The tire may look quite basic to you: a black, round entity — the one that keeps your vehicles, from a bicycle to a ten-wheeler truck, moving on the road. But you will be surprised by these fun facts about tires that you might not be familiar with before today:
A Toy Company Holds the Guinness World Record for “Largest Tire Manufacture Per Annum”
Lego Group is producing more tires (miniature) than any other tire industry. It is estimated that approximately 318 million tires are manufactured per year by Lego Group. Although, there are many companies across the world such as Michelin, Goodyear, Nokian, Pirelli, Intercontinental, etc. that are good reputable tire manufacturers, the honor of a Guinness World Record for “largest tire manufacture per annum” belongs to Lego.
Elements That Make Up an Excellent Tire
Tires are made up of a naturally white rubber in which carbon black (pigment) is added to increase the strength and durability of the rubber. It also resists hot spots on the tires.
Also, tires constitute various metals such as titanium and cobalt along with fabrics such as nylon, rayon, and polyester.
The World’s Largest Tire
The world’s biggest tire is located along I-94 in Allen Park, Michigan. It weighs 12 tons and is 80 feet tall. It was featured as a Ferris wheel at the 1964-65 New York’s World Fair. A year later the wheel was moved to Allen Park.
Basically, it was built to tolerate hurricane-force winds. Uniroyal sponsored this tire.
Development of An Illuminated Tire
In the early 1960s, an illuminated tire came into being. It was developed from a transparent rubber with 18 light bulbs wired and equipped into the center of the inner rim. In the dark, illuminated tires glowed like a star whereas they looked a little odd in the daytime. The drawback of these tires was that the rubber was too expensive, so they ended up being only a prototype. It was uneconomical as lights became invisible just after the tires got dirty.
An Airless Tire that Served as a Tire and a Wheel Both
Michelin is yet working on such type of tires that will never go flat. The material they used to develop such a two-in-one product is made from organic and recyclable materials.
New Cars Without Spare Tires
Usually, modern cars do not come with spare tires. An increasing number of automakers spare the spare tire for the sake of the lighter weight of the vehicle and fuel economy. As they are trying to reach the maximum miles per gallon, they’re reducing anything that they consider as “dead weight”.
The Classic Car: Mini Cooper’s Specialties
Everyone’s favorite car, Mini Cooper (the classic one), used to come with a 165mm wide tire on a 10inch diameter wheel. While the modern Mini Cooper comes with a 225mm tire, wrapped around an 18inch wheel.
Raised White Letter Tires Are Made in The Same Fashion as Whitewall Tires
There are real rubber-raised white letter tire kits offered by many companies, though a lot of DIY-ers resort to painting their own tire letters using tire paint pens. You might have heard about the famous Vogue Tire and Rubber company that has been manufacturing this high-end luxury tire, which by chance invented whitewall tire by melding carbon black with zinc white sidewall.
Run-flat tires are designed to withstand the effects of deflation after being punctured. These tires allow you more time before arriving to a safe, flat surface, or to an auto shop to get needed repairs. Although run-flat tires have their own disadvantages, they are standard on most BMW vehicles.
For the First 25 Years of The Car, All Tires Were White
Zinc oxide was added to strengthen the rubber but had the aftereffect of making tires white.
Proper Vehicle Safety
Over-inflated tires cause the risk of explosive decompression. General conditions of the tires and tread depth are also essential parameters to be observed for safety. Worn out tires affect the safety margins and run the real risk of rupturing.
Therefore, manuals provided with instructions should be followed to check and maintain the safety and efficacy of tires.
Experts at Continental Tires are testing the first-ever tires whose tread is made of Russian dandelion rubber as a polymer. The benefit of using dandelion over traditional rubber trees is that dandelion rubber can be grown in a year while a traditional rubber tree takes up to seven years to grow. Continental Tires plan to launch the first-ever dandelion rubber consumer tires within the next five to ten years.
If you are a car lover, you should know the essential things that lead to better balance and control of a vehicle on the road. This book “The Racing & High-Performance Tire: Using Tires to Tune for Grip & Balance” contains a description of how a four-tired vehicle generates grip due to tires (and more) – everything is well explained with detailed text and diagrams without the use of extensive technical jargon. Also, a good read for people looking to tune their car for more grip and better balance using tire characteristics.
In addition, the first cars then had open fenders or “cycle wings,” so that pedestrians could clearly see both sides of the tires as the cars passed by.