Outline of tires

Last updated
Automobile tires Car tires.jpg
Automobile tires
Studded winter tire Spikereifen.JPG
Studded winter tire
Formula One racing slicks F1 Slick Tires.jpg
Formula One racing slicks
Large tires Gianttires ontruck.jpg
Large tires
Airless tires 2005 091112-28rim0051 compressed.JPG
Airless tires
Aircraft tire Two man replace a main landing gear tire of a plane.jpg
Aircraft tire
Motorcycle tire Pirelli Diablo Rosso.jpg
Motorcycle tire
Mountain bike tires Mountain bike tires.JPG
Mountain bike tires
Spiked tire Spikes-Rennmotorrad.jpg
Spiked tire
Tractor tire Claas Jaguar 970, Vorderrad mit Schlauch der Reifendruckregelanlage.jpg
Tractor tire

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to tires:


Tire (North American) or tyre (British) ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheel rim to protect it and enable better vehicle performance by providing a flexible cushion that absorbs shock while keeping the wheel in close contact with the ground.

Tire Industry History

Firestone and Ford tire controversy

Charles Goodyear Medal


By construction

By tread

By material

By appearance

Vehicle specific

Use specific







Life cycle






See also

Related Research Articles

Wheel A circular item that rotates about an axle bearing, often used for transport.

In its primitive form, a wheel is a circular block of a hard and durable material at whose center has been bored a hole through which is placed an axle bearing about which the wheel rotates when torque is applied to the wheel about its axis. The wheel and axle assembly can be considered one of the six simple machines. When placed vertically under a load-bearing platform or case, the wheel turning on the horizontal axle makes it possible to transport heavy loads. This arrangement is the main topic of this article, but there are many other applications of a wheel addressed in the corresponding articles: when placed horizontally, the wheel turning on its vertical axle provides the spinning motion used to shape materials ; when mounted on a column connected to a rudder or to the steering mechanism of a wheeled vehicle, it can be used to control the direction of a vessel or vehicle ; when connected to a crank or engine, a wheel can store, release, or transmit energy. A wheel and axle with force applied to create torque at one radius can translate this to a different force at a different radius, also with a different linear velocity.

Tire Ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheels rim

A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel's rim to transfer a vehicle's load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface over which the wheel travels. Most tires, such as those for automobiles and bicycles, are pneumatically inflated structures, which also provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock as the tire rolls over rough features on the surface. Tires provide a footprint, called a contact patch, that is designed to match the weight of the vehicle with the bearing strength of the surface that it rolls over by providing a bearing pressure that will not deform the surface excessively.

Bicycle wheel Wheel designed for a bicycle

A bicycle wheel is a wheel, most commonly a wire wheel, designed for a bicycle. A pair is often called a wheelset, especially in the context of ready built "off the shelf" performance-oriented wheels.


Aquaplaning or hydroplaning by the tires of a road vehicle, aircraft or other wheeled vehicle occurs when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the vehicle from responding to control inputs. If it occurs to all wheels simultaneously, the vehicle becomes, in effect, an uncontrolled sled. Aquaplaning is a different phenomenon from when water on the surface of the roadway merely acts as a lubricant. Traction is diminished on wet pavement even when aquaplaning is not occurring.

Radial tire Particular design of vehicular tire

A radial tire is a particular design of vehicular tire. In this design, the cord plies are arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, or radially. Radial tire construction climbed to 100% market share in North America following Consumer Reports finding the superiority of the radial design in 1968, and were standard by 1976.

Rolling resistance

Rolling resistance, sometimes called rolling friction or rolling drag, is the force resisting the motion when a body rolls on a surface. It is mainly caused by non-elastic effects; that is, not all the energy needed for deformation of the wheel, roadbed, etc., is recovered when the pressure is removed. Two forms of this are hysteresis losses, and permanent (plastic) deformation of the object or the surface. Another cause of rolling resistance lies in the slippage between the wheel and the surface, which dissipates energy. Note that only the last of these effects involves friction, therefore the name "rolling friction" is to an extent a misnomer.

ISO 5775

ISO 5775 is an international standard for labeling the size of bicycle tires and rims. The system used was originally developed by the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO). It is designed to make tire sizing consistent and clear. It replaces overlapping informal systems that ambiguously distinguished between sizes. For example, at least 6 different "26 inch" sizes exist, and "27 inch" wheels have a larger diameter than American "28 inch" wheels. The Japanese standard JIS D 9421 specifies the same dimensional system, but adds details on additional rim types and also specifies additional parameters such as rim strength and details of spoke holes.

