Low profile tires are tires that have short sidewall heights and are wider as compared to standard tires. This is the amount of rubber between the road and the rim. The larger width offers a broad contact with the roads. In addition, they are more sensitive to the steering wheel. This is a feature that makes low profile tires common among sport riders. The wide wheels create room for bigger brakes meaning that the riders cab make quicker/ emergency stops. Low profile tires are becoming popular to family cars, SUV lines and trucks as well. Some of the large wheels used on low profile tires are 22 inches in diameter.
If you want to use low profile tires for your daily transportation, ensure that your roads and driving habits are in order. However, these tires are tailor made for twisty mountains and curves. Nonetheless, if you ride mostly on straight tarmacked roads, the pay back will be on appearance only.
Because of the height difference however, low profile tires do not play well with other tires. It is either you put on all four tires or have none. Additionally, ensure you find out whether the tires are low or high performance. High performance low profile tires are softer and more susceptible to trend wear.
How low profile tires improve vehicle performance
Generally, upgrading to a low profile size tire that is lesser than the original will boost your vehicle steering response, appearance and handling characteristics. There are numerous options that are available when changing the width and diameter of your rim. However, these options ensure that the original tire fitment specifications are maintained.
Pros of low profile tires
From a driving point, the low profile tires improve the cars handling while at high speed. Their width offer a better grip and responsiveness especially at corners. The big rims that come with the tires create room for bigger brakes that enable you to make sudden stops.
Cons of low profile tires
Unless the car you are driving was designed to use low profile tires, it may become quite unstable after fitting low profile tires. Often, you will experience harsh rides as compared to when you are using traditional tires. You will feel the irregularities when driving and your rims and sidewalls may suffer significant damage. They should not be used in snow belt areas because they have less grip on snowy surfaces.
Low profile tires that are number 50 and below also known as ultra profile tires require higher inflation pressure as compared to normal tires. This is because they have smaller internal volumes and thus require more pressure to enable them carry the same load as other cars.
Low profile tires are commonly used on sports cars and vehicles that have larger diameter wheels like the cadillac escalade. Sports car work well with smaller sidewall heights due to performance handling reasons while other cars like the cadillac escalade go well with huge tires that have shorter sidewalls for a combined diameter that fits the wheel wells.