Difference Between Radial & Bias Tyre Explained
Published On 04-Jan-2022
Knowing the difference between the two technologies will let you choose the best fitment for your vehicle.
Just like any other vehicle component, tyre selection is a crucial step towards getting adequate performance, and surety of long life. The right selection not only let you enhance your vehicle performance but also saves you on operational or maintenance cost.
There are two types of tyres; radial and bias. The major difference between the two lies in the belt construction. We will know about their technical definition, their application, besides the pros and cons in the below paras.
In the radial type tyres, the construction integrates a series of steel belts going at a 90-degree angle, ranging from the beads and running across the tread line. In other words, the cords are placed at roughly the right angles to the centre tread line and correspond to each other. Also, the belts are laid directly underneath the tread.
This gives strength to the tyre, allowing the sidewalls and the tread to function independently. Hence, while driving, there is lesser sidewall flex, and increased contact with the surface. Today, most passenger vehicle tyres use radial ply technology.
Advantages of radial tyres – These types of tyres provide a shorter and wider footprint. It also means low rolling resistance, which in turn, consumes less fuel, and increase efficiency. Moreover, the radial tyres offer enhanced grip and improved ride comfort at high speeds. As the tyre construction uses steel cords, there is no movement between the plies, and this allows increased resistance to heat or lesser heat build-up. The same steel belt construction ensures higher resistance to puncture.
Disadvantages of radial tyres – The steel belt construction leads to a stiff ride on rough roads at low speeds, especially while off-roading. Further, a tougher tread means increased tyre noise, while curb impact can result in sidewall damage hence, adversely affecting the overall ride quality.
Also known as diagonal tyres, a bias construction tyre employs multiple layers of rubber plies, most commonly nylon fabric. These plies or belts are laid at a 30–45-degree angle across the tread line, placed at opposing angles in a crisscross fashion, and overlapping each other. This construction makes the tyres less flexible, while the tread and the sidewall remain interdependent.
Advantages of bias-ply tyres - This type of construction offer a smooth ride quality on uneven surfaces with improved driving comfort. The bias construction tyres are also capable of bearing higher loads, which is why they are most helpful in heavy machinery. Another advantage of these tyres is that they are less susceptible to damage and much easier to repair.
Disadvantages of bias-ply tyres – On the downsides, the bias construction tyres provide lesser grip at higher speeds and, at the same time, are more sensitive to overheating. Due to higher rolling resistance, these tyres have increased wear levels, and also consume high fuel, as compared to radial tyres.
They are also inexpensive, and as these tyres are stiff and mainly employed in utility vehicles, the ride quality could be uncomfortable on flat surfaces. Moreover, the roll-over effect can lead to loss of traction at corners.
In short, if you have a non-commercial vehicle, then radial tyres are the ideal option.
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