Saturday 15st May 2021

Low profile tires - advantages and disadvantages!

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A relatively large number of motorists build so-called low-profile tires or are at least thinking about installing such special tires. This article explains in detail what low-profile tires are, what effects, what advantages and disadvantages they have and what you should pay attention to in general.

Low profile tires - what is it?

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When it comes to describing the wheel size the relationship between the height and width of a tire is particularly relevant. If the so-called aspect ratio of a tire is less than 80 or 50 percent, it is referred to as low-profile tires, which represent a separate category and are also referred to as tires with flat sidewalls. When looking for tires, the following factors are particularly important: Profile height, tire width and rim diameter. The profile height describes the relationship between the height and the width of the tire cross-section, which is not a fixed value, but only a percentage relationship. Let's take a size tire as an example 205 / 55 R16: The tire is 205 mm wide and the height of the sidewall is 55 percent of the width. Here there is a ratio between height and width of less than 80 percent, we speak of low profile tires or wide tires

 Advantages and disadvantages of low profile tires?

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The 80s series used to be the standard size. Nowadays it's different: most manufacturers now produce tires with a sidewall of well below 80 percent. For this reason, many only refer to a tire as a low profile tire or wide tire when the cross section height is a value under 50 percent is. But now to the advantages that low profile tires deliver. If you take a closer look at the visual aspect, you will notice a significantly sportier look compared to the series size. This is also due to the fact that the wide tires allow larger rims to be fitted. The wider tires also increase the effective contact area and the tread, which means that higher forces can be transmitted. That in turn brings some advantages in terms of driving. These advantages include, for example, greater stability on wet road surfaces, extremely good braking performance, extremely precise steering and optimum grip in curves. In addition, slats improve traction in snow on the road.

Low profile tires for more safety!

This means: With low profile tires you ensure maximum safety, regardless of whether on wet or dry roads. Furthermore, low-profile tires offer an extremely long service life - provided that they are well-balanced and cared for.
But of course there are, as pretty much always, a few disadvantages, which fortunately are not that significant. Disadvantages of wide tires are, for example, the often higher price compared to conventional tires. In addition, you have to expect a little less comfort, as the lower flank height ensures a harder suspension. Depending on what material the tire is made of, both wear and tear and fuel consumption can increase and, in addition, increased rolling noise can also be expected. Another disadvantage is that the very small sidewalls of the tire can quickly damage the tire or the rim if you hit a curb. Here, however, you can take precautions by doing so-called Rim protection edges assemble. With only a slight reduction in the flank height, the advantages of low-profile tires definitely outweigh the advantages and you can look forward to maximum safety and comfort. And it looks good too!

What to look for when buying?

When buying, you should pay attention to the speed index. This may be higher than the maximum speed noted in the vehicle registration document, but it may not from unterschrit with winter tires being an exception. In addition, you have to ensure that there is sufficient distance between the fenders and the tires so that the steering or the mechanics are not restricted. In addition, you should pay attention to the vehicle specifications in terms of speed and load and also to the rolling circumference or the rim width according to the European tire and rim expert organization. It is also important that the tire air pressure is checked regularly, since if the pressure is too high, it can deteriorate comfort and if the pressure is too low, damage from overheating can occur. With precise pressure adjustment, the vehicle can be better controlled / steered.

In summary, the information on low profile tires:

  • Low profile tires are considered a special model
  • they influence driving behavior and the vehicle's appearance
  • Low profile tires are tires with a reduced ratio between tire height and width
  • "295/30 R22" tires have a ratio of 30% and therefore have a low cross-section
  • Low profile tires can be recognized by the fact that the rim is comparatively close to the road
  • Low profile tires usually have a height to width ratio of 20 to 45%
  • Tire compound is tailored to the preferences of the buyer (harder rubber = better road holding)
  • many low profile tires have a protective rim edge and are often called Run flat tires intended for short-term continued use
  • Correct tire pressure is particularly important for low profile tires
  • Benefits
    - Suitability for higher dynamics
    - better connection to the vehicle
    - implement steering movements more directly and precisely
  • Disadvantage:
    - reduced driving comfort
    - Exact tire pressure is important
    - costs

info: What is the truth of the rumor that nitrogen in tires is much better than air? We did some research. More information on the topic tire is there in our little one Tire ABC!

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