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Michelin Tyres Development-Set their Targets High as far back as the Thirties

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 It is no surprise to the older drivers amongst us that Michelin Tyres Development has always been at the forefront of tyre design 

Ever since I started work as a junior tyre fitter all those years ago. So, I have marveled at the skill and professional work. That Michelin Tyres Development  have put into their products. Even going back before my time ! French tyre makers were at the top of tyre development.Subsequently, all the other tyre companies were playing catch-up.

Enter the first steel belted radial that started it all off for Michelin tyres.

This was to be the tyre that changed their history. Including the great American tyre makers of the time. Of course, this new tyre from Michelin tyres was to be a far cry from the cross ply. Significantly, made by most other European tyre companies . Including, the Bias-belted tyres that were been developed in the USA.

The new Michelin Tyres Development was to be known as the Michelin”X”. Consequently, first appearing in 1949 (a year after I was born). This tyre would revolutionize the tyre industry ! With a product that would last longer and prove better car handling. Especially, for the type of suspension that was used on European cars.

This tyre was to be fitted as original equipment to Lancia and Citroen cars and also to the Mercedes 190 SL models.

It took a good ten years before the other tyre makers started to catch Michelin Tyres Development up, all trying to copy the steel belted “X” tyre.

Compared to the cross-ply tyre the radial gave many advantages. They  gave a much better mileage and road holding, ( I must admit that when I was in my early tyre fitting days. I can remember drivers complaining about Michelin  being bad in wet weather ?). This also gave added bonus of lower fuel consumption, a great

bonus for some of those old gas guzzling cars.

This is also the same time that imported cars were coming into the UK cars such as the Citroen 2 CV and Renault Dauphins.

More reading…The Dauphine took over from the 4 CV in 1956, but not as a replacement. The name dauphine (heiress) was highly significant. Release was a major event on the motoring scene, and followed up by a successful career on French and export markets.  

Dauphine played its successor’s role to the full, boasting all the latest features of the epoch, such as adjustable seats, heating, and an automatic gearbox. The finish was very smart, with a red and black steering wheel and matching seats. The dashboard layout was uncluttered, and the interior roomy.  

Dauphine was a four-seater, with rear bench and two separate seats at the front. In January 1957, the US motoring weekly The Motor crowned it the “prettiest little four-seater in the world”. Sure, it was beautiful, elegant and shapely, totally in keeping with spirit of the 1960s.”…http://www.renault.com/en/vehicules/hier/pages/renault-dauphine.aspx

The Dauphin did not do too well in the “Cold Damp British climate”

So, soon had a bad reputation for bad rust. But it did come out on Michelin tyres, and I will never forget. Of course, the first time I had to remove one of these products  from the rim. The tyre just fell off the wheel it was so easy to do. A big improvement on the struggle we had when fitting Dunlops . In those days we only had a hand held tyre bead breaker and some tyre levers, balancing was carried out on a small “bubble” wheel  balancer which I still believe never really worked.

To conclude Michelin Tyres Development have never looked back and in the early days. Because of their better cornering they were used in the early motor-sport cars with great success.

New tyre labelling, bridgestone

Tyre labeling- is now considered good for the motorist to check on?

Tyre labeling

Tyre labeling is too vague for modern tyres

Eric Roberts’s insight:
Since this post was first release. Hence, I have now changed my opinion. As a result of  regarding tyre labelling. For this reason, at first I did not think that the buying public. Would take any notice of the tyre grading’s. But now we are getting many drivers. That are comparing the makes of tyres. Thus, before they make their purchase. Consequently, I did not think that this would ever happen. Therefore, I thought that most people would  buy on price alone. But I admit that I was wrong. I would say that out of all of our  purchasing customers about a third now compare the Tyre labelling ratings. We now show all the different Tyre labelling ratings of all the tyres that we offer on our website, so that our customers can look at the different labels and make a more informed choice of tyre for their cars.

Tyre labelling does not affect tyre virtues

What do I mean ?

