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Rims for Winter tyres

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
kosmoz wrote:
Overthinking on so many levels. Open drivers doors, find available tire sizes for your car, get those together with rims, steel or alloy.


If you did that with my car, you'd 80% likely to find they don't fit. One person's 'overthinking' is another person's 'being well-informed'.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
kosmoz wrote:
Overthinking on so many levels. Open drivers doors, find available tire sizes for your car, get those together with rims, steel or alloy.


That wouldn't work here. Might find some suitable tyres though snowHead snowHead
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kosmoz wrote:
Overthinking on so many levels. Open drivers doors, find available tire sizes for your car, get those together with rims, steel or alloy.


Are the winter tyre sizes on UK cars also printed on the inside of the door? If you don‘t put the right size (normally thinner) tyres on some cars then they don‘t have enough clearance for chains.
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Found this site while searching if the winter rims/tyres on my old polo would fit the new one I got. Slightly different size, but not enough to worry about. https://www.wheel-size.com/size/volkswagen/polo/2019/#trim-10tsi-115-eudm-114
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DB wrote:
kosmoz wrote:
Overthinking on so many levels. Open drivers doors, find available tire sizes for your car, get those together with rims, steel or alloy.


Are the winter tyre sizes on UK cars also printed on the inside of the door? If you don‘t put the right size (normally thinner) tyres on some cars then they don‘t have enough clearance for chains.


Why do you think you need something different sized in winter? What do you think, how impressed insurance will be with your fascinating story about bigger pressure per square inch of footprint and subaru impreza on WRC stage pictures, when something fatal happens on the road and investigators will look into EVERYTHING? Keep on original tyre sizes, which you will find in glovebox , under fuel cap or under driver doors

And why would one get a nice car and drive it on an awfull wheel setup for half a year? Just to appreciate summer wheel looks more?
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@kosmoz, I think you may have missed the point.

Taking my car as an example, there are three tyre sizes approved by the manufacturer. The tyres fitted are reasonably wide, for performance. However, in snowy conditions the narrower width will work better as described above. So, if I'm buying an extra set of tyres and wheels for use in winter conditions, I'll buy the best ones for the job. Insurance company will be perfectly happy if I've fitted a size approved by the manufacturer.

The winter set up won't be awful (it will be better) and won't look any less good (because I can't fit steel wheels even if I wanted to).
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Didnt find it inconvenient on 275/40 315/35 r20 all year, flipping only tyres from summer to winter.

Now 225/45 r17 winter, 225/40 255/35 r18 in summer, because looks Very Happy

But don’t understand those inventing new tire sizes for the car, driving smallest possible on summer, 205/55 r16 for example, and trying to go even narrower in winter.
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kosmoz wrote:
But don’t understand those inventing new tire sizes for the car, driving smallest possible on summer, 205/55 r16 for example, and trying to go even narrower in winter.


But the people who have posted like Alastair aren't talking about "inventing" new tyre sizes themselves, they're talking about using the manufacturers' official recommended tyre sizes, which in his case covers three different tyre sizes.
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One thing you do need to check is the offset. Subaru tend to have a different offset and most of the rims available are not suitable.

I remember having issues finding some for my Impreza. In the end, I ended up getting some racing alloys. They were still cheaper than OEM Subaru ones and far better quality. The original alloys used in the summer have pit marks etc. but the winter set are still in good nick. Can't remember for sure but I think the summer ones are 215/60/17 and the winter 215/55/16 but both sizes are listed on the door plate that gives the tyre pressure.
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If you do change make sure you inform your insurance company of the modification....
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kosmoz wrote:
Why do you think you need something different sized in winter? What do you think, how impressed insurance will be with your fascinating story about bigger pressure per square inch of footprint and subaru impreza on WRC stage pictures, when something fatal happens on the road and investigators will look into EVERYTHING? Keep on original tyre sizes, which you will find in glovebox , under fuel cap or under driver doors

And why would one get a nice car and drive it on an awfull wheel setup for half a year? Just to appreciate summer wheel looks more?


In many mainland European countries the norm is two sets of tyres/wheels, 1 for summer 1 for winter.
Why should I pay more for a wider tyre / wheel set up that gives a worse performance in winter?

Here in Austria all tyre sizes (summer & winter) and wheel specs are printed on the car registration documents. Wider tyres in summer, narrower in winter as per the manufacturer's approved tyre / wheel specifications. There's no insurance issue. The problem is that for UK cars the winter tyre / wheel specs are often not passsed onto UK drivers and UK insurance companies have a "computer says no" mentality. The tyre/wheel setup that is seen as the optimum winter setup for cars in Europe is often refused by UK insurance companies. This renders the car less safe in winter conditions and can prohibit the fitting of snowchains. I'd rather get the details from the car manufacturers then get approval from the insurance company than drive a less safe car.

