Falken Aklimate (Detailed) Review

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The Falken Aklimate, a grand touring all-weather tire, stands out for its versatility and year-round performance. Designed to tackle a variety of conditions, it offers a balanced blend of comfort, durability, and reliability.

Falken Aklimate on Camry
Falken Aklimate on Toyota Camry

As a tire engineer, I’ve found the Falken Aklimate to have mixed performance. It excels in snow and lateral grip but is held back by its heavy weight, affecting braking and steering response. Wet handling is good, but steering feels sluggish. The tire is durable but a bit noisy and rough on bumps, and it’s not the best for fuel efficiency. In short, it’s a tire with strong points but noticeable drawbacks.

Useful Info on Sizes

The Falken Aklimate comes in 15 to 22 inches rims with 88 total sizes, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V only.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on a few, while 11/32″ on majority of sizes.
  • Weight: 17 to 47 lbs.
  • UTQG: 640 B A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 65k miles on all sizes.
  • Winter ratings: 3PMSF and M+S, both available.
  • Internal Construction: Single ply polyester, dual steel belts, and single nylon cap ply on top.

Tread Construction

The Falken Aklimate features a distinctive, aggressive asymmetric tread design, which merits a detailed examination to fully appreciate its performance capabilities.

Falken Aklimate
Falken Aklimate

This tire features a structure consisting of five ribs, or block columns, which together create four unique circumferential grooves, interconnected in a prominent manner with so many voids.

Starting from the outer two shoulder ribs, although they share a similar siping pattern, one rib exhibits particularly aggressive zigzag edges directed towards the middle.

And speaking of middle section, among the three ribs there, the central-most one is notable for its slanted grooves, notches, and multi-directional, wave-like siping.

While ribs on either side of it show considerable variations…

One of them is characterized by longitudinally aligned zigzag grooves that effectively bisect the lugs longitudially, yet maintains a siping pattern akin to that seen on the other ribs.

Conversely, the blocks on the other side are marked by wider lateral cuts and form zigzag edges similar to those, seen on the shoulder lugs next to them.

Overall one can imagine why this tire does so great on snowy conditions, where you are required with a lot of multi angled biters.

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Fuel Economy

Let’s talk gas mileage first.

In the tire world, it’s all about how much resistance tires put up when rolling, and here, the Falken Aklimate is doing okay. Not good and not bad either.

Its tread design is all about balancing the load and pressure, which is great for lasting longer but doesn’t exactly make it a fuel-saving superstar.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

First, its asymmetric tread design has loads of edges that grab the road, which is cool for grip but means more friction and, yep, more rolling resistance.

Then, there’s the weight factor combined with a softer tread mix. This makes the lugs dig in and flex more, losing some energy as heat, which isn’t ideal for fuel efficiency.

A Good Read: Are All-Season Tires Fuel Efficient?

Dry Performance

Dry performance is two parts, tire’s longitudinal or braking grip and overall cornering capabilities. Let’s check out both.

Longitudinal Grip

So, this term is all about how well the tire sticks to the road when you’re just cruising straight, and it gets calculated by the tire’s braking abilities.

Moreover, the middle part of the tire’s tread is super important here because it’s carrying most of the car’s weight when you’re moving like this (linearly, I mean).

Now there’s some room for improvement for the Falken Aklimate tire here, as it takes a bit longer to stop compared to other tires it’s up against.

This issue stems from two primary factors.

Firstly, the tire has a high level of voids. Although these voids generally function as in-groove notches, providing additional biting edges, they also reduce the amount of rubber in contact with the road, thereby impacting grip.

Secondly, the tire’s structural weight is above average. While most tires in its category weigh less than 35 pounds for their largest size, the Aklimate tips the scale way up to 47 pounds.

This is pretty interesting, especially since it has an average tread depth of 10/32″ and uses a single ply nylon cap ply, which you’d think would make it lighter, but the opposite it going on.

This heavier weight actually comes from its denser rubber mix, which creates greater momentum inertia, needing more energy and time to come to a stop.

Lateral Grip and Handling

Overall tire handling is determined by a combination of lateral grip and steering responsiveness.

Now when it comes to lateral traction, the edges of the tire, or the shoulders, are super important. They make the most contact with the ground as the tire car turns (and weight gets shifts on them due to centripetal forces).

Now, the Falken Aklimate tire is pretty solid in this area. It’s got a neat asymmetric design and the shoulders are packed with these closely spaced lugs.

These tread blocks basically featuring lateral siping and grooves, enhance rubber-to-road contact, providing the tire with superior lateral traction compared to others in its group (its ranking among its direct competitors, I mean).

Though that still doesn’t equate to impressive enough overall handling. And this is because of its merely adequate steering responsiveness.

I mean there’s a bit of a delay when you turn the wheel, and it doesn’t snap to action as quickly as some other all-season tires at the same price point.

This sluggishness mainly comes from the tire’s heavier build which puts extra pressure on the lugs, making them bend or flex more when you’re cornering.

This flexing causes a bit of a delay, messing with the balance between understeering and oversteering. So, steering feels a bit slow and takes more effort to be precise.

