ArticlesChoosing The Right Set Of Tyres for your Car
3. Tread Pattern
The tread pattern of a tyre has a major effect on the tyres wet weather performance, which depends on its ability to channel water away from the contact patch between the tyre and the road. The tread pattern also plays a part in how much road noise is generated by the tyre due to air getting trapped and expelled from those channels during running. Tests have shown that the tread pattern of a tyre does not have as much of an effect as the compound of the tyre when it comes to traction, but nonetheless it plays a part. (Unless ofcourse you are looking at a tyre for mud, snow or sand, in which case the tread pattern plays a vital role.). Never buy re-treaded tyres; they are dangerous and not worth the little money you save (See Discussion : Directional & Asymmetrical Tyres).
Conventional Tread - Is the most commonly found type. It is neither (uni)directional nor asymmetric and therefore can be run in either direction or mounted on the rim either way.
Uni-directional - These tyres are designed to be most effective when rotating in the specified direction. There will always be a marking on the sidewall of these tyres stating the direction of rotation with an arrow. The tyres with the tread pattern in some sort of "A" or "V" configuration are usually uni-directional. They work more efficiently when rotating in the specified direction primarily in terms of water chanelling and controlling tyre noise.
Asymmetric - These tyres are designed to have an outside/road facing sidewall and a inside/car facing sidewall. There will always be a notation on the sidewall stating which side is to be road-facing / outside. The advantage to asymmetrical tyres is, for example, the outside shoulder of the tyre tread can be designed with a different pattern and compound of rubber to aid high speed cornering (where a lot of the the load is transfered to the road facing side of the tyre on the outside of the curve) while the rest of the tyre can be designed with a harder compound for better treadwear, or a different tread pattern for better wet weather performance etc.
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