What Are Low Profile Tires? (All You Need To Know)

You often don’t realize just how many different types of tires there are until you go to purchase them. With so many different kinds on the market, it can be hard to choose the correct ones for you.

Low-profile tires are quite popular for sports cars and similar vehicles. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the right choice for you. Keep reading to learn about everything you might need to know about these tires.

What Are Low Profile Tires?

By definition, low-profile tires have a shorter sidewall and wider tread than regular tires, hence their name. Typically, these tires are used on sports cars because they provide a boost in performance. Due to their wider tread, they have increased traction and grip. However, they often produce a rougher ride as well.

Choosing these tires or not can be quite confusing. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about these tires.

Are Low-Profile Tires Better?

Generally speaking, there are a few benefits of low-profile tires. However, many people enjoy the aesthetic look of these tires, which is why they are somewhat popular.

There are some downsides to low-profile tires. For instance, they are often more susceptible to low pressures and excessive loads.

For example, if you drive over something at high speeds, then your tire is more likely to be injured.

Most of the time, these tires should last about the same amount of time as other tires.

However, depending on your driving style, these tires may wear down sooner than others. In many cases, low-profile tires are designed to have increased wear with quicker wear.

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Furthermore, you also have to adapt your steering and suspension to the smaller tires. In many cases, low-profile tires will lead to quicker failure of these systems unless the proper corrections are made.

In many cases, these tires generate more noise as well. They have increased width, which often causes increased noise.

Often, the ride will be less comfortable as well. Usually, the lower sidewalls will make unevenness on the road more noticeable. Therefore, the ride won’t be as comfortable.

What is the Difference Between Low-Profile and Regular Tires?

However, there are also some benefits to low tires that may make some consider them better than other tires.

For instance, the larger rims and wider tires may be able to increase braking on dry roads.

Plus, the rigidity of the tire may improve cornering at higher speeds as well. For this reason, these tires are typically utilized for sporting events.

As you might have guessed, all of this leads to better control and predictability. If you’re driving at high speeds or something similar, then you may consider choosing these tires.

Otherwise, they are mostly there for aesthetic purposes, and you’ll need to consider all the downsides.

What is the Difference Between Low-Profile and Regular Tires?

Simply put, low-profile tires have a shorter sidewall than other tires and a wider tread.

For the most part, this is the only difference between these two types of tires. However, this slight difference does lead to a lot of functional differences.

In many cases, low-profile tires also have a wider tread size, which allows them to have more contact with the road. Often, this leads to better grip, which in turn leads to better handling.

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However, the shorter sidewall is less able to absorb all of the differences in the road, which can make the ride less comfortable.

For this reason, these tires are often used for sport purposes – not as your everyday tires.

Because of this, regular tires are often the better option for your average buyer.

Do Low-Profile Tires Cause a Rough Ride?

In many cases, low-profile tires will lead to a worse ride than regular tires. The tires have a shorter sidewall, which often leads to the tire’s inability to absorb differences in the road.

Therefore, these tires cannot provide the comfortable ride that you may be able to get with other tires on the market.

If you’re looking for everyday driving tires, these probably aren’t the best option for you unless you can deal with the worse ride quality.

What Size Tire is Low Profile?

What Size Tire is Low Profile?

The definition of low-profile has changed over the last few decades, as tires have continued to evolve.

Once upon a time, tires used to be considered low-profile if they were below 80 percent of the tire’s width.

However, today, the tire typically has to be 50 to 45 percent for the tires to be low-profile.

However, you will still find differences between opinions. Therefore, you should look at the tire’s height before purchasing them.

Don’t just purchase a tire because it is advertised as “low-profile.” It may not be your definition of low-profile.

Why Are Low-Profile Tires Popular?

Many people like these tires for aesthetic reasons.

Therefore, even those that aren’t actually participating in these events have taken a liking to them due to their use in these events.

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While they do improve the handling of your car, they have several downsides.

For this reason, you should carefully consider whether or not you need low-profile tires before purchasing them. After all, they may not be what you’re looking for.

In many cases, these tires are most common on sports cars due to their ability to increase performance.

To learn more about low-profile tires, you can also check our posts on whether or not low-profile tires are bad in rain, how long do low-profile tires last, and what are yellow & red dots on new tires.

Conclusion

For the most part, low-profile tires are only utilized on sports cars. They do provide increased performance and handling due to their wider tread.

As you might imagine, the wider tread provides increased grip and improves traction, leading to better handling.

However, they aren’t always the best choice for everyone. They don’t provide the smoothest ride, for instance. Therefore, they aren’t generally recommended for everyone. However, if you drive a sports car, you may want to consider these tires.

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