Low profile tyres

Low profile tyres have excellent grip on dry roads but are stiffer than ordinary tyres and therefore provide a firmer ride. These tyres have a greater width ratio to cope with the demands of higher performance vehicles. “Profile” refers to the height of the sidewall compared with the width of the tread, expressed as a percentage. A number of 60 or lower is considered low profile.

Disadvantages are:

  • Much more road noise
  • A stiffer ride, far harder than conventional tyres
  • Less resistance to aquaplaning due to the amount of rubber on the road
  • Price

The key advantages of low profile tyres are:

  • Better handling and grip
  • Far superior traction and braking power compared to ordinary tyres
  • Looks

Ultra-low profile tyres (tyres with a number below 50) generally require a higher inflation pressure than taller profile tyres. This is due to Ultra-low profile tyres having a smaller internal volume and hence in order to carry the same load, these tyres require more pressure. However a problem that arises due to this is that lack of pressure can cause serious damage to tyres and is usually not obvious to the driver as the car still tends to behave normally evne if the tyre is inflated or even flat. Once the tyre has been damaged due to inflation it is usually irreparable.

  • kanav



    • Al Juraj

      If there are a lot of potholes and irregular road surfaces in your area, low profile tyres are a no-no. The ride will be quite bad and wheel damage is more likely as there is less rubber to cushion the bumps.

      For a Swift, 17s are nice, but for not-so-good road conditions, 16s should do just fine.

      • Johnmar

        put 50psi like mine on 205/17/40, this can bounce off most portholes. If you had only 35psi then you expect your rim going to be buckled.

  • No Name

    Hi Kanav
    That all depends on the state of the road, and what you want, Alloys tend to pass more of the road surface imperfections through the cars chassis more, hence more noise. Also with rough road lower profiles give a much more uncomfortable ride.

  • Oz.

    They could of used a better picture for an example of a low profile tyre. A tyre on a “19 or “20 inch rim would of been a better example!

  • No Name

    Yeh that looks like a 60 series sponge.

  • Wolverine

    I have a 2003 FORD/HD F-150 (5.4ltr supercharged).It currently has 295x45x20 tyres & i’m looking at 295x30x22.
    What are the serious purist considerations to bear in mind when considering this change in both tyre profile and rim dimension i.e. upgrading to 22″.
    In addition, i’m looking at GAS Koni shocks and upgrading the braking system.
    My other question is this; Do i need to increase rotor size when increasing the Wheel diameter?

    Any helpful advice would be really useful before i buy.


  • VR

    Just a quick question you quys might be able to answer. Im looking at upgrading my wheels and looking at the pros and cons. Nobody has answered this question yet.
    Do low profile tyres (eg. 19 inch) have the same life span in kilometres as a standard stock (15 inch) tyre?


  • tommot

    RE: First post: Tyres for Indian Conditions.
    All Pushbike tyres are much the same so don’t worry
    Elephants don’t need tyres do they?
    Since when can an Indian afford a car?

    • Dennis

      Racist Much?

      • PN

        Agree, this should be deleted.

  • sharyn

    Tommot, not are you racist but you’re also an ignorant goose – the number of millionaires in India is growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. As well, India has the most number of billionaires (49) after the US, China, Russia and Germany.

  • Martin Bucknall

    Hi Kanav,
    I have a BMW with 235/35/19 ultra low profile tyres – they give terrific grip and the big alloys look really nice, but there are issues… If you have anything less than smooth well maintained tarmac roads, you will feel EVERY bump! Here in Australia the local roads are far from perfect, but there are some nice stretches of smooth tarmac on the big interstate highways, so the thrills, grip, good breaking and extra control are worth the loss of comfort. The choice really comes down to what you drive on most of the time. Road noise can be an issue with ultra low profiles too, especially if you have cheaper tyres. If you can affort to put Continentals or one of the other premium rubber tyres on there, road noise (and grip!) improve/s a lot. Trouble is realy good low profile tyres ARE expensive – I’m looking at US$1200-1500 for a new set of 4 quality 235/35/19’s ! Maybe think of something low but not ultra low, with an aspect ratio of 45 rather than 35. I used to have 45’s (205/45/17 I think) on my old Audi A4 and they were less extreme, but gave a nice sporty drive and a were bit cheaper to replace! Good luck!

  • Ravi

    hi! i want to Purchase a 12″ Spin type SPOKE Wheels, so called as wire Wheels, could please let me know where do i get this stuff from, and approx how will it cost,

  • Ravi

    HI! i want to Purchase 12″ Wire Wheels, Spin type Spike Wire Wheels For My Car , Could you please let me know where do i get this stuff from ,and how much does it cost,

  • David

    I’ve just bought a new car, an updated and higher-spec version of a car I’d had for three years and been very happy with. The new one is great, but it has these awful low-profile tyres. Although the braking is better, all the other effects are negative: the ride is way too firm so that you feel every bump, and the road noise is also increased. I can’t honestly say that the experience is ‘sportier’ – it’s just noisier and less comfortable. Apparently these tyres are also more expensive, wear out quicker, and are useless in bad weather. So unless you are driving a serious sports car (i.e. not a high-end version of a mass-produced car like I am), I would definitely avoid these fashionable but ultimately not very good tyres. I’m looking forward to changing mine back to ordinary tyres at the first opportunity.

  • http://truckbedaccessories1.com/ Mike

    I have just bought a 6 year old Fairmont, and it has got those low profile tyres – not happy with the road noise and the extra bumps being felt. Look great but i will have to change them over to normal tyres when required.

  • Shakil

    Hey, have a vw beetle n I want 2 upgrade it with some nyce wheelz, should I upgrade with low profile tyres or just normal tyres? Please advice?

  • Tess


    I’ve got a Subaru Legacy S/W 2L turbo AWD.
    I’m looking at tyres as the old ones are looking pretty shabby.
    I’ve currently got 17″ low profiles… any recommendations?


  • Tess


    I’ve got a Subaru Legacy S/W 2L turbo AWD.
    I’m looking at tyres as the old ones are looking pretty shabby.
    I’ve currently got 17″ low profiles… any recommendations?

    Thanks :)

  • Waniganayakayapa

    i have toyota hiace 1992 model.Need to go low profile tyres & that’s good or what? olso what is the correct rim size & tire size.

    best regards

  • Dsteel

    I have recently bought a Saab convertible which has low profile summer tyres and am wondering whether these summer tyres are more lethal in the snow than summer regular tyres or are both types just the same. I know the simple answer is to fit winter tyres but I’ve always taken extra care and been satisfied with summer regular tyres.However, if it transpires that summer low profile tyres are more lethal than summer regular tyres in the snow I will have to rethink my future strategy.

  • Msangwan33

    i have a esteem limited edition white color tell me the price of 21inch low profile tyre with alloys

  • Sugaberry07

    i drive a nissan tiida 2010,with 1.95 mitcellin  tires,15 inches,is this  ideal to use? & how many air pounds should i use

  • Widura

    Better handling in case of puncture while driving at a considerable speed can also be a plus point for low profile tires.