A beadlock or bead lock is a mechanical device that secures the bead of a tire to the wheel of a vehicle. Tires and wheels are designed so that when the tire is inflated, the tire pressure pushes the bead of the tire against the inside of the wheel rim so that the tire stays on the wheel and the two rotate together. In situations where tire pressure is insufficient to hold the bead of the tire in place, a beadlock is needed.

Rim (wheel) Outer part of a wheel on which the tire is mounted

The rim is the "outer edge of a wheel, holding the tire". It makes up the outer circular design of the wheel on which the inside edge of the tire is mounted on vehicles such as automobiles. For example, on a bicycle wheel the rim is a large hoop attached to the outer ends of the spokes of the wheel that holds the tire and tube. In cross-section, the rim is deep in the center and shallow at the outer edges, thus forming a "U" shape that supports for the bead of the tire casing.

Tire code Alphanumeric code on the sidewall of tires, specifying information such as dimensions and limitations

Automotive tires are described by an alphanumeric tire code or tyre code, which is generally molded into the sidewall of the tire. This code specifies the dimensions of the tire, and some of its key limitations, such as load-bearing ability, and maximum speed. Sometimes the inner sidewall contains information not included on the outer sidewall, and vice versa.

Flat tire Deflated pneumatic tire

A flat tire is a deflated pneumatic tire, which can cause the rim of the wheel to ride on the tire tread or the ground potentially resulting in loss of control of the vehicle or irreparable damage to the tire. The most common cause of a flat tire is puncturing of the tire by a sharp object, such as a nail or pin, letting the air escape. Depending on the size of the puncture, the tire may deflate slowly or rapidly.

Airless tire

Airless tires, non-pneumatic tires (NPT), or flat-free tires are tires that are not supported by air pressure. They are used on some small vehicles such as riding lawn mowers and motorized golf carts. They are also used on heavy equipment such as backhoes, which are required to operate on sites such as building demolition, where risk of tire punctures is high. Tires composed of closed-cell polyurethane foam are also made for bicycles and wheelchairs. They are also commonly found on wheelbarrows which may be used for yard work or construction.

Tire Uniformity refers to the dynamic mechanical properties of pneumatic tires as strictly defined by a set of measurement standards and test conditions accepted by global tire and car makers.

Tubeless tires are pneumatic tires that do not require a separate inner tube.

Tire maintenance

Tire maintenance for motor vehicles is based on several factors. The chief reason for tire replacement is friction from moving contact with road surfaces, causing the tread on the outer perimeter of tires to eventually wear away. When the tread depth becomes too shallow, the tire is worn out and should be replaced. The same wheels can usually be used throughout the lifetime of the car. Other problems encountered in tire maintenance include:

Bicycle tire A tire that fits on the wheel of a bicycle

A bicycle tire is a tire that fits on the wheel of a bicycle or similar vehicle. They may also be used on wheelchairs and handcycles, especially for racing. Bicycle tires provide an important source of suspension, generate the lateral forces necessary for balancing and turning, and generate the longitudinal forces necessary for propulsion and braking. Although the use of a pneumatic tire greatly reduces rolling resistance compared to the use of a rigid wheel or solid tire, the tires are still typically the second largest source, after air drag, of power consumption on a level road. The modern detachable pneumatic bicycle tire contributed to the popularity and eventual dominance of the safety bicycle.

Motorcycle tyre

Motorcycle tyres are the outer part of motorcycle wheels, attached to the rims, providing traction, resisting wear, absorbing surface irregularities, and allowing the motorcycle to turn via countersteering. The two tyres' contact patches are the motorcycle's connection to the ground, and so are fundamental to the motorcycle's suspension behaviour, and critically affect safety, braking, fuel economy, noise, and rider comfort.

Off-road tire

Off-road tires are a category of vehicle tires that use deep tread to provide more traction on unpaved surfaces such as loose dirt, mud, sand, or gravel. Compared to ice or snow tires, they lack studs but contain deeper and wider grooves meant to help the tread sink into mud or gravel surfaces.

Tire changer

A tire changer is a machine used to help tire technicians dismount and mount tires with automobile wheels. After the wheel and tire assembly are removed from the automobile, the tire changer has all the components necessary to remove and replace the tire from the wheel. Different tire changers allow technicians to replace tires on automobiles, motorcycles and heavy-duty trucks. New tire and wheel technology has improved certain tire changers to be able to change a low profile tire or a run-flat tire.

Camber thrust

Camber thrust and camber force are terms used to describe the force generated perpendicular to the direction of travel of a rolling tire due to its camber angle and finite contact patch. Camber thrust is generated when a point on the outer surface of a leaned and rotating tire, that would normally follow a path that is elliptical when projected onto the ground, is forced to follow a straight path while coming in contact with the ground, due to friction. This deviation towards the direction of the lean causes a deformation in the tire tread and carcass that is transmitted to the vehicle as a force in the direction of the lean.