late 15c., "iron rim of a carriage wheel," probably from tire
"equipment, dress, covering" (c.1300), an aphetic form of attire
. The notion is of the tire as the dressing of the wheel. The original spelling was tyre
, which had shifted to tire
in 17c.-18c., but since early 19c. tyre
has been revived in Great Britain and become standard there. Rubber ones, for bicycles (later automobiles) are from 1870s.