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What makes some tires better than others?

There are a lot of tire manufacturers around the world. As tires are meant to wear out, you can imagine based on the amount of vehicles that roll on our roads all around the world how many tires are used per year. Some are top-tier manufacturers and other are more targeting the cheap tire market, more or less copying what the big ones do and just try to do it cheaper.

What differentiate the big ones?

The big manufacturers invest a lot of money on a yearly basis for research and development, constantly trying to develop better tires and to improve existing tires. The test tires every day in all different types of environments and on all different surfaces.

They need to have big test centers where they can test drive their tires. Having test places all around the globe is not cheap, but it gives you the best foundation for learning, so that they can constantly improve the tires. If you compare tires, you can see that the tire tread will look somewhat different. There is a lot of testing and figuring out how to best design them to reach the best performance out of the tires.

The use the best materials and they don’t cut corners. The development teams are just working on finding the best possible results. Some of the toughest tests are done in the artic temperatures trying to find the best winter tire. A tire that can have the best grip and provide the best safety regardless of what weather you are up against.

What do the others have in common?

They tend to dissect the good tires and try to rebuild the tires based on that, to copy the tread design, without all the time understanding all the reasons for every sipe and every block on the tyre. The materials selection is rarely the best quality in order to keep the prices down. This can often be seen from the rolling resistance, where the cheaper tires tend to have a higher rolling resistance and will thus consumer more fuel. The wear is also increased so even thought the tires where cheaper to purchase you have to purchase another set sooner than you would have to if you purchased a high quality tire and during the whole time you were driving on the cheaper tires you were spending more money on fuel that you would have. If the braking distance is longer than with high quality tires, you are then also having a higher probability to be in an accident, so you are less safe while you are driving. You can then ask yourself if you made a good decision. You paid more and were less safe.

You rarely see cheap tires ending up high in the tire tests and there is a simple reason for it, you can only gain knowledge by continuous testing and learning and then improve the product based on that learning.


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