Why Low Profile Tires Perform Better In Rain Than You think?

Are low-profile tires bad in rain? The answer is No. Low-profile tires are typically known for having larger tread blocks which allow for more traction in challenging terrains.

Raised tread blocks increase the surface area which helps to ensure consistent contact with the road, enhancing your traction in wet conditions.

This also leads to improved steering over rainy surfaces. We’ll discover other benefits that low-profile tires have to offer in this article.

What are Low Profile Tires?

Low profile tires are fancy-looking tires designed to have shallower or shorter stiffer sidewalls than normal. They often come with big rims but with less rubber and can withstand all kinds of terrains.

What are the Types of Low Profile Tires

If you remember, car tires may be the same but not entirely the same. Low profile tires tend to come in different forms, and picking what is suitable for your car is paramount to performance and safety.

There are 4 types of low profile tires, and they are:

All-season Tires

One of the popular types of low profile tires is the all-season tires. They are designed to be versatile and flexible in various weather conditions, as they come with symmetric tread patterns with grooves and sipes for performance.

Apart from their tread design, these tires have good grip, precise handling, and excellent traction for dry and wet surfaces, and even in snow.

Winter Tires

Low profile tires also come as winter tires which may be in two forms – studded or non-studded.

Regardless of what form these tires take, they often have deep grooves and treads that improve their performance for winter driving.

The tread pattern of these tires comes with larger gaps for excellent traction on ice and snow. The unfortunate thing about them, however, is that they have soft rubber compounds with complex tread patterns that make them produce noise at higher speeds.

Summer Tires

Another popular low profile tire is the summer tire. It is a special type of tire because it was built for three main reasons – speed, agility, excellent performance.

This tire is designed for dry roads, as it comes with cornering and braking capabilities, and good responsiveness. It also comes with a unique tread pattern for improved performance and precision on the road.

Low profile summer tires are notably known for their less grooves and flexible rubber compounds for incredible traction and max grip.

Touring Tires

One other low profile tire that combines the performance of all-season tires and summer/winter tires is the Touring tires.

It is a tire designed to work during any weather condition due to its asymmetrical tread pattern that provides responsive handling and enhanced comfort while driving.

Touring tires are also one of the best low profile tires when it comes to ensuring a quiet ride.

What Factors/Features Contribute to the Efficiency of Low Profile Tires?

So what makes low profile tires different from regular tires? You are about to find out the significant features or factors that set them apart.

Tire Functionality

Low profile tires are remarkably known for their shorter stiffer sidewalls and distinct tread patterns. They have been divided into 4 different categories based on design, functionality, and performance.

For instance, summer tires with larger rims and tread blocks are best for warm weather.

Touring tires are best for comfort because of their zero noise performance. Winter tires are perfect on snow and ice because of their deep grooves, while All season tires are good for all conditions.

Treadlife

Every tire has mileage, including a low profile tire. This mileage is defined as its life expectancy and is often indicated by a tire rubber company.

The mileage is a function of the tread life and is estimated based on material, driving habits, technology, and weather.

Low profile tires with softer compounds have good grip but with short tread life and harder and noisier ride, while those with strong compounds are durable with more tread life and quieter ride.

Traction

Another feature/factor that sets the difference between low profile tires and regular tires is Traction. They seem to have better traction compared to normal ones.

Traction is the quality of a tire’s grip on different surfaces, mostly wet ones. It ensures a car doesn’t slide on wet roads when driving.

Lower Rolling Resistance

Low profile tires have short sidewalls for a reason – they are responsible for the lower rolling resistance of the tire.

Every tire has a rolling resistance and that determines the fuel economy or fuel efficiency – the lower it is, the higher the better fuel economy. For high-profile tires with higher rolling resistance, there is higher/better fuel efficiency.

Temperature Rating

One more critical feature that distinguishes low-profile tires is the temperature rating or tire pressure. Every tire shows resistance to heat generation when moving at high speeds. The resistance is divided into three categories – A, B, and C.

A has higher resistance because tire pressure increases over a maximum speed of 115mph; others, i.e B and C are between 100mph – 115mph, and 85mph – 100mph, respectively.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Low profile Tires?

There are reasons why low-profile tires are the best choice for normal cars and sports cars, and there are also reasons why they aren’t good options. They would be described in this advantages and disadvantages section.

Advantages

  • Low profile tires provide improved braking capabilities because they have larger rims and wider tires.
  • These tires’ handling is more than incredible. They can withstand all kinds of weather, including light snow or ice, or terrain such as wet or dry smooth surfaces.
  • They have short sidewalls to improve traction, ensure better grip, and enhance road comfort.
  • Low profile tires have wider contact patch area with cornering capabilities for good steering performance.
  • They are sleek-looking tires that can move on irregular surfaces and ensure a firmer ride.
  • These tires with large tread blocks have a low fuel consumption rate.

Disadvantages

  • Low profile tires cannot guarantee a smooth ride; instead, they ensure a rough ride because of their shorter sidewall and stiff tread pattern.
  • With the rougher ride, these tires are capable of jeopardizing the quality of wheels. The wheels are non-resistant to road damage.
  • They are not always the best tires for winter weather conditions.
  • In a way, this tire’s fuel economy isn’t consistent.
  • Low profile tires are sometimes not budget-friendly, compared with standard tires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Low Profile Car Tires the Best Winter Tires?

Low Profile Tires are known to deliver a harder and noisier ride but they come in different types, which makes that not entirely true.

There are low-profile winter tires that are great for winter weather conditions, and light snow or ice. However, any tire different from this won’t be able to survive extremely cold weather.

Do Low Profile Tires Hydroplane Easily?

Hydroplaning is a function of tire width. Narrower tires do not hydroplane easily but wider tires do.

Low-profile tires do not have narrow tires; instead, they are wide. Hence, the tire’s width allows them to hydroplane easily.

How Long Do Low Profile Tires Last?

The life expectancy (mileage) of low-profile tires differs from one another depending on the type but it is lower than standard tires. However, on average, they can last up to 3 years.

Are Low Profile Tires Worse in the Snow?

Because of a directional tread pattern, low-profile tires are able to move on both smooth and uneven surfaces. One of the conditions they would work effectively in is the snow.

Are Low Profile Tires Really Bad?

Low-profile tires are one of the best tires on the market because of their ability to withstand impact and overcome certain conditions.

They are more durable than standard tires, even though they have low mileage compared to them.

They also run the risk of wheel damage faster.

Do Low Profile Tires Have Run Flat Tire Technology

Low-profile tires support run-flat technology.

They use this technology to stay active and keep a driver safe even when the tire is deflated at higher speeds. The reason they are able to support this technology is that they have larger tread blocks and less air due to short sidewalls.

Conclusion

Are you in need of new tires for the road? A low-profile tire is definitely one of the options you should consider.

It is a durable tire that comes in different forms or types for you to choose from. This tire gets you through different terrains and weather conditions, offering good handling, braking, and cornering.

Goodyear Tire, Michelin, and Cooper have some incredible low-profile directional tires you could check out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

Thanks for reading our article! We've written this article with a lot of thought and care. If you're interested in seeing more of our content, please check out our Tires section and find an answer to your questions!

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