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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #1
baxter
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New Tires - Went to 18' for the Winter

Just got back from getting my new wheels and tires. I had the 19' summer tires on for my first year. Now with 13000 miles on the car (and tires), the rear tires are almost like racing slicks, and while we don't have much snow and ice around here, we do get a little, and since this is my daily drive, I thought I would put winter tires on this year. This decision moved me to go to 18' wheels. I wondered if I would be able to tell a difference, and I am surprised at how large a difference there appears to be. The ride is so much smoother with 18' wheels. It makes me wonder if I just won't put 18' summer tires on next spring instead of the 19's. I suppose you give up a little performance in order to get the comfort. Do I have this right? Anyone else have any thoughts?
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Old November 8th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #2
wbonsell
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Absolutely a different ride

You will ALWAYS sacrifice ride comfort for performance gains in tires. The trick is to find a good balance given the type of driving you do. If you do little performance driving a good all season performance tire might just work year around. I run an extreme summer performance tire on my Boxster, but if there is just a bit of snow or slush, I go nowhere. So I keep it parked for the most part during the winter and venture out only when the temps are above 30 degrees with no chance of ice or snow. If I lived in an area where frequent ice and snow was a problem, then I am sure I would have two sets of wheels/tires. Ride quality has more to do with tires rather than wheel size.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 03:12 AM   #3
WC13
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The main reason for the change in comfort was the tire side wall ratio. When you go from 19 to 18 you are (usually) gaining side wall. This will increase comfort and decrease performance.

Example:
My 986 came with 205/50-17 & 255/40-17 tires as standard. I put on 225/40-18 & 265/35-18. Using the rear tires as an example, the 255 or 265 represents the tire width; 50 or 40 is the sidewall ratio and the 17 or 18 is the wheel diam. The higher the sidewall ratio, the more "give" in the tire, the lower the ratio the "stiffer" the tire -- great for the track, a little harsher ride on the street.

I just put the 17s back on for the winter and have decided to stay with them year-round. I find them MUCH more comfortable and for the street I don't notice the performance difference. I am going to keep the 18s for track use.

I have Pilot Sport A/S tires on my 17s. I think they are excellent! They give me great grip in the summer as well as in the snow here in Indiana.

SO, to get back to your post, if you are looking for a more comfortable ride and don't mind giving up a little performance, stay with the 18s.

Tire Rack can provide additional (and probably better ) info..... http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...currentpage=31

Hope I helped.
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