Good Tyres and Bad Tyres - Weighing the Possibilities
When the average consumer looks to buy quality tyres for his car, he often struggles to tell the good ones from the bad and feels puzzled (naturally!) as to why the seemingly similar-looking pieces of rubber are priced differently.
Well, if you’re one among them, you’d be better off knowing the various aspects that make a few tyres more worthy of your money than others.
Tread refers to the vulcanised rubber found on the circumference of your tyre that’s responsible for providing traction. In simpler terms, it’s that part of your tyre that makes contact with the road and promotes its road holding capabilities.
The tread of a good tyre consists of many elements, each playing its part in improving grip and preventing accidents, like the raised pieces or blocks that make up the most of your tyre tread and provide your wheels with the much needed friction to stay on course.
When tyres with well-designed treads are bought, your rides becomes quieter and your drives smoother, irrespective of road conditions. While the shoulders situated on the tread’s outer edge make the change of directions easier, the thin slits (called sipes) cutting across your tyre surface make car handling on dusty or icy roads simpler.
Technically speaking, the grooves in a tyre don’t touch the ground; so, the right name for them is tread pattern and not tread as is the common nomenclature!
That being said, what matters most in a tyre purchase is not your manner of reference to tyre grooves but the amount of weight you attach to them because it’s these patterns that serve the vital purpose of creating voids necessary to expel water from under your tyres and prevent your car from turning into an out-of-control sled on wet roads.
Hence, appreciate the pivotal role tyre grooves play in furthering road-safety and don’t squirm the next time you pay more for tyres with high-performance patterns.
Tyre construction - radial-ply vs. cross-ply
Understanding the arrangement of plies helps you choose tyres with designs best suited to your automobile’s proposed use. For example, in radial tyres, the layers of strong cords that keep the rubber in shape run perpendicular to the direction of travel and this design makes them ideal for passenger vehicles.
Advanced radial designs, though costlier, provide a wider range of benefits including higher resistance to heat & tear, softer rides, longer tyre life, and reduced fuel consumption. In comparison, all that cheaper old-fashioned cross-ply tyres offer are added vehicle stability and protection against weather-induced tyre cracking.
Therefore, make-it-a-point to go for radial tyres of the latest design for hazard-free drives on terrains of all kinds.
More-often-than-not, tyres having specially formulated treads, deeper patterns and sound construction designs aren’t priced to your liking. But, it’s better to pay for quality tyres with your money than to pay for worn-outs with your life, or worse, the life of your loved ones, any day!
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