Selecting a new tire can be daunting, but in the end, a tire needs to be chosen carefully as to what the vehicle will be used for. For our 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali, the truck sees most of its time on the road but towing our toys or fifth wheel out to the desert.
When looking for a dual-purpose on-road and capable off-road tire, we turned to our friends at Nexen. Nexen has been producing tires for the truck and SUV market since the early 2000s and just released its latest, the Roadian ATX.
In addition to selecting the right tire, we looked to Raceline to find the right wheel to withstand the abuse the truck sees while towing. To create a new look for the Denali, we went with the 953B Krank, a smaller black wheel than what was on the truck.
Diving Deeper Into The Tread
To get more familiar with Nexen’s all-new Roadian ATX, we spoke with Jason Yard, marketing director for Nexen Tire USA. The Roadian ATX is loaded with new features and is available in over 70 sizes ranging from 15-inch to 22-inch wheels. For our application, we went with a 35×12.5R17 tire.
“The Roadian ATX is the improved successor to the Roadian AT Pro, a benchmark tire for Nexen, winning several design and performance awards,” Yard said. “The AT Pro is also an OE fitment on several light trucks in North America.”
“The Roadian ATX builds on that success with improved tread compounds, more aggressive sidewalls, and more durable construction. This tire captures the goal of combining great off-road performance with on-road versatility.”
Being different from the market helps draw more attention to a new tire. Nexen knew this and put plenty of essential features into the Roadian ATX.
“The three-ply sidewall on the Roadian ATX improves durability and towing or heavy load capacity,” Yard said. “There are two sidewall options. Both are aggressive and add off-road traction. An advanced tread design and compound provide a better grip as it wears but also make the Roadian ATX quieter than its predecessor and most of the competition.”
This tire was developed specifically for the US market and built to handle the needs of the US off-road market. The Roadian ATX had several wins and podiums in the Amsoil Championship Off-road series last year and will be a part of the series again this year. In addition, the Roadian ATX was selected by Jeep for OE fitment on the new Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator.
Between The Rubber
Off-road enthusiasts crave the perfect combination of power, performance, and aesthetics in their vehicles. The Raceline 953B Krank is a rugged and visually stunning wheel that caters to the demands of off-roading enthusiasts.
The 953B Krank was the perfect choice to turn our Denali from street princess to an off-road rugged machine. We wanted to eliminate the big chrome 20-inch wheels on the truck and stepped down to an 18-inch wheel.
“Idea and concept behind the 953B Krank was to create a truck wheel version after the success of our A94 Krank UTV wheel,” Rhett Sander of Raceline explained. “We added the hollowed-out bead ring feature for both looks and the ability for water to drain.”
“The rugged split V-spoke design makes this one of the strongest wheels on the market and is constructed out of heavy-duty A356 aluminum. The 953B Krank is finished with a black-out bolt-on cap with contrasting embossed Raceline logos.”
While the wheel may be smaller than the OE wheel that came on the truck, this also allowed us to run a tire with more sidewall and help our ride when in the dirt. We went with both form and function when selecting this wheel.
Put To Work
A heavy-duty truck is designed with one thing in mind, to do work. Our 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD Denali is no different, as it gets us around town in style, but when it comes time to tow, this truck can pull just about anything that is put behind it.
Being suited for off-road and on-road attracted us to the Roadian ATX. The tire is 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake Certified, which makes it ideal for all seasons. It also has a 65,000-mile warranty on select sizes.
The wheel and tire combination that we selected needed to withstand and be comfortable for city and highway driving but also have enough traction when pulling a loaded-down fifth wheel out through the desert to camp. Since putting these tires on, we have pulled the fifth-wheel long distances on the highway and in the dirt, and Nexen’s Roadian ATX has done great.
Since we put the Raceline 953B Krank wheels on the truck, we have had countless family members and friends ask if that is the same truck. The off-road style of the wheel fits perfectly into the adventures that we go on.
The Roadian ATX has been super quiet on the road, and we have not noticed an increase in any road noise with the more aggressive tread than the factory tires that came on the GMC. From rainy wet roads to soft sandy desert roads, the Roadian ATX has always given us the needed traction.
Overall, we have been extremely satisfied with how the Roadian ATX has handled various terrains and when towing. The Roadian ATX has maintained the truck’s ride quality, especially given how heavy a 3500HD is. This tire would be well suited for a vehicle that sees both more time on the road and needs to perform when it hits the dirt.