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Tire Tread

makbike2010-04-29 01:14:49 +0000 #1
I've been told the tread on a bicycle tire does very little so does it matter which way the treads are oriented when the tire is installed on the wheel?

Thanks!
Kalidurga2010-04-29 01:21:35 +0000 #2
If the tread does very little, why are there so many different styles? And why do the manufacturers put the effort into applying an arrow on the sidewall to indicate the direction in which it should be installed?

Things the person who told you that might want to consider...
DebW2010-04-29 02:03:58 +0000 #3
A slick tire is generally more secure on a dry road than tread patterns just because it has more rubber on the road. Inverted tread patterns seem to be popular for handling wet roads. And off-road tires often have treads designed to work properly in only one direction. And sometimes specific front and rear tires.
cattygrrl2010-04-29 01:23:09 +0000 #4
I guess some of the more particular mechanics say it makes a difference. If the grooves in the tread form arrows, the "arrow" at the top of the tire would point forward, like a tractor tire. The idea is that any water under the tread could move out rather than be forced in under the tread. The tire makers that put arrows on the sidewalls claim it has to do with the weave of the fibers rather than the tread.

Tread on car tires is there to reduce hydroplaning. With the small size of a bicycle contact patch, hydroplaning is not a danger. Less tread would then be better than more tread--look at the tires of a race car.

Different tread designs are mostly there for marketing, especially when it comes to hybrid and comfort bike tires.
makbike2010-04-29 01:40:29 +0000 #5
I purchased Bontrager Select K tires for my bike. They do have a tread but it is minimal. There are no arrows on the side walls to indicate which way the tread pattern should go hence my question, does it matter?
susan.wells2010-04-29 02:26:04 +0000 #6
Sheldon Brown's article on Tires: sheldonbrown.com/tires.html contains the information you are looking for. Scroll down to Tread Directionality (it's near the bottom). I've found this web page to be most helpful when it comes to tires.

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