One of the most attractive features of the Jeep world is the wide support for customization and performance upgrades. Not only does that help you get more out of the off-roading experience, it also helps you pick an upgrade path that is specific to your interests. Mud runners do not need to make all the same performance choices as trail riders or general overlanding and camping enthusiasts, but all Jeep owners that plan to do a lot in the great outdoors wind up thinking about a few similar upgrade categories.
- Tires and rims
- Lift kits and other suspension upgrades
- Off-road brake kits
- Additional lighting
There are a lot more upgrades to think about, especially for competition-tier builds, but these are the big four that have an immediate impact on your ability to be safe in rough terrain. Most Jeep owners also invest in some overnight add-ons, which range from extra storage organization options to vehicle-mounted tents and hammock rigs. So, where should you start your off-road upgrade journey?
Upgraded Off-Roading Rims
Changing up your Jeep Wrangler wheels and tires together is one of the most popular choices for beginners because it has such an immediate effect on your experience. Even without going up to a large enough size to need a lift kit installed with your new wheels, you can usually make some gains over the stock options. Increased durability, slight size changes, and tires specific to each terrain you explore are all great options.
Many off-roading enthusiasts with wide terrain engagement keep extra tires on the rim for fast change-overs when moving from one to another. That lets you spend less time in your garage and more time outdoors.
Off-road rims provide you with increased durability and they allow you to preserve the state of your street rims and tires by investing in off-road only options. The result is the best performance you can expect in each situation, as well as the security of knowing that a damaged or destroyed tire on the trail does not affect your ability to get to work at the end of the trip.
Tire Tread Composition
As you peruse Jeep Gladiator aftermarket parts for new tire options, pay attention to the tread compositions you’re considering and the terrain you run most of the time. Each tread type is built for the conditions of the terrain it is designed to handle, and the best upgrade for a beginner is the one that will be the most useful.
Tires made for mud and swampy conditions have heavy treads in regular patterns that funnel water out of the way. They also have deep treads to find purchase in the hard bottom below the muck, allowing you to keep moving forward. By contrast, snow and sand tires have thick knobby treads that are deep but that do not have the channels to push liquid away. Instead, they are built for maximum traction in loose substances.
For those who are looking at general trail riding, all-terrain tires have a best of all worlds approach that gives you a little help in every major terrain type, just without a clear specialization that makes them great in one area. Keep that in mind as you browse Jeep JK parts for sale and make your selections.