The Tire Library


Tire news, reviews, tips and links!

Overview: Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T Radial

Muscle car owners looking for an all-season performance radial have a promising new aftermarket option: the Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T radial. The tire is designed for high performance handling and rugged old school styling. Speed rated at T (up to 118 mph), the Sportsman S/T is an ideal choice for muscle car owners who need a durable tire that also offers a smooth ride, efficient mileage, and an M&S rated tread pattern. For those who don’t want the white letter look, the S/T radials can be mounted black sidewall facing outwards.

Mickey Thompson is owned by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., and has been designing and manufacturing racing and high performance tires since 1963.  These new wholesale Mickey Thompson tires are available in 8 popular sizes:

Size Serv.
P225/60R15 95T 23 6.0-8.0 8.6 7.2 25.7
P235/60R15 98T 26 6.5-8.5 9.2 7.6 26.1
P245/60R15 100T 26 7.0-8.5 9.5 8.0 26.6
P215/70R15 97T 26 5.5-7.0 8.7 7.0 26.7
P295/50R15 105S 32 8.0-10.0 12.22 10.1 26.8
P255/60R15 102T 27 7.0-9.0 10.24 8.2 27.0
P225/70R15 100T 27 6.0-7.5 9.1 7.2 27.4
P275/60R15 107T 31 7.5-9.5 10.7 8.9 28.1



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Which tire manufacturers will be affected by GM’s summer plant closures?

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

GM's recently announced plant closures are not a good sign for the tire industry's top manufacturers.

By now you’ve probably heard that GM has decided to idle its U.S. plants for 9 weeks during the summer in a desperate effort to cut costs and stay afloat. In addition to these temporary closures, GM also announced the permanent closures of 16 of their assembly plants by 2012. The Pontiac brand is also on its way out. These measures reflect the state of the economic situation, the state of the auto industry, and illustrate the future of some of the tire industry’s biggest manufacturers. After all, all of those plants have been using a fair amount of original equipment tires that will soon no longer be needed. So which manufacturers are going to be affected?

According to Modern Tire Dealer, the affected GM plants receives 38% of its OE light vehicle tires from Goodyear. After Goodyear, a 31% chunk comes in from Bridgestone, split 18%/15% between Bridgestone and Firestone lines. Continental is next with a 14% share, and the list is rounded out by Michelin, BFGoodrich, Hankook,  and Pirelli. It will be interesting to see how the GM plant closures and the elimination of the Pontiac brand affect the tire industry, but suffice to say, it won’t be in a positive way. With manufacturers already struggling with stagnating demand, it looks to be a tough summer for the world’s top tire companies.

Filed under: Bridgestone Tires, Michellin Tires, Tire News, , , ,

U.S. steelworkers ask Obama to cap Chinese tire imports


According to U.S. steelworkers, the 46 million tires that were imported from China last year are costing the U.S. jobs, and China isn’t playing by the rules. That’s why the United Steelworkers union has filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission in an effort to even the playing field. The petition requests that President Obama put a cap on Chinese tire imports and limit them to the 2005 level – 21 million units.

While running for President, Obama had promised that he would increase U.S. trade enforcement, something that was neglected by former President Bush. This petition would be first test of Obama’s comittment to his campaign promise. Some trade experts believe that if Obama does follow the recommendations made in the petition, requests from many other industries will follow. “There is a lot of pent-up demand,” says David Spooner, who led the Import Administration office at the Commerce Department under Bush.

As consumers spend less, both automakers and tire manufacturers are seeing massive declines in sales. Tire wholesalers and retail shops are stocking less as the public buys less, and a surge in cheap tires from China isn’t helping American manufacturers. It will be interesting to see how Obama handles the union’s request.

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Falken launches revamped Web site

faken-logo-tireFalken Tire Corporation has launched a re-design of their Web site with an emphasis on multimedia, content, and faster load times. Users can now easily find up to date headlines, product information, videos, and the popular Falken tire fitment guide in one straight-forward, user-friendly interface. Ease of use certainly doesn’t sacrifice aesthetic appeal, which is more eye-catching and entertaining than ever.

“Our goal was to enhance the Web experience of our fans and customers with content that is current, informative and entertaining,” says Falken Director of Marketing Andrew Hoit.

