Tyre Sizes and Rating Education

Tyre Sizing

Passenger Tire sizing is typically displayed as:

P215/50R17 95W

  • The “215” is the width of the tyre, more commanly known as the “section width”. This is the width of the tyre measured in millimeters from the widest point that lies inbetween the sidewall when mounted on the rim width. The actual tyre width can vary depending on the rim width it is mounted on.

  • The “50”is known as the Aspect Ratio. It is calculated by dividing the section height by the section width and multiplying by 100. (In this example, the sidewall will be 50% of 215)

  • The “R” stands for Radial, meaning it has a radial construction. Radial tyres have ply cords that extend to the beads and are laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread, the carcass being stabilized by a circumferential belt. Other possibilities include “B” for belted construction and “D” for diagonal construction. This means the ply cords extend to the beads and are laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.

  • The “17” stands for the diameter of the wheel in inches. This is the exact size that this tire will fit. 

  • The “95” is the load index

  • The “W” is the speed symbol.


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