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I hate buying tires I havent used before. With my runabout X3 Excel, I didnt want to spend on aftermarket wheels so I stuck with the standard rims. I finally decided on 185/65/r13s after calculating the difference in overall size and jacking up the car to see if it would fit at any suspension and steering state.

Its all good. A marked improvement over the last tires. The reduction in profile definatly has a different slip angle character when loaded and especially transitory handling situations are less of a mystery. The coefficient of friction is definatly higher than the last set of tires and now Im not scuffing out the fronts under load in a tight corner.

Its hard to get decent tires in these standard sizes but these are decent.

And as well, Im sure the standard rims have less mass than those poxy chrome wheels that has become fashionable :ermm: :??:
 

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Hi Bathrone,

You are right about the weight of chrome wheels. It has become a 'habit' to now weight customer's wheels and tyres when they come in for springs.

- a standard steel 13" in and tyre is around 13kg
- the 14 x 6" factory alloys and 185/60/14 tyres off the J1 Lantra and S-coupe are around 14 kg each
- the 15 x 6.5" alloys and 195/50/15 tyres from my S-Coupe are arond 14.5kg each
- one set of 16 x 7" chrome alloys and 205/45/16 weighted 20kg each corner
- two sets of 17 x 7" chrome alloys and 205/40/17 tyres weighed 21kg each corner

Yes, alloy wheels are better than steel wheels as for the same size wheel, alloys weigh less than steel wheels. And lower profile, wider tyres, will generally offer bettwe grip and handling than a taller profile, skinnier tyre.

But when the 17" chrome alloy wheels and tyres weigh around 30% more than a set of 15"s, any advantage gained from the lower profile tyre and wider rubber will be more than lost by the additional weight.

If visual impact is imporanmt, then large chrome wheels can do the job nicely. Most wheel amd tyre packages for chrome alloys will come fitted wiht very cheap tyres to keep the overall cost down. a cheap set of 205/40/17" tyres may cost $600. A good set may cost $1,000 and a great set of tyres $2,000.

But if handling and performance are more important, then perhaps a set of 15's will do the job nicely. Spend a little less on fancy mags, and spend a bit more on a good set of tyres ($600-800 will get a great set of 15" tyres).

Cheers


Bretton
www.PerformanceStylingCentre.com.au
 

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i agree with bretton

im considering a wheel swap in the near future and rather than going to bigger wheels im just going to get a different set of 15s

also the fact that tyres are nice and cheap whereas 16s are quite a bit more expensive by comparison has an impact on it too.

Last set i got was 4 x Kumho Ecsta 711's for $350
not bad in my books considering you'd pay about $300 for no-name ones
 

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My two cents worth - wrapped around some pretty plain 14 inch rims are Eagle F1 tires, I drive my little X3 all day as if I hate it and also do a lot of distance driving, I found the F1's to be absolutely fantastic!

Wet, dry, dirt, snow and ice - these tires are are insane. Every time this snow season I drove my X3 from Sydney rather than my 4WD, consequently spending a 1/3rd the cost of fuel and travel a lot quicker & safer.

I've tried a few other tires (Pirelli's, Yokos) but found the reasonably priced F1's unbeatable. Torturing them all day last Sunday at a skidpan day these tires look only barely feathered, and as for traction they outdrove a new Porsche 996 (plus about 30 various old to new 6, 8 + super'd 6 Commodores) by a full half second in the VB Challenge (flat stick, second gear, no engine mods)

Even a friend who races Improved Production in a 550+hp rwd using A032R tires couldn't believe the way the F1's stuck to the road.

On a little Excel, the F1's rock!
 

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I normally use 16's but I have noticed the difference in power using 15's atm while my 16 get's repaired.
 
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