Types of Tyres and Features to Look Out For
So you’ve probably got a good idea of what tyres are or what they do. But did you know that there are tyres created with orange oil, or that when they warm up, they smell like lavender? We didn’t believe so. There are multiple kinds of tyres available, including low key, high performance, all-terrain, eco, and run-flat, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Each Car Tyres online is labelled with an ID number that looks more like a high school college math questionnaire than a label. So it’s no surprise that finding the perfect tyre is such a difficult task. However, knowing the fundamentals of tyres can save you more than just money.
TYPES OF TYRES
Some tyre kinds are self-explanatory; we won’t go into detail about what a mud tyre is. But what is it that tends to make an eco tyre so cheap, or a decibel tyre so silent? Is a run-flat tyre as simple as it sounds?
The quantity of rubber between the tread as well as the wheel rim is referred to as the tyre’s profile. A low-profile wheel has very little flex in the tyre’s sidewall (sidewall) and would seem relatively low to the ground. It gives excellent handling and feels, but at the expense of a harsher and louder ride.
Eco tyres will not save the world; they are simply black rubber bands. They can, however, save you fuel. The inclusion of silica in the tyre compound prevents deformation when the tyre heats up. This low friction coefficient, also known as drag, saves energy without sacrificing performance.
A quieter tyre is suitable for comfort, whereas doughy mud tyre, as well as low-profile performance tyre, are always loud. There are, even so, tyre designed specifically for low road noise. They are pricey but efficient, and especially useful for people who drive a lot of highway miles.
Tyres with the designations H/T, M/T, and A/T
Highway-Terrain, Mud-Terrain, and All-Terrain tyres all have larger treads for better traction. These tyres are commonly available on SUVs and 4WD vehicles.
No, they’re not massive tractor tyres. XL stands for ‘extra load,’ and it refers to a tough, long-lasting tyre that can withstand the weight.
Tyres for commercial use
These are high load rating tyres that are appropriate for vans, trailers, and trucks.
A flat tyre is a real pain. And an unexpected puncture is terrifying, especially at high speeds. For many years, manufacturers have been developing the run-flat tyre, that has a denser sidewall and can stay mostly enlarged after a puncture, allowing you to safely reach the service station. Pressure monitors are there on the tyres to warn drivers of a puncture.
SIZE OF TYRES
The tyre’s measurements are the most visible series of data on the side of the tyre. These figures can be divided into four categories:
- The width of the wheel tread is measured in millimetres.
- Sidewall (profile) width is expressed as a percentage.
- What type of tyre is it?
- The diameter of the rim it attaches to is measured in inches.
It’s no surprise that it’s difficult to understand – colonial, metric, and percentages everything in one number!
Let’s look at an example. If a tyre has a size of 235/40 R17, it means:
The tread on the tyre is 235mm wide.
The width of the sidewall is 40% of the thickness of the tread.
Radial, which would be pretty much every tyre these days, is represented by the “R.”
Fits a 17in the rim, which would be the circumference of the wheel.
LOAD RATING AND TYRE SPEED
A speed and load rating follow the tyre size numbers. These are essential, especially if you plan to carry loads, tow, or drive your car to the track. Unfortunately, they are not real weight or pace numbers, but rather numeric codes; therefore, you must consult a chart to determine what they stand for.
Assume the numbers are 235/40 R17 91Y:
The number (91) refers to the load index or even the amount of weight that each tyre can support. The weights range from 462kg to 900kg, and the reference numbers vary from 81 to 96. Our car can handle a payload of 2520kg because the index ’91’ is 630kg.
The letter (Y) denotes the maximum speed of the tyre. The reference letters range from N to Z, with speeds ranging from 140km/h to 300km/h (Y).
On a plate on the car, the manufacturer’s recommended tyre sizing and loading, as well as the optimal pressures for those tyres, can be found. This is generally in the doorjamb, but it can also be found under the hood or the fuel cap.
Who is the world’s largest tyre manufacturer?
What is your best guess? Michelin? Bridgestone? No, it’s the game company Lego. LEGO produces approximately 700 million tyres per year, far outnumbering the real tyre manufacturers. These tyres will not fit your car, but they are still regarded as rubber tyres, and thus, despite being miniature, Lego is the world’s largest wheel manufacturer in terms of the number of units produced per year and the car tyres fitted.