So, the big five tyre makers, have always been torn between two things, Good grip or high mileage. it is very difficult to get the correct balance, we all know about the Michelin “X” when it came out ? it knocked the socks off mileage compared to all the other manufacturers, but also became famous for not been very good in the wet.

This is a great example of the imbalance that can take place between the two things that the tyre makers are trying to achieve. With today’s modern tyre testing techniques these  companies have a much better chance of getting the balances correct. So much so that tyres can now be made for specific car models such as BMWs and Mercedes, who have their own specific ones to aid the cars performance.

What I am getting at is that in my opinion tyre labelling is not a good way of determining how good a tyre really is and is just another piece of bureaucracy that came from the European Union. The tyre companies are way ahead of these stupid labels, that really tell the motorist nothing. Also how true is the tyre labelling on imported economy brands ?

 

 

See about the new 2021 tyre labelling

types of tyres-Michelin nokian apollo general and bridgestone runflat tyres

CAR TYRES-technical developments to create a Greener tyre.

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Man made car tyres develop and change over the years.

So the tyres that were made say thirty years ago would not be suitable for today’s cars. The tyre has developed into part of the evolution of greener cars, especially in recent times when vehicle emissions have become a very important part of new car development.

Tyre companies are trying all sorts of new techniques. To develop car tyres that will give a better “rolling resistance”. Better rolling resistance makes it easier for a car to move forward . Whilst at the same time enabling the car to give a smooth ride. Sticking to the road when cornering and in bad weather conditions.

Tyre companies are using new and much lighter materials.

Including new materials that go into the compounds. Ultimately, that make the materials that are used for the outer layers of the car tyres. Hence, for making the sidewalls and tread area. One of the main products used is still latex of course. But tyres companies are now trying other materials. So, to try lesson the use of petrol-chemicals derived from oil.

One of these leading the charge is Yokohama tyres. Yokohama are experimenting with many materials. Importantly, one of the more successful ones has been “orange peel oil”.  Another tyre company that are trying new materials are Goodyear tyres. Goodyear has teamed up with a biotechnology company called DuPont. The two companies are working together to produce molecules to try to match the molecules that are found in tyre compounds. Rubber is a molecule! So by replicating similar molecules from sugar molecules they will be able to manufacture a product. Of course, that could be used to make tyre with and replace the dependency of latex. The natural material that tyres are made of at the moment. For more reading… http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/news/making-tires-green.html

Continental tyres are also one of the Worlds car tyres development innovators.

Over the years they have formed what they call their “green kitchen” to enable them to develop more environmentally friendly compounds, by replacing the more dangerous chemicals used in tyre making with new more eco-friendly products, similar to what Goodyear and other tyre companies are experimenting with. More information…http://www.continental-corporation.com/www/csr_com_en/themes/news/reifenmischung_en.html 

Michelin Tyres UK are going down the same road. Michelin have always been at the front of car tyres development, ever since the invention of the “steel belted radial” and are now looking at all possible ways of future tyre development, including the use of old tyres…

“Terry Getty’s, Michelin’s research and development director stated that the tyre giant’s innovation strategy continues to focus on exploiting raw materials to the maximum. He further said that TREC is a perfect illustration of eco-design and will help them creating latest high-performance tyres using high-quality raw materials derived from old car tyres”.

 This includes Michelin’s latest tyre, which will not lose any grip all the way down to the tyre tread wear bars, due to the different compound depths within the tyres.

Now more important to switch your Michelin tyres round

Tyre rotation has become just as important as ever, because of the new developments and the need gain every bit of wear that you can out of your tyres. In my opinion there is also a need to match the tyres that are fitted to the car, especially if your car has the latest tyre specs that have been developed between the car and the tyre manufacturers.

We are pleasantly surprised though, how many of our customers do indeed practice this now. They are up to date with the fact that car tyres from different tyre manufacturers are now different and that they should be matched up for a better performance, that will give the car the same handling qualities when braking and cornering, in any type of weather conditions.