- The most readily visible advantage of low profile tyres is that they look better.
- Low profile often means that larger rims and wider tyres have to be used, which can be beneficial to braking and cornering on dry roads.
- Low sidewalls also increase the rigidity of a tyre, which is especially important when cornering at high
- speeds, especially on smooth surfaces.
- Low profile tyres provide better grip, and thus better control and predictability.Side swaying is significantly less noticeable.
- Lower driving comfort is among the main drawbacks of using low profile tyres.
- This includes both mechanical (shock) and acoustic (noise) comfort.
- Lower sidewalls and increased rigidity make every unevenness in the road more noticeable than on comparable tyres with a higher profile.
- Increased tread stiffness also means smaller contact patch on uneven surfaces, which may hinder grip.
- Low profile also usually means increased width.This in turn may generate more noise.
- Low profile tyres installed in cars that have not been adapted for stiffer wheels by the manufacturer may have a negative impact on suspension wearing.Moreover, changing the wheel diameter by 5 mm will require you to readjust the headlights.
The risks of low profile tyres
Your tyres, an integral part of your car’s suspension system, are on the frontline when it comes to dealing with humps, potholes and other irregularities. As the tyre profile reduces, so does the tyre’s ability to absorb and cushion bumps, which results in a firmer and less comfortable ride. At the same time, the chance of impact damage to the tyres, wheels and other components goes up.
Big car companies put millions into development and tuning, yet OEM options are not totally immune to these risks. Even more serious problems can occur in the aftermarket.
Because modern cars are engineered as complete systems, changing wheels and tyre sizes using non-OEM parts may upset the balance, and choosing sizes outside those specified on a vehicle’s tyre placard or service manual can be potentially dangerous or even illegal. Altering the overall diameter of your tyres can affect the calibration of your speedometer as well as your ABS, traction and stability control systems. State legislation governs the minimum and maximum sizes allowable for your type of car. If you want low-profile tyres, it’s worthwhile consulting an expert to make sure any planned changes comply with the laws in your particular state.
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