Types of tyre, features & applications

12/06/2018
In this article, you will learn about the various common types of car tyre, their categories, features, and applications. Click here now to read more.

What is a tyre or tire? What are the most popular types of tyre out there? 
Naijauto.com have collected enough resources to provide you answers to these questions and many more below. Let’s begin by clearing the confusion about the two words “tyre” and “tire”. These are two words pronounced the same way and having the same meaning. “Tyre” is the appropriate word in British English while “Tire” is appropriate in American English. So, during the course of discussing extensively the types of tyre below, do not get confused as we might use the two words interchangeably. By now, the real question on many readers’ mind would be: what is a tyre/tire? Well, let’s jump right into the main discussion.

A tire is that component which has a ring-shape and surrounds your vehicle wheel’s rim. It helps to supply traction on whatever surface the vehicle is traveling on as it transfers the load of the vehicle from the axle through the wheel. Most of the bicycles and automobiles tires you know, are pneumatically inflated and provide a tolerant cushion which absorbs shock as it rolls over any rough features on the current surface the vehicle is moving on.

Image-of-a-stack-of-pneumatic-rubber-tires

Almost if not all of the tires in bicycles and automobiles are now pneumatic tires

Modern pneumatic tires are made up of chemical compounds and some other materials such as fabric and wire, natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and carbon black. Tires are composed of a body and a tread. The body supplies containment for a compressed air quantity while the tread supplies traction. The pneumatic tires are the modern-day tires that you will find on many types of vehicles out there including bicycles, cars, aircraft, buses, heavy equipment, motorcycles, and trucks. Some non-automotive applications also make use of this type of tire, e.g. wheelbarrows, lawnmowers, carts, and casters. Let’s talk a little bit about the background of the modern-day pneumatic tires you know. Here are some facts from the tire’s history:

1. History of tires

John Boyd Dunlop (a Scots-born) in the year 1888, made the first practical and actual pneumatic tire, to aid his son Johnnie for whom cycling had been prescribed as an exercise. The real supremacy of this Dunlop’s tires was demonstrated by Cyclist Willie Hume when he won the first-ever races with these tires in Ireland and later in England too. Even though Dunlop is credited with realizing that rubber could withstand wear and tear of being used as a tire. Himself and Harvey du Cros worked together through ensuring all considerable and possible difficulties with these tires.

John-Boyd-Dunlop

John Boyd Dunlop created the pneumatic tires initially to just help his 10-year-old son (Johnnie)

These two went on to employ an inventor named “Charles Kingston Welch” back then. They also acquired some other rights and patents that allowed them to have some limited kind of protection of their positions in their pneumatic tyre business. His pneumatic tire was what later became Dunlop Tyres and Dunlop rubber. And the development of this technology joined with a countless number of advances in engineering, like using sulfur for the vulcanization of natural rubber as well as the evolution of the "clincher" rim which is used for holding the tire laterally on the wheel rim and in place.

In the year 1920s, at the Bayer laboratories, synthetic rubbers were invented. While in the year 1946, the radial tire method of construction was developed by Michelin. In the year 1934, the bankrupt automobile company Citroën was bought by the same Michelin and the company was able to fit this radial tire technology just immediately. The use of this technology rapidly spread across Asia and Europe because of its superiority especially in handling and also in fuel economy as an advantage. But in the United States, bias-ply tire construction continued as late as 1967 with a market share of about 87% even though it was already outdated. This delay was caused by American automobile and tire manufacturers being a little concerned about the transition costs of moving to the new technology for production.

About 450 tire factories around the world today manufactures these pneumatic tires. The production of these tires starts with a bulk of raw materials such as carbon black, rubber (about 60-70% synthetic) and chemicals that then produces a large number of specialized components which are assembled and also cured. Although, many types of rubber are used in producing tires, the most commonly used type is styrene-butadiene copolymer rubber. You will be right to say that this styrene-butadiene copolymer is the most popular of all the materials that are used in rubber tires production.

2. Components of a Tire/Tyre

A typical pneumatic tire carcass consists of several parts such as the bead, tread, ply, shoulder and sidewall.

image-of-a-Bridgestone-tire-cross-section-diagram

A Bridgestone tire cross-section diagram

2.1. The Tread

The part of the tire that actually comes in direct contact with the surface of the road is called the tread. It is a composite/rubber compound, or a thick rubber which is formulated to supply a suitable level of traction that doesn’t quickly wear away. You might notice different patterns of tread on tires, these patterns for each tire’s tread is called the tread pattern. This tread patterns at discrete frequencies, minimize noise levels by featuring non-uniform (or non-symmetrical) lug sizes all through the circumference of the radial tire.

