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Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport - Tire Test

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on September 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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If you drive your pickup, utility, Jeep, or SUV mostly on paved roads, maybe using a tire built to excel on pavement would be a good idea.

Obviously we're not saying that you should ditch your trail tires for a (practically) street-only set of Dueler H/P Sports, but some may want to consider swapping those mud treads for all-terrains-because, gulp, there's a chance that you and your vehicle would actually be happier with something like these Bridgestones than with harsher-riding, noisier, faster wearing all-terrains. Especially so if you drive a late-model four-by that never sees much dirt. Or any, as the case often is.

This Bridgestone is capable of making hi-po 4x4 cars such as the Porsche Cayenne stick to the asphalt, so it's no surprise that the Dueler possesses handling qualities that can make a basic pickup or SUV feel like a different vehicle once shod with H/P Sports. Just going from an OE-type "mud & snow" tire (which most readers would consider very mild treaded) to a tire like this can make a huge difference in steering response and traction-on pavement. Large shoulder blocks and wide center ribs made our test pickup corner and steer much more like a sports car than the somewhat clumsy utilitarian vehicle it acted like before. There are absolutely no tendencies to tracking and, well, we just can't fault this tire on pavement. Also, while seemingly void of any mentionable tread to a four-wheeler, there are wide circumferential grooves that evacuate water very well, helped by the design of the tread blocks, and it's enough to maintain good traction in the wet, even with 9.1 inches of tread on the ground.

Underneath that shallow tread lays two steel plies and a nylon cap, helping deliver the precise handling, the noiseless smooth ride, and great grip. And if you have a potent engine, you'll probably even be able to get off the line in a hurry without spinning the tires. This feature may not do much for fuel economy, but can save your rear bumper.

A Dueler H/P Sport isn't completely out of its element on trails-after all, many Four Wheeler of the Year vehicles have sported similar tires, some of which got shredded when spinning in the rocks while others survived. With careful driving and a bit of common sense applied, the H/P can go places we didn't expect such a mild tread to reach, but after some 5,000 miles (about one percent of which was in the dirt) we were often impressed with the Dueler's abilities on the trails. And at other times, the "lack of tread" held us back.

One area where the Dueler H/P Sport doesn't have to take a back seat to real trail tires is in sand. Despite being a radial with a very flat tread arch, it works very well in sand, thanks to nicely rounded shoulders, a generous 11-inch width and the nonaggressive tread.

We certainly wouldn't recommend this tire to those who actually do use their vehicles on the trail more than very occasionally. It's just not made for that. An H/P is also not ideal for areas that get snow and ice, and mud is simply out of the question. But this still leaves an awful lot of ground that the Dueler H/P Sport can cover, and overall, much better than the typical all-terrain tire.

Tire: Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport
Size: P275/60R17
Type: Radial
Load range: N/A
Max load (lb): 2,337 @ 51 psi
Sidewall: 2-ply polyester
Tread: 2-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 2-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 7.5-9.5 (8)
Tread depth (in): N/A
Tread width (in): 9.1
Section width (in): 11.0
Overall diameter (in): 30.0
Static loaded radius (in): 13.5
Revolutions per mile: 694
Weight (lb): 38
Test vehicle: 4,600-pound Silverado

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