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Tire Specs Explained: Revolutions Per Mile

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Revolutions Per Mile

Revolutions per mile indicates the number of times a tire revolves while it covers the distance of one mile. Depending on the tire manufacturer, revolutions per mile may be either measured in a laboratory or derived from calculations based on their previous test experience.

Tire revolutions per mile cannot be calculated by simple math because the tire tread and sidewall bend and stretch (deflect) when the load of the vehicle presses the tire against the road.

Since the resulting loaded or rolling radius is less than half the tire’s published overall diameter (which would only reflect the tire’s unloaded radius), calculating the tire’s absolute rolling circumference isn’t possible.

Additionally, a tire transitions from an unloaded to loaded state as it rolls, continuously flattening where the tread footprint comes into contact with the road. These continuous transitions result in some tread slippage, again increasing the tire revolutions per mile beyond what simple math would indicate.

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