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Tire Direction

Old 12-22-20, 08:23 AM
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roth rothar
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Tire Direction

I decided it was time to put the studded snow tires on my mtn bike last night. I noticed the tires tread is not symmetrical in rotational direction however there is no marking on the tire itself. The tires are Nokia mount & ground with 144 studs. At present I have the front installed opposite the back so I got it half right. Based on the attached pic , is the downward direction forward or back?


Nokia 144 studs

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Old 12-22-20, 10:22 AM
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You might need reading glasses to see it (if you are near my age), but directional tires almost always have a marking on the sidewall- -- you should see an arrow pointing in the direction that the tire will spin when mounted correctly.

Last edited by Koyote; 12-22-20 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:26 AM
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Looking down at the tire from the riding position the tread forms an "arrow" that should point forward.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:47 AM
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I put on my directional touring tires backwards once. What a pain.
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Old 12-22-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I put on my directional touring tires backwards once. What a pain.
Was it hard to see where you were going? How did you know when you got there?
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Old 12-22-20, 11:01 AM
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The point of the chevron should be pointing in the direction of rotation. The idea is that the point of the chevron hits the ground first and helps pull the tire around corners better. It’s more important for the front wheel than the rear and far less important for road tires than tires that have knobs on them.

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Old 12-22-20, 11:51 AM
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I run them with the chevrons facing left.
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Old 12-22-20, 11:54 AM
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I've always thought the arrow applied to the northern hemisphere only..
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Old 12-22-20, 12:33 PM
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One brand of tires I have has different arrow directions for front vs. rear mounted. The front points the chevrons opposite the direction of rotation, my guess to improve traction when braking and cornering in the dirt.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:33 PM
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Ignore the Peanut Gallery above ^

It’s a long, dark winter.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The point of the chevron should be pointing in the direction of rotation. The idea is that the point of the chevron hits the ground first and helps pull the tire around corners better.
This rule of thumb also applies to the snow tires I have on my car. I kept trying to visualize in my head which way they faced, and I kept getting myself confused..... Until I finally walked outside to look!
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Old 12-22-20, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Was it hard to see where you were going? How did you know when you got there?
? ?? Rear view mirrors. It's a touring bike.
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Old 12-22-20, 02:16 PM
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I had to look up and see if tractor tires are oriented that way too. Sure enough!
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Old 12-22-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Ignore the Peanut Gallery above ^

It’s a long, dark winter.
I do hope you weren't referring to my post. Click on the "What do the direction arrows mean?" tab

https://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/tire_tread
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Old 12-22-20, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I do hope you weren't referring to my post. Click on the "What do the direction arrows mean?" tab

https://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/tire_tread
Well I am sure he was not referring to my gem of wisdom.
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Old 12-22-20, 06:52 PM
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Automobile tires are installed so the "point of the chevron" hits the ground first. Water is then channeled to the outside of the tire, reducing hydroplaning.
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Old 12-22-20, 07:13 PM
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you must go in circles a lot
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Old 12-22-20, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I put on my directional touring tires backwards once. What a pain.
i did that with my road tires yesterday. With the bike flipped over on its back the rotating direction looked fine until it was right side up. Off the tires came Moron
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Old 12-23-20, 10:50 AM
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The best traction would be in the recommended direction to mount the tire
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Old 12-24-20, 05:24 AM
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I have experimented over and over with tire direction and found that it makes little to no difference when I ride. The little difference it makes is noise. Chevrons facing forward runs quieter than chevrons facing rearward. For winter commuting it made no difference, even in 6 inch snow and on ice. My hypothesis is bikes just don't stress tires enough to affect traction in a significant way at the speeds most bicycles travel. Of course there must be exceptions for the folks in the super human category or extreme conditions/circumstances.
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Old 12-24-20, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I do hope you weren't referring to my post. Click on the "What do the direction arrows mean?" tab

https://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/tire_tread
I'm so confused and don't know which way is which with my tires
So in theory, this pattern should face one way on the front, and the reverse direction on the rear?
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Old 12-24-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
So in theory, this pattern should face one way on the front, and the reverse direction on the rear?
Daylight savings or standard time? Were you riding north south or east west? More information needed
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Old 12-24-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'm so confused and don't know which way is which with my tires
So in theory, this pattern should face one way on the front, and the reverse direction on the rear?
[Pityingly] It should be obvious that you're missing the strobe light necessary to determine whether the wheels are turning at 33 or 45 rpm.
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Old 12-24-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I have experimented over and over with tire direction and found that it makes little to no difference when I ride. The little difference it makes is noise. Chevrons facing forward runs quieter than chevrons facing rearward. For winter commuting it made no difference, even in 6 inch snow and on ice. My hypothesis is bikes just don't stress tires enough to affect traction in a significant way at the speeds most bicycles travel. Of course there must be exceptions for the folks in the super human category or extreme conditions/circumstances.
Anyone who rides a Flip/Flop hub (and ever flips it) knows this to be the case. I find even the sound to be the same with most tires. To me, the importance for having the tire running the "proper direction" is for looks, not performance.
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Old 12-24-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I have experimented over and over with tire direction and found that it makes little to no difference when I ride. The little difference it makes is noise. Chevrons facing forward runs quieter than chevrons facing rearward. For winter commuting it made no difference, even in 6 inch snow and on ice. My hypothesis is bikes just don't stress tires enough to affect traction in a significant way at the speeds most bicycles travel. Of course there must be exceptions for the folks in the super human category or extreme conditions/circumstances.
The tread on road tires doesn’t have much influence on handling. On mountain bikes, a directional front tire can make a huge difference in handling. Not all mountain bike tires are directional but those that are do a good job of helping the bike corner. Rear tires have less influence.
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