March 22, 2018The Different Types of Tyres
Modern tyres are a product of meticulous research and design. High tech mixtures of rubber compounds, cutting edge fabrics and steel belts make up the anatomy of the modern radial tyre. Quality tyres offer that balance between high performance and safety, and the tyre landscape of today is a giant leap from what it was in the 20th century.
As a driver, choice is seemingly infinite when it comes to finding that perfect tyre type. Manufacturers constantly update and revise their tyre models, but most car tyres can fit neatly into just a few broad categories. We’ll be looking at each of these in this article.
Tyres are often grouped into seasonal performance. Summer tyres – as you’ve probably figured out – are designed to perform well in dry, warm conditions. These are the tyres you’d want to use for a long summer drive across the country; they offer precise handling, smooth traction and brake reliably in the dry. Not only that, but summer tyres also work well in the wet, so long as it’s warm.
Summer tyres are built with a harder rubber compound and a simplistic tread pattern. This aids control and grip when it’s warm, but poses a problem when the temperature drops below 7°C – the tyres harden and offer vastly reduced performance as a result.
The polar opposite of summer tyres, winter tyres are built for when the mercury drops below that 7°C mark. The difference is in the rubber compound and tread pattern. Winter tyres have deeper grooves, and are made with a compound of higher natural rubber. In low temperatures they won’t harden like summer tyres, instead winter tyres stay flexible, maintaining grip even in the ice and snow.
The main benefit of winter tyres is safety. Cold weather roads are unpredictable, and for the unprepared they can be fatal. Winter tyres allow you to keep in control of your car; better grip means shorter braking distance and more reliable cornering than summer tyres in the same conditions, so if you live in an areas that regularly sees low temperatures, winter tyres are certainly worth considering.
All season tyres
For countries like the UK, the weather constantly fluctuates. There isn’t always a hard/fast divide between hot and cold, so selecting the right tyres for the season can be tricky. All season – or ‘all weather’ – tyres look to remedy this.
These tyres combine properties from summer and winter tyres to create a happy medium tyres that can be used throughout the year. The rubber compound doesn’t harden as much as summer tyres in low temperatures, and the intricate tread pattern is designed to provide grip in a range of conditions – from dry to ice.
All season tyres offer safe performance all year round, but can’t reach the level of summer or winter tyres in optimum conditions. They do, however, cut out the hassle of having to change your tyres multiple time a year, so if high performance isn’t that important to you, these tyres are hard to beat.
Run flat tyres
Punctures and loss of pressure can be a serious hazard on the road, and run flat tyres are built to keep you safe should this happen to you. Run flat tyres have a stronger, lined sidewall so you can keep driving on them after a puncture. This safety buffer can be a lifesaver, but run flats shouldn’t be used for long after the puncture has occurred. Ideally, they’ll get you to a repair shop – or back home – in an emergency without being too much of a risk to other drivers.
It’s recommended that, in the event of a puncture, you should only drive with run flat tyres at 50 mph for 50 miles.
Off-roading has its own set of requirements, so 4×4 tyres are designed to suit the performance needs for both on the road and in the mud. All terrain tyres are stronger than standard road tyres, and have much deeper grooves to offer string traction in a range of extreme conditions – including thick mud and snow.
Designed specifically for 4×4 vehicles, these tyres will keep you moving in rugged terrain, finding grip on looser surfaces where conventional tyres would fail.
Looking for a new set of tyres for your car? Treadfirst provide specialist tyre fitting for drivers throughout East Anglia. We have tyres to suit all budgets, with a range of tyre types from many reputable manufacturers. With same day fitting available and a level of customer service that can’t be beaten, Treadfirst are proud to be your number one tyre supplier. For more information, contact us today.