I thought the major design attribute to tire wear was the rubber compound. A
harder rubber will wear longer than a softer compound, but will have less
traction, be it 80 series or 45 series.
Now the more fundamental question: What is the primary purpose/objective of a
tire - to wear long or to provide traction? For me it is the latter. I will
sacrifice the wear mileage anyday for a stickier, better traction, and thus
safer, tire. It is for that reason that I typically do not use all season
tires. To me an all-season tire is like a one-does-all golf club works as a
sand wedge, putter and driver. These are three different functions and a golf
club optimized for a sand trap will probably be a poor putter. Likewise, tires
made for dry conditions will be poor snow tires and snow tires will likely give
less than optimal traction in dry weather. I have a set of summer and a set of
winter tires for each car.
I know that among Focus owners there are complaints about the 50-series
tires on some sportier models. They handle well but tend to break in
potholes. Apparently it is quite common for Ford dealers in places like New
York City to recommend that owners replace them with the regular 60 series
tires on smaller rims (15 inch vs. 16).
Personally I think that all cars intended for regular real-world use should
be available with 70 series tires. To their credit, DC offers this on the
Neon, as does Honda on the Civic, but on most car models only offer the
sportier tires. Even the new Kia Spectra5 pushed 50-series donuts as
standard, for Pete's sake.
On Sat, 9 Oct 2004 02:30:05 +0200 (CEST), Nomen Nescio
Low profile tires simply will not last the same length of time that a
similarly constructed 80 series tire will last. (heat torsional
They look pretty & they feel "a bit sharper" when handling.
Mind elaborating on that? I don't know much (I know virtually
nothing) about tire construction, but offhand I can't think of any
reason why a lower profile wouldn't last at least as long as an
equivalently constructed taller tire. I can imagine the sidewalls not
lasting as long (since the torsional forces are spread across a
shorter distance), but I've never had a tire's sidewall wear out:
every tire I've ever replaced has been because of tread wear or road
hazard, and I don't see how sidewall height would affect either one.
Now, if you'd like to say that a lower profile tire will typically be
a higher performance tire, and hence will have a softer compound so it
will wear out more quickly, I'll agree completely. But that isn't
inherent in "lower profile", and isn't my idea of "equivalent
Joseph J. Pfeiffer, Jr., Ph.D. Phone -- (505) 646-1605
Department of Computer Science FAX -- (505) 646-1002
I don't think the "modern" low profile tire and big wheel look that
great. I think they look line the wheel is wearing a black sanitary
pad for a tire. I feel like telling the dealer to send it flowers and
a box of chocolates and I'll take it out to dinner next week.
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