Last time we talked about unidirectional tyres. This time around we are going to talk a little about asymmetric tyres. First we will discuss what they are and how they differ from normal or symmetric tyres and also from those previously discussed directional or just simply directional tyres. And also we will talk if they are any good for our local road conditions.
Asymmetrical tread tyre has completely different tread pattern from the very distinctive looking unidirectional tyres but folks who aren’t exactly bothered by tyres might not be able to differentiate asymmetrical tread tyre from regular (symmetric) tread tyres.
One very distinctive feature of asymmetrical tyres is that they have varied tread pattern across the surface of the tyre. No one set of tread patterns matches the other. Asymmetrical tyres are also mounted in a certain direction, like directional tyres. On the sidewall of the tyre, you will find markings telling you to keep that specific side of tyre at the outside of the car.
Other thing that you will notice is that the tread blocks on one side of asymmetrical tyres will be larger and fatter than the tread blocks on the other side of the tyre. And that also tells how to mount the tyres as well. The tyre shoulder that has the larger tread blocks goes on the outer side of the car when mounting them. The reason is that they offer support and crispier response and don’t squash down when you corner. Whenever the car turns, the weight of the car transfer on the outside and all the load drops down on those large tread block. Say you are turning left, your car weight will swing to right and those larger blocks will help maintain the shape of the tyre. Those fat pieces of rubber dig in the road’s surface without losing their structural integrity.
In the middle area of the asymmetrical tyres, you will find some circumferential grooves. Purpose of those groves is to disperse the water underneath efficiently. Asymmetric tyres provide improved traction and handling on wet surfaces because like directional tyres, they also provide better water evacuation than the normal tyres.
Now the thing is, are they any good if you put them on your Civic or a Corolla or whatever car you are driving, considering the majority of the road we drive on are not that great. In previous article, I mentioned that I didn’t have the best of the experience with directional tyres. Asymmetrical tyres on the other hand, have been good to me. I have a fair amount of experience driving a Honda Fit on 16” Advanti alloys wrapped by asymmetric tyres sitting on coilovers. I have driven the same car on same 16” Advanti alloys but with different rubber and when we moved to asymmetric tyres and the experience was a whole lot better. Car suddenly became very engaging and handling was crispier. It used to respond even to slightest of steering input. To sum it up, car was very fun to drive.
I personally do think asymmetric tyres are a good investment. Let us know if you have any kind of experience of an asymmetric tyre and if you will recommend it to other Pakwheelers.