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2002 Tire & Wheel Buyer's Guide - Tires &Wheels

Posted in Product Reviews on May 1, 2002 Comment (0)
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Contributors: Wendy Frazier

Aside from the shining paint or crumpled carnage, tires and wheels are the first things that appeal visually to the psyche. For some obsessive reason we are all magnetically drawn to those circular objects. Perhaps it stems from our neolithic impulse to roll things around. Maybe it's because tires and wheels are two of the only true "bolt-ons." Or maybe the reason is that you can get them in the perfect size for your vehicle, which is the true lure to coveting the coolest wheel and tire combos.

Either way, the following pages document for you the newest, coolest, and most readily available wheels and tires on the market right now.

2002 Wheel Buyer's GuideBling BlingsOld timers running stock 15-inch steel wheels better brace yourselves, because 2002 looks to be the year of the bead lock and 17-inch-plus size wheel. Thanks to an ever-growing number of taller tires (some only available to fit 17-inch wheels) the off-road market is breaking free of the 15-inch wheel chokehold. But don't worry, this isn't some street-truck trend-these wheels are necessary on many late-model trucks to accommodate the huge brakes they run. Blame it on the desert race guys if you want, but these wheels are here to stay.

The high-volume wheel manufacturers are pumping out new styles in the 16-, 17-, and 18-inch sizes and taking advantage of new forging technologies that let them produce feather-light wheels that can handle a serious whomping.

Not to be out done, the small production shops are cranking out custom bead-lock wheels in every size, bolt pattern, and backspacing faster than you can mount a set of mud tires on 'em. "Form follows function" is still the priority in off-road wheel selection, but don't be afraid to add a little style to your truck either. Here are some of the newest

2002 Tire Buyer's GuideWe Spin You Right RoundSilica, black carbon, steel, nylon, polyester, rubber, resin. There's so much more to a tire than just black and round. Not only do tires play a critical role in safety, but they're also your greatest ally in gaining traction. Larger, more aggressive tread patterns and complex rubber compound designs dominate the off-road tire market.

We've designed the tire guide to give you the dirt, or should we say rubber, on the tires most commonly available. You'll find make, model, construction, available sizes, pricing info, who to contact for more info, and more important, a look at the tire so that you can check out the size of the lugs or the shoulder stoutness or just give it the old-fashioned eyeball test.

You should keep those eyeballs going through the size section. We've got more than a few eye-opener exclusives and introductions for new sizes to the market. It's up to you to decide what's in, what's out, and what's going on your truck next.

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