Are All-Terrain Tires Harder To Puncture?

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All-terrain tires are pretty great when it comes to taking them off to a beaten path. That’s because these tires are pretty solid form both inside and out, and can handle all sorts of rugged terrains full of sharp encounters. But since not all tires are equal, the answer to are all-terrain tires harder to puncture can not be straight forward. But I sure can tell you which ones are great and why its like that. Let’s begin!

The main thing to consider is durability, and although all of the all-terrain tires have powerful wide steel belts running in the middle (in almost all models), the only thing protecting the sidewalls are 2 layers of polyester. That’s why they are most susceptible to punctures. So a better question to ask here is do all-terrain tires offer durable enough sidewalls? And the answer to it is yes.

How All-Terrain tires are constructed?

Let’s start from the outer rubber of these tires.

The tread of all-terrain tires are usually reinforced with multiple layers of rubber and polymers, making them more robust to punctures, cuts, and other types of damage. These include aramid nanofiber and Kevlar compounds and these make the rubber what they call “chip/cut resistant”.

Internally, these tires have up to 2 cap plies of nylon, which cover the the 2 wide steel belts. All these 4 layers cover the central part of the tread.

And they sit on the polyester casing, which is also known as the cover or carcass, (think of it as the tire’s skeleton), and these protect the sidewalls form underneath.

Strongest All-Terrain Tire

The BF Goodrich KO2 is the strongest all-terrain tire out there. The tire not only provides you with 3 ply polyester construction, 2 steel belts and 2 nylon plies.

(Detailed Review of this tire).

It’s cap plies are spirally wound, and you get thicker sidewall lugs further protecting the sides.

Moreover, the tire features dual stone ejectors and a decent tread depth, both of these factors also contribute to it’s overall durability as well, making this tire one of the hardest to get punctured in the all-terrain category.

Factors Affecting Puncture Resistance

Durability is the main one of course and I’ve discussed above how strong all-terrain tires are internally built, but what other factors contribute to this? Well, I’ve listed them all below.

Tread Depth

Tread depth is very important for overall resistance to punctures, that’s because with a thicker layer of rubber does not allow the sharp encounters to pierce through as easily.

Moreover, with deeper tread voids, more volume of mud, and dirt gets evacuated, so sharp stones and edgy dirt particles don’t get to hang around for too long, preventing any kind of damage.

Stone Ejectors

Although all of the all-terrain tires have cut resistant rubber, they can still get hurt with sharp stones.

On gravely and dirt filled roads, these stones basically get stuck inside the grooves, and if they are not removed their sharp corners try to sink into the tread.

This not only damages the tread but also compromises on handling a lot. But since all-terrain tires have plenty of these stone ejectors, mostly between the shoulder lugs, they gets to protect themselves form punctures, making A/T tires worth it.

Sidewall lugs

Sidewalls are the most vulnerable part of the tire, as they are most susceptible to puncture with their less no. of plies inside. And since all tires have radial construction, they bulge out when are ran with lowered air pressure, making them very prone to get damaged easily.

Now although I’ve discussed how some tires have 3 ply polyester construction to protect these sides, and they are good enough, the sidewall lugs on top adds to that strength.

And some tires with thicker lugs provide that.

In that sense, check out the Mickey Baja Boss A/T, these tires make the most powerful lugs out there.

Extra Features

Some tires have extra features which protect the sidewalls, like the Falken Wildpeak AT3w.

This tire although offers just a common 2 ply polyester built (with 2 belts and nylon cap plies), the tire also offers 2 more layers of polyester running around the rim, protecting the sidewall and bead area.

And this way besides having good enough U shaped lugs on top, the tire has 4 layers inside protecting the sides.

Moreover, it also features heat diffusers which keeps its tread cooler, and with less heat generated the tire is less prone to blowout, and punctures.

Detailed Review of this tire:

Tread composition

Some tires have very powerful tread composition that help them last very long and keep them away from punctures.

Speaking of which, have you checked out General Grabber A/TX? This tire although has 2 ply polyester casing, it’s thicker rubber has a sweet composition of Kevlar, Aradimd, polyurethane and thermoplastic elastomers and I don’t want to get into too much science, these blend into a the natural rubber to create a very long lasting tread.

That’s why this tire provides the longest lasting tread compared to other all terrain tires. Review this tire here:

To Conclude

Compared to all-season, all-terrain tires give out a huge difference in durability, as you can not take a passenger tire on sharp rocky terrains.

But even these tires are not completely puncture proof, no tire is, though they get as durable as it gets. Meaning, out of all the off-road tires, the most robust are mud tires, and A/T tires are just as powerful from inside as them

That’s because on both, the similar 3 ply polyester casing protecting the weakest part of the tire, the sidewalls.

Moreover, A/T tires further add to that protecting by offering thicker sidewall lugs, acting as reinforcement. And with larger tread depth, things are similarly made more puncture resistant in the middle.

Though there are already powerful steel belts under there, the thicker rubber skin further make it harder for all-terrain tires to get puncture too easily.

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