White Tires: Classics or Latest Trend

Almost 99% of all vehicles in the world have got classic black tires. Tires are normally selected for certain kind of terrain to travel in (highway, mud, AT – all-terrain, etc), or for certain season (summer, winter, all-season). Now, it seems like tires are about to become not just the thing that separates metal rims from the ground, but a nice accessory that will make a vehicle stand out from the rest.

Check it out: Lexus UX got shod in nice completely white tires, inspired by Air Force 1 sneakers by Nike.


Images Credit: www.usatoday.com

White tires on the Lexus crossover inspired by Nike

As you see, these custom white tires on the Lexus are more, just another fancy accessory to show up. Lexus modeled them in partnership with John Elliot, and the overall design of tires is not just plain white on white. They were made to resemble Nike sneakers, so the tires have got the pattern that resembles the one that is on the iconic perforated leather shoes by Nike.

Here are some other features of the all-new white Tires:

  • white on white compound layers;
  • double-stitched leather;
  • a metal air valve that is designed to resemble the metal lace tips of Nike shoes.

“We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tires inspired by classic, street-style sneakers.” – says Lisa Materazzo, Lexus vice president of marketing.

So we see, that white tires are not something fashionable, sporty, urban and unusual, though the overall concept dates back to old good times, when whitewall tires could be easily found on the classic American vehicles.

Whitewall Tires: Old Good American Tradition

Old-school classic cars are normally associated with those white sidewall tires. They are a part of the automotive culture of 1950s-1970s. As an option, tires with white sidewalls were available even earlier, back in 1920s, 1930s and 1960s. Up to these days, they do not look old-fashioned, when installed on the proper rims. By ‘proper’ we mean classic multi-spoke rims that will look right on the older vehicles. Today, many suppliers offer whitewall tires in the diminutive pin white 3/8″ stripe that covers the sidewall of the 4″ plus wide tires.

The Best Whitewall Tire Brands

Whitewall tires are not too popular these days, so not all manufacturers offer them in their tire selection. Still, here are the major brands that still offer classic whitewall tires.

coker white tires- the first modern-built radial construction whitewall tires ever produced;
- approved in the US (DOT) and European Union (ECE);
- designed for all-season usage;
- backed by manufacturer’s tread life warranty.
BF Goodrich white tires- classic style and modern performance;
- radial tires with all season tread design;
- many sizing options (R13, R14, R15).
GoodYear white tires- 3 series of whitewall tires: radial, antique & classic, muscle & performance;
- proudly made in USA;
- for all-weather drive;
- feature retro side wall design.
Firestone white tires- tubeless 4-ply polyester construction;
- made from the original mold;
- proudly made in USA.
 white tiresDiamond Black- "Apple Crust" edge;
- square tread shoulder;
- full radial construction;
- made from the new radial molds.

whitewall tires

Many sports cars and modern muscle cars look right when shod in whitewall tires. Combination of custom rims and white sidewall on the tires provide that exclusive and perfectly clean look. Quite often, vehicles exhibited at shows also boast custom white tires, to remind of the traditional American tires that were so popular in the middle of 20th century. When the times of chromed bumpers and classic cars have passed, white tires also seemed to be a part of a nice tradition that passed.

White Tires: Things to Consider

Whenever white tires become trendy, the owners will face the same problem as the owners of tires with white sidewalls did. It is a real challenge to keep them clean, as such tires scuff easily and show off every bit of dirt that got onto them.

And here is the worst thing about the whitewall tires. Even when you do not drive the vehicle that has got them on, the white tire quickly turns yellow or brownish and no longer looks nice and clean.

How to clean whitewall tires?

Consider this quick guide, that will hopefully help you keep the white tires in the top condition.

