All About Tyre Tread Patterns And Sidewall Markings

Published On 07-Jun-2016By TyreDekho Team

Mankind has reached a stage where we have drawn an inseparable connection to vehicles. Cars, bikes and motor vehicles of all sorts form an essential aspect of our livelihoods, and provide the very platform for the running of our world. At such a state, we find a greater need for technical knowledge about everything that comes along with an automobile. Tyres have technical components that comprise a specific aspect of vehicle functionality.

Tyre tread markings, for instance, form the most basic and essential element in the running of a car. A simple change in a tyre's tread would take it a very long way from where it was meant to be. A tyre comes with specifications, and these need to be understood for they spell much detail concerning its performance and handling.

Tread Patterns

Tread patterns:

The tyre's grooves, or the tread designs, make the greatest impact on its overall handling. Different tread designs are conditioned for different surfaces, and a tyre with the wrong tread pattern could spell disaster for your vehicle.

1. Off-road vehicles:

For the extreme ranges and off road conditions, the tread pattern has individual and large knobs. This allows the vehicle to bite into the muddy surface. Mountain-bikes have a similar tread design, although it is usually in a smaller, unbroken grooves pattern. Construction machines and military tanks have caterpillar tracks with rubber coated metal segments.

2. Conventional street vehicles:

For regular street cars and bikes, however, there are three major tread types.

Symmetric tread pattern is the majorly and commonly found tread format. It features continuous ribs, or independent tread blocks across the entire tread surface. This is usually complete with a wavy design, and a symmetrical pattern on both sides of the center rib. The benefits of this type of tread include an even wear and a longer life. Tyres with this pattern usually deliver an all rounded spring to summer performance. Also, these radials make for lesser noise emissions, thereby ensuring a quiet and comfortable drive.

Asymmetric tread pattern is the second type, which combines various elements for a better performance on both wet and dry surfaces. The asymmetrical tread design hosts larger tread blocks, thereby creating a larger contact patch for grip when cornering. This type ensures better stability, and also helps to reduce heat buildup in the tyre. Large, lateral grooves aid in better drainage action. It has independent tread blocks and smaller grooves that help in increasing contact area and enhances grip. Moreover, it has benefits when relating to high speed stability. It also has far greater water treading capacity, and resists hydroplaning and slush planing as well. Besides these, it also provides grip all through the year.

Directional tread pattern is the third and last type. They are meant for rolling in only one direction. It features lateral grooves on both the sides, pointing towards the center in a V-shape. These grooves help in water drainage by pushing it through the tread, thereby ensuring that the tyre maintains  maximum contact with road to resist hydroplaning. This tread design has benefits in terms of a far superior wet traction for a better hydroplaning resistance. It provides a firm grip and stability at high speeds.

Tyre Sidewall Markings:


The sidewall of a tyre provides essential information, centered around the manufacturer, size, model, etc. The ability to read it is a great necessity for people planning to purchase and use tyres.

An example of what a sidewall marking looks like is this: 205/40 R17 84W.

1. The first number, 205, is the nominal section width of a tyre. So here, it has the width of 205mm.

2. The second figure, 40, refers to the sidewall's height as a percentage of the nominal section width. It is known as aspect ratio.

3. The letter R refers to the fact that this is a radial construction.

4. The figure '17' is the diameter of the wheel.

5. The figure, 84, refers to its maximum load capacity at a peak speed. It is referred to as the load index. Overloading it, could heat the tyre up, or potentially lead to a blow up. And at last there is an alphabet “W” which refers to the maximum speed limit of the tyre.

Tyres support and protect vehicles. They form a core element in the working and running of most people. As a result, it is important that one remains well informed and up-to-date on the working and know-how of both vehicles as well as the tyres needed for them.

You Might Also Be Interested In

Latest Tyres

  • Car
  • Bike
  • Truck

Best Tyres

  • Car
  • Bike
  • Truck
Which is your city ?