Cornering Grip Test
How it’s tested
To test cornering grip, Wheel Energy takes a slab of asphalt and mounts it at a 45-degree angle on top of a wooden block.
The tire in question is mounted onto a wheel and inflated to a fixed pressure with an automatic inflation device that precisely sets the tire pressure, eliminating the possibility that human error screws with the results. Once the tire is inflated, it is pressed into the angled slab of pavement with a specific amount of force, also controlled by the test machine, and dragged against the road-like surface while recording the force on the tire. Force increases steadily until the tire looses purchase and starts to slide. By recording the amount of force needed to slide the tire across the pavement under highly controlled conditions—tire pressure, force on the tire and road surface are all identical in all tests—Wheel Energy is able to quantify and rank the cornering grip of various tires.
Tire compound, the type of rubber used, is the most important factor. “We did not isolate things like casing influence and puncture belt influence. We picked the compound for the Turbo and a different one for the Roubaix,” describes Vorm Walde.
From the lab to the road
“The Turbo has lower rolling resistance and is a little softer but it’s not as resistant to cuts. Roubaix is more cut resistant, and is also more abrasion-resistant (has a slower wear rate). It is a little slower and feels a little harder subjectively [than the Turbo],” says Vorm Walde.