Which Tyres Protect My Alloy Wheels?

In the past alloy wheels were just for the privileged few, now, however, many cars come with alloy wheels as standard. While these improve the look of a car, keeping alloy wheels looking their best can be difficult. With more and more cars on the roads, it becomes more and more difficult to park.

Street parking has meant an increased chance that alloy wheels will become damaged by curbs or ramps. This act has become known as ‘curbing alloys’ and results in the alloy wheel being scratched and damaged by a curb.

Can tyres protect my alloy wheels?

There are two ways in which the tyres of your car can protect your alloy wheels. The first being naturally in the case of high profile tyres or if the tyre comes with a rim protector feature.

High Profile Tyres

The profile of a tyre is the distance between the rim of the wheel and the edge of the tyre touching the road. There is no set definition for a high profile tyre but if there is a significant distance between the edge of the rim and the road, your tyres could be considered high profile. In these cases look to see if the sidewall of the tyre extends beyond the alloy wheel when inflated. This could be a natural protector for your alloy wheels. If not you may have a normal or low profile tyre. 

Low Profile Tyres

Low profile tyres are generally below the value of 50, this means that there is a smaller distance between the edge of the rim and the road. Usually, this isn’t enough protruding tyre to protect the alloy wheel from being scratched if driven into a curb.

What are alloy wheel rim protectors?

One of the best ways to protect the alloy wheels of your vehicle is to have tyres that include a rim protector. This feature, available on some tyres, adds an extra piece of reinforced rubber around the contact area of the tyre and the wheel.

Eagle F1 and Pirelli tyres with wheel protectors

Benefits of tyres with wheel protectors

– Ensures the alloy wheel has protruding rubber around it to prevent curbing

– Creates a larger seal around the wheel to protect against corrosion

– The greater surface area of contact protects against bulges and cracks caused by excessive force on uneven roads

Which tyre manufacturers offer rim protectors?

The following tyre brands offer tyres with the rim protector feature: Dunlop, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear, Michelin and Hankook.

The tyres with wheel rim protectors will usually have one of the following markings on the sidewall of the tyre:

  • RFP (Rim Fringe Protector)
  • FP (Fringe Protector)
  • MFS (Maximum Flange Shield)
  • FR (Felgen Ripen)
  • FSL (Felgenschutzleiste)
  • ML (Mit Leiste)

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