Testing Dick Cepek’s New Trail Country EXP TirePosted in How To: Wheels Tires on February 12, 2019
The name Dick Cepek has been around for over 50 years supplying off-road tires and accessories. Cepek’s passion was exploring the Southwestern deserts that he turned into his business. When he saw a need for more aggressive and durable tires for his own off-road adventures he had some made. As demand for his tires increased, so did his business. Being adventure-focused, he also sold truck accessories and camping gear to go along with his tires to get people out exploring and enjoying the outdoors. As an ultimate tire test, Cepek set out with his friend Ed Pearlman to set a four-wheeled vehicle record crossing the Baja California peninsula in 1966. The following year the Baja 1000 race was created and continues to be a proving ground for tires.
We first saw Dick Cepek’s newest Trail Country EXP tire at the 2018 SEMA show. We had to take a closer look because we were in the market for new tires on our own desert exploring and camping 4x4. The Trail Country EXP blends the attributes of an all-terrain tire with those of a more-aggressive mud-terrain tire into a new hybrid offering. The four-rib tread design has larger tread elements around the outside of the tread with wider voids for off-road traction but still retains a similar overall tread-to-void ratio of a traditional five-rib all-terrain tire for good on-road handling. A silica-reinforced compound improves wear. The EXPs are backed by a 45,000-mile limited warranty.
We mounted up a set of LT265/75R16s (32-inch tall) on Dick Cepek DC-2 Black wheels under our 1991 Ford Explorer to see for ourselves just how this tire would handle the varied terrain our adventures take us on. The first thing we noticed about the EXPs was how much quieter they ran compared to several of our previous mud-terrains, which is to be expected with a less-aggressive tread and more rubber on the road. While a slight hum can still be heard on the highway, a lower noise level from our tires is a welcome relief on long pavement sections to and from distant trails.
The tires track straight and don’t wander on the pavement or follow grooves. They grip around corners without chirping or slipping and are butter smooth, taking an average of 3.3 ounces to balance.
Off-road we have subjected these tires to everything we could find: snow, loose gravel, sand, rocks, and mud. We were never let down once with the traction the EXPs provided, and we are looking forward to many more adventures on these tires. The heritage of Dick Cepek is alive and well in these tires. They will get you to the office just as well as to your favorite off-road destination or camping spot and back.
SpecificationsDick Cepek Trail Country EXP
Size Tested: LT265/75R16
Type: All-terrain/mud-terrain hybrid
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (lb): 3,415 at 80 psi cold
Sidewall Construction: 2-ply
Approved Rim Width (in): 7.0-8.0
Tread Depth (in): 18.5/32
Tread Width (in): 8.0
Section Width (in): 10.1
Overall Diam. (in): 31.9
Weight (lb): 50.0
Sizes Available: 20 sizes from 31 to 35 inches for rims 15 to 20 inches in diameter. 8 additional sizes ranging up to 37 inches available in the second quarter of 2019.