All Terrain Width

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Everyone knows that when sizing down for winter tires, it's better to have a narrower tire than the OEMs, if possible for snow penetration and start/stop grip.

Does the same logic work for all terrain tires? My stocks are 235/45R18. My choices are 215/65R16 or 225/55R17.

Thanks.
 

AJW001

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For sure. I mean for all-terrain tires meant for off-roading on well to moderately maintained forest service roads.
 
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The only thing wider tires are good for is bottomless mud pits. Gives you a bit of floatation. For every other offroad situation , skinny tires work better. Even rock crawling , in my experience.
 
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Everyone knows that when sizing down for winter tires, it's better to have a narrower tire than the OEMs, if possible for snow penetration and start/stop grip.

Does the same logic work for all terrain tires? My stocks are 235/45R18. My choices are 215/65R16 or 225/55R17.

Thanks.
That question is not great what you should be asking is What tire should I buy.. much more impact than 10mm width.
and you give us absolutely no background info.. no location, no vehicle. etc.
 
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AJW001

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Stocks are grand touring on a 2022 Hyundai Kona. I'm considering the Nokian Outpost APT in either 235/45R18 or 225/55R17. The other choice is the Nitto Nomad Grappler in a 225/55R17.

Location is Metro Vancouver, BC. I'll be using these for casual/occasional off-roading on well-moderate maintained fire roads in the late summer to access backcountry trails.
 
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The only thing wider tires are good for is bottomless mud pits. Gives you a bit of floatation. For every other offroad situation , skinny tires work better. Even rock crawling , in my experience.
This right here, we have done a ton of both off-roading and winter driving here in Colorado and this sums it up well BUT fretting over 5 or 10mm of width is MUCH less important than which tire model you actually buy..
 
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Probably not. I'm sure that in the off road world, you would be looking for wider tires that "MIGHT" catch a solid chunk of rock or dirt, therefore affording the traction. Even in mud, I'd say the wider tire would distribute the weight better than the skinnier tire, to prevent you from sinking too deep.
I've driven in many of Pittsburgh winters, and have never heard of your skinny tire theory for snow. But that was when tires were not as wide as they are today. Since you don't say where you're from, I'll just accept that as being true though.

General rule from physics class was that more contact area on an uneven or loose surface provides more traction. I suppose that's why wide tires work on dry roads better than skinny tires. And probably why offroaders air down their tires sometimes.
 

AJW001

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A
Guess you have never driven on sand?
This is a great point, I never thought about that. I suppose the selection of width can't be generalized for dry terrain like it can for winters.

That said, I'll be spending all of my off-road time on well-moderate-maintained forests service roads, in southwestern British Columbia.
 
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Replace 'mud' in "bottomless mud pits" with sand and you have a beach.

When objective is to float on top of stuff - wider. If there is a point of getting to the bottom - narrower.
But there is no good answer.

If under the snow is ice it makes you no good to get to it. If under the snow is pavement then it makes sense.

Krzyś

PS I tend to have OE size for winter too (2019 Volvo S60, 2019 Mazda MX-5) and -0 for 2011 Volvo S40 (205/50R17 OE - 205/55R16 for winter).
 
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Well on moderately maintained forest roads, I'd stick with oem width. This is nothing special, frankly any truck/suv tire can handle it with the exception of some cheap asian/house brands.

Traditionally, one would air down on bumpy forest roads to smooth out the ride, but you don't have much sidewall to work with.
 

AJW001

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Replace 'mud' in "bottomless mud pits" with sand and you have a beach.

When objective is to float on top of stuff - wider. If there is a point of getting to the bottom - narrower.
But there is no good answer.

If under the snow is ice it makes you no good to get to it. If under the snow is pavement then it makes sense.

Krzyś

PS I tend to have OE size for winter too (2019 Volvo S60, 2019 Mazda MX-5) and -0 for 2011 Volvo S40 (205/50R17 OE - 205/55R16 for winter).
Oh I see. So then 225/55R17 should be fine and that'll allow me the option of either the Nokians or Nittos (there are no 16" Grappler options).
 
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Plus you have the other thread about all terrain with winter bias a couple spots down. The Nokian Outpost APT seemed like a great choice there. Plus we want the reviews :).

I run basically stock size for my winters currently. CRV has one size up 235/65/17 for winter and 3 season (225/65/17 is stock). Pilot has 245/60/18 winter (stock size), the 3 season is 265/60/18 which covers my beach excursions, fire trails, gravel and mud to hunting. At beach we air down to about 18 psi. Rest of conditions stay full pressure with no issues so far in many years.
 
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