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On green and blue trails we r flying, on blacks and double blacks a lot of it is much slower and technical and 99% of the time rocky. We don't ride fire roads or pavement unless we have to in order to get to next trail head. As such, we have had at least 3 times more pinch flats with 14's vs 12's. Flatted tires include roctanes and og bighorns (so pretty durable tires). 14's have to be aired up 8-10lbs, 12's I ran 4-5. This is over the course of about 2000 miles in West Virginia....for those trails, 14's suck
Yup, different strokes for different folks...in my area pinching a sidewall is not a concern at all as we don't have rocks. I need the quad to turn when I hit a corner, not wallow over on a soft sidewall then start turning...my trails are 50" max and the trees are pretty close so any delay from when I turn the bars to when my quad actually starts to turn is not good. As for air pressure I run 6-7psi in my HTRs and they handle like a dream, but the sidewalls are really stiff on the HTRs so that probably helps a bit also.
Very true and good points. I am a little surprised how soft my 26 big horn sidewalls are on the 14's. My terracrosses running 4lbs on 12's were much stiffer

Bp - I wasn't aware of that rule of thumb. Good to know!
 

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It's simple, the general rule of thumb is to have ur tire to rim ratio 2 to 1. So if ur running 14" rims ur tires should be 28 inches in diameter. So I'm running 26" BH 2.0's which are 26.75" tall on the bike @5psi that equates to a 1.91 to 1 ratio. My set-up works well for the diverse terrain that I ride in. I have had 1 pinch flat in 1500 miles on my tires that i plugged 400 miles ago and is still holding fine. I'm also willing to bet most damaged tires are due to user error, I know my one pinch flat was. I will also be going to a 27" or 28" tire next go around mostly for clearance but also so I can compare the advantages of each diameter tire.
Interesting theory. Thank you.
 

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It's simple, the general rule of thumb is to have ur tire to rim ratio 2 to 1. So if ur running 14" rims ur tires should be 28 inches in diameter. So I'm running 26" BH 2.0's which are 26.75" tall on the bike @5psi that equates to a 1.91 to 1 ratio. My set-up works well for the diverse terrain that I ride in. I have had 1 pinch flat in 1500 miles on my tires that i plugged 400 miles ago and is still holding fine. I'm also willing to bet most damaged tires are due to user error, I know my one pinch flat was. I will also be going to a 27" or 28" tire next go around mostly for clearance but also so I can compare the advantages of each diameter tire.
Ahhhhhhhh
Good thinking grasshopper
 

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I always put 14" rims & new tires on all my ATV's before they leave the dealer. personal preference and where & how you ride determines the best rim/tire. I've never had a pinch flat in 6 yrs of riding almost everyday (rocky mtns in summer & high desert in winter).
I never knew some preferred 12", maybe I could actually sell those 8 brand new OEM rims/tires in my shop.
 

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It's simple, the general rule of thumb is to have ur tire to rim ratio 2 to 1. So if ur running 14" rims ur tires should be 28 inches in diameter. So I'm running 26" BH 2.0's which are 26.75" tall on the bike @5psi that equates to a 1.91 to 1 ratio. My set-up works well for the diverse terrain that I ride in. I have had 1 pinch flat in 1500 miles on my tires that i plugged 400 miles ago and is still holding fine. I'm also willing to bet most damaged tires are due to user error, I know my one pinch flat was. I will also be going to a 27" or 28" tire next go around mostly for clearance but also so I can compare the advantages of each diameter tire.
Agree 100%

I run Swamplites on 14" wheels on both of my Sportsmans but I have 27" and 28" tires. My 850 ran weird on rough terrain when I have the stock set, now that I have 28", it rides much smoother and I can go through rocky terrain without fears of screwing up my wheels.

FYI I would never run 26" tires on 14" wheels after I saw a fellow rider ruin two of his ITP C7 wheels and Mudlite XTRs. Not a pretty sight.
 

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excuse my ignorance but what exactly is a pinch flat and how does it happen?
 

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Nothin to excuse lol I always say there's no such thing as a dumb question :) a pinch flat is when you pinch the sidewall of your tire between a solid object like a rock and your rim. Typically that results in a cut sidewall like the picture on page one of this thread. It can be the ruination of your day on the trails if ya don't have lots of plugs to put in it or a spare tire lol happy trails all!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks for all the great info, folks! I ride in upstate NY on club trails primarily. Most trails are compact with mud holes here and there, and little to no rocks, I also plow in the winter. Looks like I'll go with the 12"... They're a bit cheaper to boot!!
 

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I choose 12"s all the way, a low pro on a heavy utility quad just won't do for ride quality for me and I'd rather have better side wall and rim protection from jagged rocks and roots on the trail. They also cost considerably less when upgrading and look just as good!!!
 

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I hate riding rocks....I love riding fast 2 track dirt trails. I rented a can am 570 max configured for single seat riding over the weekend....worst ATV I have ever been on. Rented it for the GF, she lasted about 30 minutes on it. Felt like zero suspension, no PS even with it set to max and the tires were were 12 inch hard as rocks that wallowed all the time. It was like heaven to get back on my sportsman when I took it back and swapped for a side by side for her for the rest of the day. I'm all about 14s for the trails I want to ride.
 

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For fast trail riding I'll take my 14s all day long, less tire roll in hard corners and a more connected feeling with the terrain. For slow speed crawling and normal trail riding I'd take 12s for sidewall flex and comfort...it all depends what and where you ride. Some guys on here assume everybody does the same style of riding they do and push what they use, its up to you to find out the pro's and con's of each size and apply that info to your riding area and style.
chronix79 it nailed years ago!
 
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