What do people look for in a tyre?

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

To an average person who does not know much about tyres, what are some features of a tyre that they look out for?

 

Here are some commonly used aspects that consumers place emphasis on when buying tyres:

1. Comfort

For most drivers, tyres must make their ride as smooth and comfortable as possible, preferably absorbing humps and bumps on the roads.

 

2. Grip

The grip of a tyre directly affects the handling and cornering abilities of a car, hence many place emphasis on this aspect.

 

3. Noise Level

Regardless of comfort-oriented preferences or performance-related wants, noise level of a tyre should always be as low as possible.

 

4. Performance

Depending on what the tyres are for, different types of drivers seek performance in various ways. Regular standard tyres will suit most drivers with overall good traction, long tread life and a comfortable ride at a reasonable price, but lack precise handling and grip of performance tyres. High-performance tyres provide better handling and grip without compromising too much on comfort and wear. Ultra-high performance tyres give the best handling and braking abilities in dry and wet conditions, but tread life will be sacrificed.

 

5. Safety

Nowadays, newer tyres are becoming safer with shorter stopping distances or run-on-flat technology that allows the car to continue moving despite a tyre puncture.

 

6. Mileage

Tyre manufacturers do provide general approximation on the distance that the tread can last, but it really boils down to the driver and his style of driving. Types of roads, weather climates, driving behaviour and level of usage of tyres can affect the life of a tyre.

 

7. Fuel Economy

The better you can conserve your tyres, the further the distance travelled for the same tank of fuel, hence improving fuel economy of the car.

 

8. Price

With information readily accessible anytime over the Internet, consumers are getting smarter these days. Drivers in Singapore still generally lack proper tyre education and often just ask for cheap and good tyres. Many will spend time comparing prices before they find one that they perceive as ‘value for money’.

 

9. Treadwear

A higher treadwear rating of the tyre means being able to clock a longer distance before needing to change tyres. This leads to better fuel economy due to less resistance from the harder rubber compound. However, harder rubber means reduced cornering ability. So if you want good cornering from a tyre, go for higher dry traction instead of high treadwear.

 

10. Wet weather ability

Some tyres are very good in the dry, but for tropical climates like ours where it rains and shines equally often, wet weather abilities of a tyre are just as important, if not more.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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