What defines a Low Profile tyre?
A low profile tyre is one in which the sidewall is comparatively shorter than normal. The average sidewall length in these are considerably less and therefore, they offer a lower aspect ratio for their size. On an average, any tyre featuring an aspect ratio of 50 or less can be considered to be low profile. Since the sidewall is shallower in these tyres, it also means that it can be fitted to a large diameter wheel. It can provide enhanced braking options and more stability. These tyres are generally fitted in high-performance models in many new car ranges.
Low profile tyres vs Normal tyres
Low profile tyres are meant for high-performance use whereas normal or bias ply tyres are used for all conditions. While drifting a corner at high speed, the sidewalls of a tyre flex up so that part of the tread that is in contact with the road just rolls under and ground contact may break. There is no worry for a low profile tyre in such a condition whereas, in case of a normal tyre, this may not be possible. You can expect to get a more efficient braking system with a low profile tyre compared to a normal one.
What are the advantages of Low profile tyres?
There are certain advantages of low profile tyres that are discussed here in detail for understanding.
- Better Handling – A larger aspect ratio tyre helps in performing and handling a vehicle with absolute ease. The comfort of steering and manoeuvring a vehicle is far greater than any other tyre due to the shallower width.
- More stability – More stability can be achieved by using a low profile tyre. These tyres have a wider tread than normal and therefore helps in providing an excellent grip on the surface. This can be very helpful especially while cornering the vehicle.
- Shorter stopping distance – Low profile tyres enable you to get larger brakes and rims for a vehicle. Installation of the improved braking system helps in shortening the stopping distance that can be very useful for any vehicle. Moreover, if the vehicle is long and bulky, this type of tyre can be particularly useful over a long period of time.
- Enhanced looks – Finally, low profile tyres can enhance the beauty of any vehicle. These tyres look sleek and stylish and can help in increasing the aesthetics. Carefully installing them in a vehicle by keeping the body colour in mind can definitely improve upon a vehicle’s overall look.
Low profile tyres disadvantages
Low profile tyres have some disadvantages. These are listed as follows.
- Less protection for wheels – Due to a thinner sidewall, there is always a possibility of wheel damage due to potholes and other road conditions. Hence, there is a very small space for wheel protection.
- Low ride quality – The stiff and short sidewalls are not capable of handling deep impact that may occur at certain times. You can experience a rough ride quality during those times.
- Increased cost – Low profile tyres are comparatively costlier than its other counterparts due to the specialized techniques and technical processes that go into its making.
Low profile tyres price in India
The cost of low profile tyres is slightly more than its normal competitors due to the skill and dexterity that goes into its making. A normal low profile sedan car tyre will cost somewhere in the range of Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 10,560. More or less, the same price band is applicable for hatchback tyres too with only a difference of about Rs. 500 or so. Truck and bus tyres price start from Rs. 9,250 and extend all the way to Rs. 26,380. Many types of different brands and models can be expected in it depending upon one’s choice.
1. Why are Low Profile tyres more expensive?
Well, there is not much evidence to suggest why low profile tyres should be more expensive than the rest yet use of some expensive materials like kevlar seem to justify their price. These materials are not used in normal tyres and they help in achieving higher speed ratings in low profiles.
2. Do Low profile tyres wear out faster?
Low profile tyres are made from softer rubber compounds that help in providing a better grip and enhanced steering comfort. As such, there is a tradeoff between manoeuvrability and tyre life. There is indeed a faster wear and tear in a low profile tyre due to this reason and these tyres seem to age fast.
3. What size is a Low profile tyre?
The size of a low profile tyre can be determined from the tyre width. Usually, a tyre width can be expected to be more than 200 mm and within 250 mm. A low profile tyre will have a profile of at least 50% of this value and can go on decreasing to 30% for ultra low profile tyres.
4. What is the right pressure for Low profile tyres?
For most vehicles, recommended air pressure is mentioned on the door panel. However, while using a low profile tyre, you can use somewhat higher pressure than the recommended value for offsetting any bad road condition or potholes. The incremental value should be in the range of 10-15 psi depending upon one’s needed stability.