60 on Type-A tire durometer (while cold)
Tread depth: 33/64
# plies in tread: Eight
# plies in sidewall: Three
Weight of tire: 49 pounds
Measured diameter unloaded: 32.75 inches
Measured width unloaded: 10.75 inches
Measured tread width: 9.00 inches
Available sizes: 30 to 33 inches tall
Available for: 16- to 20-inch wheels

While the tread isn’t overly aggressive and in fact fairly uniform, it still has enough tread void to let the lugs grab and bite in the dirt. The smooth-rolling feel of the tire is partly due to its tread design and partly due to variable density nylon wraps that improve uniformity. There are built-in shoulder scallops for extra bite, and many of the tread blocks have a multi-angled lugs to improve the self-cleaning of the tires.

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