Q&A: Sense of Direction

By BikeRadar | Thursday, February 14, 2008 11.00am

Q: Does tyre orientation really matter? Will I notice radically different performance between sticking with the recommended rotation direction and running tyres the ‘wrong’ way round? 

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Peter Byrns

A: It depends entirely on the tyre. Those with a pronounced slope on one side of the tread blocks, but a square edge on the other (such as Michelin X Trem, Maxxis High Roller, Kenda Nevegal) will roll and brake much better if the slope is on the leading edge. However, they’ll give more drive traction the other way round.

You might also notice some difference between arrow treads and curved paddle treads, depending on whether the point or scoop points backwards or forwards. On simpler block treads, though, you won’t notice any difference, and actually turning them round regularly (and switching them front to back) will help even out wear and give a more consistent performance over time.

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