2.2. The Bead

This part of the tire contacts the rim on the wheel of the vehicle. This bead is usually fortified with steel wire and also compounded of low flexibility rubber with high strength. It also ensures that a tubeless tire holds air tightly without leakage of any form. It does this by seating tightly against the 2 rims on the vehicle’s wheel.

2.3. The Sidewall

In a typical tire structure, you will notice a part that bridges the tread and the bead. This bridge part is what is called the sidewall. It is a part that mostly rubber but at the same time reinforced with steel cords or fabric that caters for flexibility and tensile strength.

2.4. The Shoulder

That part of a tire just at the edge of the tread as the structure makes a transition to the sidewall is called the shoulder.

2.5. The ply

As a response to the internal pressure in a tire, the rubber can start stretching and losing its shape. This is the reason why the plies (singular: ply) are layers of comparatively inextensible cords which are embedded in the rubber to help it hold its shape. Plies orientation plays a significant role in a tire’s performance and it’s also one of the major way tires are being categorized.

image-of-a-Radial-tyre-construction-diagram

A Radial tyre construction diagram

3. Tire construction types

Even though the standard design for tires today is the Radial tire technology, there are still some other tire construction types that are also being used. Some of these tire construction types include Bias tires, belted bias tires, tubeless tires, semi-pneumatic tires, airless tires, solid rubber tires, and metal tires (used in railway applications).

Note:

  • The Bias tire construction type has a major disadvantage of an increased rolling resistance, less traction, and control at higher speeds when used.
  • The belted bias construction type is similar to the bias type in providing smoother ride but only it additionally lessens rolling resistance because of its belts feature which increases tread stiffness in its structure.
  • The radial tire type has more advantages compared to the above two and some of these advantages include lower rolling resistance, improved fuel economy, fewer blowouts, better steering control, and longer tread life.

4. Types of tyre [The common Vehicle Applications]

Tires are also classified into various standard types based on their type of vehicle applications. Below we have listed and discusses some of the most common standard types you will see around. Here they are:

4.1. Run-flat tyres

This type of tires has several unconventional designs which permit the tire to run safely at a limited speed for a limited range with no air in it. These type of tires features a strong kind of load-supporting sidewalls in its designs. In another approach of this type of tire, there is an auxiliary kind of support structure that is fixed to the rim in the inside of the pneumatic tyre which will bear the load in any event of a deflation in the tire.

image-showing-the-internal-parts-of-a-run-flat-tire

Run-flat tires feature a strong load-supporting sidewall in its various designs

With all that goodies also comes one disadvantage which is; when a puncture occurs with the run-flat tires, many of them cannot be repaired. Although some brands have provisions for such puncture cases with their tyres, they permit one repair to one run-flat tire and that’s it. While other brands don’t even permit any repairs, if there is a puncture, then a complete replacement might be the only available option.

4.2. All-terrain tyres

These type of tires are mostly used on light trucks and SUVs. When traveling off-road, these all-terrain tyres offer greater resistance against punctures because of their stiffer sidewalls. Compared to the all-season tires, these all-terrain tires have a tread pattern that offers wider spacing. Most all-terrain tires are primarily designed for on-road usage, especially the ones that are originally sold in a package with the vehicles they come with.

image-of-an-all-terrain-tire-on-a-car

Most of the all-terrain tires are primarily designed for on-road use

4.3. Off-the-road tyres

This type of tires also called OTR (off-the-road) tires includes all types and design of tires you would normally not find running on the common street roads or main roads. Some of these tires include the ones you will find fitted on airplanes, construction vehicles (trenchers, graders, backhoes, wheel loaders), forestry machinery and on mining vehicles. This type of tires can either be of radial or bias construction type. Although the radial construction type seems to be what the industry is trending towards.

image-of-giant-off-the-road-tires-ontruck-being-transported

The industry is trending to adopting more of radial off-the-road tires over the bias construction types

4.4. The 4x4 tyres

There are lots of 4x4 tyres out there but the main ones that you would often find drivers referring to as 4x4 tire is actually the 4x4 off-road tires. The other types include the 4x4 all-terrain tyres and the 4x4 on-road tyres. These type of tires mainly just have a tread difference compared to the normal tires. They have treads that are deeper and also the tread contains larger gaps compared to the standard tires. Although they wear down much faster also than the regular tyres because of their increased rolling resistance which applies more friction to the rubber of the 4x4 tires.

4.5. Winter tyres

These type of tires are called “Mud and Snow” (M&S or M+S) tires. They are meant to be used at all seasons. Their design provides an improved traction on ice and snow when compared to the summer tires of the same vehicle. Winter tires are designed to fit and move well on a snowy surface in the winter season.

image-of-a-stack-of-winter-snow-tires

A typical winter/snow tire will be well designed to engage a snowy surface in the winter seasons

5. Looking for a cheap tyre?

Any car dealer, driver, car owner or just about anybody that knows much about the automobile spare part market in Nigeria would agree that it is really difficult to find good quality tyres to buy anywhere in the country. Lots of fake tires have bombarded the auto parts market while using their incredibly low prices and cheap tyre tags as camouflage to captivate and lure buyers towards them.

