Taking The Bull By The Cleats
Pit Bull has built its brand by creating aggressive and affordable off-road tires, often removed from conventional styling. In years past we’ve had great luck testing Pit Bull’s bias cleats, and now that the radial line is packed with more sizes than ever before, we were anxious to give them a go. We got our hands on a set of 37x12.50R17 Rocker radials. Pit Bull, which molded these Rockers after the original ultra-aggressive bias-ply ones, considers the radial to be an “extreme terrain” tire that’s a tad more street-friendly and finely tuned than the bias-ply.
To find out how well the 37-inch Rockers rolled, we strapped them onto a set of lightweight 17-inch Mickey Thompson Sidebiter wheels and fitted them onto a well-equipped Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. After logging some serious highway and off-road miles we are happy to report that the tires continue to impress. But they are not without a few cons. Here is a list of what we put them through so far and what the results have been.
Over the pavement we found the tires to have a mild roar at highway speeds, but the beefy lugs could hardly be felt and made for a very smooth ride. And while we like the growl of an aggressive mud-terrain, the consistent bark might not be the most soothing sound to others.
Fitted with a Load Range E sidewall, the 37x12.50R17 radial Rocker is capable of holding 4,080 pounds at 65 psi. While this is great for a 1-ton truck, it is a tad much for lightweight Jeeps and mini-trucks. We found that running the tires at 30 psi on the road was plenty for our four-door test Jeep, and we dropped into the low teens once the cleats hit the dirt
In loose dirt and sandy soil the Rockers chewed through the terra with ease. Although we found that in 2WD the tires headed more south than forward, a quick shift into 4WD allowed us to blast out of the sandy soil without any hesitation.
To secure the Rockers, we went with a set of 17x9 Sidebiter wheels from Mickey Thompson. Constructed of a high-strength aluminum casting and finished off with a high-gloss powdercoat, the Sidebiter is lightweight, which helped keep the rolling resistance down and offset the 92-pound Rocker.
With a combination of large tread blocks, wide lugs, and deep siping, the tires were able to grip and clean out easily in a variety of terrain. We even found the sidewall cleats to be very effective for crawling out of deep ruts and low-traction areas.