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Tyres 

Articles, reviews, useful tips

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Reviews of brands from the category tyres
Rating of brands from the tyres section based on reviews and ratings of site visitors
All year round without worries! All-season tires — weighing the pros and cons
Is it possible to do with one set of rubber all year round? Pros and cons of "all-seasons"
What Chinese tires does it make sense to buy?
We lay out the ins and outs of the leading Chinese brands in the tire business
Features of marking off-road tires HT, ST, AT and MT
The degree of "omnivorous" tires for SUVs is determined by suitability for specific types of roadway
New Euro labels: updated rules for labeling tire stickers
New labeling system provides consumers with complete information about the properties of specific tires
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Tyres: specifications, types

Season

The time of the year the tyres are designed for.

Tyres designed for the warm season are called summer, for cold — respectively, winter (among the latter, studded and non-studded models are separated, see below for details). The need for separation by season is due to the fact that when the temperature drops, the rubber solidifies; therefore, cold weather requires softer tires than warm weather. And the time when you need to change tyres is best determined by the average daily temperature: if it is above +5 °C, it is better to use summer tires, if lower — winter ones. There are also more detailed recommendations regarding the time of changing tyres, they can be found in special sources.

Also note that there are tyres positioned as all-weather. Such models should be treated with some caution: they can be produced in countries where winters are very mild, without snow and severe frosts, and be designed specifically for such “all-season”; for a full-mean winter, such tyres may not be suitable. So the specific attributes of all-season tyres should be specified separately (including reviews). If there are no detailed info, such tires are best considered as summer tires with slightly increased resistance to cold, and if used in winter, then in simple conditions (for example, driving along well-cleaned city streets).

Product Type

The type of tyre is the type of vehicle it is designed for.

This parameter is determined mainly by the height of the profile in centimeters, and in some cases by the size and load index. In general, there are three main types of tyres – for passenger cars and SUVs, for crossovers and for minibuses. Here is a more detailed description of each option.

— Passenger cars. Tires for ordinary passenger cars include products with a small profile height (up to 14 cm). They are designed mainly for smooth roads and more or less favourable operating conditions. Among these tires, you can find both tires exclusively for passenger cars, and for heavier SUVs – such tires are distinguished by an increased radius and load index.

— Crossovers. Crossovers are designed for more difficult conditions than conventional cars, they often have to deal with difficult terrain or separate high bumps. Therefore, tyres of this type have a significant profile height – more than 14 cm. It should be noted that such tires can have different specializations – both all-terrain and off-road; see “Suitable for” for details.

— Minibuses. Tyres designed for relatively heavy vehicles – minibuses and mini trucks. Such vehicles still does not reach the full-fledged freight transport, however, they have more weight than passenger cars. Accordingly, tyres for such vehicles has a...high load index.

Suitable for

General classification of the tyres.

This parameter is specified for models that are designed for specific applications and differ markedly from conventional "every day" tyres for use. Nowadays, there are such purposes: sports tyres (including semi-slicks and slicks, as well as drift models); off-road tyres — all-terrain and mud-terrain ; as well as economical solutions to reduce fuel consumption. Here is a detailed description of each of these options:

— Sports. Sports tires for general use. They have a high speed rating and improved handling at high speeds, they are outwardly distinguished by a low profile and a small depth of the tread pattern. Unlike slicks and semi-slicks (see below), conventional sports tires are intended primarily for normal paved roads.

— Half-slicks (slicks). A special kind of “high-speed” tires, which differs from the sports models described above by a reduced depth of the tread pattern. More precisely, this feature is characteristic of semi-slicks; in slicks, there is no pattern at all, the surface of such a tyre is completely smooth. This provides excellent speed performance. On the other hand, slicks and semi-slicks are intended mainly for specialized racing tracks with high quality even surfaces; the use of such...tyres on ordinary roads is at least not recommended, and for some models it is completely prohibited.

— Drift. Specialized tires designed for drifting — stunt driving using controlled drifts. Usually, it has a low profile and a reinforced structure that allows it to effectively withstand increased loads (primarily transverse). Some of these models are produced using special additives that colour the “smoke under the wheels” in different colours.

— All-terrain. Universal all-terrain tires, designed mainly for dirt roads and off-road, but quite effective on even asphalt. They are inferior to off-road ones (see below) in terms of efficiency on rough terrain, but they behave better on paved surfaces. So that tyres will be the best choice for those who often have to travel on general roads in addition to difficult terrains. Externally, tires of this purpose are characterized primarily by a rather high tread and high profile.

