Crossply Tyres

School for Scoundrels Bellini on cross ply tyres


  • Crossply tyres for wheel based wheel became standard equipment in the mid vintage period.
  • In about 1924 the majority of car manufactures moved away from beaded edge tyres onto well based crossply tyres.
  • Crossply tyres are also known as bias ply tyres in the US.
  • Crossply tyres are made by have the cords in one layer of the carcass going one way and then the next layer will go at a 90 degree angle.

Tyres through out the vintage, pre war, period were of Cross ply construction. If you want help finding Radial Classic Tyres to fit classic cars of the post war period phone us on +44 (0) 1302 714 072 or email us at infolongstonetyres.co.uk

Cross-Ply classic and Vintage Tyres

The crossply tyre is made up of superimposed layers of textile cord running at alternate angles from bead to bead.Crossply Vintage Tyres

Vintage Cross-Ply Tyre Construction

With this design the sidewalls and tread are not differentiated and this gives the tyre structure great rigidity.

With a cross-ply tyre the maximum width and the height of the tyre above the rim are approximately equal. This relationship is known as the aspect ratio and with cross-ply tyres is approximately 100%, giving the cross-ply tyre its unique "tall" appearance.

Differences between Crossply and Radial Tyres

These are the few advantages to crossply tyres.

  • Lighter steering with Crossply tyres
  • Crossply Tyres give a more comfortable ride.
  • Crossply Tyres were fitted to most cars well into the 60's

These are also advantages to the Radial Construction.

  • Greater directional stability
  • Radial tyres last longer than Crossply
  • Radial construction offers more road holding than crossply tyres

Cross ply tyre FAQ


Q: Do cross ply tyre always need to be fitted with inner tubes?

A: there was a brief period where tubeless crossply tyres were being made, however at this time the majority of cars were moving onto radial tyres.

Q: When did cars stop fitting crossply tyres?

A: Although the radial tyre was patented in 1946, it was seen as a performance upgrade in many cases. It became more standard in Europe towards the moddle of the 1960s and didn’t become the predominant fitment in the States until 1970!

Q: Are modern tyres radial or crossply?

A: The majority of road car tyres are radial. Though many vintage cars and classic cars still fit crossply tyres.

Q: Do crossply tyres last longer than radial tyres?

A No in the majority of cases a radial tyre will last longer than a radial tyre, because the crossply tyre carcass flexes while the tread is in contact with the road. Scrubbing the tread off.

Q: Can you mix cross ply tyres with radial tyres?

A: it is strongly advised not to mix cross ply tyres on a car. It is illegal to mix crossply and radial on an axle, but for some reason it is legal to have cross ply on the front axle and radial tyres on the rear. We recommend having the tyres of the same structure and age all-round the car. Mixing tyres is not recommended and can be illegal.

Q: How do you identify crossply tyres?

A: predominantly cross ply tyres have their sizes written in inches where radial tyres are mostly in inches. For instance 6.00V16 is the crossply size tyre for an XK12 Jaguar and 185VR16 is the radial option. 5.60-15 is the original crossply tyres size for the classic VW Beetle, that would fit 155R15 or 165R15 radials.


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