Tire talk

Hey guys picked up a brigestone m203 too replace my mx 51 front tire. Am I correct that the knobs are a little taller on the 203 I used a very course method of measuring and obviously the mx51 is worn so not a totally fair comparison. The other thing I noticed is the rubber on the 203 seems softer than the mx51 and since the 203 is a little more of a dedicated soft terrain tire I thought it would be a harder compound tire. The mx51 is also the original tire on my 2012 yz I bought the bike as a left over so is it possible it's just dried out a little because its several years old and that's why it doesn't feel as soft as the 203 any input would be appreciated thanks

Softness or hardness of the rubber compound in the tread has little to do with its applicability to any particular soil type compared with tread configuration.  Two things primarily differentiate a "hard" tire from a "soft" tire; the tread depth and the "land/sea" ratio. 

 

As you noticed, the tread on the M203 is deeper than that on the MX51.  The 203 is designed for slightly softer terrain.  A "soft" tire, one designed for soft ground, generally has tread that is deeper, so as to push deeper into the surface for a better grip.  The ground contact surfaces of the tread blocks are also smaller and spaced farther apart (less land, more sea) to further encourage them to sink into the soil surface.  "Hard", or hard terrain, tires rely more on the adhesive traction of surface contact friction for their bite, and so have larger blocks with more contact area.  Since the blocks can't sink into the soil surface as deeply, if at all, the blocks are made shorter so that they don't squirm, twist, or roll out of contact, loosing traction and stability. 

 

Tire compound changes are made for a number of reasons, some related to traction, some to cut/tear resistance, block stability, etc., and most truly premium tires are made with more than one or two kinds of rubber for different parts of the tire.

The best tire is a new tire!

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