Low Profile Tyres

Low profile tyres seem to have become more popular these days and there are many reasons for this. Upgrading the tyres of a car with a lower profile size will generally enhance its steering response, looks and handling traits. The car owner today has many options available to modify both the looks and performance characteristics of their tyres compared to standard fitment tyres.

Low profile refers to a short sidewall height or ratio of a tyre. This is the amount of rubber between the outer wheel edge and the road. Shorter sidewalls offer better handling and grip, however this is coupled with a rougher ride due to there being less cushioning between the rim and the road. Less cushioning results in any road bumps and imperfections being sent directly to the suspension.

Lower profile types of tyres are more distinguished than their high profile counterparts. But the important thing to remember is that when the driver is on the motorway and driving at 70 miles per hour, the performance and safety aspects take priority over looks. Having good tyres for the sake of safety is crucial for any car owner.

Advantages of low profile tyres

Many sports cars are equipped with high performance tyres as well as vehicles with larger diameter wheels. Sports cars tend to use smaller and shorter sidewall height purely for handling performance. There are also many more advantages to these wheels when it comes to the amount of grip and contact between the road and the tyre rubber.

Car with low profile tyres

High profile tyres have a narrower contact with the road, whereas low profile ones have a broader and shorter contact patch. This means that the subject car will perform differently on tarmac with these types of tyres. Vehicles with wider rims have more grip while high profile tyres are not capable of being as responsive in curvy roads.

Disadvantages

Of course, there are also disadvantages to fitting these tyres. When a car is configured with narrower tyres, it will not be as stable, especially when cornering at high speed. In addition, tyres with wider and shorter sidewalls tend to have a harsher ride quality on bumpy roads. A bumpy ride is not just tough on the driver; it is also difficult on the tyre and the car.

The other disadvantages apart from the patchy ride are that not only are the wheels more prone to road damage, but they don’t perform very well in icy road conditions.

Conclusion

The thinner types of low profile tyres offer less wheel protection on bad roads. If a soft ride is important to the driver, he or she may not enjoy these types of tyres. But then again if looks and performance are more of a priority, then low profile tyres can be beneficial and may be the correct choice in this situation.

Before choosing new tyres, always check the owner’s manual to learn about the vehicle’s recommended tyre size, tyre inflation pressure, and the maximum weight the vehicle’s axle systems can cope with. All these factors can affect the type of tyre that is chosen for a car.

Category: Types of Tyre