The truth about low profile tires
"The pros and cons of low profile rubber"
Many performance cars today come with low profile tires, so we'll look at these and the advantages and disadvantages to fitting them.
Firstly low profile tires have a small amount of rubber between the rim and the road.
Large alloy wheels are better looking but you can only go so large before needing to have larger wheel arches.
Low profile tires allow you larger rims keeping the same overall rotational dimensions.
The harder sidewalls are less prone to flexing so steering inputs are more direct, large sidewalls absorb some of the steering action as they flex.
They offer greater levels of grip, and allow faster cornering speeds.
A trade off here is that they tend to lose grip suddenly and without as much warning compared to higher sidewall tires.
Steering inputs are more immediate, compared with higher sidewall tires but some drivers prefer the sloppier feel of high sidewalls.
- Allow you to fit larger better looking alloys (which doesn't help performance but provides more space for large brake disks)
- Better cornering grip and feel, the car will corner faster
- The car will turn in faster when cornering
- The car feels more stable in straight lines and on cornering
- More road noise
- The ride is firmer
- Low profile tires are more prone to tram lining (following ruts in the road)
- Sudden loss of grip when pushed beyond the limits
- They are more expensive (although this depends on the tires popularity)
Tread pattern and compound softness bear a large part in determining the grip of a tire. Low profile tires add an advantage but you really should do your research carefully and choose the right type of tire.
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