In many alpine countries it's a legal requirement to carry snow chains and use them in servere winter conditions. Can you put snow chains on your car?

Cars with super wide tyres are a nighmare in deep winter conditions, esp. if they are rear wheel drive. e.g. they aqua plane much earlier and have much poorer traction on hard ice / snow. Cars with super wider summer tyres benefit the most from narrower winter tyres.

PS Fitting tyres onto a wheel stresses the tyre. Changing over two sets of tyres on one set of wheels each year is not good for the tyres.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
{And why would one get a nice car and drive it on an awfull wheel setup for half a year? Just to appreciate summer wheel looks more?}

It's a common misconception that low-profile wheels and tyres are better, all-round, when they aren't. On a performance car especially, they're great in the warm and dry, but they're much more prone to aquaplaning in the wet than narrower sizes. So once we get into a typical wet UK winter, you want your car to have higher-profile tyres. Modern traction control systems go some way to counteracting the problem of a powerful car (especially RWD) in the wet, but they can't overcome the laws of physics.

Another misconception is that winter tyres are really only for snow, which most UK car owners only rarely encounter, even if they drive to the Alps to ski every year. This is also untrue. Winter tyres have compounds and tread sipes that mean it warms-up faster and more, giving better grip, plus tread designs that are much more resistant to aquaplaning. Their better snow performance is icing on the cake.

These factors combine to mean that on my RWD performance convertible, narrower wheels and winter tyres bring a significant improvement in traction and safety during a typical cool and wet UK winter.

UK insurers have now conceded that certified winter tyres are not a performance enhancement and most do not require notification any more*. 5-6 years ago, the forums were rife with people reporting that their insurer had actually increased their premium when ill-informed representatives classed them as a performance modification, but this stage is now past. If you change your wheels as well, it's probably best to contact your insurer first, as their policy on wheel change is inconsistent (to be fair, the are plenty of nutter owners out there who will happily fit dangerously unsuitable wheels/tyre combinations to their cars). Obviously, changing wheels to a size certified by the manufacturer is unlikely to be an issue, hence my recommendation to get an 'official' dealer's OK that the size you intend to use is certified.

*https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/motor/2017/10/abi-guide-to-winter-driving---the-motor-insurance-commitment.pdf

Finally, for Snowhead members who drive to the Alps, the need to be able to fit snow chains is as much a matter of safety as conformance. Yes, if you have good winter tyres, the odds are very low that you'll ever need them. But the police can make their fitting compulsory, and you may need them even for just a short but steep drive or an icy patch in the resort etc. The manufacturer's certified winter wheel+tyre sizes leave you with enough room to fit chains without fouling the suspension and steering etc. However, most performance car ex-factory, low-profile summer wheel sizes are too wide to take chains safely (hence the narrower winter spec'). Many UK SUVs (like my Jeep Grand Cherokee) get low-profile wheels ex-factory (why?) that counterintuitively won't take chains. However, you can use the front-fitting chains like the Spike Spider EASY if you decide to, or have to retain your low-profile summer wheels.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Mon 16-09-19 10:26; edited 1 time in total
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@LaForet, the profile of the tyre won't* have an effect on aquaplaning. Width definitely does.

*OK, in fairness, some but so very marginal, relating to the bound and rebound of the tyre wall at various pressures and temperatures.
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You know it makes sense.
Richard_Sideways wrote:
@LaForet, the profile of the tyre won't* have an effect on aquaplaning. Width definitely does.

*OK, in fairness, some but so very marginal, relating to the bound and rebound of the tyre wall at various pressures and temperatures.


Yes, I was really just using the term as a tag: a lot of owners can relate to the 'low-profile' term but as you imply, there's more to it than that. And that's if you retain a consistent rolling radius as well. It's easier than discussing the criteria of 'all other things being equal' too. And as you narrow the tyre width, you must reach a point where the increased resistance to aquaplaning is outweighed by the reduced contact patch area, even if the pressure per unit area is increasing.