— Mud-terrain. Tires designed for maximum cross-country ability and efficiency on rough terrain, including complete off-road. According to these indicators, such tyres are noticeably superior to all-terrain tyres (see above); outwardly, it is distinguished by a very high tread and a high profile height (in most models — 60% and above). But for regular driving on asphalt, tires of this purpose are poorly suited. Therefore, paying attention to off-road tires makes sense, foremost to those who have to drive on dirt roads and off-road most of the time.

— Economical. A tyre that is claimed to have relatively low rolling resistance, resulting in additional fuel savings. Many of these tires do indeed have a high rolling resistance index (see the relevant paragraph) — A, B or C. However, in some models the resistance index is not indicated, and they are classified as economical based solely on the manufacturer's statements.

Width

Tyre width — the distance between the sidewalls of an inflated but unloaded tyre.

Width is one of the attributes that determine the compatibility of a tyre with a specific rim (the second attribute is the rim diameter). It should be noted that the width of the tyre does not have to strictly correspond to the width of the rim, certain deviations are allowed. There are special charts that allow you to determine the permissible widths for a specific wheel; in addition, such recommendations may be indicated in the documentation for a specific car.

The following tyre width options are spread on the modern market: 135 mm, 145 mm, 155 mm, 165 mm, 175 mm, 185 mm, 195 mm, 205 mm, 215 mm (8.5"), 225 mm, 235 mm, 240 mm (9.5"), 245 mm, 255 mm, 265 mm (10.5"), 275 mm, 285 mm, 290 mm (11.5"), 295 mm, 305 mm, ..."/list/337/pr-3110/">315 mm, 320 mm ( 12.5"), 325 mm, 335 mm, 345 mm (13.5") and over 345 mm.

Aspect ratio

Tyre aspect ratio. This parameter is usually expressed as a percentage of the width, since it is not the height itself that is of practical importance, but its ratio with the nominal section width.

In general, the lower the ratio, the more stable the tyre, the better it is suitable for high-speed driving on flat roads. Higher ratio, in turn, work better on rough surfaces and over obstacles, making them good for bad roads and off-road. If we talk about specific numbers, nowadays, the following options are spread on the market:

— Low profile tires: 25%, 30%, 35%, 40% ;
— Medium profile : 45%, 50%, 55%, 60% ;
— High profile : 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 82%, 85%, and 90% or more.

Tyre inner diameter

Tyre inner diameter in inches. The key parameter that determines the possibility of installing a tyre on a car: the tyre diameter must match the diameter of the rim. It is worth noting that some vehicles have +/- 1 inch diameter tolerance; this point should be clarified separately in each case.

In modern passenger vehicle tires, the following rim diameters are most widely used: 12", 13", 14", 15", 16", 17", 18", 19", 20", 21", 22", 23", 24".

Load index

The maximum weight load that the tyre is able to carry. It is denoted by a conditional figure, each of which corresponds to a certain value:

66 – 300 kg, 67 – 307 kg, 68 – 315 kg, 69 – 325 kg, 70 – 335 kg, 71 – 345 kg, 72 – 355 kg, 73 – 365 kg, 74 – 375 kg, 75 – 387 kg, 76 – 400 kg, 77 – 412 kg, 78 – 425 kg, 79 – 437 kg, 80 – 450 kg, 81 – 462 kg, 82 – 475 kg, 83 – 487 kg, 84 – 500 kg, 85 – 515 kg, 86 – 530 kg, 87 – 545 kg, 88 – 560 kg, 89 – 580 kg, 90 – 600 kg, 91 – 615 kg, 92 – 630 kg, 93 – 650 kg, 94 – 670 kg, 95 – 690 kg, 96 – 710 kg, 97 – 730 kg, 98 – 750 kg, 99 – 775 kg, 100 – 800 kg, 101 – 825 kg, 102 – 850 kg, 103 – 875 kg, 104 – 900 kg, 105 – 925 kg, 106 – 950 kg, 107 – 975 kg, 108 – 1000 kg, 109 – 1030 kg, 110 – 1060 kg, 111 – 1090 kg, 112 – 1120 kg, 113 – 1150 kg, 114 – 1180 kg, 116 – 1250 kg, 117 – 1285 kg, 118 – 1320 kg, 119 – 1360 kg, 120 – 1400 kg, 121 – 1450 kg, 122 – 1500 kg, 123 – 1550 kg, 124 – 1600 kg, 126 – 1700 kg, 127 – 1750 kg, 128 – 1800 kg, 129 – 1850 kg, 130 – 1900 kg, 131 – 1950 kg, 133 – 2060 kg,

While choosing according to this indicator, it is worth considering not only the maximum weight of the car for which tires are going to buy, but also the distribution of weight along the axles. With passenge...r cars, everything is simple — the weight is distributed approximately equally, so to determine the load on each wheel, it is enough to divide the maximum mass of the car by 4 (the number of wheels). However, in minibuses, light trucks and SUVs, the situation is different: the weight distribution can be unequal, so you should refer to the manufacturer's documents or other special sources to calculate the load on each wheel.

