The different treads on tyres actually do mean something. The patterns are the arrangement that consists of continuous ribs, circumferential and lateral grooves, and independent tread blocks. These patterns also include thin sipes moulded into the tread.
These sipes fine-tune noise, handling, wear, and traction. Different tread pattern tyres have different features built into their design to help them meet anticipated driving conditions. The most common tread patterns are:
- Symmetric tread patterns
- Asymmetric tread patterns
- Directional tread patterns
The first of these, symmetric tread patterns, are the most common and feature continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire face where both inboard and outboard halves possess the same pattern.
Symmetric patterns allow multiple tyre rotation patterns while asymmetric tread patterns are designed to blend dry grip and snow/water traction. These patterns usually incorporate larger ribs/blocks on the outboard side to increase cornering on dry roads. The inboard side will usually feature smaller tread blocks to aid in watery or snowy roads, when driving straight. These asymmetric patterns also allow multiple rotation patterns in tyers.
Directional tread patterns, also called unidirectional tread patterns, are designed to only go one way and therefore help to prevent hydroplaning. These tyres are intended to be mounted to one side of the car and intended to be rotated from front to rear as they wear.
Asymmetric and directional tread patterns have v-shaped tread grooves that are offset by the centerline of the tyre. For tyre rotation, they are treated as directional tyres.
Need help to determine the right type of tyre tread for your car, your driving style and the conditions you drive in? Contact the team at Independent Vehicle Services for expert advice and professional service.