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Radial Versus Bias-Ply: Which Tire is Best?

Two types of ply can sometimes plunder a seller if they are not aware of the differences between a radial and bias-ply tire. When selling a tire to a customer, it helps to know what ply will best meet the customer’s needs.

Photo from Ag Innovators

Two types of ply can sometimes plunder a seller if they are not aware of the differences between a radial and bias-ply tire. When selling a tire to a customer, it helps to know what ply will best meet the customer’s needs.

The difference between the tires begins with their construction.

Radial tires are designed using parallel ply cords that extend from bead to bead to the center of the tire at 90 degree angles, which are paired with stabilizer belts. The direction of the ply gives the tire improved cut resistance.

Bias-ply tires have diagonally extending ply cords at 30 to 40 degree angles that are laid at an opposing angle to make a crisscross pattern. The crosshatch construction provides strong sidewalls on the tire.

The ride difference varies based on the construction of both tires.

For a rider looking for longer tread life, a low rolling resistance, better steering control at high-speed riding and a smoother, quieter ride; recommend the radial tire.

For a customer looking for extreme off road conditions, better gripping, good lateral stability, quick tread clean out and conformity on varying terrain; a bias-ply tire is recommended.

Everyone has an individual opinion on which tire is best, which is why it is important to ask the customer what they are looking for in a tire when selling different plies.

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