All I meant to indicate was that lower-profile tyres bring benefits but degrade other characteristics, like resistance to aquaplaning. And that it's surprising how many vehicles (like my Grand Cherokee) get fitted with unnecessarily low profile tyres ex-factory.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
so many theory about aquaplaning earlier on wider tires, when in reality your corollas, moka's and hyundais doesn't even reach that speed to aquaplane in the first place Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
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kosmoz wrote:
so many theory about aquaplaning earlier on wider tires, when in reality your corollas, moka's and hyundais doesn't even reach that speed to aquaplane in the first place Laughing


I get it, your input into this thread is not so much to offer valuable advice for others but to show-off what a great flashy sports car with super wide tyres you have. Sports cars rarely make good winter cars so maybe you are trying to show off to the wrong audience. In winter conditions the Opel Mokka X's and hyundai 4WD's will be overtaking you. snowHead

The Autobahn near where I live has a section prone to aqua-planing, the speed limit is reduced to 100 km during winter / wet conditions (approx 60 mph). Of course some people ignore it and the ones with wide tyres get caught out first.

https://www.einsatzdoku.at/2017/05/09/noe-bez-st-poelten-sportwagen-verunfallt-auf-der-a1-bei-pressbaum/

https://www.meinbezirk.at/purkersdorf/c-lokales/glueck-im-unglueck-bei-schwerem-verkehrsunfall-auf-der-a1-bei-pressbaum_a2143287


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 16-09-19 12:32; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:
Winter tyres reduce the risk of aquaplaning due to their specific shape designed to displace the water underneath the tyre. They have much better grip and excellent driveability, thanks to greater tread depth than summer tyres.


https://www.kleber-tyres.com/kleber-advice/winter-tyres
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LaForet wrote:

It's a common misconception that low-profile wheels and tyres are better, all-round, when they aren't. On a performance car especially, they're great in the warm and dry, but they're much more prone to aquaplaning in the wet than narrower sizes. So once we get into a typical wet UK winter, you want your car to have higher-profile tyres. Modern traction control systems go some way to counteracting the problem of a powerful car (especially RWD) in the wet, but they can't overcome the laws of physics.

Another misconception is that winter tyres are really only for snow, which most UK car owners only rarely encounter, even if they drive to the Alps to ski every year. This is also untrue. Winter tyres have compounds and tread sipes that mean it warms-up faster and more, giving better grip, plus tread designs that are much more resistant to aquaplaning. Their better snow performance is icing on the cake.

These factors combine to mean that on my RWD performance convertible, narrower wheels and winter tyres bring a significant improvement in traction and safety during a typical cool and wet UK winter.

Absolutely. Some more advantages of higher profile tyres over low profile ones are that they give a less hard ride, have slightly better fuel consumption (less rolling resistance) and of course they are cheaper! Madeye-Smiley
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tire choice, oil choice, wax choice (for ski/snowboard) - everything is so overrated and overthought and overdiscussed on forums. There definitely is difference between two, but not so big, that one would want to go deep into it, because return is minor. Had zero issues running 275/315 wide tires on X5 in winter/summer, don't see a point going from 225 to 205 or from 205 to 195.
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kosmoz wrote:
tire choice, oil choice, wax choice (for ski/snowboard) - everything is so overrated and overthought and overdiscussed on forums. There definitely is difference between two, but not so big, that one would want to go deep into it, because return is minor. Had zero issues running 275/315 wide tires on X5 in winter/summer, don't see a point going from 225 to 205 or from 205 to 195.


There's a big difference between being able to fit snowchains or not if you get caught in a heavy winter storm.
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LaForet wrote:
UK insurers have now conceded that certified winter tyres are not a performance enhancement and most do not require notification any more*. 5-6 years ago, the forums were rife with people reporting that their insurer had actually increased their premium when ill-informed representatives classed them as a performance modification, but this stage is now past. If you change your wheels as well, it's probably best to contact your insurer first, as their policy on wheel change is inconsistent (to be fair, the are plenty of nutter owners out there who will happily fit dangerously unsuitable wheels/tyre combinations to their cars). Obviously, changing wheels to a size certified by the manufacturer is unlikely to be an issue, hence my recommendation to get an 'official' dealer's OK that the size you intend to use is certified.
I've just got a new car (Kia Sportage) and checked the owners manual to see what it says about winter tyres and wheel sizes. There not a recommendation for alternative size wheels which would be suitable, and it says winter tyres must be the same size as the recommended tyre size (ie, the same as the tyres that it came fitted with). I guess my insurance company would expect me to follow what the owners manual says.
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@rob@rar,

Some cars do use the same winter & summer tyre size but on these cars there is normally enough space for chains. Would be interesting to see if in central europe they would put thinner winter tyres on it.

