The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Wider tires have less rolling resistance

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2013 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 965 times Debate No: 34071
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




When the changing of the contact patch is wider and causes less stress on the tires, they will roll faster.


This seems like it will be a fairly easy debate.
According to newton's laws of motion-

the force of friction f is defined, when moving, to be f = (Uk)*N, where N is the normal force and Uk is the kinetic friction coefficient. The normal force repels the force of gravity, so N up = mg down
thus, the equation is modified, f = (Uk)*m*g, where g is the acceleration from gravity, and mass is in Kilograms.
Therefore, according to newton's equation, the force of friction is actually proportional to the mass and the force of gravity rather than the area, or width of the tire.

Logically this is rather clear; if you have a mass m on a thin tire, even though there is less surface area on the thin tire, there are More newtons per area, which compensates and maintains the same amount of friction. A wider tire, although it has more surface area, has fewer newtons per area, and so friction ends up being the same across the surface integral.

In conclusion, according to physics and Newton's laws of motion, wider tires have the same resistance as thin tires for an identical mass.
Debate Round No. 1


Clearly you are unclear of what rolling resistance really is: on something like a bicycle, you will have a constantly changing contact patch between the tire and the ground. Since we are only testing width, we must keep all other variables constant. Let's consider this: 2 tires, same type of tire, pumped to the same pressure, with the same mass. Since it is the same mass and pressure, regardless of the tire the contact patch will have the same area for both tires. On the wider tires however, the contact patch will be shorter(more area horizontally) and hence the vertical depth of tire deflection on the wider tire is going to be less, thus causing less resistance.


I will define rolling resistance so you can understand the true definition-

"Rolling resistance, sometimes called rolling friction or rolling drag, is the force resisting the motion when a body (such as a ball, tire, or wheel) rolls on a surface. It is mainly caused by non-elastic effects, that is, not all the energy that is needed for deformation (or movement) of the wheel, roadbed, etc. is recovered when the pressure is removed."

The rolling resistance is equivalent to newton's law of friction and can be specifically defned as F = Crr*N, where F is in newtons, Crr is the dimensionless rolling coefficeint depending on material. F only depends on the radius of the wheel as well as the normal force, which equals m*g.

"According to Dupuit (1837), rolling resistance (of wheeled carriages with wooden wheels with iron tires) is approximately inversely proportional to the square root of wheel diameter.[28] "

Thus, only wheel radius affects rolling resistance.
Debate Round No. 2


tatrafan77 forfeited this round.


serp888 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't make any sense. You can't have 2 tire of the same size and mass loaded to the same pressure but one ends up being wider. That doesn't make sense. And pro didn't seem too polite by his tone.