Making the right tire choice is critical for people with heavy-weight elevated vehicles like SUVs and trucks. The ideal tire would be reliable enough to take you anywhere cruising through dry tarmac and muddy patches along the way. Since SUVs and trucks are built to take you anywhere, your tires should match those capabilities. Well, the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP promises to offer just that.
However, there are often significant trade-offs and compromises in tires that are suitable for both off— and on-road performance. In this review, we’ll check out the merits and demerits of the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP and see if it’s worth your money. Let’s get into it!
The Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP offers plenty of stability and traction on dry roads, thanks in part to the rich rubber-surface contact patch. There’s tons of grip to work with, whether you’re accelerating, overtaking, or cornering. The tread compound is stiff and is designed to wear evenly. Hence, there are no significant durability concerns associated with this tire. It’s one of the stickiest tires out there within the mud-terrain/all-terrain hybrid category — and that’s a huge compliment!
The Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP handles wet conditions superbly. Even though the tread is deep, you don’t need to worry about hydroplaning risks thanks to the tread’s wide grooves. They keep water out of the tire’s footprint, leaving you with undisturbed directional stability and traction on wet surfaces.
The tire’s confidence-inspiring wet performance partly comes from its silicone-enhanced tread compound. Paired with its intelligent tread pattern design, the tire feels super grippy in the rain. Braking distances are also impressively short. Overall, it’s a great tire to have under your truck or SUV even in downpours.
The Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP isn’t a dedicated winter tire, so we’ll go into this section with very limited expectations. But with that said, the tire handles light snow pretty well! As long as the snow layering remains within the 1-foot depth mark, this tire won’t let you down. You should have sufficient traction, mobility, and maneuverability to work with for a safe driving experience. However, you might have to invest in some proper winter tires if you get thick layers of snow and ice-packed roads in the winter.
Now, this is where the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP really comes into its element — the off-road realm! From an aggressive tread pattern to a sturdy silicone-enhanced tread compound, this tire has all it takes for off-road dominance.
The tire handles the toughest off-road scenarios like a boss, including sand, mud, clay, dirt, and gravel. You can also take the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP confidently through rocky patches and it won’t let you down.
Much of this off-road success comes from the tire’s rib spacing and well-designed tread pattern. The pattern is tighter down the middle as compared to most mud-terrain tires, allowing it to grip the surface without compromising wet performance.
The tire also has wider gaps on its outer edges in comparison to its inner treads, and that’s where its excellent mud performance comes from. Thanks to this intelligent design, the tire comfortably pushes clay, dirt, and sand out of the way. The brand’s biggest achievement is how they’ve managed to pack all of this off-road goodness into the tire without sacrificing its on-road practicality.
The tire also has a lot of grooves and ribs built into its tread blocks. These take care of any aggressively protruding rocks on the rough surface of your off-road tracks. Just like hydroplaning resistance is key for rainy weather, effective stone ejection is crucial for off-roading, and the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP nails it.
Air the tires out (lower the tire pressure) and you’ll get even better performance out of them on off-road terrain. It provides the tire with some extra flexibility for your overlanding ventures and makes the ride significantly smoother on bumpy surfaces. Thanks to the loose sidewall sag, the tire can also mold its way around protruding rocks along you to keep going forward no matter what.
For extreme off-roading and overlanding with the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP, experts suggest keeping the tire pressure as low as 20 PSI. It provides a ton of added flexibility for improved performance on rock, mud, and other obstacles. But 20 PSI is still enough to maintain the tire bead, so it’s the sweet spot for this tire. As soon as you get back to paved roads, don’t forget to fill the tires back up to your desired levels of air pressure.
There’s just one caveat to keep in mind — the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP is not a dedicated mud tire. It’s a blend between all-terrain and mud-terrain tires, and that’s evident from its relatively narrower grooves and tread design. This means it won’t be as effective on the mud as some specialized premium mud tires, but you get extra on-road practicality in exchange for that.
Usually, off-roading tires with an aggressive tread design are super noisy on the road. It’s normal for such tires to make intrusive levels of cabin noise at highway speeds on dry pavement. The Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP isn’t much different, but that’s what you get when your tire packs a relentless off-roading punch! It’s not going to be a plush and smooth ride either — just one glance at the tire’s tread blocks can tell you that. However, that’s not what most truck owners look for in their all-terrain tires, so we can forgive the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP in this area.
If you can live with some road noise and a relatively bumpy ride on the highway, the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP is an extremely promising all-terrain tire. We’d say this one certainly deserves a closer look unless ride comfort is your priority — in which case you should rather be looking at touring tires for your SUV.
This tire can genuinely take you anywhere no matter how challenging the terrain gets, and it’s still super grippy and responsive on the road. That’s a rare combo for all-terrain tires!