There are various ways to classify tires. The type of tirea ccording to the road surface which is used is emphasized and the functions and characteristics of each type of tire are indicated.
1. Snow tires
The snow tire is designed to maintain maneuverability on muddy or snow-covered roads. This is done by providing a greater number of blocks in the tread pattern, and making these blocks deeper and further apart from each other. It combines the lug tread pattern,which effectively transmits driving force, and the rib pattern, which minimizes side-slipping.
Less side-slipping and better traction, and greater steering stability during braking.
Greater maneuverability when turning and changing lanes.
Easier escape from wheel ruts.
Smaller rolling resistance.
Less vibration and noise.
Since snow tire tread is less rigid than normal tire tread, on the other hand, it is less capable of stabilizing a vehicle traveling at a high speed on a dry road surface. Cornering especially suffers in this respect.
2. Spiked tires
Snow tires perform well on snow-covered roads, but have little road-hugging ability on icy roads. The spiked tire has been devised to provide greater driving stability under such conditions. It features snow tire tread, combined with metal spikes, which bite into the surface of the ice to transmit the vehicle’s driving and braking forces. Nevertheless, equipping the vehicle with the spiked tires alone does not ensure complete driving safety on snow-covered and icy roads. The
vehicle must still be operated with the utmost care. Also, use of spiked tires on road surfaces that are free of snow and ice must be avoided since this not only accelerates spike wear, but also could damage the road surface and pollute the air with concrete and asphalt particles. Authorities in some countries or localities restrict or prohibit the use of spiked tires and even tire chains for
3. Studless tires
In the past, spiked tires had primarily been used on ice and snow. However, since the use of spiked tires has recently been restricted or prohibited in many countries, studless tires have been developed to facilitate vehicle travel on icy roads without the use of spikes. Studless tires use a special tread rubber that, in addition to the capabilities of snow tires, also prevents loss of flexibility even at extremely low temperatures. This enables these tires to ensure sufficient contact with the surface of the road even when the road is covered with ice or snow. In addition, due to the provision of many small cuts in the tread surface, called “sipes”, or by other means, the tire is able to effectively dig up and throw off ice and snow, enabling it to obtain adequate driving force and braking force. However, there are cases in which the performance of studless tires cannot be sufficiently demonstrated under certain road conditions and with certain driving styles. It is therefore important to drive with caution on icy roads and use tire chains and so forth as necessary.
4. All-weather tires (All-season tires)
The all-weather tire is a regular tire that has been modified to enhance driving performance on sandy and snow-covered road surfaces. It is a multipurpose tire, which can be used throughout the year, because it features characteristics of both normal and snow tires. The graph in the left plots all-weather tire performance relative to that of an ordinary tire (the circle in the graph). The further the value falls outside the circle, the higher the corresponding performance. The all-weather tire has a steel-belted radial-ply carcass and a densely-siped block tread pattern to improve traction and resistance to side-slipping. The tread grooves of the all-weather tire are shallower than those of the snow tire but deeper than those of the ordinary tire. This means that they can stabilize the vehicle by digging deeply into the snow in order to get secure grip on the road.