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Tread design

Groove:- The groove is the hollow part or the tread. The grooves are cut which makes the tyre pattern. Tyres come in different patterns and grooves, from the simple block pattern to the modern v tread designs. The hollow part (the groove) is designed to channel the water out and away. As a the tread wears the groove becomes less hollow and apparent. The design of the groove effects the performance and the quality of the tyre.

Pitch:- The pitch/cuff is the small tread at the edge of both sides of the tyre, as shown in the picture on the left. The pitch often wears out before the wrest of the tyre. The function of the pitch is to enhance the performance providing better steering and stability. The pitch is mostly visible on winter tyres, the pitch functions to byte the road and grip the ice.

Rib shape:- As the name implies the design of this pattern is like a rib shape with the grooves running from the centre to the edges like a rib pattern. The pattern aids faster water drainage and hence gives good traction on wet roads. This pattern is commonly found on most tyres and in today’s high speed driving is suitable for all car types. The disadvantage of this type of design is that it is rotational pattern meaning the direction has to be set when mounting the tyre. A tyre mounted on the left can not be mounted on the right, you have to actually demount the tyre from the rim and swap in the inside to face the outside to set the direction right.

Assymetric pattern:- Asymmetric tyres haven a different tread design on the inside to the outside. An asymmetric pattern looks like two different tyres joined in the middle. The sides differ in pattern to give different functionality, the inside offers better cornering traction while the outside is designed to channel water away. This type of design is commonly found on high-performance vehicles and more so on the wider tyres. Often people confuse a rotation tyre with an asymmetric pattern, unlike a rotation pattern, asymmetric tyres have an inside and outside marking. They also can be mounted on the car on the left or right.

Block shape:- This type of pattern as the name suggests has a block shape design. The grooves are very small the tread pattern is very tight and close. The advances in tread design have seen this tyre less in use, it was very common on passenger cars up till the 90’s. Today it is mostly seen on winter and all season type tyres.


ZigZag shape:- This is a classic tread design for a van. Even today most van tyres apart from a few are still using this zigzag design. The reason for the success of this design in commercial use is because of the grooves that are cut in a zigzag giving the tyre low rolling resistance, low heat generation ideal for the long journeys that commercial vehicles do. There are also many disadvantages of this type of pattern including poor cornering because of flex in the tyre, also lack of grip in wet and dry.