Performance cars need performance tires. But what’s the difference between performance tires and ordinary touring tires?
Performance tires are usually made with a softer tread compound for “stickiness” and improved grip, reaction and handling on dry pavement – the compromise is in shorter tread life. Many true performance tires also don’t do well in colder weather, and many drivers switch over to all-season or winter tires in colder months.
Tires with H or V speed ratings are typically considered “performance touring” tires, and many are designed for all-season wear. Tires with the W, Y or Z rating (and an aspect ratio of less than 55) are ultra-high-performance tires, designed for high-speed handling.
We rounded up a few of our best- ...[more]Read More
When you think of enhanced fuel economy, you probably think of the usual things…aerodynamics, engine size, rear end gear ratio, vehicle weight, driving style and speed, and your engine’s state of tune (clean air filter, good spark plugs, etc). Did you know, though, that your tires can have a huge bearing on gas mileage as well?
- Tire Size – The bigger, wider and heavier a tire is, the more rolling resistance it presents. Don’t believe me? Go for a ride on a skinny-tire racing bike, then go for a ride on a fat balloon-tire beach cruiser and see the difference. You shouldn’t go for a narrower tire than original equipment, as engineers tune suspensions and steering for a given tire size, but also remember that wider tires can cut into your fuel economy (even if th ...[more]
Does your driving style affect how your tires wear and hold up? You better believe it does.
If you put a lot of interstate miles on your car, that’s about the easiest thing you can do for the tires and your car’s drivetrain both. Tires and engines both love maintaining steady speeds for hours on end (provided the tires are at the correct inflation).
Here are some things that are likely to compromise your tires’ life, though:
- Frequently hauling heavy loads (especially for pickup truck tires)
- Frequently pulling a trailer
- Hard cornering
- Hard acceleration
- Taking potholes, railroad tracks and bumps at high speeds
It’s not surprising that heavy loads or trailer use would wear out tires prema ...[more]Read More
Soooo…it’s time to replace the tires on your late-model car. Maybe you weren’t that crazy about the original equipment (OE) tires, or you just want to try something different. Well, here are some things to consider.
The engineers and design teams that worked on your make and model of car selected a specific brand and model of tire for it. All of their formulations for ride comfort, handling, steering response, traction, noise and vibration isolation, roughness and overall performance used that specific tire as a benchmark (of course, the bid process for tires entered into it as well). A luxury car might have been designed around a grand touring tire with a quiet ride, an eco-friendly hybrid might use a low-rolling-resistance tire, ...[more]Read More
You’ve probably heard the phrase “tire load rating” and wondered what exactly it meant. Tire load ratings are a pretty important part of safety and proper tire maintenance, so let’s break it down:
- Your tires will have a service description embossed on the sidewall. The service description includes proper inflation levels, tire size, speed rating, and other information. You’ll also find tire load rating on the service description.
- The higher the load rating number, the more weight your car’s tires are able to handle. However, that doesn’t mean an actual weight limit. Tire load ratings are coded according to federal standards. A rating code of 60 means actual weight rating of 250 kg/550 lb. Rating code of 80: 450 kg/550 lb, rating code of 125 ...[more]
If you live in an area that gets cold enough and sees enough winter precipitation to warrant buying winter tires, there’s no substitute for the traction they can provide. Winter tires have come a long way since the heavy-tread, noisy “snow tires” or “mud grips” that were on your dad’s station wagon a generation ago. Modern winter tires offer better ride, road manners and handling than they did in previous years. That doesn’t, however, mean that they are good year-round.
Winter tires are designed with a tread formulation that stays flexible at lower temperatures, which is their chief advantage over all-season tires. All-season tires tend to harden and stiffen at sub-freezing temps, compromising traction and control. The flip side ...[more]Read More
First, let’s clear up any potential confusion about all-terrain vs. mud-terrain tire.
All-terrain tires are designed for a whole range of off-road conditions, which could include large rocks and boulders, snow, gravel, loose dirt, sand, mud, you name it. Mud-terrain are specifically designed for mud. While the two designs are similar, mud-terrain tires have a more “open” tread pattern that helps the tires claw through mud, with open segments (or “voids) designed to eject the mud and debris, giving the tire a clean area to grip with as it turns. Mud tires also use a softer rubber formulation for enhanced t ...[more]Read More
Hankook I*Pike RW11 Review
This affordable winter tire from Hankook is designed using their eco-friendly winter tread formulation, molded into a symmetrical winter tread pattern with a distinct center section and wraparound shoulder blocks. The central grooves on the I*Pike RW11 move water and slush away from the tire’s footprint for excellent traction. The I*Pike RW11 can be used with studs for extreme conditions (where legal), and is designed with a 6-row stud pin arrangement for minimized noise and excellent stud retention. The tread’s block stiffness is optimized and applied through the combination of wave and step kerf, making it an especially good choice for SUVs and light trucks.
The I*Pike RW11 delivers excep ...[more]Read More
Michelin’s Pilot Alpin PA3 uses their innovative Green-X standard for environmentally-friendly design and low rolling resistance, with Michelin’s sunflower-oil-enriched Helio tread formulation for flexibility in freezing temperatures, traction and handling performance. The Helio tread compound is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern, with a unique pattern of variable-thickness sipes. The sipes at the inboard side of the tread are wider for wet weather, while the outboard sipes are narrow for dry conditions. The Pilot Alpin PA3 is constructed with polyester cord under two steel belts, with more polyamide cord banded around the belts for strength and ride comfort.Read More
Designed to help full-size trucks, Jeeps and 4x4 SUVs get the job done, the Toyo Open Country MT is a premium all-terrain tire at an affordable price. The innovative hook-shaped tread blocks on the Open Country MT are designed to provide great traction off-road and quiet, predictable performance on the pavement. Scalloped tread blocks hook around the shoulders; the sizable void areas are designed to eject mud and stones for a continuous biting surface that keeps you moving forward in rough terrain. Sipes strategically placed in the tread blocks make the Open Country MT a great choice for snow and wintry conditions (branded with the industry's Mountain + Snowflake stamp on the sidewall).
The Toyo Open Country MT is designed with an off-road rubber formul ...[more]Read More