But yes its still manageable and has a learning curve to it. Meaning it grows on you with time thanks to its relatively stiffer rubber composition and reinforced base (underneath the tread lugs).

Wet Performance

Wet performance is two parts, resistance to hydro or aquaplaning and wet traction. Let’s take a look at them both.


Hydroplaning resistance is all about how well the tire can push water away through its grooves, and it’s measured by something called float speeds.

This basically tells, how fast the tire can go over water before it starts to hydroplane or float.

In this area, the Falken Aklimate stands out with its four longitudinal channels, complemented by significant tread depth.

Plus as these channels are interconnected by lateral grooves, they allow for effective water evacuation in multiple directions, allowing for decent curved and straight hydroplaning speeds.

Wet Grip and Handling

Wet grip and handling largely depend on the coordinated function of various tread elements.

Here, grooves are the main way water gets pushed out, while sipes (those little cuts in the tread) soak up any leftover moisture. These sipes basically flex, creating a sort of vacuum that pulls in water (in their slits), and lets the rubber/tread stay in touch with the road.

Now given the tire’s efficient water evacuation capabilities, as discussed in the hydroplaning section above, most of the water burden gets already lifted from sipes.

This actually makes them do their job even better. And this combined with Falken’s pliant compound and a mix of straight and interlocking sipes, you get a top-notch wet traction with this tire.

Additionally, Aklimate’s asymmetric design features numerous biting edges, such as needle-like chamfered edges and in-groove notches, providing multi-directional wet grip and exceptional performance.

This design allows the tire’s rubber and its numerous biting edges to effectively interact with the comparatively dryer surface, further enhancing overall gripping in both longitudinal and lateral angles.

But, there’s still some room for improvement here, particularly in terms of tire’s wet steering responsiveness and the main culprit here is again tire’s heavier weight.

Its bulkier structure simply creates more momentum, so you need to put in more effort when steering. In other words it causes understeering, that’s when tire doesn’t turn as sharply as you want it to making traction “feel” less precise (even when its not).

Snow and Ice Performance

Winter performance has some very distinct challenges presented by various winter road conditions. For instance icy surfaces require tires with numerous biting edges, while deep snow necessitates lugs capable of effective scooping.

In this regard, the Falken Aklimate does great providing superb acceleration, which can be easily guessed given that the tire comes with the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) badge. (This rating is given to tires which have improved snow acceleration capabilities).

The primary advantage of this all-season tire lies in its design, which includes a complex pattern of interlocking and linear sipes, oriented in various directions.

This design aspect does two things. One it provides the highly needed micro bite, providing traction on icy terrains. And two it keeps biters flexible, so they don’t stiffen up with freezing temperatures.

Moreover, the tire’s various in-groove notches provide decent snow holding capabilities. How is that important? Well this allows for snow-to-snow contact (which is better because snow doesn’t stick that well to the tire’s rubber).

Improve snow performance from your AS tires: https://tiredriver.com/improve-snow-performance-from-all-season-tires/

Durability and Tread Longevity

The Falken Aklimate distinguishes itself with a robust construction and advanced design, contributing to its durability and longer lifespan.

It features a dual-ply polyester internal structure, reinforced with wide steel belts and an additional full-width nylon cap ply, spirally wound for added toughness.

However, this robustness has a downside, namely extra weight, which exerts additional pressure on the lugs during road contact, potentially leading to faster wear.

Nonetheless, it’s important to acknowledge that the Falken Aklimate generally offers a better-than-average tread life especially considering its direct competitors.

I mean the tire often surpasses 60,000 miles in longevity (under right conditions) with lower speed ratings (no great than H, I mean). Though for sizes having V (speed ratings) the tire barely makes it up to 45k miles at most.

Side Note: Speed rating directly impacts overall rolling resistance and grip. Learn why here: https://tiredriver.com/speed-rating-on-tires/

Ride Quality

Noise and bumps dampening are the two main aspects of overall ride quality.

And speaking of noise reduction first, its the performance area where the Falken isn’t doing so well.

The tire emits some noise which is although not excessively loud, is still marked by a distinctive, higher-pitched tone that varies across different road surfaces.

This noise mainly originates from air turbulence within the tire’s tread.

Moreover, the tire also needs to improve its impact comfort performance as well, as it uses a relatively rigid tread rubber, with a lower silica content in its composition.

Additionally, it features harder cap plies and a stiffer single-ply polyester casing in its internal construction, as opposed to the dual layers of cap ply and carcass found in its direct competitors.

And this structure does not provide the needed flexibility for absorbing larger bumps (particularly) Though the tire does a good enough job mitigating smaller road imperfections.

Take Home Points

So overall, the Falken Aklimate tire presents a complex blend of strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s start with dry conditions, where the tire offers lateral grip, but needs to improve in terms of barking and steering responsiveness.

In wet conditions, its design and tread elements deliver excellent hydroplaning resistance and wet traction, yet its steering responsiveness still remains a concern here too.

Winter performance though is the strongest performance aspect of the tire, leveraging its design and 3PMSF rating for superior traction.

Other than this the tire also provides decent wear resistance and noise reduction (particularly in XL sizes, SL aren’t quiet enough).

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