A Brief History of the Tire

July 28th, 2016
The tire is such a commonplace item -- it's on every car, every truck, every bicycle, every aircraft. It's easy to not give the tire a second thought, but like every other technology, the tire has an interesting history of advances and failures. 
 
In the 19th century, carriages and wagons used steel strips for "tires" on their wheels, with the punishing sort of ride that you'd expect. In later years, they were shod with strips of natural rubber, which was an improvement but was still problematic. Solid rubber still rode pretty rough, and the natural, uncured rubber would get gummy in hot weather and shrink and harden in cold temperatures. Charles Goodyear was able to help with the invention of vul ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

What Makes All-Season Tires So Great?

May 3rd, 2016

So your closet has a pair of flip-flops for the summer, a pair of heavy boots for the winter, and a comfortable pair of sneakers for most of the rest of the year. If you live in a climate that doesn’t have harsh winters, you might just be able to wear those sneakers year-round...and all-season tires are the equivalent of your comfortable sneakers.

So what makes all-season tires so special?

Winter tires are excellent for severe conditions like heavy snow and even ice. They feature specially-designed tread patterns and “sipes”, hundreds of tiny slits which offer biting edges for traction in snow. This means shorter stopping distances, better handling and better control in winter weather. Winter tires are not d

esigned for temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The dow ...[more]

  Posted in: Tire 101

Seven Things You Need To Know About Tires

May 3rd, 2016

We often see customers who are a little overwhelmed by the tire buying process. There are so many types of tires for different vehicles and different driving styles, all at different price points. Here are a few things every driver needs to know about tires:

·   A tire is constructed from the inside out, starting at the inner liner. There are 20 to 25 different components in every tire; fabric belts are wrapped around the inner liner, with steel belts, more fabric belts and other materials layered between the tread surface and the inner liner. These layers provide strength, noise suppression and ride quality.

·   Newer low-profile tires are popular with many drivers, if only for aesthetic/style reasons. It’s important to know low-profi ...[more]

  Posted in: Tire 101

Do Your Homework on Tire Safety

May 3rd, 2016
We see it all the time…people tend to not think about their tires until something goes wrong. Sometimes, this can mean sitting on the side of the road waiting for help, and other times it can mean more serious consequences. Here are a few things to remember for tire safety as the summer winds down and back-to-school season starts.

Check your tire pressure regularly. This one is really important. Your car’s tires will lose air through the valve over time, and an underinflated tire will hurt fuel economy due to added rolling resistance. Low tires also affect handling and will generate enough heat that they can shorten the tire’s lifespan. Get a quality tire gauge (the dial type, not the pencil type) a ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

Are All-Season Tires Really All-Season?

May 3rd, 2016
We frequently get questions about all-season tires when consumers are trying to make the right purchasing decision for  a set of new tires. As the title of the blog asks…”are all-season tires really all-season?”
 
The answer is: it that depends on what part of the country you’re living in.
 
All-season tires are a compromise from the very start. They’re designed for a forgiving ride, low noise, decent handling and good road manners. Maybe not as much as what a good set of grand touring tires can deliver, but pretty respectable…and also with an aggressive tread pattern which 
channels water away from the tire’ ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

Don’t Forget Your Spare

May 3rd, 2016
Oh, the lowly spare tire. It doesn’t get much respect. 
 
Today, a lot of vehicles don’t even come with a spare tire anymore, not even the little “donut” space-saver spare. Instead, to cut weight and free up space, they come with a compressor and a can of a Fix-a-Flat-style product in hopes that you can get back on your way again. Great idea, unless your tire has a sidewall puncture or is shredded…
Anyway, if your car is equipped with a spare, you shouldn’t just ignore it. Tires have a shelf life, and time will take its toll on any tire, including ones that are never on the ground. Even brand-new tires have a sell-by date; the industry agrees that tires that are older than six to eight years old are pr ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

Get The Most Out Of That Set Of Tires

May 3rd, 2016
Your tires are a pretty big investment. Even with the cheapest set of tires, you’re going to be spending upwards of $400 on the tires, mounting, balancing, disposal fees and taxes. Since you laid down that kind of money, doesn’t it just make sense to make sure you get the most miles possible out of them? 
Here’s some advice on long tire life:
 
Regularly check your tire pressure. This one is really, really important. Underinflated tires will wear 
unevenly and reduce your fuel economy due to increased rolling resistance. That increased rolling resistance also means more heat, which will break down the tires’ internal structure and sh ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

Mixing Tires – Bad Idea

May 3rd, 2016

In a perfect world, all four tires would wear out at the same time. In the same perfect world, everyone would be able to afford a whole set of tires all at once. Unfortunately, things often just do not work out that way. 

Sometimes you may just have to replace tires as you can afford them, one or two at a time, but there are some important things to bear in mind if you have to do that. 

If you can only afford to replace one or two tires, it’s essential that you go with tires that are identical (or at least as close as possible) to the car’s remaining tires. That means that internal construction, size, tread pattern and design should be close to the same. Don’t mix winter tires with all-season tires, don’t mix run-flat tires with ...[more]

  Posted in: Tire 101

4 Things About Tires You May Not Have Known

April 28th, 2016

Tires all look sort of the same…round and black…and people tend to think tires don’t change much over the years. That’s really not true, though – engineers and designers are constantly working on advances in tire designs for more miles, better fuel economy and better performance.

Here’s a rundown of current trends in tire technology you may not have been aware of:

  • Tall, skinny tires are coming back. If you’ve ever ridden a beach cruiser bike vs. a racing bike, you know that skinny tires have lower rolling resistance. Carmakers are going in that direction, too – the BMW i3 electric/plug-in hybrid uses Bridgestone Ecopia tires, with higher inflation pressure and a taller, skinnier profile. Tall, skinny tires also redu ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101