When purchasing new tires, you should always ask yourself a question – what do you want and expect from the tires you purchase? Do you want a reliable solution for an everyday drive? Or, you want to extract the best possible performance from your modern passenger car, SUV, or truck?
Now, if you want the latter, you need to be prepared to spend more money on tires. Tires from reputable and well-known manufacturers are certainly not cheap, but they offer the best possible performance.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have companies like Ironman, who focus on offering the requirements of people that need basic transportation. Not every driver wants to explore the possibilities of his/her vehicle, and Ironman knows that.
For those that aren’t associated with the brand, Ironman is owned by Hercules, a tire manufacturer that positions itself a bit higher. Still, both brands are firmly into the budget-friendly territory and don’t compete with companies like Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, or Goodyear.
The question is – are Ironman tires any good? Until now, my experience with very cheap tires wasn’t very pleasing, so I was curious to find out if Ironman can change that opinion.
To answer the question, though, you’ll need to read the whole Ironman tires review, as there are many things we need to discuss.
1. Ironman GR-906
Best Touring All-Season Tire
The GR-906 is perhaps the best-buy in Ironman’s lineup. The tire is so cheap that on some cars, four tires cost less than $200. And, the GR-906 makes a good first impression – it’s very quiet and comfortable.
For daily driving, the tire also performs adequately, with good steering, acceleration, and braking. The hydroplaning resistance is very good, as well.
That said, the tire doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty, which is a standard in this category. Also, don’t plan on using it in harsh wintry conditions.
2. Ironman iMOVE GEN2 AS
Best High-Performance All-Season Tire
The performance-oriented iMOVE GEN2 AS handles sharply and has pretty high levels of grip and traction on dry surfaces. Meanwhile, the tire is also quiet and comfortable.
However, traction on wet roads is limited, especially in heavy rain. Also, driving on snow can feel unsafe, and Ironman doesn’t provide any treadwear warranty.
3. Ironman RB SUV
Best Highway Tire for SUVs and Trucks
With its tough and durable construction, the RB SUV is a perfect choice for drivers or larger SUVs that often drive on hardpacked surfaces. The tire also performs well on dry roads, both in the performance and comfort department.
That said, the premium competition offers vastly better traction on wet surfaces, longer treadlife, and very long treadwear warranties.
4. Ironman All Country AT
Best All-Terrain Tire
The All Country AT works surprisingly well over hardpacked surfaces, where it provides the driver with excellent traction. The tire also works very well in mud and has good traction over large rocks.
On the road, stability is good, but only on dry surfaces. In the rain, hydroplaning performance is acceptable for the price, but traction is still limited.
5. Ironman All Country CHT
Best Commercial Tire
The All Country CHT is one of the cheapest commercial-grade light-truck tires on the market. That’s great news for small businesses, which don’t have the ability to purchase premium tires.
The All Country CHT performs adequately on the road, but it still lacks ultimate traction on wet and snowy surfaces, especially when compared to premium tires.
Ironman Tires Review: Buying Guide
Ironman has an extensive portfolio of tires for passenger cars. The most popular tires in Ironman’s lineup are the SUV and light-truck tires, primarily the off-road models, All Country A/T and All Country M/T.
The performance tires from Ironman are also very popular within the tuning community, mainly due to the aggressive design and very low prices for the larger sizes. Ironman offers performance tires for sedans and coupes, but also for crossovers and SUVs.
Meanwhile, the company also has touring tires for sedans and compact cars and highway tires for light trucks and SUVs. The company emphasizes comfort and durability with these tires, with responsiveness playing second fiddle.
Ironman also offers commercial tires for light trucks and vans. Recently, the company launched a studdable winter tire, which is unusual for a cheap manufacturer, but certainly welcome.
The only thing that stands out to me is that the company only offers all-season compounds, apart from the winter model. You can’t find track-focused tires in Ironman’s lineup, at least not if you want to have the best possible performance and quick lap times.
With that being said, let’s see what the main advantages and disadvantages of owning a set of Ironman tires are.
1. Ironman Tires Positive Aspects
Very Cheap to Buy
Ironman offers some of the cheapest tires on the market. The savings are already big on touring tires and smaller sizes, and they become even larger if you opt for very large sizes on some SUV-focused models.
On the larger sizes, you might save around $600 for a set of tires compared to those from premium manufacturers. That’s certainly not a small amount. That said, most of the savings will be reduced in the long run – premium tires will definitely last longer.
However, I am in no doubt that Ironman tires are cheaper than premium alternatives in the long run, even including the shorter treadlife.
Developed by Hercules Tires
Many cheap Chinese tires that roll on the roads today don’t have a source of development. Moreover, they are also identical, at least when it comes to the tread pattern. Hercules definitely tried to change things a bit here and designed the tires in-house.
That’s great because Hercules has experience in research and development, which is the single most important thing for injecting safety in tires. Sure, Hercules doesn’t have the muscle of Michelin and Bridgestone, but for the price, you are at least getting a developed tire.
Adequate for Everyday Driving
Most Ironman tires will be completely adequate for everyday driving scenarios. More accurately, they will steer, accelerate, and stop the way you like. Provided, of course, you drive within the speed limits and don’t push your vehicle too hard.
Ironman tires should be passable on a wet tarmac as well. In normal driving, handling should be fine, and the braking distances sufficiently short. Again, I must state here that you will get shorter braking distances from premium tires, budget-oriented tires (Cooper, General, Hankook), and even Hercules tires.
Most Models are Quiet and Comfortable
Unlike other cheap tires, Ironman models are at least comfortable on uneven surfaces and quiet at highway speeds. They become slightly louder as they wear down, but still within acceptable limits.
2. Ironman Tires Negative Aspects
Not the Best Choice for Performance Driving
While Ironman tires are adequate for everyday driving, they will quickly start to show the limitations if you push too hard. During hard cornering, Ironman tires will quickly remind you that they will lose traction by squeaking, which sometimes is a good thing.
For those reasons, if you own a powerful vehicle, you might be better off with more expensive tires. Or, just drive your car more carefully, especially in the rain.
Wet and Snow Performance are Worse than Premium Tires
The area where Ironman tires suffer the most when compared to the more expensive competition is wet surfaces. Ironman tires should have enough tread depth for good hydroplaning, but this doesn’t change the fact that overall, the traction will be limited, and braking distances will be longer.
That’s especially true in the winter. Even though every tire from Ironman is rated as all-season, you shouldn’t test them in severe wintry conditions. Traction in snow is below average for the category, while the traction on ice is almost non-existent.
Treadlife is Far from Impressive
Cheap tires never last as long as expensive tires. Of course, the same is true for Ironman’s products, which have a much lower treadlife than the premium competition. Besides, Ironman doesn’t provide a treadwear warranty on its tires, which is a bummer.
I often enter my reviews open-minded, even though I admit that I mostly prefer premium tires. With Ironman tires, at least, I wasn’t very disappointed.
For daily driving, Ironman tires will work just fine. They will accelerate, steer, stop, and be quiet and comfortable. As long as you don’t expect miracles, they might be a good option.
However, don’t for a second think that the driver that put his/her cash on new Bridgestone’s was robbed. There is a reason why premium tires cost so much – they are almost without fault.
If you can live with the faults of Ironman’s products, though, then you should put them on your shortlist.