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Performance Tires - Tire Anatomy 101

The Inside Story On Performance Tires

Plus-Sizing: An option allowing drivers to customize their vehicle by mounting low-profile tires on wider rims of greater diameter, usually enhancing vehicle appearance, handling and performance.

Radial Tire: A tire built with casing plies that cross the crown at an angle of 90 degrees.

Rotation: The changing of tires from front to rear or from side-to-side on a vehicle according to a set pattern; provides even treadwear.

Shimmy: Wobbling of wheels from side-to-side on a vehicle. Shimmying can be caused by a variety of factors, including improperly balanced tires, poor alignment and bent wheels.

Shoulder: The area of a tire where the tread and sidewall meet.

Sidewall: That portion of a tire between the tread and the bead.

Sipes: Special slits within a tread block that increase wet and snow traction. Sipes provide more biting edges and allow for the dispersion of water from under the tread surface.

Speed Rating: An alphabetical code (A-Z) assigned to a tire indicating the range of speeds at which the tire can carry a load under specified service conditions.

Tread: The area of a tire where the tread and sidewall meet.

Tread Rib: The tread section, usually composed of many tread blocks that run around the circumference of the tire, separated by the circumferential tread grooves.

Treadwear Indicator (Wear Bars): Narrow bands, sometimes called "wear bars," that appear across the tread surface of the tire when only 2/32 inch of tread remains.

Tread Width: The width of a tire's tread.

Traction: The friction between the tires and the road surface; the amount of grip provided.

UTQG: Uniform Tire Quality Grade. A government-mandated tire rating system based on a tire's performance in treadwear durability, traction, and temperature resistance. UTQG ratings are branded on a tire's sidewall.

Speed Ratings
Rating Maximum Speed
Q 99 mph
S 112 mph
T 118 mph
U 124 mph
H 130 mph
V Above 130 mph
  (without service description)
V 149 mph
  (with service description)
Z Above 149 mph
SOURCES
BFGoodrich Tires
877-788-8899
www.bfgoodrichtires.com
Pirelli Tires
Bridgestone/Firestone
Dept. MM
P.O. Box 7988
Chicago
IL  60680
800-367-3872
www.bridgestone-firestone.com
Toyo Tires
6261 Katella Avenue, Suite 2B
Cypress
CA  90630
8-00/-678-3250
www.toyo.com
GOODYEAR
P.O. Box 3531
Akron
OH  44309
Yokohama Tires
601 S. Acacia Ave.
Fullerton
CA  92631-5106
Mickey Thompson Tires
4670 Allen Road Stow
OH  44224
800-222-9092
www.mickeythompsontires.com
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