Let’s Talk about Your Tires and Ride Quality

June 12th, 2020 by

A tire is being pulled off a rack at a shop that sells discount tires in Cincinnati, OH.

Ride quality is something you might not see listed in specs for a vehicle, but it’s very important. The better your vehicle’s overall ride quality, the more enjoyable you will typically find your time behind the wheel, with a smoother ride that keeps you and your passengers comfortable. Tires have a significant impact on overall ride quality, with a lot of potential variables at work that you need to consider. So, when shopping for discount tires in Cincinnati, you should be sure to consider how your decision will impact your vehicle’s ride quality. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at how tires affect your ride quality and what you can do to make sure you get the best driving experience possible.

What is Ride Quality?

First things first, what do we mean when we talk about “ride quality?” In general, we’re talking about comfort when you are on the road. High or excellent ride quality means you are comfortable in your vehicle while driving; you don’t really feel small bumps or cracks on the road, and larger problems only cause slight bumps or vibrations for you in the cabin. Low or poor ride quality, on the other hand, means you’re feeling every bump and variation in road texture, leaving you feeling shaken and uncomfortable while driving.

This can be connected to handling and overall performance, though they are not always directly related. In general, the things that affect your ride quality will also impact handling, turning precision, and other elements of driving performance. You ultimately want to find a good balance between all these different things, though you might focus on one over another based on your personal preferences.

How do Tires Affect Ride Quality?

The wheel setup on a blue 2020 Chevy Camaro is shown in closeup.

There are a few different ways that tires can affect your vehicle’s ride quality, which you should keep in mind while shopping discount tires in Cincinnati. First, the size of the tire has a direct impact on two different factors of driving performance: ride quality and handling. Unfortunately, it has the opposite impact on these two things, so you need to decide if you want a balance or want to go for one over the other. Larger tires will typically give you better handling and stability, while smaller tires will provide you with improved ride quality and a smoother ride at the expense of some handling.

The same is true for the size of the wheels on your vehicle, so keep that in mind when shopping for a car, truck, or SUV and looking at different trims with varying wheel and tire sizes. For example, looking at an SUV with options for 17-inch, 18-inch, and 19-inch wheels and tires, you should consider how each will impact you. The 17-inch tires will give you greater ride quality, while the 19-inch tires will provide you with better handling, but you’re in for a bumpier ride. The 18-inch tires offer a great balance that keeps your journey smooth while also delivering excellent handling.

The type of tire you choose also has an impact…

Different Types of Tires

Of course, the type of tire you choose also has a huge impact on your ride quality and overall driving experience. This is why it’s so important to consider all of your options when shopping for discount tires in Cincinnati and picking the type that is right for you. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of tires and how each can impact your ride quality.

Grand Touring Tires

  • Grand Touring All-Season – These are tires designed for use year-round, offering good traction and comfortable ride quality. Typically a bit expensive, they are among the highest quality available.
  • Grand Touring Summer – Similar in design to the Grand Touring All-Season tires, these offer excellent traction and high ride quality specifically in the summer. They work well both wet and dry, but they are not designed for cold weather or snow.

All-Season Tires

  • Touring All-Season – These are standard all-season tires, usually less expensive than Grand Touring tires. They provide proper handling and ride quality year-round, but not necessarily as exceptional as Grand Touring tires.
  • Passenger All-Season – General, all-season tires for passenger vehicles; these are often designed for a long lifespan rather than the best handling and ride quality possible.
  • SUV Touring All-Season – Similar to Touring All-Season tires for cars, these are specifically made for use with SUVs and crossovers. They are large and better-fit the increased size and weight of SUVs.

Performance Tires

  • Extreme Performance – These tires are designed for use with performance vehicles and offer excellent traction and handling in dry conditions. They are not good on wet roads and often sacrifice some ride quality for improved grip.
  • Max Performance – Similar to Extreme Performance tires, these are great for performance vehicles and offer better traction on wet roads, but are not for winter use. Their ride quality may be lower due to a focus on handling.
  • Ultra-High Performance – These will often provide you with better ride quality than Extreme and Max performance tires, with slightly less emphasis on precise grip and handling.
  • High Performance – Available as either All-Season or Summer tires, these offer a better blend of handling and ride quality than the more intensely performance-focused tires.
  • Performance – If you want performance tires that are good for standard city driving too, then these are typically what you will look at. They can offer decent all-season traction and pretty good ride quality, while also giving you great grip and handling.

Specialty Tires

  • Off-Road All-Terrain – Designed for use off-road, the ride quality with these tires is typically not very good since they are focused on traction in rough conditions. They might not be very comfortable on paved roads but are great on rocks, mud, and other off-road conditions.
  • Winter/Snow – These are designed specifically for cold weather and for driving in snow, making them invaluable for winter use in areas like Cincinnati. They are not intended for comfort and might not offer the best ride quality, but they allow you to remain in control when winter weather makes roads dangerous.

Off-road tires are shown on a grey 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 in the dirt.

Overall Tire Considerations

So, now that we’ve looked at all of the above, what should you keep in mind when shopping for discount tires in Cincinnati? Just remember that larger tires typically give you improved handling, but reduced road quality and smaller tires provide you with the opposite. Be sure to choose the type of tire that is best for the driving you do, with Touring and Grand Touring typically providing you with the best ride quality and overall driving experience. And never underestimate the importance of a good set of winter tires throughout the cold months here in Cincinnati to keep you in control and safe on the road.

Other Factors that affect Ride Quality

Of course, your tires are not the only thing that affects ride quality while you are on the road. Your suspension and shocks are often just as vital since they are designed to absorb impacts and bumps, so you feel fewer of them. If you’ve noticed your ride quality is not as good as it once was, you might need new tires, but you might also need your shocks or suspension checked out. This can prolong your vehicle’s lifespan, boost ride quality, and keep you in control behind the wheel.

Have More Questions?

Still not sure which discount tires in Cincinnati are right for you? Call or visit us at McCluskey Chevy today, and we will make sure you have the best ride possible.

Posted in Tire Shop