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PEd
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how do different wheel sizes handle???

please enlighen me, how does handling change on a car going from say 15 or 16 inch rims to 17 + rims????

really curious what you guys have to say about this. people always comment on how wheel changes change the feel of the car but how?
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

I upgraded my 16" teledials to 17" wheels. Its the best upgrade for the 156 i believe. My 17" wheels are fitted with 215/45/17 tyres, this means they are slightly wider than standard wheels giving better handling, and because the size of the rim is bigger, they fill the arches properly and look great. Just make sure you choose the right wheel design for your car, as it can make-or-break the look of the car.
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

Didn't notice any major downside when I upgraded my old 156 TS to 17". I had stiffer springs fitted at the time because I had an early Lusso spec so I felt handling improved (and it was slightly lowered). Looks much, much better. Agree with Suerturismo, best mod possible for a 156.

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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

I wouldn't go more than 18" A mate of mine had a Astra VXR company car a while back and it had 19" alloys, the profile of the tyres was so low there may has well been no tyre and it was quite an uncomfortable ride.
 
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

stick to the road better cause of low profile tyres although go too bi an u can start to feel every bump, but small price to pay,lol
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

I was reading in evo a while back when they done some tyre tests, it was on a Golf GTI, and (if i remember rightly) it was faster around the circuit on 17" than 18" rims and tyres.
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

15's to 16's and you won't notice any difference. 17's are firmer, less forgiving over potholes, but the grip is much better (I run 225/45-17's, used to have teledials with 205/55-16's). 18's & 19's on any mid-range saloon are unbearable IMO - tramlining, road noise, ride comfort.
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

Bigger wheels and tyres have more rotational inertia and sap power from the engine. Additionally they also lengthen the gearing slightly (reducing acceleration slightly) so that GTi result probably would be the expected outcome for a relatively modestly powered car like the GTI.
Add tons more torque and maybe the extra contact area and stiffer sidewalls due to the lower profile would allow better traction under cornering that would have balanced things out or better..

A 2.0L t-spark going from 16 to 18" wheels would feel significantly slower in a straight line, plus ride quality would be affected a fair bit. One increase in diameter (16->17") is normally enough, otherwise standard fixed dampers are getting our of their comfort zone.

Oh and wider tyres always have worse steering feel than the standard size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cul View Post
I was reading in evo a while back when they done some tyre tests, it was on a Golf GTI, and (if i remember rightly) it was faster around the circuit on 17" than 18" rims and tyres.

I'm not a doctor - but I really do recommend braking later
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

as above, it's not a linear improvement the bigger you go; it reaches a point where there is a compromise and some things suffer.

things that change, including as discussed above, include:
*tyre profile: bigger wheels = lower profile (to retain same rolling circumference); lower profile = less 'squirm' during cornering, making for better grip; at the expense of ride comfort cos 'less tyre' to absorb bumps
*tyre width: you can usually go for a wider tyre as part of the combo whilst retaining the same rolling circumference; better grip but more noise and more prone to aquaplaning (losing grip over 'sheets' of water) and tramlining (tyres follow the contours in the road instead of where you point them)
*weight: bigger wheel = more metal = increased weight; increased 'unsprung weight' puts more work on the suspension; if suspension not upgraded it can feel 'crashy' and excessively bumpy; reduced acceleration AND deceleration
*TYRE QUALITY: i think this is important and taken for granted; but lower profile tyres tend to be engineered and marketed as higher quality; it's as simple as changing from a lower quality to a higher quality tyre (all else being equal) which can bring significant benefits alone

non-handling issues:
*4WD looks: it's an optical illusion but the air gap between the top of the tyre and the wheel arch appears bigger and more obvious; this can look ungainly and like a jacked-up 4WD
*cost: initial outlay plus replacement tyres
*higher risk of buckling wheels: less tyre to absorb potholes so more force transmitted to wheel

i agree, that on a car like a 147/156/GT, 17" wheel-tyre combo is probably the best compromise between handling and comfort.

doing a '+1' upgrade (ie: increasing wheel diameter by 1") may not bring an obvious, significant upgrade or difference, especially changing from 15 to 16". a +2 upgrade would be more noticable. once you reach 18" and beyond, you start to compromise on ride comfort, and possibly grip especially on bumpy roads, where a bit of tyre 'give' can aide grip, instead of being skittish; it no doubt remains dependent on tyre design and quality. and once you go to 18s, i think you will want to upgrade the suspension for better damper control, and lowering to reduce the air gap and improve cosmetics.

it's not all bad though, and mostly good. IF you do it right! but that costs $$$; so if you can upgrade the suspension, choose a high quality lightweight wheel (for its given size), and choose a high quality tyre, the results can be excellent.


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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

Putting 17"s on my 156 Veloce transformed it, even the ride! The 19"s on my 159 look the biz and grip is massive but road noise is high & tyres are expensive to replace (as I found out with <2k miles on the clock).
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

One point to make is that it is not handling that is being improved, it's generally grip and crisper steering (due to lower profile tyres).
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

I had 16s on my old 147 and put 17s on it. It cornered fantastically well on them and seemed to have limitless grip.

But on anything other than motorways and well-maintained roads the ride was abysmal. I ran them for 6 months before switching back to 16s. I probably could have improved things with suspension mods, but I wasn't prepared to spend the money.
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Re: how do different wheel sizes handle???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squadrone Rosso View Post
Putting 17"s on my 156 Veloce transformed it, even the ride! The 19"s on my 159 look the biz and grip is massive but road noise is high & tyres are expensive to replace (as I found out with <2k miles on the clock).
agreed. when i put the 17's on my veloce it vastly improved things ride, handling and the looks. the p-zero's are yet to let me down
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