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Old 02-09-2020, 04:50 PM #1
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SL (P-metric) AT3W: the Verdict

Ok, folks, there you have it. Just passed 30,000 miles on SL 265 70 17 Wildpeaks yesterday, bringing the offroad total over 3,000 (yes, most people claiming 90/10 probably do 99/1). Unfortunately, this will have to do it for my Wildpeaks. I have used a total of 6 new Wildpeaks.

The record:
Southern Utah: 24 trails, 814 miles, no issues, even at 8/32nds.
Western Montana: 39 trails, 1, 051 miles, no issues, even at 7/32nds.
WY (1, 11, no issues, just a dirt road)

And then there is Arizona:
52 trails, 1,134 miles, 3 issues, all in the Sonoran Desert part of the state.

On road performance (again, 265 70, P metric, NOT 285 70):
--as a good street tire in all respects down to about 6/32nds.

Off-road performance, it is really all about dirt, rock, and sand for us.
All sorts of rock:
Stellar on any dry rock so long as the tires are 9/32nds and up. 28-32 psi.
Fine under 9/32nds or so.
No issues on snow covered Tower Arch or Rainbow Rocks near Moab.

Sand and volcanic ash and deep gravel
Average. This is where airing down P metrics is necessary, not rock. It tends to dig in the deep stuff.

Snow:
No issues in the little snow around Moab that we did.

Mud: no idea. Done too little to tell.

Dirt: Tracks great. More sure footed than milder ATs.

Quality:
No issues with balancing or whatever. BUT this tires age FAST.

Longevity:
No tires last in the desert but the Wildpeak really is a two-faced tire. The first 2/32nds go down in only about 4,000 miles. But performance is amazing. Then wear improves. Performance remains stellar for a total of about 10-12,000 miles. Then it starts to slowly deteriorate. The tires become visibly "tired" of offroad beating around 22-24,000 and braking performance on road deteriorates past 25,000. All in all, 30,000 is a tall order for a frequently offroaded set. I did not dare to continue past 26,000.


Punctures:
--None in Montana, even at 7/32 on rough 4x4 trails.
--None in Utah, including Kamikaze Hill or Elephant Hill with 8/32 (front only, new rear tires)

--Arizona: three, all on rear mounted tires, all on tires with minimum 13,000 miles on them. One was a slow leak, so totally fine, one was a sidewall burst, which I think was on me for airing down, and one was a tread puncture so bad (yesterday) that all air was lost immediately like with a sidewall puncture. At this point, running them becomes a safety hazard for me (what if that happens on a trail like Pucker Ridge?). Too bad because this is such a great all arounder and the very low price compensates for the lack of longevity.

The bottom line:

SL 265 70 17 Wildpeak feels like "best tire ever" for 10,000 miles. And then it is a good AT for another 15,000, surprisingly capable in many terrains, but not up to the task in the harshest of deserts. The very low price offsets the lack of longevity but I cannot lose a tire in a dangerous spot or a difficult obstacle. The search for the best all-around tire continues and I have no choice but to go back to LT. It is not fair to fault Falken for this. Tire tech is still not at a point where it can deliver not only true all terrain performance, but also true all terrain durability. It remains a give or take proposition, road vs offroad bias.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:58 PM #2
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Thanks for your input! I just put on a set of these exact tires on my 4th gen and was wondering how often you rotated the tires?
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:41 AM #3
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Thanks for your input! I just put on a set of these exact tires on my 4th gen and was wondering how often you rotated the tires?
Very often, 3,000 and even less, front to back and then X.

Except for the hardcore trails, the AZ desert is not hard for traction, clearance, or angles, but is extremely harsh on tires and suspensions. My KO2s on my Subaru were sold at 16,000 miles at which point I projected 25,000+ total life so exactly the same as the AT3W. I was more disappointed with the KO2 as I would have expected a D load tire on a Subaru to wear better than a P on a SUV. But the desert is brutal on tires.

I am keeping my current set of 3 at 8-9/32 and a spare at 6. I will buy a used one at 8-9 to make a full set. I will store it and use it for any future trips to Montana and Canada.

Similarly, I will put them back on should I have to take the 4R on any other trip beyond Southern Utah and SW Colorado.

So I am not done with the Wildpeaks per se. If I cared to go back to having two sets, I would totally have the SL Wildpeaks on one of them. As is, they will be stored to be used for very long out of state trips only.
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:49 PM #4
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Thanks for the insight. $97 compared to $230 was my main reason going with the Wildpeaks 265/70/17.

Just put these on my LE 3 days ago. I agree 100% it feels like "best tire ever" so far, although I went from the 1/32 geos on 20 in LE wheels to SCS 17 in, so not really a fair comparison!

Hope I can get more out of mine in AZ, but i will definitely not be 90/10 as you are.....yet. Hopefully sooner than later tho! And even if they wear down early, I can jump up a tire size sooner! lol Gotta justify to myself somehow.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:09 PM #5
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Originally Posted by SaguarGo View Post
Thanks for the insight. $97 compared to $230 was my main reason going with the Wildpeaks 265/70/17.

Just put these on my LE 3 days ago. I agree 100% it feels like "best tire ever" so far, although I went from the 1/32 geos on 20 in LE wheels to SCS 17 in, so not really a fair comparison!

