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Old 01-25-2007, 06:56 PM   #1
chimchimm5
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Default Why do wheels need to be tougher in the winter?

Sorry... I'm born and raised California. I only ski on snow.

I'm considering using my lightweight kosei's with all season tires for the rare cold winter days and rare trips up to the mountains. Otherwise, I never see snow.

I've read people say "use steelies or cheap wheels for winter". But since I'm a sheltered weather Cali boy, I don't know why.

Why?

Is it the salt?

sliding on ice into curbs?

abominal snowmen like to dig pot holes in the winter?

????
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
taylormade
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My short opinion? All of those reasons, steelies/cheapies are typically smaller wheels (15/16" for example), and snow tires are cheaper at those sizes, and at least for me, buying a full set of "nice" wheels for purely snow use (dirty, crusty, salty) is almost a waste of money.

If I had a set of Volks/BBS/Prodrives/Enkeis on my car in the winter, and I trashed them by drilling a curb or sliding into a ditch, I'd feel pretty stupid. I've had way more bad things happen to me and my car in the winter than in the summer.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:18 AM   #3
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Where I live it's not so much a problem with snow, as it is with the salt put on the road surface. If there is 1/32" of snow/ice, the crews will put more than that down for safety. Thus, long after the sun comes out, your entire vehicle gets the salted pretzel syndrome. Smaller, cheap "knockoff" wheels with winter rubber make you feel good, and they work too. The expensive wheels, with less winterable rubber, can stay inside where they belong.

I have also noticed that if the frozen precipitation stops, sometimes the salting still goes on. In the winter, cheap wheels, good tires, and cheap subies rule.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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Pretty much like taylormade said... cars are dirty most of the winter anyway, so shiny wheels don't make much of a difference if they're covered in salt. It's also a pain to use only 1 pair of rims and swapping on the snows and back again for the summer.

steelies are cheap and having snows mounted makes it easier to just throw them on when snow's coming... now if you have a set of rims already and don't see any massive rough winters, no harm in using what you have
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
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The real reason for most of us is that roads are terrible in the winter. They get torn apart from the temperatures, temperature changes, plows, etc. Generally, there are huge pot holes everywhere in my area and crews don't fix them until spring. Hitting curbs is another reason. Salt wouldn't stop me from keeping my summer wheels on, but that's just me.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
chimchimm5
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Ah... thanks.

So guess "winter wheels" doesn't apply to us Californians any more than "snow tires" does. (Unless you go to ski/snoboard a lot, which I don't)
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
bull3964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garface View Post
The real reason for most of us is that roads are terrible in the winter. They get torn apart from the temperatures, temperature changes, plows, etc. Generally, there are huge pot holes everywhere in my area and crews don't fix them until spring. Hitting curbs is another reason. Salt wouldn't stop me from keeping my summer wheels on, but that's just me.
That would be the biggest reason I could think of. Finishes on wheels are tough for the most part and being bathed in salt is probably less harmful to their finish than brake dust buildup. Potholes, on the other hand, are brutal in the winter as the roads literally self destruct in a matter of days in places leaving craters that can bottom out your suspension.

On that note, I would like to remark about how tough the stock 16 inch subaru alloys are. I've hit potholes that I thought for sure would dent a wheel without so much as a mark.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #8
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That would be the biggest reason I could think of. Finishes on wheels are tough for the most part and being bathed in salt is probably less harmful to their finish than brake dust buildup. Potholes, on the other hand, are brutal in the winter as the roads literally self destruct in a matter of days in places leaving craters that can bottom out your suspension.
Wow. So it really is this reason: " abominal snowmen like to dig pot holes in the winter"
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimchimm5 View Post
Wow. So it really is this reason: " abominal snowmen like to dig pot holes in the winter"
Yes. When the temperature drops, and any kind of precip starts entering the scene, large potholes start popping up like mad. I think for the most part wheels can take it, but I know of some people who have busted their OEM rims on potholes that were definitely not there the day before.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:49 PM   #10
bull3964
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It really is amazing the power that ice has to cause destruction. In pa, we have rapid temperature swings in the fall and spring months. You can go from a 60 degree afternoon to a low of 20 that very same night. If you add in rain to the mix, you have saturated ground and water sitting in small cracks in roads. A rapid freeze turns that into ice before it has a chance to drain away which causes those cracks to expand and break the pavement. You also get what are called "frost heaves" that force the roadway upwards as the soil freezes and expands under the surface. Then, when the soil thaws, it collapses which can make a nice sinkhole. This cycle happens so many times in the spring and fall that the roads crumble.

Last year, a sinkhole developed in the back parking lot of my apartment in the span of a single night. It was about six inches deep and 2 feet in diameter.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:55 PM   #11
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This is one of the main reasons I'm considering getting some 16" for winter... I can run a 205/55-16, which are lighter, cheaper, more comfortable, more rim-protecting, the tire/rim combo is less rotationally inert, and the thinness is better for snow and have less rolling resistance. Not to mention these could double as RallyX rims.

It's a win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win. Maybe a loss on aesthetics... but I think the '00-'01 RS rims look great.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind View Post
This is one of the main reasons I'm considering getting some 16" for winter... I can run a 205/55-16, which are lighter, cheaper, more comfortable, more rim-protecting, the tire/rim combo is less rotationally inert, and the thinness is better for snow and have less rolling resistance. Not to mention these could double as RallyX rims.

It's a win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win. Maybe a loss on aesthetics... but I think the '00-'01 RS rims look great.
The reasons in this thread are why I picked up a set of the 6-spoke RS wheels for winter wagon wear.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:29 PM   #13
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You guys are so lucky you have crap weather to justify beautiful 16" 00-01 RS rims.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:53 PM   #14
Overbrdrexd
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225/40-18" are great in the summer but act like balloons when one hits ice or a snow ridge built up between the fast and slow lane. It's not just ones SSR's that get dented. Use narrower A/S tires and wheels for winter. Save about $1,000 for a new front bumper. Yes I did that. Plus doing a frame scan, etc.
They salt put down in the east also eats up the wheel finish. Sand and gravel in the west is not helpfull either.
Of course a stock suby is built for winter driving.
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