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Testing Mickey Thompson Baja STZs - Daily Treads

Posted in Product Reviews on August 28, 2014 Comment (0)
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For many enthusiasts, the trail starts and ends in the driveway. Like you, quite a few of us also daily drive our trail rigs. If that describes your situation, you’re likely aware an all-terrain tire can be more ideal over a more aggressive mud-terrain. The challenge often comes down to picking the best all-terrain for your needs.

We’ve tested many all-terrain tires over the years, but until recently, we hand not had a chance to churn Mickey Thompson’s Baja STZ. With the mildest tread in the Mickey Thompson truck tire lineup, the STZ is designed for enthusiasts who need refined pavement manners slightly more than off-road prowess. Our test set of STZ tires came in a 315/70R17, which fit under our heavily modified late-model Toyota 4Runner nicely.

The Baja STZ is one of the quietest all-terrains tires we’ve tested. Decreased rolling resistance means that steering effort is very light and fuel economy doesn’t suffer. Pavement is where the STZ simply shines.

Mickey Thompson offers the STZ in 26 sizes with fitments for 15- to 20-inch wheels. The STZ is also available with a load range E sidewall, making them a great fit for tow rigs as well. Our tires needed TPMS sensors installed and a balancing, so we took them down to Daniel’s Tire Service in Santa Fe Springs, California, to have them mounted up. The Daniel’s Tire crew mounts and balances oversized tires each and every day, and had no trouble with our set, which didn’t take much weight to balance.

We’ve had our STZs mounted up for a few months now, and have enjoyed the quiet rotation and performance of the tires. Since we were testing the tires in the dry southwest terrain, mud wasn’t an issue. This allowed the STZs mild tread stagger to work fine for the backcountry and desert exploring we use our 4Runner for. If you’re looking for a tire that can go the distance, and give you an extra bit when the tires leave the pavement, the STZ is definitely worth a closer look.

The serrated tie bars between the center-most lugs help on-road and off. Also evident is the low void ratio and strategic siping that provides sure-footed traction in foul weather. Our 315/70R17 Mickey Thompson Baja STZ carries an eight-ply rating and is load range D.
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Tire Specs
Size Tested: 315/70R17
Height (in): 341⁄8
Weight (wheel and tire) (lb.): 83
Tread Crown Width (in.): 101⁄8
Overall Width (in.): 12½
Tread Depth (in.): 17⁄32
Tire Durometer (hardness): 67 at 66 degrees F

We needed some dirt, so we headed to the Johnson Valley OHV area. We found the STZ’s floated well in sand, even at street pressure. Lateral grip was confidence inspiring as we plied the unpaved access roads leading to Cougar Buttes. We found a sharp protrusion on this low ridge, which made a perfect spot for airing down to check for tread and sidewall flex.

Sources

Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
Stow, OH 44224
330-928-9092
www.dickcepek.com
Daniel's Tire Service
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
562-698-9401
www.danielstireservice.com
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels
Corona, CA 92881
www.mickeythompsontires.com

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