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Premium Performance Tire Buyers Guide - Treadware

A Collection Of Premium Performance Tires

Sean Klingelhoefer
Mar 23, 2010
Photographer: Courtesy of the Manufacturer

Tires are one of the most important, yet most overlooked aspects of car tuning. There's no changing the fact that they're the only portions of the car in direct contact with the ground (unless your ride is busted). While optimal grip is everyone's priority there are other things to consider, treadwear and cost being the next most important. Whether you're looking for a track tire that is going to shave seconds off your lap time, or something with style, grip and a high UTQG rating for the street, we've got what you need!

But before we get started lets take a look at some tire specifications we will be including with each tire and exactly what they mean. The UTQG rating (i.e. 180 AA/A) is a set of numbers and letters that indicate three things: treadwear, traction and temperature specs. The number is the treadwear number or how long a tire will last, the larger the number the longer the tire life - general rule of thumb, a lower treadwear number equals more grip. The first letter(s) indicate traction, the scale is rated AA, A, B or C with AA being the highest grip. (Note: some tires rated A are actually higher traction than AA on dry surfaces but due to the loss of traction in wet conditions are rated A overall. ) The last letter indicates the temperature rating, which is based on how well the tire can withstand and dissipate heat. The temperature scale is rated A, B or C with A being the highest heat resistance.

The next specification we'll look at is the speed rating of a tire. This speed is calculated in a laboratory to determine the highest speed a tire can safely and repeatedly travel while under load. Exceeding this rating doesn't insure a failure but it isn't recommended to drive beyond the speed rating and if you do it would be wise not to do so for a long duration. Speed ratings are measured L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, H, V, W, Y or Z with Z being the highest speed rating. Since we aren't concerned with non-performance tires most of the scale doesn't apply to us.

So by now, you should be an expert on UTQG and speed ratings. Let's check out some tires!

By Sean Klingelhoefer
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