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CATAGORY: Mechanics
QUESTION: If you had to decide between regular width tires with no
treads or tires with (both are called slicks), which would you choose for
better breaking ability? In drag racing, wide slicks are prefered for the
rear tire's, why?
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Without a doubt, for regular road driving, get tires with treads!  Do not
get "slicks".  The reason is that the treads help to channel water away
from the contact points of the tires so there is better traction in wet
weather and digs into dirt and snow to give better grip.

Drag racers use slicks to give good traction BUT the race surfaces are dry
and the spinning of the tires against the ground at the start of the race
is so violent that the treads might disintegrate.  In fact the tire starts
to melt at the start which probably helps to improve the surface contact a
bit.  If you ever see a slow motion film of the start of a drag race you
will see that the rubber tires distort and ripple from the high torque
engines causing the tires to grind against the ground.  The engines are in
the back to put as much weight over the drive tires as possible so that
the friction of the drive tires against the road is maximum to give the
maximum forward acceleration. Wide slicks are  used so that the torque
against the road is spread out over a greater area other wise the tires
will rip up.

I would recommend calling "The Car talk Guys" on public radio. They have a
talk show about cars and know their stuff!
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