The plies are the layers of fabric that make up your tyre’s skeleton, and are typically made of fibre cords that are woven together and coated with rubber. These allow your tyre to be flexible but not elastic. One or more layers called carcass plies placed directly above the inner liner give your tyre its strength.
The beads are made from high-strength braided steel coated in rubber, and create an airtight seal between your tyre and the rim of the wheel.
Steel or aramid belts are placed around the tyre to reinforce strength, reduce dynamic growth at speed and provide rigidity. In some cases breakers, which are woven sheets of rubber-coated fabric, can be used for extra strength, puncture resistance, and durability.
This is the area of extra-thick rubber that runs from the bead to the tread and gives your tyre its lateral stability. It’s also where you’ll find all of the manufacturer information about your tyre.
The shoulder area is between the centre area and the sidewall of the tyre. The shoulder design and construction plays an important role when the bike is leant over.
This is the soft area of your tyre where the rubber meets the road. The tread provides both cushioning and grip, and its design and compound determine many of your tyre’s most important performance features. The tread can include different compounds for centre and shoulder area.
The apex is used to reinforce the sidewall and sits on top of the bead. Apex shape and material play an important role in the way a tyre behaves and provides feedback.