Tire Tech

Inconsequential Racing Tire Cosmetic Conditions

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Racing tires, even those required by competition rules to meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, are designed first-and-foremost to win races. And in order to accomplish that goal, they are manufactured with minimum weight to deliver maximum performance.

Lightweight racing tire construction combines strong casing plies with sidewall and tread compounds that have been made as thin as possible to reduce tire weight and heat buildup, as well as requires the manufacturer's sidewall logos to be painted on or applied with a thin vinyl logo.

Understandably, lightweight construction methods that reduce the thicknesses of sidewall and tread rubber may result in minor inconsequential cosmetic conditions that don't affect the tire's purpose, performance or durability. Here are a few examples:

Tread Depth Indicator Pin Drag

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Slick/semi-slick tires for racing require tread depth indicators that allow racers to monitor performance, wear quality and project remaining tread life. While depth indicators appear as small depressions in the tire's tread, they are formed by raised pins strategically located in the curing mold.

There will be occasions when a tire being removed from the curing mold will lightly drag its tread across the tread depth pins. This may cause shallow lateral nicks in the tread surface just outboard of the tread depth holes. Although their appearance may create some initial concern, these superficial nicks won't affect the tires' wear or durability. The superficial nicks will simply wear away and disappear as the tire is run.

Visible Sidewall Junction

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Because of the thin layers of rubber being used, junction points resulting from sidewall construction and/or compounding may remain visible around the tire's circumference after the tire has been cured. The end points of underlying fabric body plies can result in a subtle depression or dip on the sidewall's surface.

Compound junctions may result in perceptible layering, a distinct line or color differences where the different sidewall/tread compounds meet. These conditions are also inherent to a racing tire's lightweight design and are only cosmetic in nature.

Brand Identity Blemishes

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Due to the fragile nature of painted or applied logos, it's possible the lettering could smear, chip or peel during shipping, storage (stacked on one another or rubbing side-by-side on a storage rack) or use.

Although the appearance of the tire may have lost some of its pristine appearance, the tire's performance, integrity and safety remains as designed.


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