Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Review
An impressive hybrid tire, the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP has nothing to do with a Prius and everything to do with hitting the trails!
- Impressive off-road grip and durability
- Long life
- Quiet (for a mud-terrain tire)
- Well priced
- Loud (for an all-terrain tire)
- 2-ply sidewall
The term “hybrid” when referring to tires means it’s half-way between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain tire. What that really mean is that it offers most of the extreme off-road grip, but with more on-road civility and much better tire life.
Before we get into the details, we should point out that if you’re not familiar with Dick Cepek tires (and we don’t blame if you’re not) it is a niche off-road brand with just three offerings. It does, however, make legitimately capable and durable tires. Plus, it’s owned by Cooper Tires, so they’re backed by world-class tire engineering and quality control.
Using a tread pattern more familiar to a mud-terrain tire with a center tread section bookended by shoulder blocks, there’s plenty of void space to churn up and spit out loose earth or mud. Plus, between the shoulder tread blocks are stone ejector ribs to help self-clean the tire. Not only can trapped stones limit your tire’s grip, they’re one of the main causes of tire wear on off-road tires, as they lead to uneven and then premature wear.
Added off-road grip comes from alternating shoulder lugs wth jagged edges, while the shoulder tread blocks then run down the side of the tire for some added protection. This is critical for such an extreme tire as it is a 2-ply sidewall and not a more hard-core 3-ply. While that is a drawback for more extreme off-roading, it helps this tire retain its on-road comfort.
And speaking of comfort, we can’t talk about a tire like this without mentioning tread noise. User reviews on this tire’s noise level run the gamut, and that’s for a very particular reason. Owners used to an all-terrain tire will find this louder and for some, too loud. Owner’s of more extreme mud-terrain tires generally report how impressed they are with its low noise volume. So really, it’s all relative.
The tread compound used is infused with silica, offering numerous benefits both off-road an on. For starters it’s impressively resistant to cuts and chips. Owners love the durability, even those who tow with it.
That silica in the tread also does wonders for on-road performance. For starters it also reduces wear on tarmac, something more extreme off-road tires do rather quickly. Here, however, you get a 45,000 mile tread life warranty!
It also gives impressive wet weather grip, while siping and deep channels reduce the possibility of hydroplaning – another common issue with MT tires that you won’t get here.
Dick Cepek claims the tire can also handle light snow traction. We always take these claims with a grain of salt. For starters, the tire is not certified with the three-peak mountain snowflake logo so it doesn’t meet government standards for winter grip. However, we’ll add that users do report running these tires in the winter and being impressed. That said, while they don’t meet winter standards, they’re closer than most.
We’ll also add that the interlocking center tread section and large shoulder blocks actually make this tire handle reasonably well on-road, particularly on the highway where it’s far less ponderous than a conventional MT tire.
Is the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Any Good?
In short: absolutely! Giving you much of the extreme off-road grip of a mud-terrain tire but with better on-road performance and tread life, it’s an ideal compromise that will please most drivers on the trail and will make their life a lot more pleasant getting to and from it. And it offers pretty impressive road manners for daily driving too.
On top of all that, it’s made-in-America.
Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Price
Pricing for the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP starts at roughly $150 for a 15-inch tire and goes up to over $500 for a massive 22-inch fitment.
Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Warranty
Dick Cepek backs the Trail Country EXP with a 45,000 mile tread life warranty.
In addition, all Dick Cepek tires are covered by a standard limited warranty that protects the buyer against defects in materials and workmanship. Tires with defects discovered in the first 2/32-inch of tread life will be replaced free of charge. Defects found after that point and down to the final 2/32-inch of tread wear will result in a pro-rated tire replacement.
Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Sizes