Tires are round and come in all different sizes and patterns, materials but the only thing they have in common is their shape. While I am no tire expert by all means, I do know enough to be able to give a little insight about this marvelous invention and that we should appreciate the advancements in their technology. I could start with the invention of the wheel but I’ll skip a few thousand years, and start in the late 19th century.
Some of the first rubber tires were made of a thick layer of rubber around a solid metal disc. I could only imagine the chatter of teeth and the rattling of bones of the passengers on a nice rough surface, but I'm sure it was an improvement over the solid metal wagon wheels that preceded them. In about 1890 John Dunlop (Dunlop tire company) created the first rubber air filled tire for his sons bicycle, then, shortly after that, mass-produced that air-filled rubber tire for the automobile. Those tires had a very short life span compared to today's tires but the comfort of the ride I'm sure was appreciated. In the early 1900’s the bias ply tire was developed, the simple explanation of a bias ply tire is the material used is layered diagonally. I’ve had a few vehicles over the years that had bias ply tires, what I remember most about them is they would develop a flat spot if they sat for a few days and it would take a few miles of driving before they smoothed out. Tire technology did not change much, they developed the tubeless tire around 1950 and the materials changed along the way to help extend life but that was about it. Then came the 60’s, and the introduction of the radial tire which is still used today. The radial tires layers are layered parallel to each other from one side to the other. Radial tires are better for street use as it allows more of the tire surface to be in contact with the road. Since the radial tire was first introduced there have been significant improvements made over the years with the materials used and the design of the tires and tread, all to improve safety, handling and ride comfort. The computer age has had a great impact on tires as it has allowed for better designs based on accurate test results.
Winter tires first developed in the 1930s by Nokian consisted of tires with big knobs to dig into the snow for better traction. In the 1960s studded tires were introduced and are still used today. The studless snow tires we know today started to become popular in the 1990s and have become the standard for winter driving. With the different rubber composites, tread designs and the technical data to back it up, winter tires are the best choice to keep you safe and in control of your vehicle while going about your busy life.
If you have questions about tires and what is the right choice for you, we are here to help. Tires are not a one size fits all choice, there are quite a few variables to consider when deciding which tire is the best choice. We are able to help you navigate through the choices to find your tire, give us a call to find out more.