i believe in fixies wrote:
Legal is one thing, they way they handle and stop (or don't), especially in the wet, is far more important.
Damn right! and most manufacturers recommend 3mm minimum across the whole tyre or 4mm for winter tyres, but then they would , wouldn't they!
Take it from someone who was once a young response and pursuit driver - you know damn well at the edge whether the tyres are new, or at 3mm without getting out to look. 2 litre Sierra response cars - those were t'days!
The physics is pretty straightforward - water is effectively incompressible, and you're trying to force the same volume of water into a decreasing volume of tread. What doesn't go through the tread goes under it, and as that water cant be comrpessed the tyresits atop it. At speed it cant drain away laterally quickly enough and the car ends up driving on a cushion of water. An extra 6 metres in the wet at 30mph if you believe the cardigan boys at the IAM.
I never fanny about with cheap tyres either - wouldn't let cheapo far eastern stuff near my cars. If I can't afford to run a car properly I wouldn't run it at all (which is the case at present, down from 5 cars to 3 last week, down to 2 next week, then down to 1 when Woman finally hands her ticket back - do I keep the Disco 4, which is very nice, or the 4007, which is decent enough and a lot cheaper to run?)
Don't pay too much attention the the new fangled government tyre ratings - the workshops at work are finding little relation to what is claimed, and actual reality, much like the EU emissions figures.