One of the smallest features with some of the biggest benefits is the sipe, sometimes called a tire kerf. A sipe is a small slit in the tire’s tread block that creates additional tread surface area for increased grip in wet, icy, and snowy conditions.
What are Sipes?
As a tire rolls, the sipes will open up to take in water and or snow and remove it from the contact patch of the tire. The extra biting edges provided by the sipes enhances grip for a variety of driving situations, particularly in inclement weather.
Manufacturer created tire sipes are unlike aftermarket sipes in a variety of ways. Rather than being cut into the tread blocks with a blade, they are made as part of the mold. The advanced mold process allows the manufacturer to create an internal structure that reinforces the tread block and increases the surface area for traction purposes. This process allows for the creation of 3-dimensional sipes, whose internal structures flex for grip and interlock for stability. This allows the sipes to perform at optimum levels while enhancing tread block rigidity for improved handling.
Why Tire Sipes?
Sipes are used in place of smaller, individual tread blocks for several reasons. While smaller, individual tread blocks would increase traction, they would increase the risk of tread block distortion, which would reduce fuel efficiency, handling performance, and tread life. Sipes are a more effective feature for increasing traction and surface area without negatively affecting fuel efficiency, handling performance, or tread life.
Aftermarket Tire Siping
Due to advancements both in the rubber compounds used and manufacturing techniques that the process of aftermarket siping could void any manufacturer treadwear warranty. For this fact, Discount Tire neither provides nor recommends aftermarket siping for your tires.