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Discussion Starter #1
It looks like it's time to get some new rubber on the Mito, but the question is 205 or 215??

At present it has 215/45/17 91Y Pirelli PZero Nero on. I have no complaints, they are certainly more compliant than the Michelins and Bridgestones that have shod courtesy cars I have used and after 10,000 miles nearing the end of their life (on the front at least)

Anyway, the reason I am asking the question is this: I know that the 215's are more widely available, about 5% taller and a tad cheaper. Unfortunately most now seem to be Extra Load/Reinforced which for the Mito is not required, negating the benefit of a taller sidewall meaning a Load Index of 91 instead of the 87. This makes the tyre less flexible and heavier. I know that there is But, I checked out the figures on the 205's and they are over 10% lighter inspite of being XL rated tyres. Interestingly the difference in tread width on the make I checked was 16mm, not the 10mm I was expecting (203mm against 219mm). Now having a 1.4 95bhp Mito it's no ball of fire, and also the lightest in the weight stakes, so I don't think the extra footprint would make that much difference in the performance stakes, but having lighter narrower tyres I think there could be a difference in the economy stakes.

Now I'm no expert so I would value your opinions on your experiences, particularly if you are running 205's or have changed between the two yourself.
 

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Just fitted 205s on the front as the originals had worn out (20000m)
Bit pricey at £160 each but so impressed with the originals (Bridgestone Potenzas) had to have the same again.

I opted for the 'Elegant' ally wheels so 205s come as standard with that size rim.
As for them been lighter tyres they are smaller in diameter than the 215s so any fuel gains may be lost with the lower gearing?

But the acceleration will be faster :D

Btw I've averaged 40.6mpg over 12000m on the 'A' trip :thumbs:
 

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Forgot to add: Bridgestone Potenza 205s are 88 load indexed and 'W' speed rated.
So 130 mph can be safely maintained :tut: :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think the 1.4 95bhp might struggle to achieve 130 mph!
 
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I'm a big believer in sticking to the original rubber if you can afford to. The car you originally bought was developed to offer the best experience with the tyres it came with!! I have admittedly used cheaper tyres to get me through but if a long trip is planned we go back to a full set of originals. Never forget you might get to 50% of your cars potential on the public highway, unless its really bad weather!
 

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Apart from the fact that Alfa have stuck a variety of rubber on the same car with the same setup!

Pzero Nero 215/45R17 here - tried some Falken 452s but they were dire in the wet and the Pirellis arent madly expensive...

GK
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a big believer in sticking to the original rubber if you can afford to. The car you originally bought was developed to offer the best experience with the tyres it came with!! I have admittedly used cheaper tyres to get me through but if a long trip is planned we go back to a full set of originals. Never forget you might get to 50% of your cars potential on the public highway, unless its really bad weather!
I know what you mean, for our Mito both sizes are listed and endorsed/certified/recommended/approved by Alfa. I do not want to go out of specification. Bear in mind that I'm pretty sure that they have the wheels pretty much with the tyres on before they decide which vehicle to fit them to and if its veloce spec you get 5 hole with....215's. Seems to be upgrade wheels get the narrower tyres. Now as far as I am aware there is absolutely no difference between veloce and lusso spec or suspension set up that would necessitate specific tyres, indeed the vehicle label inside the drivers door has Mito 1.4 95bhp Lusso/Veloce so it could have come with 195/55/16 or 205/45/17 or 215/45/17. It certainly wasn't developed specifically for 215/45/17.

What does concern me is that all the online tyre websites quote 205's if you give the registration number - someone's going to end up with a mixed set somewhere along the line. Check out your handbook and try the online tyre dealers with the registration check - see what yours comes up with!
 
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XL loading doesn't really add to the price.

XL are about the same as non-XL.


Stick with what the manual says.

Saves for hassle if something goes wrong and your insurance starts digging into
what rubber you have on.


If you can't afford to buy the correct tyres get smaller wheels. (I did.) ;)
 
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I know this is 10 millimetres difference between tyres but the narrower tyre will be exerting more pressure into it's contact patch, and therefore more grip in the wet/snow. I note someone said the upgrades get thinner tyres?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
XL loading doesn't really add to the price.

XL are about the same as non-XL.


Stick with what the manual says.

Saves for hassle if something goes wrong and your insurance starts digging into
what rubber you have on.


If you can't afford to buy the correct tyres get smaller wheels. (I did.) ;)
Manual says either.

It's not the cost of XL its the reinforcement that makes them much harder/stiffer
 
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Wouldn't XLs be a better choice given the state of UK roads.
(More resilient against pot-hole damage etc?)
 

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There's almost no such thing as OEM tyres on Alfas. I've seen Pirellis, Bridgstone, Goodyear, Michellins all on brand new cars, so no need to replace with whatever was supplied as new. Granted, they are usually "premium" brands, though often the cheapest in the range.

