Nearly a decade ago, you could just about categorize light-truck tires into three categories: mud-terrain, all-terrain, and mall-terrain (OK—highway). These days, the lines of convention have blurred. Sure, there are still plenty of clear-cut treads that fall in line with traditional norms, but then there are tires that roll on the fringe of their respective categories.
A great example of this can be seen with the Mickey Thompson (M/T) Baja Claw TTC Radial. For those of you unfamiliar, various versions of the Claw have been part of the M/T line up for years. We miss some of the smaller bias versions that have long gone away! The Claw TTC Radials are designed for enthusiasts looking for a tire that’s a touch more aggressive than your run-of-the-mill mud-terrain radial.
The TTC part of the Claw stands for Top Truck Challenge. This is our sister magazine Four Wheeler’s annual ultimate 4x4 competition, which Mickey Thompson has been a longtime supporter. A while back, we got our hands on a set of 33x12.50R15 Claw TTC Radials. Putting the tires to work under our modified ’98 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ, we’ve been able to see just how well the directional diggers worked over a variety of southeast terrain.
From sticky red clay to jagged rock faces, we’ve tossed the directional tires in just about everything we could (minus snow). To date, the tires have worked well as a versatile trail cleat and excelled the most in mud. The directional tread pattern is designed to dig. In fact, the faster you can churn the tires in the dirt, the better the large knobs will chew through the dirt.
The only real area we are so-so about the Claws was on-road. Given the Claw TTC is more off-road oriented, we knew there would be a slight on-road compromise. Our main gripe is with noise and grip on rain-soaked roadways. More siping could likely make a big difference.
Overall, we like the Claw TTC radial, as it makes for a great all-around tire for those looking to play in the mud and beyond. It’s a touch aggressive for a daily driven 4x4, but we wouldn’t rule it out if a mud-terrain radial is on your radar.
Make/Model: Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC Radial
Country of Origin: USA
Size Tested: 33x12.50R15
Max Load (lbs): 2,205
Sidewall Construction: 3-ply polyester
Approved Rim Width (in): 8.5-11
Tread Depth (in): 20.5⁄32
Tread Width (in): 9.7
Section Width (in): 12.1
Overall Diameter (in): 32.7
Weight (lbs): 60
More and More Tires
Here at Jp, we have been putting tires to the test for years now. If you have a question about a certain tire, we may have already answered it in our huge online tire review known as “The Burning Ring Of Tire.” If the tire you want to see is not on The Ring, keep your eyes peeled—we are going review a new tire in every upcoming issue of Jp magazine.