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What is Tyre Contact Patch?

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Meet the Tyre Contact Patch

What is the tyre contact patch?

It’s just what it sounds like: The external part of the tyre that comes into direct contact with the road, or any other kind of surface you happen to be driving over. We’re not talking about a very large area here. In fact, a typical tyre contact patch is about the size of your hand.

Tyre contact patch facts

  • A short and wide tyre contact patch, which is usually found on low profile or performance tyres, can provide you with more control, corner stability and tyre traction.
  • Longer and narrower tyre contact patches are most often found on passenger vehicles. They provide a smooth ride with more reliable and predictable handling, including in snowy conditions.
  • High profile tyres, like most passenger and light trucks tyres, usually have a long and narrow contact patch.
  • Low profile tyres typically have a short and wide contact patch, for better performance.
  • Not surprisingly, the larger and heavier the load on the tyre, the larger the tyre contact patch.
  • The more a tyre is inflated, the smaller the tyre contact patch.