Different types of Specialized tires

Disscuses how all tires are not created equal and even tires can be made very specifically

Winter tires vs All season tires - A Comparison

This article compares general winter tires to all season tires and lists pros and cons of each

How to decode an alphanumeric tire code

Every vehicle on our roads leaves the factory with a set of tires chosen specifically by the auto manufacturer

Plus sizing tires on your stock car

Popular modification for both hot rodders and the average car enthusiast alike is the installation of aftermarket tires and rims

Racing tires - Applications for the track and the street

Automobile racing is one of the most demanding environments a vehicle will ever face

Retreads - As safe as regular truck tires

what you need to know about tires

Tire Safety Hazards that are out of your hands

Have you ever been traveling down the highway and seen long strips of rubber crowding the shoulder of the road?

Tire Safety Tips - Tread Maintenance

One of the most often neglected variables is tire pressure

Tire Safety Tips - Tire Inflation

Manufacturers often also incorporate a tread wear indicator into the design of their tires

Knowing your tire’s maximum load can save your life

Crucial information you need to read about your tire maximum load

How to choose the best discount tires for your money

Important tips to keep in mind when shopping for discount tires

Selecting the right tires for your car

Factors to consider when shopping for your new tires

Low Profile Tires

Important advantages and disadvantages to consider when shopping for low profile tires

Recycling Tires Makes sense

Why you should consider recycling your tires

Welcome to About Tires

The history of the tire has seen contributions from many different key figures. Early automobiles suffered from the poor ride quality of wooden wheels and awkward wagon spokes – not to mention the dubious reliability and safety of such materials on early rough roads. Recognizing a need for improvement, in 1844 a young Charles Goodyear, later to lend his name to the famous tire company, made a significant discovery when he realized that by removing the sulfur content from rubber (a process called ‘vulcanizing’), he could radically increase the durability of the substance. Treated rubber could now resist the elements and be used year round. However, Goodyear’s experiments proved quite expensive and his history was somewhat checkered - he actually spent time in debtor’s prison during his research. Although such famous names as John Dunlop and André Michelin pioneered the science of pneumatic rubber tires in the late 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1911 that Philip Strauss managed to successfully market his version of a vulcanized rubber tire surround an inflated inner tube.

The prototype for all future tire development, the pneumatic tire is essentially any tire where the hardened rubber coating is supported on the inside by air pressure. The early part of the 20th century saw several famous names make incremental improvements to this budding technology. The Goodyear company patented a tubeless pneumatic tire in 1903, and the B.F. Goodrich corporation managed to extend the life of treated rubber even further by adding carbon to the process.

By the 1950’s, the tubeless tire was gaining a larger market share as a result of increased safety from blowouts or heat build up. Tires of this era were of a bias ply design. Bias ply tires were constructed by layering rubber coated plies with nylon textile cords at a crisscrossing 45 degree angle to the centerline of the tire. There were several disadvantages to this design: increasing the strength of the tire could only be accomplished by adding more rubber, and hence, more mass. This additional mass lead to greater heat retention and decreased tire life. The bias ply design was also not a very safe one – the style of wrapping lead to distortion and reduction of the contact patch with the road, along with unpredictable handling and response to changing road conditions.

Despite these considerable drawbacks, it wasn’t until the 1970’s that a technology developed 25 years earlier in the history of tires began to achieve popularity. Harkening back to the Michelin labs of 1946, radial tire technology was a vastly superior improvement over bias ply. Replacing nylon cords with steel belts, and using a single layer of rubber coated steel cables as a base, the steel-belted radial tire was a revolution in tire safety, performance and durability. Steel belts allowed a tire to flex without distorting the tread or contact patch, even in sharp corners, and their relative thinness in comparison to bias ply greatly reduced the amount of heat build up during rolling. Our modern day tires represent decades of refinement on the radial tire design.