Tyre Tread Patterns
Do tread patterns have a function?
Tread patterns are specially designed to combine functionality with looks. A lot of work goes into their design to meet the needs of different audiences - some who want a very sporty look and others who simply want a very safe tyre and don’t care so much what it looks like. There are three basic types of tread.
What is a symmetrical tread? (1)
These are consistent across the tyre’s face (both halves of tread face are the same) and are the ‘all rounder’ tread pattern. They are generally the quietest and most comfortable but not the most performance orientated.
What is an asymmetrical tread? (2)
The tread patterns differs on the inner side to the outer. Larger tread blocks on the outer portion offer handling and cornering advantages - especially on dry roads. The smaller inner blocks cope well with wet conditions by dispersing water.
What is a directional tread? (3)
These provide enhanced performance such as wet grip, directional stability, straight line acceleration and shorter stopping distance. They must be dedicated to a specific side of the vehicle with the direction of rotation clearly marked on the sidewall - this direction must be strictly observed.
Cold weather tread patterns (4)
Designed to give superior grip and control in wet and dry conditions once the temperature drops below 7∞C. Could be any tread pattern design but the tread blocks contain many small grooves called sipes, which help disperse water and provide additional grip on snow and ice. Cold weather tyres provide significantly shorter stopping distances and a safer drive.
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