Hope I can get more out of mine in AZ, but i will definitely not be 90/10 as you are.....yet. Hopefully sooner than later tho! And even if they wear down early, I can jump up a tire size sooner! lol Gotta justify to myself somehow.
Yeah, it is impossible to argue with them at the price point except in our desert. Specifically, I had two issues in the KOFA area and one on Harquahala Peak. All three were in spots that any stock Subaru can drive. It was not any particularly gnarly obstacle or anything like that.

My concerns with the Wildpeak once under 9-10/32nds were dangerous spots on exposed trails, like Ridgeline/Pucker Ridge (had no issues there a couple weeks ago) or the rare super eroded off-camber spot like on Crapshoot.

You will definitely want to have a matching spare because with SL tires in the Sonoran desert you will get a puncture, sooner or later. Again, mine happened on very mild spots so the size, shape, or amount of rocks does not matter in my experience. Each tire has driven hundreds of miles over fist sized rocks and it is unpredictable when it becomes too much. I just decided that it is unwise to tempt fortune any further, what if the next time happens on a tight, steep switchback? That fear, not the inconvenience is what pushed me away.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:05 AM #6
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Mickey Thompson ATZ P3 first impressions

I now have 300 miles on my new LTE 265 70 17 Mickey Thompson ATZ P3.

This includes 24 miles of Walnut Canyon, a consistently moderate trail featuring fantastic scenery, long rutted climbs, long rocky climbs, and mild wash driving.

The off-road performance at 20 psi is obviously superb, that goes without saying. I cannot say that is better than the Wildpeaks at 30 psi in the same conditions. About the same but a lot more peace of mind. Did not encounter deep sand or gravel to see if the ATZ can really do better than the Wildpeak there (as the latter was average in the deeper stuff).

The shock was tire manners on road. Basically, the heavy duty tires seem to play with the heavy duty suspension like the lighter duty SL Wildpeaks played with a softer suspension. Who would have thought that things can actually work together as they are supposed to, lol.

To top it all, I managed 20.5 mpg on 50-60 miles of steady interstate driving.

To say that the ATZ P3 have surpassed expectations so far would be quite the understatement.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:48 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAST4R View Post
Yeah, it is impossible to argue with them at the price point except in our desert. Specifically, I had two issues in the KOFA area and one on Harquahala Peak. All three were in spots that any stock Subaru can drive. It was not any particularly gnarly obstacle or anything like that.

My concerns with the Wildpeak once under 9-10/32nds were dangerous spots on exposed trails, like Ridgeline/Pucker Ridge (had no issues there a couple weeks ago) or the rare super eroded off-camber spot like on Crapshoot.

You will definitely want to have a matching spare because with SL tires in the Sonoran desert you will get a puncture, sooner or later. Again, mine happened on very mild spots so the size, shape, or amount of rocks does not matter in my experience. Each tire has driven hundreds of miles over fist sized rocks and it is unpredictable when it becomes too much. I just decided that it is unwise to tempt fortune any further, what if the next time happens on a tight, steep switchback? That fear, not the inconvenience is what pushed me away.
I am picking up a 03 LE 17x7.5in Spare and getting my 5th AT3 mounted on it tomorrow. Just did some of Schnebly Hill yesterday, but turned back because I'm not lifted yet, and still have the 20in spare under there!

I think if I got a couple punctures like you, I would probably make the change as well. But you are making me think very hard about my recovery gear for next time just in case...

I'll probably need to invest in a good jack/base sooner than later just in case the OEM won't suffice. Recommendations welcome!
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:11 PM #8
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The perfect tire for a part-time off-roader who hates to be stranded in middle of nowhere? There is only one IMHO...BFG KO2.

Just ask TireRack: TireRack comparison: BFG KO2 vs. ATs

Damn impressive how well KO2 perform vs. the P-metric mild ATs.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:57 PM #9
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The perfect tire for a part-time off-roader who hates to be stranded in middle of nowhere? There is only one IMHO...BFG KO2.

Just ask TireRack: TireRack comparison: BFG KO2 vs. ATs

Damn impressive how well KO2 perform vs. the P-metric mild ATs.
Not totally disagreeing, but with a big asterisk...

*When they're newer, first 18 months, they're great, except in some conditions, where in my experience, the tread failed to clear itself and would load up.

When they age a bit though, and the rubber compound dries out, they become very sketchy in the rain... my last pair of KO2's lasted nearly 40 thousand miles.

Around 15 to 20 thousand miles in, mild acceleration in the rain would spin the tires, and stopping distance in the rain was greatly increased.

That was my experience... Perhaps they're just better suited to a more arid climate.
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:09 PM #10
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Not totally disagreeing, but with a big asterisk...

*When they're newer, first 18 months, they're great, except in some conditions, where in my experience, the tread failed to clear itself and would load up.

When they age a bit though, and the rubber compound dries out, they become very sketchy in the rain... my last pair of KO2's lasted nearly 40 thousand miles.

Around 15 to 20 thousand miles in, mild acceleration in the rain would spin the tires, and stopping distance in the rain was greatly increased.

That was my experience... Perhaps they're just better suited to a more arid climate.
To be honest, not with KO2, but with highway tires...none of them age well. My wifeís MDX has Defender...and weíre around 20-30k in, and they are noisy. My minivanís Consumer Reportís top rated tire is noisy as hell at around 25k...really bad! My minivanís previous Michelin became slippery at 30-35k.

Now, given KO2ís aggressive tread with wide void areas, i am sure that the rain traction will age worst than a highway tire. But you get other benefits of KO2 that other tires cannot provide...peace of mind over rough terrain.
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