What Are Touring Tires?by Andrew Cockerham
Buying a new set of tires isn't usually fun, and all those different tire types don't help. What's so special about a touring tire, for example? Touring tires are very similar to standard tires, but with a few upgrades.
Touring tires are designed to provide a smoother ride than standard tires on the open road, and provide better control and handling.
Touring tires have a lower profile and wider tread than standard tires. These features are what give the tire its greater stability.
Touring tires vary most significantly in tread design. The first common type is the summer tread, designed for dry roads and responsive handling at high speeds. These should not be driven on snowy or icy roads, however. For these winter conditions, the best touring type is an all-season tread. This type trades some performance for better traction control on light snow.
You can expect touring tires to last approximately as long as their standard counterparts. The exact mileage varies widely by manufacturer. Naturally, more expensive tires will generally give you more use than cheaper tires.
If you expect to be driving in heavy ice or snow, even an all-season touring tire will be insufficient. Invest in a set of proper traction tires designed for these conditions.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Steve Snodgrass