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Old 01-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #1
yamahito
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Default Tire width vs. Wheel width?

I notice folks putting wider tires (than stock fitment) on the same wheel width. (e.g., I have stock '99 RS wheels that come w/ 205's, and have seend 225's on the same wheel.) So my question is, does this help or hurt performance, and if it helps, is there a point at which it's too wide to help?
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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It depends. A wider tire will give you better lateral grip, but can increase unsprung weight. Most of the time when you see people going wider it's for the look, with an AWD car you're not going to see much performance difference between a 205 and a 225 in normal driving.

If you go with a wider tire, just make sure that 1.) it'll fit, 2.) it's not heavier than stock, and 3.) the overall diameter isn't taller than stock, which is the biggest no no.
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:51 PM   #3
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Right, I understand the general concept of going wider, but my main concern is going wider on the tire and not the wheel.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateLurker View Post
It depends. A wider tire will give you better lateral grip, but can increase unsprung weight. Most of the time when you see people going wider it's for the look, with an AWD car you're not going to see much performance difference between a 205 and a 225 in normal driving.

If you go with a wider tire, just make sure that 1.) it'll fit, 2.) it's not heavier than stock, and 3.) the overall diameter isn't taller than stock, which is the biggest no no.
In a NA car I think you are right on the mark. But in the STi I prefer a little taller tire for autocross. Higher rev limiter+ taller tire = better gearing in some cars.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamahito View Post
Right, I understand the general concept of going wider, but my main concern is going wider on the tire and not the wheel.
Generally, going wider on the tire alone will improve handling capability, but going wider on the tire and wheel will be better. Also, going wider on the tire but not the wheel may result in less steering response, even though handling has improved.
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mind View Post
Generally, going wider on the tire alone will improve handling capability, but going wider on the tire and wheel will be better. Also, going wider on the tire but not the wheel may result in less steering response, even though handling has improved.
^^^what he said
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:22 PM   #7
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Hmm, I just posted in the tire review sticky about this. Then saw this thread.
I switched from 225s to 215s, and the handling feels much more precise on the narrower tire. Grip went down, feel, especially at turn in, went up. But I also went from old tires to new, so...
You can read my post in the the tire review sticky.
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Old 01-28-2007, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind View Post
Generally, going wider on the tire alone will improve handling capability, but going wider on the tire and wheel will be better. Also, going wider on the tire but not the wheel may result in less steering response, even though handling has improved.
I consider handling more of a feel thing, rather than an outright grip thing.

We'd be saying the same thing, but I'd say to a point you'll gain grip, but your handling feel will drop off.

For the street, its not worth going wider and losing that. On the track, if your wheel size is limited, you'll be willing to give up feel for outright grip.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8 View Post
I consider handling more of a feel thing, rather than an outright grip thing.

We'd be saying the same thing, but I'd say to a point you'll gain grip, but your handling feel will drop off.

For the street, its not worth going wider and losing that. On the track, if your wheel size is limited, you'll be willing to give up feel for outright grip.
Yes... it depends on how the OP defines 'performance'. If performance is outright grip and lap times... wider may be better. If performance is for daily driven steet applications, then the steering feel and response of the well-matched tire width/rim width combo may be the way to go.
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