Over the past 100 years, tires and the wheels that support them have gone through significant changes as a result of technical innovations in design, technology and materials. No single factor affects the handling and safety of a car more than the tires and wheels it rides on and how the two work together as a unit.
One nagging question has been whether rims designed for bias-ply tires can handle the stresses placed on them by radial-ply tires. The answer depends on how the rim was originally designed and built as well as the number of cycles on it and how it has been used. Most importantly, it depends upon the construction of the tire and how it transmits the vehicle’s load. A new white paper, now available under the “WTC Resources” box on www.SEMA.org/WTC, describes how bias and radial tires differ in working with the rim to provide a safe ride.