I'm a big fan of the "mid range" Falken ZE912s as a great all-rounder for road use. Got them on the GTA and the Mito now. I've found the limit of grip in the GTA, and I was driving in a way that was just wrong for the road, but for the Mito, there's no point paying any more as far as I can see. They corner and brake well and wet and dry grip is better than the old Michelin Exaltos.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Wouldn't XLs be a better choice given the state of UK roads.
(More resilient against pot-hole damage etc?)
Now this is the interesting bit! The 205's specified are 88XL, the 215's are 87, but it's really difficult to find 215's that aren't XL rated in a price/brand I'd be prepared to buy. If I go and buy 91XL 215's I then end up with an even stiffer tyre which is out of spec!! (technically - I know that the load index is a minimum, but even so what impact on the ride if you fitted 10% stiffer springs?)....and Alfa fit 215/45/17 91XL anyway!!

To me, and maybe I'm convincing myself here, the 205's seem to be a better match to my car, than the 215's.

Here's another thought, tyre manufacturers recommend a range of wheel widths for their tyres: 205's = 6 1/2" - 7 1/2", 215's = 7" - 8". The 17" 5 hole wheels are 7" - bang in the middle of the rim width range, 215's on 7" the narrow side of recommended??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Having convinced myself(!) that 205 is the way to go I've just shelled out for a full set! After 50 odd miles there is definitely a difference - but please bear in mind this is 3mm (Front), 6mm(rear) PZero in 215/45/17XL 91Y to new 205/45/17XL 88Y.

Steering feels lighter.
feels more responsive to steering input.
feels quicker
feels more compliant
bumps are heard rather than felt
doesn't seem to hop over undulations in a bend
Sidewall of tyre looks vertical (as if the tread is as wide as the rim, as opposed to the tread looking wider than the rim)

Now all this might be subjective, and you might say that I'm trying to justify my decision, conciously or not, maybe like buying Shell Vpower, but for a 1.4 95bhp, in my opinion it's an improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Done a bit of research and the difference in mass between a 215/45/17 91Y and a 205/45/17 88Y:

These are the mass of the tyres, 205's in brackets:

Bridgestone RE050 10.91kg (9.79kg)

Kumho Ecsta 9.63kg (9.11kg)

Toyo Proxes 10.22kg (9.32kg)

Yokohama S-Drive 11.18kg (10.04kg)

So roughly thats 10% lighter for a 205! I am quite suprised in the difference to be honest, not only between the sizes but also between the manufacturers. These were the only manufacturers I could get tyre masses for (It's from manufacturers sites), but I did find that Pirelli PZero Nero in 215 is 10kg dead (unofficially!)
 
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Reduced unsprung weight is always a good thing! Never thought of the weight of the tyre being that much different?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Reduced unsprung weight is always a good thing! Never thought of the weight of the tyre being that much different?
I was really suprised to be honest, but it also gives an insight into which ones would be stiffer even in the same size.
 

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I do find it slightly odd that manufacturers don't allow you to pick which tyres - or at least stick with one preferred type for one model.

you can specify the most minute details on all parts of the car but have absolutely no say whatsoever in one of the most important parts of the car - the bit that actually keeps it on the road

makes a big difference to the yearly running costs if you have to change your tyres every 10,000 mile s or every 30,000 miles
 

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i do find it slightly odd that manufacturers don't allow you to pick which tyres - or at least stick with one preferred type for one model.

You can specify the most minute details on all parts of the car but have absolutely no say whatsoever in one of the most important parts of the car - the bit that actually keeps it on the road

makes a big difference to the yearly running costs if you have to change your tyres every 10,000 mile s or every 30,000 miles
+1
 

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I do find it slightly odd that manufacturers don't allow you to pick which tyres - or at least stick with one preferred type for one model.

you can specify the most minute details on all parts of the car but have absolutely no say whatsoever in one of the most important parts of the car - the bit that actually keeps it on the road

makes a big difference to the yearly running costs if you have to change your tyres every 10,000 mile s or every 30,000 miles


Sure it'd be great to be able to spec the tyre you wanted on a new car but I can't see it being an option for a few possible reasons :

It'd be yet another factor to reduce the probability of having the required car with the exact spec in stock if you could spec what tyres you wanted.
If they chose one particular type per model they may be letting themselves open to possible stock issues if that particular supplier had a problem/strike etc.


Also Alfa tend to fit more performance based tyres for example Bridgestone Potenza RE050A on the 17" & 18" sizes on the Mito where as they fit Turanza RE300 on the 16" which would be considered more of a high mileage tyre.


Saying that if the Dealer had another new car in stock with the tyres I wanted fitted to the same wheels I'd be asking him to swap them over :D
 
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