Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP Tire Review & Rating
Dick Cepek’s Trail Country EXP is a robust and aggressive all-terrain tire with surprising on-road manners.
The company was formed when Dick Cepek became frustrated with the contemporary tire offerings. An off-road enthusiast with a penchant for desert running in California, Cepek needed more traction and durability from his tires than he could find. That spurred a company building wheels and tires for off-road enthusiasts with a reputation for performance.
The Trail Country EXP features a silica-reinforced compound that provides both durability and excellent snow and ice traction, while the symmetrical grip pattern is built with wide grooves and notches to help evacuate water and mud.
The tire carcass consists of two-ply casing and two steel belts under the tread area for increased durability—especially at low tire pressures. The side cords help support the sidewall but do mean you have to drop pressure lower than other all-terrain tires like the BFGoodrich K02 when tackling tricky off-road trails. This a robust tire that can handle rocky and irregular terrain without puncturing or losing the bead. Some users report the tire is tricky to balance, although this seems like a rare phenomenon.
Wide-spaced outer lugs and tight-spaced center lugs help this tire straddle the line between quiet, consistent on-road performance and impressive off-road capability.
Trail Country EXP tires have an M+S (mud and snow) rating but not the Three-Peak-Mountain-Snowflake (TPMS) symbol that defines a true winter tire. Even without that symbol this tire offers strong grip and traction on snow and ice. There are interlocking sipes on the tread blocks, which not only help provide bite but also give the block an extra level of flexibility that is important on loose and ragged surfaces. The shoulders of the tire are stepped and chamfered to increase side grip.
● Excellent grip in a wide range of conditions
● Good value
● Low on-road noise
● Some users report trouble balancing
● Need to drop pressure more than competitors off road
The Trail Country EXP is highly rated by drivers looking for a confident, cohesive traction off the beaten path. These tires are surefooted on sand, mud, and rocky trails, as well as in snow. They perform admirably in winter conditions and are Mud and Snow rated but do lack the vaunted 3PMS symbol. Users who choose this tire swear by it, and claim it is a worthy replacement for other more expensive, better-known brands including Pirelli. This is a resilient and capable off-road tire you can rely on and has sufficient on-road manners to keep you happy out on the highway as well.
Dick Cepek’s Trail Country EXP is one of the hidden gems in the on/off road tire segment, and well worth your attention if you enjoy all-terrain driving.
Competitors & Alternatives
Drivers who spend more time on icy roads might prefer the 3PMS-rated Wildpeak A/T3W from Falken. Another less expensive option is the Goodyear Wrangler, which is also OE spec on many trucks like the Ram 1500. Drivers after a quieter on-road tire can also look to the Wrangler, while those of you who run in deeper mud may benefit from the BFGoodrich T/A K02.
The Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP ranges from around $150 for a 15-inch tire and up. It sits at the low-to-mid end of tire pricing in this class. You may also find occasional rebates, discounts, coupons, and special offers on this tire.
Dick Cepek offers a 45,000-mile tread life warranty on this tire. Materials and workmanship are warrantied for the life of the tire and include free replacement during the 2/32” of wear. A prorated amount is given for the remaining period. The company also provides a free replacement for tires that are out of round or suffer balancing issues during the first 2/32” of wear.