Are the new Mickey Thompson Competition Claws the perfect tire? No. These tires are for off road use only (not for highway use) and they will wear out faster than almost all other tires. They will be expensive, but we don't know how much, yet. They're also only made in a 16/38.5-16 or -15" size that's hard for most people to fit. The people who can easily run this size would probably like larger tires, while most of us would prefer to see a narrower tire, with sizes running from 38" down to around the 36" diameter range. As an aside, Mickey Thompson reports that they're working on a 37x13.00 Competition Claw at this time. By the way, it's been reported elsewhere that Mickey Thompson tires run much smaller than their rated size. Let's put that story to rest, as it's not true. In fact, these 38.5's were actually 39" in diameter! The other Claws in the lineup also run very near to the rated size.
While the Competition Claws are NOT the perfect tire for the average street /trail 4x4 owner, they may be near to the perfect tire for the radical, extreme four wheeler. They grip superbly on wet or dry rock, work great in the sand and wrap around any kind of obstacle you can think of and HANG ON! They're strong, beefy tires that do the job the new sport of extreme four wheeling needs to be done. If you're interested, your local MT tire dealer may not know about these tires. Call 1-800-222-9092 and get availability information direct from Mickey Thompson.
Story by Phil Howell
Photography by Jason Moulton