Cross ply Tyre construction utilizes body ply cords that extend diagonally from bead to bead, usually at angles in the range of 30 to 40 degrees, with successive plies laid at opposing angles forming a crisscross pattern to which the tyre tread is applied. The cross ply tyre design allows the entire tyre body to flex easily, providing the main advantage of the crossply tyre construction, a smooth ride on rough surfaces. This cushioning characteristic also causes the major disadvantages of a crossply tyre: increased rolling resistance and less control and traction at higher speeds.
For Pre War cars Longstone tyres recommend fitting Crossply tyres, because they all did. There are a couple of instances where you might consider fitting radial instead, for instance the 328 BMW, which was built just before the war. The fact is was such a sophisticated car for its time coupled with the fact that presently there isnít a good high performance crossply in the right size. So we recommend either the Radial 550HR16 Michelin X or going up in size and fitting the 600H16 Avon TurboSpeed which is a performance Cross ply. Also the Citroen Traction Avante should fit 150/160X40 Michelin Super Confort tyres but because this same car post war was offered with again the Michelin X then it is also a very suitable option.
For Post War cars it is not quite so black and white. The roads were improving and the cars cruising speeds were increasing too. the tall side walled crossply tyres that were being fitted right up till the beginning of the 70ís were not so suited to the higher cruising speeds of Motorways and Autobahns so the introduction of radials started to take over.
If with your classic you are intending on doing some distances where you will be cruising at over 60 mph for extended times then it would be worth fitting a period radial alternative. Modern car suspension and steering with its dramatically increased caster demands a totally different tyre structure and shape compared to what is needed by classic cars that were designed to run on crossply tyres.
Advantages of Crossply tyres:-
Disadvantages of Crossply tyres:-
The most suitable radial tyres that could be fitted as a period alternative to crossply tyres would be:-
These are all genuine period radial tyres that can be used as alternatives to crossply tyres without the handling becoming too numb and heavy as it would fitting a more modern carcase design.
Crossply. This website will be developed during the near future.