Simply put, summer tires do wear out faster than their alternatives like all-seasons etc. Summer tires have a diminished life expectancy as they are usually geared towards high or ultra-high performance. They provide better traction and can handle higher temperatures and loads under stress.
All-season and other alternative tire options have a much longer life but that does come at the cost of slower steering response, diminished maneuverability and lower heat tolerance. Simply put, choose summer tires for regular driving only if you own a performance vehicle or like to take your car close to the upper limits of its handling. Otherwise, you are much better off buying an all-season tire for reasons such as better cost-effectiveness and safety in the rain.
Why do summer tires wear faster?
1. Better traction
Summer tires provide much better traction and performance than others but that does come at a cost of faster wear down. As a general rule of thumb, tires that provide better performance tend to wear faster as the rubber grips the road harder and is sloughed off faster.
2. Shallower tread
Summer tires have a much shallower tread than all season tires and others. This translates to a bigger contact patch and thus faster wear. Also the life of the tire is reduced because the tread pattern disappears quicker and calls for replacement.
3. Harder sidewall
Summer tires have a harder sidewall to cope with the load transfer during high speed cornering and aim to minimize the tire flex. This exposes the tire to a greater risk of bulging, cracking and blow outs. All-season tires, on the other hand, provide a much more comfortable ride due to a softer sidewall.
Benefits of Summer tires:
1. Unparalleled response during spirited driving
Summer tires really show their true strengths at high temperatures which are usually only achieved after a good session of hammering down the road. This territory is where summer tires truly shine. At these temperatures, they grant unparalleled response at the steering wheel and make the vehicle appear light and nimble due to the unbelievable grip. The wear and tear is also much more controlled at these temperatures than any other tire.
2. Less dry rot during summers
Summer tires have a much greater ability to resist dry rot simply because of the choice of construction materials. Summer tires are carved out of rubber compounds that can resist cracking, scaling and decomposition due to consistent exposure to high summer temperatures.
3. Tires of choice for drifting
Summer tires are the tires of choice for drifting because they are able to tolerate the immense amounts of heat production during intense drifting sessions. The alternatives have a much greater propensity to blow outs under stress but these handle just fine as high temperatures are their territory.
Which summer tires are the best?
If you still decide to go with summer tires, here are two tires that we deem worthy of presenting to you. Here’s a quick short description:
1. Pirelli P ZERO High Performance Tire – 275/40R20 106Y
Pirelli is universally known for providing ultra-high performance tires due to their experience in all prominent motorsports races. This one offers razor-sharp response, superb dry handling, unbelievable maneuverability and immense heat tolerance. The wet performance and comfort in regular driving is also satisfactory. A steep price along with diminished tire life is something you’ll have to swallow for all the excitement it brings.
- Incredible dry traction
- Beautiful sleek design
- Heat resistant
- Premium brand
- Compromised tread life
2. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Summer Performance Tire 225/40R18 92 W Extra Load
Manufactured by Bridgestone, this Firestone tires utilizes all the technology and innovation of its parent company and yet manages to deliver it at an incredibly competitive price. Breath-taking performance is the true selling point of this tire but that’s not the complete picture. It is a terrific all-rounder excelling in all important departments like value to money, fuel economy and reliability. Considered by many to be the best tire available in the market for drifting, this tire is the go-to for enthusiasts and weekend-warriors alike. The tread pattern is extremely sophisticated and sleek looking and everything is functional in there.
The only issue with it, really, is the same as with any other summer tire: diminished tire life.
- Great value for money
- Terrific performance
- Fuel efficient
- Reliable and robust
- Diminished tire life
Overall, summer tires are not for everyone but then not everything great is meant to please everyone.