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Tire tread patterns

There any many brands and patterns of tires available today. So how do you know that you are choosing the tires suitable for your driving needs?

Generally, tire patterns can be differentiated into 3 categories. The Directional pattern, also known as Unidirectional, the Non-Directional pattern, also known as symmetric, and the Asymmetric pattern.

All three categories of tire patterns have different characteristics to provide for different needs of drivers.


Direction / Undirectional

Directional pattern tires have lateral grooves on both side of the tire which points in the same direction. It is usually in a "V-shaped" pattern.

Features:

  • Increase water dispersion to provide good handling in both wet and dry road conditions
  • Better steering and braking capabilities
  • Usually available in bigger sizes (15" and above) and high speed index

Suitable for: Drivers who want to have high speed performance level of the tire.

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Non-directional / Symmetric

Non-directional pattern tires have tread pattern that usually has a continuous rib design or blocks which has the same features on both inside and outside tread face of the tire. It is normally in a "wave-like" pattern

Features:

  • Comfort, low noise design oriented tires
  • Lateral grooves to provide water dispersion

Suitable for: Drivers who want to have a comfortable and quiet drive.

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Asymmetric

Asymmetric pattern tires have unique patterns differing on both sides of the tire tread. The outer tread area of the tire usually has larger grooves to disperse water to increase wet handling, while the inside tread area usually has smaller grooves to increase contact area with the road.

Features:

  • Good handling capabilities on wet and dry roads
  • Good high speed cornering capabilities

Suitable for: Drivers who want tires with high performance capabilities.

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Section Width Section Width How to find your width? This three-digit number represents the width of the tire in millimeters (mm), measured from sidewall to sidewall. Since this measure is affected by the width of the rim, the measurement is done when the tire is on its intended rim size.
Aspect Ratio Aspect Ratio How to find your aspect ratio? The aspect ratio is the relationship of a tire's sidewall height to its section width, expressed as a percentage. In this example, the tire sidewall height is approximately 55% of the tire width. The higher the number, the taller the sidewall; the lower the number, the shorter the sidewall.
Rim Diameter Rim Diameter How to find your Rim Diameter? The diameter of the rim in inches.

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