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Tire Siping

Old 07-15-2012
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Default Tire Siping

There is a great deal of varied opinions on whether or not a tire should be field siped - often called microsiping. This process is done at the dealer with a machine that which places a curved knife blade at a slight angle on a rotating drum. The drum is placed so when it is pressed against the tread the tire is pressed into an exaggerated hollow, as if driving down a rail. The drum is lubricated and rotated and the knife makes a series of diagonal cuts across the tread. For improved traction, the tire may be siped twice, leaving diamond-shaped blocks. A significant problem with field siping is that the tread picks up rocks, glass, and other hard road debris in use, and even with thorough cleaning the knife service life is often poor.

Les Schwab and other major tire dealers often try to sell this option for a new set of tires and the claim that it reduces tire friction heat and tire wear and extends the life of the tire.

Microsiping can dramatically improve tire traction in rain and snow. However, microsiped tires may also have increased road noise and tire wear when operated on dry surfaces.

ConsumerReports.org recommends against adding more than "the sipes that your tires come with" because of longevity and dry performance.

You can make your own decision to sipe or not to sipe. My opinion is that tire manufacturers know their business well and design and manufacture tires based on their intended use and application. If they felt that additional siping was really needed, then their tires would come from the factory that way - as they do for rain, snow or ice tires.

I see siping as another way for a dealer to get more money from the consumer at the time of sale as well as a quicker return when the tires wear out faster.

** Multiple sources of information were used to compile this post.

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Old 07-19-2012
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I agree, Kevin. Mainly just a marketing ploy to gain business.
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Old 07-19-2012
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Location: Okeechobee, FL
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Siping on a road tie is pointless, the manufacturers put what they want where they want and test it and rate it at their spec. It's a done deal , you know what you're getting - or supposed to at least.

However we do knife our own offroad tires for mud racing or mud drags down here. But its usually to a Swamper bogger or the trxus tires... Usually not when they are new, but it does happen...
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Old 02-04-2014
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Microsiped tire help for grip and usually clean themselves or purge themselves or debris as your tire warms up.
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