Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tiresť Whatťs what? Whatťs right for me?
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Thread: Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tiresť Whatťs what? Whatťs right for me?

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    Supporting Vendor Discount Tire's Avatar
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    Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tires… What’s what? What’s right for me?

    If you are shopping for a new ATV/UTV tire you’ve probably found that there are many, many options to choose from. Some are Bias ply, some are radial. We’ll do our best to explain what’s what here so you can decide what will be best for you.

    First, let’s just look at how each type of tire is constructed.

    ATV/UTV Bias tire construction

    Bias ply tires have ply cords that run from bead to bead at a 45 degree angle (or bias) to the center line of the tire. These plies are applied in a multi layer criss-cross pattern and alternate in direction. Ply thickness is even from sidewall to shoulder to tread.



    ATV/UTV Radial Tire Construction

    Radial-ply tires have ply cords applied at a 90-degree angle to the center line of the tire. Multiple ply layers are applied over top of each other. Tread belts are then layered over the plies in the tread section.



    Here are some general pros and cons for each.

    Bias Ply Tire Pros
    • Strong sidewalls for better sidewall puncture resistance
    • Easy to repair
    • Lower cost
    • Good off camber stability because of stiffer sidewall
    • High impact resistance
    • Great for frequent high loads and towing
    Bias Ply Tire cons
    • Smaller tread footprint
    • Tire flex is spread out over a large area increasing heat buildup at high speeds.
    • Greater rolling resistance means less fuel mileage.
    • Shorter tire life.
    Radial Pros
    • Radial tires tend to improve the handling and performance of your machine at high and low speeds because the tire conforms to the terrain better through increased sidewall flex.
    • Radial tires typically last longer than Bias ply tires because of the low heat buildup and construction design.
    • Lower rolling resistance equates to better fuel mileage.
    • Smoother more comfortable ride.
    • Larger contact patch
    Radial Cons
    • Higher cost
    • Low ply rated radials are more prone to sidewall puncturing
    • Less resistant to high speed impacts
    Final thoughts

    The ATV/UTV tire industry reminds me of the good old days. All of the tires for ATV’s used to be Bias ply tires, where as now we are seeing an explosion of Radial tires for our machines. I believe the size of the machines along with the speed they now travel, has a direct relation to why we are seeing more Radial tires. I would say within a few years most of the tires on the market for ATV/UTV’s will be radial. As our industry keeps growing our products keep getting better. This is not to say that Bias tires are bad or worse than radial tires, they just give you a different ride and different pros and cons. If you look at some of the race teams they use Bias ply tires specifically because of their toughness for races like the Baja 1,000. It is just that the vast majority of people in the ATV/UTV market want the most comfortable ride they can get just as we do in our cars and trucks. Everyone will still have their favorites as it should be but let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are all trying to accomplish the same thing no matter what we ride. That is to have fun with our family and friends. Ride what you have and have fun. Make sure you keep safety in mind as well as we sometimes lose sight of that.

    If we can be of assistance to help you choose you’re next set of tires and or wheels please let us know.
    Last edited by Discount Tire; 10-13-2011 at 3:15 PM.
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    sfrankland's Avatar
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    Re: Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tires… What’s what? What’s right for me?

    Excellent post. It is nice to finally get a good understanding of the difference between bias and radial.

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    Re: Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tires… What’s what? What’s right for me?

    sfrankland
    Yes I would have to agree with you on this article, I enjoyed reading it and I believe anyone wanting to make a decision on tires should read it. One thing I do wish they would have put in the article is about the flat spots you get with Bias tires and not with radial tires. I have had people ask me why thier tires would bump when driving down the road after having thier cars or recreational items parked for a while. I was told by a tire builder that the bias tires will create flat spots where they touch the ground when being parked for an extended time, once you start to drive them they will heat up and the flat spots will go away. Just thought I would share this in case some people might be wondering why thier ride kinda bounces sometimes when starting up.
    2010 Honda Big Red, 14" 108 Rims, 27" x 12" MudLites, Hard roof, Bench Backseat, 2" suspension lift, Strong-built stick stoppers, front and rear bumper, roll bar add-on when roof package removed, split full windshield

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    Supporting Vendor Discount Tire's Avatar
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    Re: Bias Ply Tires and Radial Tires… What’s what? What’s right for me?

    Tornado601,

    That is a good point on the flat spot. That is the best thing about forums. Other people can add to the discussion.
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