Anyway, the load index must not be exceeded — this creates the danger of an accident. In fact, the wheel load should be at least 10 – 15% below the maximum, this will give an additional guarantee in case of abnormal loads. Also note that in some high-speed tires, with the speed maximum approaching, the permissible load decreases: for example, for tires with the V index (see "Speed rating") with speed over 210 km/h, it is recommended to reduce the load by 3% for every next 10 km/h increase in speed, similar recommendations apply to models with indexes W and Y. These details are usually described in the manufacturer's documentation and other special sources.

Speed rating

The speed rating that the tyre corresponds to.

This indicator determines the maximum speed that tyre is allowed to operate. It is designated by the letters of the Latin alphabet, each of which corresponds to a certain speed limit:

F — 80 km/h; G — 90 km/h; J — 100 km/h; K — 110 km/h; L — 120 km/h; M — 130 km/h; N — 140 km/h; P — 150 km/h ; Q — 160 km/h ; R — 170 km/h ; S — 180 km/h ; T — 190 km/h ; U — 200 km/h ; H — 210 km/h ; V — 240 km/h ; W — 270 km/h ; Y — 300 km/h ;

The maximum permitted speed must not be exceeded — this creates the risk of an accident. However, there are other rules associated with choosing a tyre by this factor. So, ideally, the actual driving speed should be at least 10 – 15% lower than the speed rating of the installed tyres — this will give an additional guarantee in case of emergency situations. In addition, in some tyre models, as the speed approaches the maximum, the upper limit of allowable load is reduced; see “Load Index” for details.

Orientation

The shape of the tyre tread pattern:

Directional. Pattern with a characteristic V-shape. Among other things, such rubber is considered to be especially effective on wet surfaces — in rain, on snow, with an abundance of melt water, etc.: the pattern provides effective water drainage, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and increasing grip. Also, these tyres are well suited for high-speed sports cars (although, of course, their speed rating and specialization may be different). When installing directional tyres, the direction indicated by the manufacturer must be kept.

Symmetric. The pattern without signs of directionality is the same both on the outer and on the inner part of the tread. These tires are easier to manufacture than directional or asymmetric tyres, and are generally cheaper, while still having good performance on a flat and dry surface. In addition, symmetric tyres are as simple as possible to install, they do not need to follow the direction. However, for hard conditions, particularly wet weather, they are poorly suited. So, typically, such tyres are designed mainly for city cars used on short trips on relatively high-quality roads.

Asymmetric. Tyres with a different pattern inside and outside the tread. Each of these parts plays a role: the inner part provides water evacuation and reduces the risk of aquaplaning, while the ou...ter part provides the necessary rigidity for manoeuvrability and stability. While installing, you need to take into account the location of the outer and inner sides, they usually have the appropriate marking. Asymmetric tyres are considered the most advanced, although, of course, the actual characteristics and cost of such products may vary, depending on the brand and the general level. Such tires are designed mainly for cars of medium and top levels; they are often supplied as factory equipment for advanced cars.

Studs ready

A variety of tires (usually winter tires) that are not equipped with studs, but have slots for their installation. The meaning of this decision is that, firstly, such tires are typically cheaper than similar models with pre-installed factory studding, and secondly, the owner is given certain freedom of choice — to stud or not to stud the tyre. In fact, it should be noticed that tires created for a stud are initially designed for operation with studs, respectively, without them, they will behave worse than ordinary non-studded ones. In addition, studs made after purchase take hold much worse than factory ones — with more or less intensive use, studs tend to fall out, especially if the tyre does not stud right away, but after some run.

Studded

Winter tires (see “Season”), supplemented with studs — metal pins built into the tread. Studs improve traction on ice and packed snow: “biting” into such a surface, they do not allow the tyre to slide. On the other hand, on hard surfaces and in loose snow, studded tires are noticeably inferior in efficiency to a non-studded ones.

Run Flat

A technology that allows the tyre to maintain its performance even being flat. If a conventional tyre fails after a maximum of a couple of kilometers with a loss of pressure, then you can drive several tens of kilometers on RunFlat tyre without any problems — this is usually enough to get to the nearest tyre service. Similar properties are achieved due to the reinforced structure, particularly the increased rigidity of the sidewalls. Different manufacturers may use names other than Run Flat for this technology, such as Flat Run or Zero Pressure.

