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Jason McDaniel
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Discussion Starter #21
They had the tire on display at SEMA. Sound like they had done all the work for Euro compliance, but wanted to make a tread pattern change before submitting it.

 

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Jason McDaniel
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Discussion Starter #24
Talked to Hoosier about this. The tread pattern has been approved by the MSA. And one size, the 205/65-15, is in production. I don't have a price or compound info, but will have a couple sets in a few months.

Here is the final tread pattern.





And the tarmac tire is going well.



With their recent acquisition by Continental Tire, they may have the capital to speed up development and offer some more choices.
 

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Is it just me, or is the tread depth really... low?
I know we're all programmed to think tread depth is indicative of something, but it must not be everything since cold tires with tread depth don't work at all - so maybe it's all about pattern and compound?

But sure, I thought the same thing.
 

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I know we're all programmed to think tread depth is indicative of something, but it must not be everything since cold tires with tread depth don't work at all - so maybe it's all about pattern and compound?
Uh, what? Tread depth is extremely important in offroad situations, what exactly are you going on about?

While I will admit that it seems like every manufacturer does things differently, hopefully they have a reason behind it. Pretty sure bald gravels, whether hot or cold, are always worse than "cold" gravels, whatever that means. Unless you are referring to the tarmac tire, which I wasn't remotely talking about. We have what, one or two tarmac events in all of North America?
 

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Uh, what? Tread depth is extremely important in offroad situations, what exactly are you going on about?
Can you explain what exactly it is you think the tread depth does?

I didn't say cold gravels -

I'm saying tire compound is at least as important, if not more, than tread depth.

Ask anyone that's had to choose between running snow tires and gravels at 100AW what they ended up going with when the temperatures went below freezing, even when there was little snow or ice cover on the roads...

Gravel tires would have the "advantage" of tread depth, but the snow tires are compounded to run at the freezing temps, and were much better performers.

The knobs deflect more the deeper the tread is - that much I know - but I don't have a really great feeling for the mechanics of what's happening at the tire/ground interface.

I'd love to hear some explanation - but I can ask one of the tire engineers at work, too.
 

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I'm saying tire compound is at least as important, if not more, than tread depth.
And I'm saying that I don't think you have much evidence to support such a statement. There are so many variables surrounding the choice that to make the call you are making without presenting a detailed accounting of those variables is pointless.

Ask anyone that's had to choose between running snow tires and gravels at 100AW what they ended up going with when the temperatures went below freezing, even when there was little snow or ice cover on the roads...
Or I can just ask myself, having maxed out the allowed average speed before on a stage while in winter tires. There are so many variables that you are just tossing to the wind in such a narrow minded statement.

Gravel tires would have the "advantage" of tread depth, but the snow tires are compounded to run at the freezing temps, and were much better performers.
Again, your analysis is overly simplistic. At the end of the day, tread depth is very important. More important than compound? All I can say is that no one is running around on completely bald gravel tires.


I'd love to hear some explanation - but I can ask one of the tire engineers at work, too.
And their info would be largely useless in a very niche, specialized sport such as rally that does not really use tires the way they are necessarily designed to work for 99% of applications.

Edit-
Unless you work for the rally divisions of Michelin or Pirelli, then by all means, would be fascinated to hear their response. Of course, they don't use street tires rallying, so their information would still be fairly useless.
 

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I'm willing to accept evidence either way - if Hoosier is designing this thing with lower block height, then they must have some reason to think it works.

I was just hoping you'd have some technical backup for saying the tread depth is so important- because I think it's perfectly reasonable to think it'd be possible to get good performance with less depth.


edit: in most cases I've heard of tread depth being important are mostly related to maximum performance stopping, or when something is stuck and you need to dig out - most rally driving on gravel, aside from the start, is a lot of lower wheel spin scenarios-

I've got a fairly decent ability to read and understand technical material, so if you can explain what's supporting your idea, I'd appreciate it.
 

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I'm willing to accept evidence either way - if Hoosier is designing this thing with lower block height, then they must have some reason to think it works.

I was just hoping you'd have some technical backup for saying the tread depth is so important- because I think it's perfectly reasonable to think it'd be possible to get good performance with less depth.

edit: in most cases I've heard of tread depth being important are mostly related to maximum performance stopping, or when something is stuck and you need to dig out - most rally driving on gravel, aside from the start, is a lot of lower wheel spin scenarios-

I've got a fairly decent ability to read and understand technical material, so if you can explain what's supporting your idea, I'd appreciate it.
Unfortunately, white papers on rally tire development are few and far between. All I have is anecdotal evidence, combined with the general knowledge I've been able to dig up and figure out about how a tire in a loose surface situations functions. I'm sorry if it came off as "attacking" you in that last post, your response to my initial question seemed like you had something to prove? I don't know, but I apologize.

The long and short of it is that the mechanical grip (created by the edges and voids in the tread) is what creates most of the traction in offroad situations (I'm just stating this, I am sure you know this). Sure, there are definitely hard packed types of surfaces that do utilize the compound of the tread more (obviously, the reason why manufacturers offer different variations of how "tight" the tread pattern is to get more rubber on the road to get more grip from the compound).

What does this have to do with the "depth" of the tread block though? Well, as mentioned, I've never heard or seen any rally drivers claiming that worn out tires are faster. Ever. As such, you may be right that there is no inherent difference between a tire with fresh, sharp blocks, that has a tread depth of 12/32" (pulling # out of my ass, not at the shop right now) vs 8/32", all things being equal. But what may be an important factor is that relative to the wear produced depending on the varying compounds, you may run out of the necessary amount of tread while on stage. Hence more = better from that perspective.

So in some ways, I suppose you are right; if a team had an unlimited budget, and could be guaranteed to know exactly what their tire wear was on any given stage, they may be able to shave a tire for maximum performance, while needing to maintain the necessary minimum tread depth for best grip. Again, while theoretically possible, this throws a whole bunch of variables out the window. We don't see WRC teams shaving tires (maybe there is a rule against it?), but I have my doubts that it is feasible, or worth while. Overall, as offroad tires utilize the mechanical grip generated by their edges, compound is secondary. If the tread depth is too little, this causes multiple issues (the tire not being able to bite far enough into the ground to get maximum mechanical grip, the tire not being able to clean itself out properly, etc).

Hoosier is clearly a company that knows what it is doing in the asphalt world. And I would argue that very little from there applies to what we are doing. Your assumption that they know what they are doing, is counteracted by the fact that they've never done this before. They may have made a mistake and not realized it. Considering people would have been testing on brand new tires all the time (to control for variables and if at events, to get the best results), they might not have realized this mistake. Or they've dialed in their compounds juuuuuuuuust right such that they can make better recommendations for surface and temp without destroying the tires too soon.

Maybe we find out that their tires are too narrow "variable-wise" to handle everything a rally can throw at them and they work great in only specific circumstances? Or maybe they have found out something that massive multinational corporations like Michelin and Pirelli haven't found out (seems a bit of a stretch).

Full disclosure, I brought in and sell Federal's line of gravel tires. Having ran on every tire available, I was quite impressed with them. Are they Michelins? No. But they also aren't $400cad each. Interestingly enough, a lot of comments were on how aggressive/deep the tread looked relative to dmacks and pirellis. I personally found overall grip to be higher than the dmacks, even on surfaces that were very hard packed (Rocky and PFR are both in the mountains, giving a somewhat comparable test). The Federal's have a very defined, sharp outer edge block, unlike the rounded one of the pirellis and dmacks.

The reason I bring that up, is further backing of the tread depth/shape of the tread vs compound. I haven't noticed much wear differences between comparable compound tires. Soft pirellis seem more like what I consider a medium, with dmacks softer, and the federals softer still. It seems to me in my experience that compound selection in rally is more about temperature (too cold with too hard a compound = chunking, too hot with too soft a compound = burning rubber off too quickly).

At least we are having an interesting conversation. I doubt you'll find anyone with any extremely technical information. Hell, engineers are taught in school incorrectly how a tire functions in reality (boy oh boy do they have it down in theory though haha). You can see this in testing done and some of the engineering forums online where people argue about tire concepts and designs.

Edit-
I just realized I should note, that of course hoosier has YEARS of dirt-track experience. Again, I don't think that really applies to rally. Very different surfaces, circumstances, and design of the cars.
 

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Turns out Hoosier nailed the compound. Tires that are soft, grippy, yet don't melt like all others, extending life to 3 to 4 times the competitors.

Or so I've heard.
Just be careful if you are running them in hot abrasive situations!

Albert and his car at Colorado burned a whole set of them in one loop of stages, contrast to other guys who were setting similar times on maxxis and I think Federal tires?

But I haven't run them personally, so I can't say for sure. I know I was impressed with the wear of the Federals when I was looking at them at Colorado.
 

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Just be careful if you are running them in hot abrasive situations!

Albert and his car at Colorado burned a whole set of them in one loop of stages, contrast to other guys who were setting similar times on maxxis and I think Federal tires?

But I haven't run them personally, so I can't say for sure. I know I was impressed with the wear of the Federals when I was looking at them at Colorado.
Unless we have multiple front running teams using the multiple different tires, its tough to tell. Maxxis seems decent enough for Seehorn, doesn't seem to slow him down and he is the fastest privateer besides McKenna. :confused:

I really did like the Federals, but they wanted too much money to distribute. There isn't enough market for 5 different tires within $10 of each other.
 
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