Are stretched Tires Safe?
Author: Sterling Feathers
December 15, 2020
We get this question a lot since stretched setups have become so popular. If you've ever gone to any car meet, we'd bet you've seen people with stretched tires. Today, we look into whether or not it's a good idea.
Table of Contents
1. What are Stretched Tires?
A stretched tire refers to a tire that has a smaller width than the wheel it's being mounted on. This results in the sidewall stretching to the edge of the wheel giving a very unique show style look.
This style is incredibly common in the stance and excessive camber scene as it allows the fender to sit within the lip of the wheel. Essentially, it makes the wheel pop.
I currently run stretched tires on my MK7 GTI. It's not a super aggressive stretch but the setup allowed me to have more of a show look as opposed to a meaty setup.
Not all stretched setups need to be super aggressive, if your're just wanting less tire to show in order to make your wheel stand out more, you can go with a mild stretch.
2. Why Do People Stretch Tires?
There can be many reasons why someone would want to stretch their tires but the most obvious is for the style. As we mentioned, a stretched setup is incredibly popular in the excessive camber scene since it allows people to build their cars to an absolutely insane degree and give it a one of a kind look.
There aren't usually any performance benefits from running this type of tire setup so it's safe to assume that most will do it strictly for aesthetic purposes.
3. Is It Safe to Stretch Your Tires?
It depends. Sorry for not giving a straightforward answer but that's simply because there isn't one. Technically speaking, running a stretched tire is more dangerous than a normal tire setup since the sidewall now has less weight that it's able to hold.
This can result in de-beading or tearing of the sidewall which is never a good time. However, the amount of danger varies based on how much stretch you're going with.
Obviously a more aggressive stretched setup will have a higher chance of something going wrong but might be what you need to pull off the look you want.
Should You Stretch Your Tires?
Ultimately, it's your choice based on your build, just know there are risks involved with stretching. As a basic foundation to answering this question, we'll break down some bullet points below:
You Should Be Fine Stretching Tires If:
- You're building a show car
- You want to show off more wheel than tire
-You're trying to achieve a very specific fitment style
Do Not Stretch Your Tires If:
- You do any sort of high-performance driving
- You travel a lot on harsh roads
- You're trying to maximize your traction