We note separately, that tires with this feature can only be used on vehicles equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system. Without such a system, it is likely that the driver will not notice tyre damage immediately — and this is fraught with several unpleasant consequences at once. Firstly, you can miss the time needed to correct the situation — as a result, the resource of a flat tyre may not be enough to normally get to the workshop or service station. Secondly, driving on a run flat tyre requires slowness and special care, driving in a normal style on such a tyre can lead to loss of control.

Seal (puncture sealing)

A technology that allows the tyre to fix automatically small punctures and keep moving almost without loss of air and wheel performance.

Tyres with this feature may have different markings of different manufacturers: Seal Inside (Pirelli), Selfseal (Michelin), Conti Seal (Continental), etc. However, the principle of operation of the puncture sealing technology is the same in all cases: on the inner side of the tyre, on the contrary tread, a layer of a special sealing substance is applied. When punctured, such a substance almost instantly penetrates into the resulting hole and seals it. In most models, Seal technology allows you to neutralize punctures up to 5-6 mm in size, including multiple ones; moreover, effective sealing is achieved even in cases where the object that caused the damage did not remain in the tyre. However, the specific properties of this feature should be clarified separately.

Fuel efficiency

The rolling resistance rating that the tyre corresponds to. The higher this figure, the lower the resistance, the less fuel is spent to overcome it and the more economical the tyre is. Efficiency indices are denoted by letters of the Latin alphabet in descending order of efficiency: A(highest efficiency), B, C, D, E, F, G(lowest efficiency).

With other things being equal, more economical tires tend to cost more, but the difference is offset by fuel economy.

Wet Grip

An index that determines the overall performance of a tyre on wet pavement. Lettered from A(highest) to G(lowest); intermediate options, respectively — B, C, D, E and F.

The higher this indicator, the stronger the tyre grips to the wet road, the more efficient and safer it will be in difficult weather conditions. At the same time, it is worth noting that a low grip index does not mean unsuitability for driving in rain or snow — you just need to be more careful using such tires. Conversely, a high index does not relieve the driver of the need to be careful in difficult weather conditions.

Wear resistance (Treadwear)

Tyre wear resistance rate according to the Treadwear standard issued by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This rate indicates how far the tyre is able to travel until the tread reaches a critical level of wear. Treadwear is indicated in conditional points; formally, every 100 points correspond to 48,000 km (30,000 miles). However, it should be noted that testing according to this standard is carried out under perfect conditions — on flat roads, without numerous sharp accelerations and brakings, at a stable temperature, etc. Therefore, real wear resistance, usually, is lower by at least 20 – 30 %; and for a full guarantee, the claimed indicator is generally recommended to be divided by two. For example, formally the value of Treadwear 240 corresponds to a mileage of 48 × 2.4=115.2K km — however, in fact it is hardly worth counting on more than 90K km, and it is best to keep on the value of 55 – 58K km.

Generally, Treadwear ratings up to 250 are considered fairly low, 251 – 300 are considered average, 301 – 350 are above average, and over 350 is typical for the most durable tyre models. Note that this characteristic is given mainly for summer, less often — all-weather tires; winter tires should be quite soft, which makes it difficult to achieve more or less worthy wear resistance rating.

Noise Level

The average noise level created by a tyre while driving. The lower this indicator, the more comfortable this model will be, the less additional noise it will create.

Note that EU rules provide 3 categories of tyres in terms of noise. “Quiet” are considered models with an index of up to 68 dB, “medium” — 68 – 71 dB, “loud” — 72 dB and above.

Rating (top list position)

The position that tyre model took in the rating based on test results. The sources of such information are major automotive magazines, car clubs, expert organizations, etc. (see "Rating Source”). Of course, tires with similar properties are usually compared with each other — for example, winter studded tires, summer tires for compact cars (golf class), off-road tyres of a certain size, etc. In our catalogue, you can choose tyres of Top 3, Top 5 or Top 7 different ratings.

Rating info can be very useful given that there are a wide variety of tyres on the market with similar performance. This can mislead even a specialist, not to mention ordinary motorists. And the place in the test allows you to determine the quality of tyres with a certain degree of accuracy without delving into unnecessary subtleties — and the quality is not only “on paper”, according to official info, but also in fact. However, it should be noted that the rating is given for a specific year (usually the year of manufacture of the tyre or the next one after it), and over time, the place of a certain model in the test may change — usually, it shifts down as new, more advanced tyres appear.

Rating Source

The source where the data of the tyre test results are taken (see "Rating (top list position)"). As such sources, mainly well-known and authoritative publications and organizations are used, however, each user can decide for himself how much he trusts this or that source.
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