New Tires vs Worn Tires – What Performs Best?

New Tires vs Worn Tires – What Performs Best?

Hello everyone and welcome in this video I have teamed up with Michelin to talk about what happens to the performance of tires as they wear and some of the strategies taken by tire manufacturers to design tires that still perform even when they’re near the end of their life now something that’s Fascinating about tires, but perhaps not entirely intuitive is that as a tire wears its dry performance actually improves Braking distances tend to get shorter and cornering grip tends to increase the opposite However happens in the wet as the tire nears the where bars braking distances increase and cornering grip Decreases, well, why is this and what can you do to prevent wear from ruining a tires performance first off? We need to break down how a tire gets its grip which can be grouped into three categories construction compound and tread pattern a tires overall grip is a combination of all three the construction of the tire provides the overall shape of the contact patch and how it interacts over bumps and Imperfections the compound obviously plays the most critical role how well the compound sticks to the road Determines how well the tire performs and what’s cool about compound is that it doesn’t change as the tire wears So you want compound grip to be as high as possible for both wet and dry grip and finally we get to the tread Tread patterns are great for wet Grip, they improve traction in the wet by evacuating water away from the road contact to help prevent the tire from hydroplaning So it’s logical then that as the tread wears away what performance wears away with it in the dry? however that tread pattern reduces the amount of rubber contacting the road and Decreases the rigidity of the contact patch Allowing it to flex and squirm as the tire starts to wear away That tread pattern wears away with it and the response and grip of the tire improve This is why in racing when it’s dry, you’ll see tires without any tread pattern at all Just a smooth sticky flat surface for the tire to clench the road So how does this information change how tires are designed? Well, according to Michelin you’re four times more likely to get in an accident when roads are wet versus when they’re dry No surprise considering you’ll have less grip and worse visibility So then from a design standpoint Wet grip is incredibly Important for driver safety and while it’s obviously important for a new tire to stop well in the rain it also seems obvious that the performance of that tire should last the life of that tire whether it’s 30,000 miles or 60,000 miles the tire ideally should keep a high level of grip in wet conditions even near the end of its life. Ok So what can you do differently with the tire to make sure it still performs well in the rain as it wears down Well, let’s look at two different tires on the Left. We have Michelin’s premier AAS tire and on the right. We have a hypothetical competitors Grand Touring all season tire from a tread standpoint You’ll notice some interesting features on the premier is first off you can see the Center grooves expand as the tire wears This is to ensure that water evacuation remains high as you lose tread depth versus the alternative Of having groups that get narrow as the tire wears The premier is also has emerging grooves which start off like sipes and emerge into grooves as the tire wears Again to make sure the water has somewhere to go. There are also full depth zigzag sipes These sipes act as high pressure biting edges That cut through water to grip the road and they can also help clear water off the surface like a windshield wiper Allowing the rest of the tire to contact the ground now sipes are common across Manufacturers, but often they are not the full tread depth meaning that wet grip diminishes as the tire wears So why would a competitor not have full depth sipes? Well, if you think about it when people buy a new car They’re testing out that car on new tires. The impression they get of the car is partially based on the impression those new tires Give that driver by only having partial depth sipes The tire tread is more rigid which gives the driver better on center steering feel and improved steering response Simply put it feels good. But as the tire wears wet performance is degraded So what does michelin do to improve on center steering feel and steering responds? Well by implementing three-dimensional zigzag sipes, it improves the rigidity of the tread blocks You can also improve the tread stiffness by using thinner sipes Super thin sipes result in less tread movement providing better feel but super thin sipes Of course come at a additional cost if a sybiz only two tenths of a millimeter wide versus one millimeter wide That means the molding tool has to have a piece of steel that’s point two millimeters wide This makes the tooling much more challenging and as a result much more expensive It’s easier and cheaper to use wider Partial depth sipes that still allow for good grip in the wet when new and good steering feel and this hasn’t even touched on Compounding which is truthfully the most important part of wet grip Michelin uses really high levels of silica a derivative of sand in their tires to improve wet performance Silica can penetrate through a wet surface to contact the road and provide grip but silica can be difficult to work with To effectively use silica with an entire the silica needs to be extremely pure and very fine Silica alone doesn’t want to bond with rubber compound so it requires the right bonding agents and mixing process to get the silica to properly adhere within the compound as I’ve said before in Many videos and I certainly don’t mind repeating. There’s really nothing as powerful that you can do to improve the braking and handling performance of your car then getting a good set of tires that extra stopping distance can mean completely avoiding an accident or not and to Demonstrate this I participated in some testing performed at Michelin’s Lauren’s proving grounds in, South Carolina Which I’ll have links to in the video description if you’d like to check them out so a huge thanks to Michelin for partnering on the video and sharing some insider information on tires as Always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thanks for watching

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. It depends entirely on what you are doing. On dry pavement, new tires won't perform as well as worn in tires due to the flexibility of the taller tread, but on wet pavement the taller tread blocks of the new tires will be far less likely to hydroplane due to the larger amount of space for the water to travel as the tire travels through the water. This will pretty much hold true until you get past the wear bars and the tread is completely gone, leaving no tread compound left to grip the pavement.

  2. nice explanation,
    but have to say that remain just theoretical if you do not support that with some data,
    so i am not fully satisfied as you cannot proof what you are saying..

  3. No doubt that Michelin are one the best if not the best.
    Shockingly, some specific sizes are available in single edition or one option only and quite expensive ($1250+) if you need to buy a full set at once!

  4. Sadly not true that the compound doesn't change over the lifetime, as a tyre heat cycles, some of the substances that give the rubber its elasticity and grip dry out. A track tyre particularly is significantly worse towards the end of its life.

