Tire Test: Maxxis Trepador M8060 Bias-PlyPosted in Product Reviews on August 9, 2016 0) (
Maxxis is not new to the tire industry. The company specializes in on- and off-road traction for 4x4s, motorcycles, ATVs, bicycles, trailers, lawn tractors, and more. Much like the rest of the Maxxis off-road product lineup, the Trepador M8060 has many features that make it a durable tire that can take your 4x4 over the roughest trails and back home again.
At first glance, the extremely aggressive tread and sidewall might lead you to think that the Trepador M8060 isn’t street legal. Rest assured that it is completely DOT compliant. However, it is a bias-ply tire, so all of the common bias-ply tire traits apply to the Trepador. They will get flat spots, especially on cold mornings, and bias-ply tires will not wear as well or as long as their radial counterparts. The good news is that there is also a radial version of the Trepador, although the construction and tread design are very different. For those who only use their 4x4 off-road, a competition version of the bias-ply Trepador is available in 37x12.50 and 40x13.50 for 17-inch wheels. This version of the Trepador features an ultrasoft and sticky tread compound that is neither DOT compliant nor road legal.
Because the Trepador bias-ply is so specifically an off-road tire, available sizes are limited to 35, 37, and 40 inches in diameter for 15- to 20-inch wheels. Not all wheel diameters are available for each tire size. We really wanted some 37x12.50-15 tires, but the Trepador bias-ply does not come in this size. We settled for the 35x12.50-15 Trepador. Our 35s feature a tread depth of 23/32-inch with a D load range. This writer appreciates the squared-off overall shape of the Trepador more than tires with the dated rounded balloon look. The abrupt tire sidewall transition makes almost any 4x4 look more aggressive. It seems especially fitting on older 4x4s with chiseled body lines. The tires look like something you would find on a piece of commercial industrial equipment.
We mounted our 35x12.50-15 Trepador tires on a set of old Champion beadlock wheels. What we found is that the 15-inch Trepador bead is not as tight fitting as some other tires, so they seated on the beadlocks very easily—actually, a little too easily. Other Trepador tire diameters and wheel sizes may fit differently. Wheel diameters and tire bead dimensions in general vary slightly depending on the manufacturer. Once mounted, the tires measured up very true to height at 34.5 inches at 20 psi on a 15x10 wheel. Even aired up they maintained the squared shape along the tread to sidewall transition.
Because these are bias-ply tires, you’ll generally need to air them down nearly to or at single-digit pressures for best off-road traction. Our 4x4 weighs in at around 5,000 pounds. We could get a good sidewall bulge at 6-10 psi. The low tire pressure can lead to unseated tire beads if you don’t drive carefully. Beadlock wheels will keep the tire beads in place and air in the tires. However, single-sided beadlock wheels may not be enough. The loose fit on our wheels allowed the inner beads to occasionally burp out air when crawling over extremely rough terrain. The inner bead never popped off, but we did need to add air to a couple tires while on the trail. Double beadlocks or internal beadlocks would be ideal if the tires are not a tight fit on your wheels.
As expected, the Trepador M8060 moves a lot of material. They constantly fling stones, sand, mud, and gravel like a paddle tire and indiscriminately excavate, churn, and dig forward or down in loose or muddy soils until they hit solid ground. If you have a sidewall-puncturing problem, the Trepador bias-ply tire is for you. Not only do you get the extremely robust bias-ply carcass construction, you get a thick rubber tread that covers most of the sidewall. The sidewall lugs are up to 1 1/2 inches tall in some areas. Huge lugs on the tread and sidewall act like hands grabbing at every rocky edge for traction; however, sharp granite rocks can cause the hefty lugs to chunk slightly. Even though the Trepador tire lugs feature sipes, they probably would not be our first choice for a snow and ice tire. Although, if you need mud performance in a snowy area, the Trepador could be a good compromise.
The Trepador M8060 bias-ply tire is noisy on the highway, even at slow speed. It’s certainly more civilized than some other aggressive bias-ply mud tires, but everyone will surely hear you coming. We noticed that small pebbles become wedged into the tire sipes. They often launch themselves out when the vehicle picks up speed on the highway. Ultimately, you really don’t want to follow someone with the Trepador bias-ply tires too closely on- or off-road—your 4x4 might end up with some missing paint chips or a broken windshield. The Maxxis Trepadors make a ton of traction and can move mountains, but they probably won’t make you any friends.