Run-flat or run-flat tyres, which appeared on the market a few years ago, are controversial. While some motorists are satisfied with it, others are less so. In this article that summarizes Run-Flat tires are they worth it? published by the Tire Counter, we will study the advantages and disadvantages of run-flat tires and normal tires.
What is a run-flat tire?
Run-flat technology is not new since it was invented by Michelin in 1934. At the time, the Stephanese firm intended it for trams and trains (the famous Michelines). The tire then consists of an inner membrane lined with foam. The first run-flat tires were intended for the army and armoured vehicles, such as cash conveyors. The Goodyear brand first launched it on the market 30 years ago to equip the Chevrolet Corvette, which did not have enough space to accommodate a spare wheel. Today, there are two technologies: 1) the inner lining of the tire allows the sealing of the perforation hole 2) the tire is reinforced on its sidewalls
The advantages of the run-flat tyre
Its main advantage is its safety performance due to its resistance to explosions that cause the vehicle to lose control. Designed to resist a puncture, the run-flat tire allows the driver to travel a distance of about 250 km at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. This is an undeniable quality when one of your tires breaks in the middle of the night, on a deserted road or when you don’t know how to change a wheel! In fact, with the run-flat tire, you no longer need a spare tire. It fully supports the vehicle’s weight during pressure loss and the shape of its structure is designed so as not to damage the rim and prevent the tire from coming off it. Some models offer fuel economy due to their lower rolling resistance.
The disadvantages of the run-flat tire
It is more expensive and weighs 20 to 40% more than a normal tire. Due to its stiffness, it offers less comfort to the passengers of the vehicle, comfort also disturbed by its noise. In case of a puncture, the run-flat tire cannot be repaired, so you must buy a new one. During a puncture, the pressure drops sharply and causes damage to the tire. Not all vehicles can be equipped with run-flat tyres, but some brands have developed their tyre technology to fit them on all types of rims. Finally, if some models allow fuel savings, for others it is the opposite!
Advantages and disadvantages of normal tires
Normal tiresIn 1830, Charles Dietz, a German engineer based in Paris, had the ingenious idea of inserting a layer of tarred felt or cork, then rubber, between the wooden rim and the steel circle of the wheels of his steam tug, which towed two stagecoaches from Paris to Versailles. Without knowing it, he just invented the tire. On the other side of the Atlantic, the American Charles Goodyear, a chemist of his condition, invented vulcanization in 1836 to stabilize the structure of rubber. But he did not file a patent and it was Thomas Hancock who reaped the benefits of his predecessor by filing the vulcanization patent in 1842. Despite numerous lawsuits, Goodyear did not obtain compensation. It was not until 1887 that the inner tube was invented and 1891 that of the removable wheel by the brothers André and Édouard Michelin. Since then, the tyre has been constantly improved and today manufacturers are doing everything they can to offer you tyres that reduce fuel consumption and consequently CO2 emissions without compromising the safety and performance of your vehicle. Some tires even carry the AA label.
The benefits include
Traditional tires offer a higher level of comfort than run-flat tires due to their flexibility, especially in urban areas. They make it possible to eliminate road defects (roughness, bumps, sewer plates, etc.) and pass through donkey bumps without damage. Their price is lower than run-flat and you have the choice between “comfort and sport”, depending on your vehicle and your driving style.
Your vehicle must be equipped with a spare wheel that takes up space and is not always accessible. Who has never heard of the unfortunate driver having to empty his trunk because the spare wheel was under the floor of the trunk and was only accessible from the inside? And of course, this kind of situation never happens when the trunk is empty! To avoid this kind of adventure and if you do not know how to change a car wheel, we advise you to equip yourself with an anti-puncture kit that will allow you to go to the nearest garage.