  1. Select a quality cleaning solution for whitewall cleaning. Pay attention, that the product is marked that way, as the majority of rubber cleaners are developed for black sidewalls, and the package will not necessarily say that. Make sure not to save at this point and not to use regular household cleaning products, as they may potentially contain alcohol, chlorine or bleach, that will damage the sidewalls.
  2. When you are about to start, touch the tires and make sure they are cool. If not, give them some time to cool down. Next, pre-rinse the tires with cool water.
  3. Apply the whitewall cleaner on the wheel by spraying it on the white surface. It will help you break down the brake dust, road dirt and remove scuffs by making the tires look whiter, even if they got dull or yellowish with time.
  4. Check out the instruction to see, how much time does the whitewall cleaning solution has to stay on the surface. Usually, it is around 5-15 minutes, depending on the brand. Scrub some scuffs with a brush if needed.
  5. Rinse the solution along with dirt with clean water and allow your white tires to dry.

How to clean whitewall tires

White Tires Cleaning: PRO tips

  • If the white tires turned really yellow, feel free to use scrub pad or even sandpaper. This way you will gently remove that yellowed layer, as there is no other safe way to get rid of that yellowness.
  • Frequent cleaning will help you save a lot of effort in your whitewall cleaning routine.
  • If the tires are kept outside for a long time, make sure to apply UV protectant to prevent from that UV fading.

How to Read Tire Size

how to read tire size

Like every tire brand, Fuzion uses common tire abbreviations on the tires. They are the same for all tire brands that are made in the world. When selecting tires for your car, truck or SUV it is a good idea to understand what the sidewall markings mean, in order to understand specs of the tires you select.

Tire Codes Explanation

The first number one can normally see on a tire sidewall is the tire width (in millimeters). In the example above, the tire width is 195 mm. This is a measurement between the sides of tire, from one sidewall to another. Some tire brands use extra letter before the number that denotes width. In the example above, the letter is missing. However, if you see P195, this is a passenger tire that is 195 mm wide. As a rule, width on the sidewall is followed by a slash (/) or a space.
Aspect ratio follows the width in the common tire codes. Sometimes, tire manufacturers can use a space or slash mark between them. Aspect ratio is the second number you can see on the tire sidewall. It explains, how tall is the tire profile. In the example above, aspect ratio equals to 65. Modern tire codes deliver the aspect ratio as percentage. It is calculated by dividing the height of the tire by its width. If you see, that aspect ratio is 65, it means that the height of the tire is 65% of its width. In general, the lower aspect ratio (around 60) means better handling.
Construction type is the letter that follows the aspect ratio in the tire code. It denotes the type of the tire internal construction, that maintains the tire stability on the road. There are 2 types of construction:
  1. R - Radial;
  2. D - Diagonal (also known as Bias Ply).
The majority of tires used in the U.S. are radial tires, and that is the only kind of construction offered by Fuzion tires. So chances are high, that you also have got radial tires on your daily driver. This construction means, that the internal ply cords of the tire are positioned in radial direction, perpendicular to the rotation axis and placed from one bead over to the other.
Explanation of rim diameter is pretty simple, especially for the Americans, who normally use inches to measure something. So, the number, that follows construction type on the tire code, is the diameter of the rim in inches. In the example provided, the code says ‘R15’, which means the rim diameter is 15 inches.
Load index is the combination of digits that follows the rim diameter. It tells, how much weight a tire can support when it is completely inflated (weight in lbs). This measurement is called as load index, since it does not give the exact weight the tire is developed to carry, but it corresponds to certain capacity as an index. You can find a number from 1 to 150, which represents load capacities between 99 and 735 lbs.
Speed rating is the last letter in the tire codes. It works exactly as the load index does for the particular load. This means, that speed rating letter corresponds to a certain speed capability from the internationally standardized base. In the example above, the speed rating is ‘H’. Alternatively, it can be ‘R’ for tires rated up to 106 mph, or ‘S’ for the tires rated for up to 112 mph. Note, that this is not recommended cruising speed, but the speed limit that should not be exceeded for certain tires. The higher speed rating is, the better is handling performance tires offer. If you happen to use tires with different speed ratings on one vehicle, the least speed rating should not be exceeded.