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Unread 07-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Tire Tread Patterns

Could someone give me a visual description of tire tread patterns and what is important? I'm trying to better understand tires. My Dad is teaching me a bit as well. I'm trying to see if I can't get a very nice set of tires without paying a crap ton, besides upping my knowledge. Yes, I know I can just "google it", but I want to hear from you guys, and ask specific questions if I need to. Reps will be given, and this will be a good thread for general knowledge for those whop are googling it.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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First it considerably less about tread design then you would think on modern tires. Compound and Technology plays a major part. 2 biggest companies for quality, Technology, and R&D is Bridge stone and Michelin. Tread plays a part in cheap tire more then expensive ones. Before we could construct things and design molecular structures like we could today the tread design was everything. People Still think it is what's important, but it's not the 70's anymore.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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Now don't get me wrong there are things like Variable sipes, siping, 5 degree niose reduction, water jets, and other aspects of the tread that make a difference, but it's these things combined with compound that truly make the experience.

IE: My buddy TC complete custom GTO loved his Hankook V-12 tire as he thought. He always raved about them didn't want to listen to me when I said you don't know what your really missing. I gave him a comparison between the Tech in a RE-11 Bridgestone to a Cheap V-12. So he decided to try them keep in mind 3 times the price. Well they didn't make them for his rear so we went with Dunlop Direza Star spec he couldn't believe the difference, but just like I told him before Loud and still not worth the money compared. So he upgraded to 14" front brakes and found he could lock up the V-12 up front anytime he wanted. He decided to go up a little in height and try the RE-11's. Immediate difference in braking no longer locked up tires, in handling planted feeling now, in noise, and in ride comfort. He was amazed, but rubbed the fenders a little. What I forgot to mention was he drives like the STIG 100% of the time(averages about 3 tickets a month). We had to go back down in height, So only thing close to performance was Michelin PS-2 MO. Phenomenal tire although the side walls don't have the tech of the bridgestone and while not as bad as the V-12 it still locks under hard braking.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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A lot can be said about tires. In many regards they are like shoes, subjective. What is great for one person/vehicle is not that great on another.

As mentioned compound is the most important consideration. Tread for the most part is for channeling water.

"Generally" speaking a harder compound wears better but has less grip. Now compound plays a big role in this and in the last decade this is less true.

In the past, a tire that was good in the dry was poor in the wet, and vise versa, not so much today. I currently am running tires that are better in the wet than most tires are in the dry and they are even better in the dry than most tires.

I am running General Exclaim UHP, about $125 each

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Unread 07-11-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Tread patterns only really matter with off-road situations. Normal dry/wet pavement tread patterns have pretty much standardized somewhere where it's moot, the previously mentioned factors are what plays in.


Mud, snow, and other off-road situations call for different types of tread though. Mud, slushy snow and wet dirt tend to like large lugs with big spaces between. This lets the tire do two thigns, one, the big lugs tend to dig deep and gain traction in harder portions of the surface, and the wide gaps allow material to clear out of the tread easier. If the space between the tread blocks packs up with snow or mud you might as well be running a racing slick. Powdery snow tends to not care as long as there's somewhere for it to go, deep tread helps but you don't need paddle tires or anything. Ice and sipes go together like butter and toast, if you don't have studs or chains you better have lots and lots of sipes. They act like suction cups on ice. 'tis why dedicated winter tires have so many of them cut into each tread block.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Lots of good advise in this tread, the guys here are pretty knowledgeable.

As I mentioned a tire that works well on another car may not work well for yours.

For example, a really low pro tire, like a 40 series tire on a performance car may handle terrible on your family wagon.

A car that is designed with performance tires in mind will have suspension that keeps that flat tire in contact with the road through out the suspension travel. Your family wagon will likely have a lot of caster or camber built in for easy steering feel, but under certain wheel articulation may result in that low pro tire tilting and running on the edge, reducing it's contact, and traction. So what may have been a predictable handling car now suddenly breaks loose as the suspension moves through it's travel!

Installing a low pro tire on a car that didn't come with them will likely require an alignment to different specs to take advantage of the tire's profile. I had to do this in order to use 45 series tires on my Jimmy.

A 60 or 70 series profile tire, although steering response is not as quick as a 40 series tires, will be more predicable in handling near the limit on a DD.

Also low pro tires are far more susceptible to darting on road irregularities than a taller sidewall.

If you value your car, and life, don't be taken in buy a bargain tire. A good quality tire should give you more miles per $ than the bargain tire, and give you much better traction and handling along the way.
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Unread 07-11-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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Based on what you guys said,

Pilot MXM4 | Michelin Tires

Seems to be a more appropriate option than my originally selected:
Proxes T1 Sport | Toyo Tires

Based on the fact that my struts are stock-spec. I am a bit of an aggressive driver, but the Michelin's should do just as fine and last longer, right? based on the performance goals in my sig.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 12:06 AM   #8
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Where you live you should be looking at a mud and snow rated tire. Summer tires are going to be positively dreadful when anything more than rain comes down.

Between the two you linked either or is fine. I'd be more inclined to go with the Toyo since I've found Michelins ride way too hard for my taste. I'd only use them if I lived in the desert, florida, or had a set of blizzaks on steelies for the winter months, however.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 12:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSIMP88 View Post
Based on what you guys said,

Pilot MXM4 | Michelin Tires

Seems to be a more appropriate option than my originally selected:
Proxes T1 Sport | Toyo Tires

Based on the fact that my struts are stock-spec. I am a bit of an aggressive driver, but the Michelin's should do just as fine and last longer, right? based on the performance goals in my sig.
Check out the Tire Rack online for reviews, Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels

My first experience with the General Exclaim UHP was on my '96 Jetta. I was actually just looking for a cheap tire as I was selling the car soon after but it needed tires right away. I was blown away by these tires! Traction like you wouldn't believe, smooth and pretty quite. FANTASTIC in the wet!! Considering that we have lots of rain I am very confident with these tires on.

In the dry the tires are nothing short of a dream to drive. Considering that the tread looks like a rain tire it sticks like glue. Sad to sell the car when it was handling like a sports car.

The next car to get these tires was my wife's Acura. A great handling sedan already with the cheapo Dunlops that were on it. Changing to the Generals changed the whole mature of the car. The car felt even more stable at high speeds and more than once I found myself creeping up on speed on winding roads because the car was so easy to corner it didn't feel like I was pushing it.

Next is my current ride, my '99 Jimmy AWD. I can honestly say that I have never experienced an SUV that can corner like this and feel so stable.

I recommend these tires to anyone who wants performance at a reasonable price, $125 each on ebay.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 12:24 AM   #10
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Mxm4 would be a great tire for your car. You will be surprised how well it wouod hols the road even with really good power. I dont know where Kenny gets this from sometimes just like the guy posting about niose on that link. Only brand tire we dont run in the desert is Michelin way to soft and dont hold up to heat well. They are well known for some of the quitest and softest riding tires on the market. Michelin has some of the best rubber compounds on the market. Also Bridgestone Serenity would be a good option.
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