But, with all these known facts, it doesn’t still necessarily mean that you can’t find quality new or used tires out there from tested and trusted tyre sellers. You just need to have good knowledge of the types of tyre your car uses and the best place to get them when the need comes. Below, Naijauto has brought to you some approximate prices of the common types of tyre found on most vehicles in Nigeria.

Tyre Types Explained - Cooper Tyre Tips

5.1. Tyre Prices in Nigeria

Below are the average prices you should expect to see new tyres in the auto parts market in Nigeria. We have not included prices of used tyres because of some different valid views that different auto parts experts have about buying used tyres. Nonetheless, from the price list below you would see that some of the average prices are relatively low and affordable. Here is the price list:

Average Tyre Prices in Nigeria (New tyres only)
 Brand & Model No. Price 
Achilles Car Tyre platinum 175 65 R14  ₦14,400.00 
Achilles Car Tyre Platinum 185/65R14  ₦16,800.00 
 Achilles Car Tyre Platinum 185/70R14 ₦23,600.00 
 Achilles Car Tyre platinum 195/70R14  ₦23,800.00
 Achilles Car Tyre 185R14C (LTR80)  ₦14,400.00
 Achilles Car Tyre Platinum 185/65R15  ₦22,500.00
 Achilles Platinum Car Tyre 195/65R15  ₦19,600.00
 Achilles Platinum Car Tyre 205/65R15  ₦21,600.00
 Achilles Platinum Car Tyre 215/60R16 ₦30,000.00 
 Achilles Platinum Car Tyre 235/45R17 ₦22,800.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 185/70R14 ₦15,800.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 195/70R14 ₦18,500.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 185/65R15 ₦12,600.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 195/60R15 ₦15,600.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 195/65R15 ₦18,000.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 205/60R15  ₦13,200.00
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 205/65R15  ₦19,000.00
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 215/65R15 ₦22,200.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 215/70R15  ₦19,200.00
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 205/60R16  ₦26,500.00
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 265/70R16 ₦37,950.00 
 GT Radial Champiro Car Tyre 205/55R16 ₦26,500.00 
 Bridgestone Car Tyre 185/65R15 ₦42,000.00 
 Bridgestone Car Tyre 175/70R14  ₦40,000.00
 Bridgestone car tyre 195/70R14 ₦32,200.00 
 Bridgestone Car Tyre 195/65R15  ₦42,000.00
 Bridgestone 205/60R15 Car Tyre  ₦26,500.00
 Bridgestone 205/65R15 Car Tyre ₦45,600.00 
 Bridgestone Car Tyre 205/70R15 ₦57,600.00 
Maxxis Car Tyre 185/65R14  ₦18,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 205/60R16 ₦25,300.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 195/65R15 ₦24,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 205/70R15 ₦32,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 215/65R15 ₦32,800.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 215/65R16  ₦34,800.00
 Maxxis Car Tyre 215/70R16 ₦36,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 225/70R16 ₦48,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 245/70R16 ₦45,400.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 255/70R16 ₦46,800.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 265/70R16 ₦46,200.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 215/55R17 ₦40,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 225/65R17 ₦42,000.00 
 Maxxis Car Tyre 225/60R17 ₦41,800.00 
 Armour Truck Tyre 10/16R5 ₦42,000.00 
 Armour Tractor Tyre 12.5/80-18 ₦56,400.00 
 Armour OTR Tyre 23.5R25 ₦287,500.00 
 Alliance Industrial Tyre 20.R5-25  ₦207,600.00

Note:

The prices we have listed above are liable to changes as the case might be in the Nigerian auto parts market. When you are shopping for a new tire to buy anywhere you are in Nigeria, we will advise you seek the advice of an expert local mechanic near you who can provide you with the necessary information about the best tires for your vehicle as well as some good tips you can employ to recognize quality tires. Reason for this note is the fact that we are very much aware of some Chinese low-quality tires that are currently flooding the tire market in Nigeria. And we know how these low-quality tires can put your life at risk as well as your passengers' lives. So, PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANY CHEAP TYRE THAT YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE THE QUALITY.

6. Our Conclusion

We would assume that anyone who has read this piece from the beginning till this point now has more than enough pre-knowledge about all the different types of tire out there. And as well, have a rough knowledge of the various average cost of a new tyre in the Nigeria auto parts market.

Meanwhile, you should check out some of our best tyre maintenance tips as well as other general car maintenance tips and advice. And also if you are also looking for Used and New cars for sale, you should check out our massive listing of New, Tokunbo, and Nigeria used cars for sale in Nigeria.

Oluwaseun Solomon

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