This link might help …..
https://www.reifendirekt.at/Advice/KIA/KIA-Sportage-Reifen.html?ID=sea_rd_at_google&Country=AT&gclid=CjwKCAjw5fzrBRASEiwAD2OSV5CyX-T-AZvvRurIEsRwPtg3mqCDChvbYSth2biqxOm0w-4kMXSgiBoCnNsQAvD_BwE
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rob@rar Yes, 'ordinary' cars (apologies, I don't mean to sound dismissive, just referring to non-performance, non-SUV etc.) often won't need a different wheel size, because they're not carrying low-profile setup as standard. My Peugeot 206 was one such and we just swapped the tyres 'round as there was plenty of room for chains on the ex-factory wheels.

When you use lower-profile wheels the extra width is mainly taken from the free space between the rear side of the wheel and the chassis/suspension. This can leave very little space for conventional chains to fit (i.e. chains where the chain wraps around the rear side of the tyre.). Here's the inside of my performance car's rear summer low-profile wheel+tyre, with the suspension strut on the right - this doesn't really leave enough space to fit a conventional snowchain, especially if it's a bit loose:



As I said, you can get around this problem by using one of the front-fitting types of snowchain, but these are expensive. Also, while they solve the problem of fitting chains, they don't address the issues of low-profile sizes (vs narrower sizes) in terms of their poorer resistance to aquaplaning and inferior snow traction.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 17-09-19 10:27; edited 1 time in total
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If you've got that little inboard clearance, you'd be better off putting a 5mm wheel spacer in to increase the gap to accommodate the chain.
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LaForet wrote:
When you use lower-profile wheels the extra width is mainly taken from the free space between the anterior side of the wheel and the chassis/suspension. This can leave very little space for conventional chains to fit (i.e. chains where the chain wraps around the anterior side of the tyre.). Here's the inside of my performance car's rear summer low=profile wheel+tyre, with the suspension strut on the right - this doesn't really leave enough space to fit a conventional snowchain, especially if it's a bit loose:



As I said, you can get around this problem by using one of the front-fitting types of snowchain, but these are expensive Madeye-Smiley .


Just a query on terminology - you mentioned front fitting types of snowchain, so you are (as I would) considering the "front" of the tyre as the accessible external side. In which case isn't that the anterior (= front) side, and the side near to the suspension strut is the posterior (=rear) side?
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Sometimes space is tight on the inner and outer side of the tyre so a spacer won’t always work.

This gets around the inside clearance issue but they are expensive and don‘t generally work as well as a conventional snow chain (scratching the service rather than digging in)

http://web.rud.com/en-uk/products/schneeketten/pkw/centrax_pkw.html
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Alistair Pink You're right. One of those Senior Moments I'm increasingly prone to. I should avoid using an obscure word when a simple one will do anyway, so I'll change the original text to use 'rear' Madeye-Smiley

@Richard Yes. You might use spacers, but then you're likely into a setup that's not certified by the manufacturer (I know, what are the odds that a claims handler will use this 'uncertified' setup to reject an accident claim? but ...). And if it's FWD the tyre may rub against the outside wheel arch.

@DB I actually have the Spike Spider Easy Sport* chains. I found that the front-fitting types fit a much wider range of wheel sizes (so more likely to fit my next car). Plus they really do only take a minute to fit. Yes, they're £300, so rather pricey. From my research, I hadn't come across any reviews saying their traction isn't as good as conventional chains, though.

[Tip: I realised that the suggestion in my manual to test fit the chains before using them in earnest isn't just good practice - it's essential. Many types of chain fit a range of sizes, so unless you're lucky, the links may have to be adjusted for your specific wheels. This isn't something you want to be doing up a mountain, in the dark and snow. I also realised that this is easiest done on the spare wheel initially, so you can easily manoeuvre them around and see how they're meant to fit, and take them off and on to do any adjustments. Then when you actually try them on the car it should be a lot easier.]

*http://www.spikes-spider.ch/en/schneeketten-online-shop/spikes-spider-produkte/backPID/spikes-spider-produkte-1/categories/spikes-spider-schneekette/products/spikes-spider-easy-sport.html
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
LaForet wrote:
@DB I actually have the Spike Spider Easy Sport* chains. I found that the front-fitting types fit a much wider range of wheel sizes (so more likely to fit my next car). Plus they really do only take a minute to fit. Yes, they're £300, so rather pricey. From my research, I hadn't come across any reviews saying their traction isn't as good as conventional chains, though.


Yes being able to fit very quickly on more than one car is a big plus.
As conventional chains wrap around the tyre they will dig into the snow and cut away loose snow until they bite on the harder stuff underneath. The risk with chains that don't go over both edges of the tyre is that the spikes just leave grooves in the snow and the tyres spin on the surface. The Austrian and German equivalent of the AA reported this happening under certan conditions when they tested them. Users have also reported losing a chain as they are only fixed securely on one side.
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