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Off-Road Golf Cart Tires and Wheels- Benefits and Options - GOLFCARTSTUFF.COM™

Off-Road Golf Cart Tires and Wheels- Benefits and Options

When it comes to purchasing a set of golf cart wheels and tires, application matters. Where do you most often drive your cart? What terrain do you most often traverse? If you enjoy driving your golf cart on trails and other off-road terrains, you may want to consider investing in off-road tires. Golf cart off-road tires are built specifically to handle difficult and bumpy terrain, exactly like automotive off-road tires. They typically have a larger size than regular golf cart tires, providing numerous benefits. Let's explore some of those benefits below.

Better Traction and Stability

First, off-road tires for your golf cart will often provide better traction. The thicker, wider, and deeper tread pattern will grip the dirt, sand, or other non-paved surfaces. The thickness and depth of the tread also allows the various debris and other substances such as rocks, sticks, and leaves to more easily escape the tire. This tread pattern is what gives off-road tires that "aggressive" look most people associate with off-roading. In addition to extra grip, off-road tires are typically a bit wider than standard golf cart tires, increasing the contact surface area that your wheels and tires have. By increasing the tire width, these tires will also help increase the stability of your golf cart. If you drive your golf cart on uneven surfaces, this extra grip and stability will significantly impact how comfortable and safe your riding experience is. Check out the photo below for reference.

Golf Cart Off-Road Tire Tread Spacing and Width


Greater Ground Clearance

Not only will off-road tires give you greater grip and stability, but by purchasing the right size, they will also give you greater ground clearance. This increase in your golf cart's ground clearing ability will allow you to drive over obstacles like rocks and roots without scraping and damaging the underside of the cart. If you are concerned about keeping your cart damage-free while still enjoying some off-road driving, consider adding a lift kit and some larger wheels and tires.

Enhanced Protection Against Wear And Tear

Lastly, off-road wheels and tires are designed to withstand more wear and tear than their regular counterparts. The thicker tread depth and increased density in the rubber compound mean they can handle tougher terrain without losing function. Whereas most other tires can't handle rocks, sticks, mud, or other difficult terrains without getting worn out and damaged, all-terrain tires will handle all of that with ease.

Please note, that when you add larger off-road wheels and tires to your golf cart, you may need to install a lift kit (but not always, our 8" wheel and tire combos and some of our 10" combos can work on non-lifted carts). The increased height and width of off-road tires can cause the wheels to rub against the inside of the wheel well, making it difficult to turn. To correct this, you may need to add a lift kit to raise the golf cart's body. Lift kits come in various sizes, so it is important to choose one that will give you the desired results. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect lift kit to help you take your golf cart off-road. You can check out our Lift Kit Guide for some helpful hints.

Lifted Golf Cart With Off-Road Tires
Lifted Golf Cart Example
Those are the main benefits of adding an off-road wheel and tire combo to your cart but let's address some other questions.
Will adding larger wheels and tires to my cart increase my golf cart's speed?
In short, yes, by increasing the overall height of your wheels and tires, your golf cart should see a slight increase in overall speed. Without getting too technical, your cart has less work to do to get you going faster. However, please note that larger wheels and tires are a bit heavier, so it may take your cart a bit longer to reach that top speed.
Can I still drive my golf cart on the pavement?
Absolutely! Although off-road wheels and tires are made for more heavy-duty driving, you won't have any issues driving on the pavement. The one thing you should be aware of though, is that off-road tire treads can sometimes cause your golf cart to "hum" when you reach higher speeds on concrete or pavement.


 Can I use off-road tires on a golf course?

Most golf courses are going to have a hard and fast rule against off-road tires. The reason for this is that the aggressive tread will often tear up the fairways and greens. If you plan on using your golf cart on the golf course, we recommend using a street or turf tire.

Off-Road Tire Options

Perhaps you are looking at purchasing some off-road tires or a completely new combination. What options do you have? Let's take a look!

Want an in-depth comparison of the different off-road tire treads? Check out our off-road golf cart tire tread comparison article.
Sizing Options

The first thing to know is that there are multiple size options. We offer off-road wheels in 8", 10", 12", 14", and 15" options. As a result, you can purchase wheel and tire combinations in overall heights of 18"-23".  That means you can purchase off-road tires for both lifted and non-lifted golf carts. Take a look at our sizing guide below.

Wheel and Tire Sizing Guide 18"-20" Overall Height
Wheel and Tire Sizing Guide 20"-22" Overall Height
Tread Options

Depending on the application, golf cart owners can choose from a variety of tread options for their off-road tires. A less aggressive tread pattern is best for less aggressive applications, such as driving on well-maintained trails, grassy areas, or if you still make somewhat regular trips around the neighborhood. A more aggressive tread pattern is necessary for more aggressive applications, such as driving in muddy or sandy conditions or through the backwoods. The type of terrain and the frequency of use will help determine the best tread option for each individual golf cart owner. Let's take a look at some golf cart tire tread examples below.

Less aggressive tread examples:

These tire treads are going to have a bit tighter spacing between the tread knobs and will often have tread designs that flow in a similar direction as the movement of the tire. This gives the tire greater versatility but sacrifices some of the gripping capabilities that more aggressive off-road tires have.

  • Arisun Lightning Tires
Arisun Lightning Tire
  • GTW Timberwolf Tire
All-Terrain Golf Cart Tire Tread Example
  • Excel Street Fox Radial Tire
Excel Street Fox Radial Tire
More aggressive tread examples:
Tires with a more aggressive tread will have more spacing between the tread knobs and will typically have more of a "cross-tread" pattern where the tread cuts across the tire. This pattern gives these types of tires maximum grip and traction. The downside is that this tread pattern is what produces that noticeable "hum" when traveling on concrete or pavement.
  • Arisun X-Trail Tire
Arisun X-Trail Tire
  • GTW Nomad Radial Tires
Off-Road Golf Cart Tire Tread Example
  • Excel Sahara Classic Tire
Excel Sahara Classic Off-Road Tire
At this point you should have a much better understanding of the benefits and options afforded to you with off-road golf cart wheels and tires. The fact of the matter is that if you enjoy taking your golf cart off the beaten path, a new set of wheels with some off-road tires might be just the thing you are missing!

Like the off-road feel but want something slightly less aggressive? Check out our post about all-terrain tire tread!




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Golf Cart Stuff Customer Service - June 29, 2023


Thank you for your question! To our knowledge, no one has ever looked into that! Considering golf carts are low-weight, low-speed vehicles, our assumption would be that there is very minimal impact, but that is just a guess.

The only related information we were able to find was the effect of golf carts and their tires on turfgrass. We’ve attached the link below if you want to take a look. Thank you!


Martin Hawke - June 29, 2023

Have any studies been done on the impact of golf cart tires on asphalt and/or painted surfaces?

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