When people talk about cars and the automotive industry, you can often hear them focus on how the car looks and feels. Usually, when it comes to cars, everybody likes to talk about design, power, engine capabilities, and other elements that make cars stand out individually. However, there’s another crucial part of the car that deserves a little bit of attention. That part is most definitely a car tyre. This article will focus on low profile tyres, their advantages, and downsides, and it should help you understand all there is about them.
As we did a bit of researching, we’ve come up with a lot of useful information about low profile tyres, and hopefully, this guide should help point you in the right direction. So, let’s not waste time, and let’s get straight into it.
What are Low Profile Tyres?
When a tyre is being described, it is done by using specific parameters such as rim diameter, profile height, and tyre width. All of these parameters are intertwined, which means that a slight change in one of this parameters results in changes through all of them. This is done in order to keep the wheel diameter to its dimensions recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. The profile height of a tyre is known as tyre series, and it shows the ratio between the sidewall of a tyre and its section width. So basically to understand the profile (series) of a tyre you use a simple formula:
PROFILE (SERIES) = TYRE HEIGHT / TYRE WIDTH * 100%
So, with all this said and laid out, the question remains. What exactly are low profile tyres? Low profile tyres are tyres with relatively small sidewall height compared to the section width. These tyres are commonly used in medium and high-class vehicles as a part of standard equipment, but they can also be used with different types of vehicles as replacements for standard tyres.
Characteristics of Low Profile Tyres
As the car industry evolves, the rules change. If you look back to 1970s, you’ll see that every profile lower than 80 was considered low profile. Nowadays, these values don’t matter. Having a tyre with the profile of 55 – 50 means you have a low profile tyres. However, it’s not all about the sidewall of your tyre, so having a tyre with 205/55 R16 doesn’t mean you have low profile tyres. With 185/55 R15 tyres, you do. Basically, a tyre profile lower than 55-50 can be considered low profile, depending on its width, but these tyres should have a rim protection for the tyre itself.
When it comes to durability, low profile tyres are made with its size in mind, so basically, their lifetime should be similar to the normal tyres. However, using low profile tyres at low pressure and while heavily loaded will tear those tyres more quickly. Most of the current models utilize run-flat technologies, and tyre manufacturers are constantly improving the reinforcement and the strength of these tyres.
If your vehicle is planned for a low profile tyre, then you won’t notice significant differences, but if your steering and suspension are not adapted for the large rims and tyres, using them may result in suspension failure. Driving with a low profile tyre over a bump or a hole in the road might significantly damage your car. So, consider what’s the quality of the roads surrounding you, and do your homework. If you’re planning on driving through the Australian Outback with your new car, look for tyres online in Australia, and make sure you’re prepared for the trip.
Pros for Low Profile Tyres
- Looks– Probably the first thing you notice when you use low profile tyres is that almost any car looks better with them. When you’re thinking about low profile tyres this usually means larger rims, wider tyres, and more braking and cornering control in dry conditions.
- Grip– Low profile tyres usually have a much wider surface area, which helps with control and overall steering. When you’re moving at a moderate speed, side swaying is almost non-existent.
- Rigidity– Low profile tyres are usually more rigid and durable, which means they have better control when it comes to high-speed cornering. Especially when you’re doing it on smooth and dry surfaces.
Cons for Low Profile Tyres
- Comfort– One of the first things you notice with low profile tyres is the lack of comfort. Having low profile tyres means your vehicle will be more prone to mechanical shock if the roads are not smooth.
- Stability– Lower sidewalls affect the rigidity of the tyre which can make your car quite uneven when a driving surface is rough.
- Sound– As low profile tyres have a lot of width, the faster you go, the louder you get, so it’s another thing to consider when thinking about adding low profile tyres to your car.
Wrapping it up
When it comes to low profile tyres, there are a lot of things to consider. From looks and feels, all the way to the performance of your car. If you’re interested in getting low profile tyres, make sure you’ve done your homework, and that you’re prepared for all these changes will bring.