  5. Well, you gave very wrong explanation of used tire on dry surface. You should never compare road tire with racing slick. Dry racing tire works only on compound when tire is warm. Normal road tire works with elasticity of each rubber block. While tire wears, block gets more thinner which effects in elasticity of tire. For example, your cornering speed will be the same from 9-5 mm, after 5-0 mm, cornering speed rapidly decreases. If you want better grip with thinner blocks, you need softer compound. Yes, that is how you get to the slick in the end. Very softer and different compound than normal road tire. This is very dangerous to mix, because 99% of drivers will agree with your explanation, which is unfortunately – wrong.

  6. Engineering Explained: Please do a video on "Why do car tires need to match, FWD, RWD, AWD, 4X4" explain the consquences and how tire tread/wear can make a difference on your gears.

  7. Great video. Have you considered doing a comparison video between premium brands vs. budget brands but instead of using the same size of tires, use a budget brand tires that is 10-15mm wider but still maintains roughly the same circumference. For example, Bridgestone/Michelin/Goodyear 195/65 R15 vs. any budget brand 205/60 R15 or even 215/55R R15, etc. if these tire sizes exist. My theory is that would the wider width of the budget brand tires compensate for traction/grip and match the performance of the premium tires and at the same time cost far less? I will be watching. Cheers

  8. My city climate is 6 months hot and 6 months cold and area where I live is mounty area so suggest me that which tyres suits my car its toyota yaris 1.0 ltr

  9. Being in the tire business I can't sell Michelin. The beads are so flimsy. The cost is so high. Durability on bad roads is low. Bead sealing is terrible causing corrosion. Think of all those 90s Cadillac rims that leaked. Still happens.. I've taken brand new Michelins off of a car I bought..

    They have a couple tires high performance tires now that have a small backbone around the bead. But still not worth is.

  10. This guys channel is awesome..just finished his turbo eps ..this is the thinking mans channel..really well explained,but some of the math formula I don't mind admitting,went straight over my head…👍🤔😳🙄

  11. tires with higher mileage warranty,have harder rubber compound after 50% use to meet warranty,so they softer rubber for first 30K to 40k and harder compound under that ,that is why worn tire are not as good as new

  12. I've got some Heidenau K66 Silica winter tires on my bike and they perform like a beast in every situation! from -10-30° C they can Perform great but with sunshine and dry roads the sweetspot is between 0-20°C. They can handle icy (not iceplates xD), slightly snowy roads or while raining under 6mm water on the street pretty impressive. They feel like sports tires at our todays temprature about 15°C.

  13. Very interesting. On a Porsche that I had years ago I had a set of Yokahama A008Ps that I carefully rotated frequently to equalize treadwear. I timed the point when the tread wore down to zero to the beginning of our dry season in San Diego and so I was able to drive the car for quite a while on slick tires. The handling was fantastic, above the already great handling of the tire and I had no problem. On the rare occasion when I did encounter water on the road I would just slow down and drive more carefully and so I never had an issue. However, when my wife found out that I was driving on slicks she made me go out and buy new tires😟

  14. The Oem tire for my 2018 sorento is 17".what will happen if i changed to 18"?19"?or 20"?( braking/ performance)

  15. I understand that the tyre gets harder with age. This was not mentioned at all in the video.
    I also understand that most tyres sit in a warehouse for a couple of years, reducing their performance.
    Why does this happen? Why is this not mentioned?

  16. Thread pattern/depth changes by wear. But also compound changes by age (eg. for winter tires some additives to rubber may wear/vapor/press/whatever out), and also even compound might get adversely be affected by heat cycling (especially matters for tires used in both daily driving & trackdays). Michelin is often mentioned as providing more mileage in most classes of tires (at usually also proportionally higher price though), but there might be cases where no matter all the tries with smart tech to improve tire performance at higher wear, but cheap new non premium tire can outperform used premium one.

  17. I’ve never regretted investing in a new set of Michelins. It imparts the feeling of having a new vehicle.

  18. So, you're just going to sit down there and tell me, a Michelin tire of a particular model dated 2009 is the same as its 2019 version uhn? also heat cicles/sudden temperature change etc. how could you forget to mention what is to me the most import thing to factor out when talking about tires?

  19. Nice info! Question on a branded old tire stock manufactured date 2016 week 47, given on a good storage environment would you be able to enligthen me about the quality, warranty or still safe to use for how many years? Any thoughts pls..

  20. I live in Canada. I’m 4 times more likely to get in an accident in the winter than in the rain. I spend my money on a good set of ice tires. As for summer, screw it. Cheapo walmart on sale. I just drive slow and cautious in the rain.

  21. I can personally confirm that good tires, even on stock suspension, makes the biggest handling difference on a car. I drive a 1996 Volvo 850 with a few mods (BC coilovers, sway-bars, wheels/tires, intake, exhaust, etc) on track and autocross and the tires by far were the biggest improvement. Falken Azenis RT615K+ tires.

  22. Michelin make the best tires but they are pricey. I have then on one of our vehicles. All tires are a compromise.

  23. Only problem is that the Michelin Premier LTX tires only have 8/32" of tread when new. These tires have a tread warranty of 60,000 miles, but Ive been replacing them on Equinoxs with 30,000 or less. I had a Michelin rep recommend we do not sell the premier ltx as a replacement tire; even though the vehicle was sold with these tires from the factory. Sure, they might handle better when worn, but they better because they wear out damn near instantly

  24. All we have to do is watch one Nascar race, they change tires a dozen times and lap times increase with every tire change

  25. The tires are not fully worn. When the wear belt is exposed and the tire makes beautiful rooster tail sparks it may be time for new ones. Don't be so dramatic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *