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Discover Tyres

Understanding Rolling Resistance.

Perhaps you’re researching new tyres for your car and you’ve come across the term “rolling resistance”? Or maybe you are conscious of the rising cost of fuel and you’ve come across the term “low rolling resistance” as a way you can potentially save money at the petrol station? Either way, this article may help you to understand the term “rolling resistance”, and how it can impact your fuel efficiency.

What is Rolling Resistance?

Rolling resistance is the result of a combination of forces that work against the forward motion of your vehicle. As a tyre rotates and the rubber is squished onto the road, the rubber in the tyre is compressed, and as the tyre continues to rotate, not all of the rubber bounces back with the same force, and some of the energy is converted into heat. The actual amount of energy lost is dependent on the weight of the vehicle, the amount of friction between the tyres and the road surface, as well as tyre compound additions, such as silica, into the tyre.
To overcome rolling resistance, your vehicle will generate more energy, or power, to ensure the tyres continue to rotate. The greater the rolling resistance, the more power your vehicle requires. This power uses fuel, so in other words, the greater the rolling resistance, the more fuel your vehicle uses.
How much rolling resistance your vehicle experiences depends on factors such as:
  • How fast the vehicle is travelling
  • The type of vehicle you own
  • The road surface

While rolling resistance is unavoidable, you may find that there are ways to improve its impact on your fuel consumption.

Close up of the side of a car, driving on a road.

How do Tyres Affect Rolling Resistance?

Your choice of tyres will influence the impact of rolling resistance. Whenever your tyres make contact with the road surface - rolling resistance occurs. Tread design, tread compound and tyre weight are all contributing factors when it comes to rolling resistance.
When buying new tyres you will need to consider what features are most important for your vehicle and the type of driving that you do. The following features should be considered:
  • On/Off-road grip
  • Handling
  • Noise
  • Wear resistance

Even once tyres have been fitted to your vehicle, it’s important to understand that factors such as tyre pressures will also have an impact on rolling resistance.
The good news is that in today’s tyre market, many manufacturers offer low rolling resistance tyres.

What are Low-Rolling Resistance Tyres?

As previously stated, your tyres are a contributing factor when it comes to rolling resistance, it’s unavoidable. However, tyre manufacturers are continuously working at producing tyres that offer low rolling resistance. When rolling resistance is reduced, fuel economy is increased.
Features of low-rolling resistance tyres typically include:
  • Thinner sidewalls (making them lighter)
  • Rubber compounds that reduce heat and friction
  • Shallower tread depth designs

BestDrive supplies and fits a range of low-rolling resistance tyres worth your consideration. Why not contact your local BestDrive store to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members to see if there is an option suited to your needs?

What Low-Rolling Resistance Tyres are Available at BestDrive?

Here are some of the low-rolling resistance tyres that are available through BestDrive.
Continental ContiEcoContact 5
Continental ContiEcoContact 5 tyre.
  • Reduced fuel consumption thanks to optimisations in rolling resistance and tyre technology.
  • High levels of safety and shorter braking distances, especially in the wet.
  • Improved handling and driver comfort on both wet and dry roads.

Continental EcoContact 6
Continental EcoContact 6 tyre.
  • The next generation in component geometry and high-tech compounds that delivers improvements in rolling resistance to reduce fuel consumption
  • Introducing Green Chili™2.0, a compound that offers significant improvements in mileage from its predecessor
  • A tailor-made tread pattern, developed through extensive R&D processes, that delivers optimised levels of grip and handling for the highest levels of driving safety

Kumho EcoWing ES01 KH27
Kumho EcoWing ES01 KH27 tyre.
  • Better wet grip and traction performance: By strengthened rib and improved centre block pattern
  • Handling and cornering: Closed and notch shoulder gives better handling, better wet grip
  • LRR (Low Rolling Resistance): Special high dispersion silica new sidewall material minimises sidewall deformation and lowers energy loss
  • Improved handling: Longitudinal 3 channel & wide lateral groove improves water clearance for high levels of wet performance
Kumho EcoWing ES31
Kumho EcoWing ES31 tyre.
  • Low RR tread compound: Fifth Generation tread compounds with Highly Dispersible Silica maximises low rolling resistance and wet weather performance
  • Asymmetrical pattern design: Asymmetrical pattern design for improved handling performance on dry surfaces
  • Optimal Wet Performance: Four wide drainage channels optimise wet performance and hydroplaning resistance
  • Heat Dissipation Dimple: Application of heat dissipation dimples to tyre shoulder reduces heat build-up whilst driving.
Even if you don’t opt for a low-rolling resistance tyre, that is not to say that you can’t make a conscious effort to improve the overall fuel efficiency of your car. Maintaining correct tyre inflation pressures, and regularly servicing your vehicle will also assist in promoting good fuel economy.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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