The tire industry has infamous lagged behind others when it comes to adopting new technology. However, it appears that more and more companies are understanding the limitless benefits of creating an online presence for their business. From international manufacturers to local tire shops, businesses are embracing technology and using it to improve the efficiency of their daily operation. Wholesale dealers allow customers to buy wholesale tires online, while companies like Falken recruit distributors with online campaigns. The Falken Web site is just the latest example of the tire industry finally warming up the internet and computer technology in general!

Filed under: Falken Tires, , ,

Yokohama dealer training coming to a city near you

yokohama-tire-dealerYokohama Tire Corp, a leading manufacturer of high performance, SUV, light truck, OTR and passenger tires, is putting together a nationwide dealer training program that will start in April. The training tour will take places in eight major cities across the U.S., and is intended to demonstrate new tires such as the Advan Neova AD08 to wholesale tire distributors. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis and Orlando made the list of training spots.

The training tour will also feature slalom style courses where participating wholesale dealers can test out the products and learn more about the line. Yokohama believes these exhibitions will give their distributors some first-hand knowledge that will help them make sales. Yokohama is particularly focusing on the rollout of their new Neova AD08, a high-performance tire who’s predecessor served as the original equipment tire on the Lotus Elise.

Yokohama tires such as the AD08 are perfect both on and off the track, and have gained a reputation for offering superior handling on both wet and dry surfaces. The new revised tread pattern and high-performance materials mean a better, faster tire that is likely to be as popular as the earlier AD07 model. Look for the the new model starting in May, at sizes ranging from 15 to 19 inches.

Filed under: Yokohama Tires,

Mickey Thompson launches new video Web site

Mickey Thompson has launched a new interactive online video Web site.

Mickey Thompson has launched a new interactive online video Web site.

Mickey Thompson, a popular manufacturer of performance tires, launched a new video Web site this week. MickeyThompsonTV is an interactive and socially-driven video Web site that allows viewers to watch footage of Mickey Thompson racing events. In addition to the clips provided by the company, users are able to upload their own videos and share them with the online community.

The Web site breaks videos down into categories such as Drag Racing, Off-Road Racing, Shows/Events, and even a Product Info category which introduces viewers to the complete line of Mickey Thompson tires. Users can comment on each video to create fruitful discussions about a variety of racing and tire topics. We look forward to the future of MickeyThompsonTV and encourage you to check out the Web site and upload a video or two of your own.

Filed under: Mickey Thompson Tires, Tire News,

What are run-flat tires?

How exactly do run flat tires work? Are they worth the extra money?

How exactly do run flat tires work? Are they worth the extra money?

We’ve gotten a few questions recently from readers who are curious about run-flat tires and exactly how they work. So we’ll dedicate today’s post to explaining the concept behind run-flat technology.

First off, the point of a run-flat tire is to – you guessed it – allow the car to keep driving (albeit at reduced speeds and for shorter distances) after it has begun to lose pressure from a puncture. Most run-flat tires allow vehicles to maintain approximately 55 mph even while losing air, for distances of up to 100 miles. Run-flat tires are popular in smaller sports cars that don’t have room for spares, as well as in high-end and luxury cars for added convenience and safety.

There are three types of run-flat tires. Self-supporting run-flats employ a thicker sidewall that can carry the weight of the car even if the air pressure inside the tire drops dramatically. These types of run-flat tires are common on light trucks and passenger cars. They can support a vehicle at 50mph for up to 50 miles, though anything more than this usually results in irreparable damage.

The second type of run-flat is the self-sealing configuration. These tires contain an extra lining that self-seals after a puncture from a nail or other sharp debris. This prevents air from escaping the tire at all, or at the very least, much slower than it normally would after being punctured.

The final and least popular method is the auxillary supported run-flat. These make use of an extra support ring attached to the wheel which can support the weight of the car in the event of a flat tire. Because these systems require custom tires AND wheels, they are often deemed too expensive for widespread usage.

Because run-flat tires usually cost more than regular replacement tires, they represent less than 1% of the aftermarket tires sold today.  In the same vein, they are almost never used as original equipment tires. Many people also steer clear of run flats because they are heavier and may provide more rolling resistance, thus decreasing gas mileage. But for those who want additional safety and convenience and don’t mind paying for it, run-flat tires are a great investment.

Filed under: Run Flat Tires,