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What tire size is right for me?

Since day one of being a Tundra owner I have used a lot of different tires, including all of these sizes!  P275/55R20, P265/70R18, LT275/70R18, LT33X13.0R18, LT295/70R18, LT35X1250R18, LT35X12.50R17 and LT37X12.50R17.

I hope this blog can help save you buying as many tires as I have!

Just because the 37″ tires are my all time favorite, it may or may not be right for you.  Lets unpack my experience and see if we can help you find your ideal tire size.  

I wish I had the experience of running a set of LT40X13.50R17 ties to share with you, but 37’s are my practical limit right now.  The ability for my wife and son to get in and out of the truck easily for camping has been a big factor.  I currently have multiple full size 37″ spares, ability to run tire chains on my 37’s, the 4.88 gears installed already work well etc.  For the time being I will direct more energy into a more usable camping set up and let Ryan show us what 40″ tires are like on his beast of a Tacoma!

As mentioned above, of all tires the 37’s are my all time favorite.  In fact currently on my second set of tires in this size.  For myself I found looks to be weigh heavier on my decisions than I originally thought.  There was many tire purchases that I put too much weight into picking the smaller tire size, the less aggressive tread and the lighter weight tire.  I was chasing the dream of a smoother ride, quieter ride and better fuel economy.  It may sound funny, but for me those perks just couldn’t make me feel right about my trucks stance and it didn’t have proper proportions.  I have many customers do the same thing as me and jump from 33 to 34 to 35 before finding 35’s are the right fit for them.  With 37’s I get more compliments on the truck, even my mom has gone out of her way to say my wifes GX470 looks better with 35’s.  Yes I tried to be smart and practical again, sold the 33’s in 2 months.  Even Megan likes the truck better now!  I understand looks are opinionated, however I can say I didn’t get any random thumbs up when rolling in my light weight, smooth riding and conservative LT265/70R18 all terrain tires.  

Now lets get past the looks and talk about function.  For me, the 37’s has also blown my mind in a great way here also.  Please note I spend a lot of time off pavement so the benefits I’m seeing are amplified because of my of pavement driving usage.  The 37’s have given me the following benifits;

-smoother ride quality on rough roads as I have larger sidewalls and more rubber to absorb the bumps, also the larger diameter tires roll over more of the bumps vs dropping down into the bump! 

-I can air down to lower PSI with less risk of damaging my wheel beads.  The traction from the tires air downed has been so much fun, I still get the giggles when we were aired down to single digits and floating on top of 2′ of compact snow!

-ground clearance under the differentials is wicked! 

-Traction provided by such a large aired down contact patch is amazing, and when it gets icy I can still run tire chains!  

-I can slow down more on technical features as the tires give so much confidence, if I can stay off the skinny pedal I can drive less aggressive to tackle complicated obstacles

-Did I mention they look sweet? LOL

Now, there are many tires that I have purchased that I would call the conservative or practical choice.  So lets not forget to talk about why a 32 or 33″ tire could be great for you if you were to choose a lighter weight or smaller diameter tire;

-Lighter weight tires can offer better on road performance, things like shorter stopping distances, more nimble cornering, better fuel economy and faster acceleration

-Lighter weight and smaller diameter tires can help increase reliability of the truck, longer life from wheel bearings, brake pads and less likely to have a mechanical failure like a broken CV axle shaft.  Of course driving style also a big factor here, as I have seen a lot more skinny pedal required for technical features

-Its more likely you could use the factory gears and brakes get a nice driving, shifting and stopping truck

-Less bodywork required to make the tires fit in the wheel wells without rubbing

Ultimately you need to find what tire best resonates with you.  If you spend most your time on pavement you could generally assume the smaller tires would likely connect with you better.  If you spend more time offroad or have high value on offroad performance you would likely connect with a bigger tire.  And lastly, we don’t only personalize our trucks for performance.  Check out our truck build gallery to make sure your desired tire size keeps you looking back at your truck when you walk way from it! 

Kyle George-August 2021

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Friday 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM
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