Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
2002 WRX
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking at tires for stock '04 wheels (Swift springs). Is there any real noticeable advantage in slightly wider, shorter tires vs the stock size? The price difference is like $25 per tire. Also, any rubbing concerns with the slight drop from Swifts?
 

·
Registered
2012 Toyota Prius CVT
Joined
·
185 Posts
Looking at tires for stock '04 wheels (Swift springs). Is there any real noticeable advantage in slightly wider, shorter tires vs the stock size? The price difference is like $25 per tire. Also, any rubbing concerns with the slight drop from Swifts?
I have stock shocks and swifts on 225/60 16s with no issues at all.
 

·
Registered
04 FXT5MT
Joined
·
76 Posts
Anyone else have any opinions on this? I don't have the $$ for new wheels, and am thinking about going with 225/55 16 when it's time to replace the current stock sized all seasons that came with the car.

It does seem there is better selection in the plus size for higher performance tires ( esp. summer only tires), but I don't know if there's really much benefit to just going up one plus size. (Although it would probably look better...)
 

·
Registered
2018 XT Touring CVT
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
No advantage overall to going wider, just better at the track. Wider will be noisier and less fuel efficient, worse in wet and snow.
Shorter sidewall will give you quicker steering response, overall better handling, and rougher ride.
A 225/55-16 will give you a shorter sidewall than a 215/60-16.
A 225/50-17 or 235/45-18 will give you an even shorter sidewall, and will be closer in overall height.
When you go to a shorter sidewall, you normally are stuck with a wider tread, unless you can make your own tires.
I was able to get a shorter sidewall and narrower tread, which is my preference, by going to 205/60-16, down from the stock 215/60-16 on my 2006 XT.
If I was going to get separate tires and rims for summer and winter, I would go 17 or 18's for summer, and 16's for winter. I would even go 15's for winter, but they won't clear my XT's front brakes.
 

·
Registered
none none
Joined
·
8,844 Posts
Wider will give you better cornering traction. Shorter will give you a "Stiffer" tire. Personally I really liked contiextremecontacts in the stock 215/60/16, however on my 17x7.5 wheels I really liked a 235 wide tire too. It's all up to personal preference. I'd possibly try the 225/60/16 size if the tire you want is available. Taller sidewall makes for a more comfortable compliant ride (on my 17" wheels I started with a 45 sidewall and that was almost unbearable on the broken up asphalt around here, and rail crossings were too jarring).
 

·
Registered
2018 XT Touring CVT
Joined
·
1,294 Posts
There is more to shorter sidewalls than a stiffer ride. They can change direction quicker. A shorter sidewall will always help handling, and hurt your ride comfort.

Wider by itself does not help you change direction quicker. They spin less on a dry road, more on snow. They help you launch quicker at the racetrack. They show better results on a dry circular skidpad or a NASCAR oval track.

Handling is more than just starting traction or going around a circle fast.
Handling is the ability to change and control direction quickly, like in emergency swerving, the 700 foot slalom, and road racing.

When you go wider, you change the shape of the contact patch more than the size.
All tires have some "balloon effect". Balloon tires on a dune buggy have a huge balloon effect. That is, if you change the tire width and keep the same vehicle weight and air pressure on a dune buggy, you do not make the contact patch bigger, you just make it wider (sideways) but shorter (fore to aft).

Car tires have less, but still some balloon effect. If you put on a tire with the same air pressure that is 10% wider, your contact patch does not get 10% bigger. It gets bigger by less than 10%, and the contact patch gets wider and shorter. This changes your traction character, and makes it better for some things, and worse for others.

All of this assumes that you are comparing different sizes of the same brand and model tire, on the same vehicle.
The rubber compound has a huge effect. A summer tire will be soft and grippy when warm, but hard and slippery when cold. A winter tire will be soft and grippy when cold, but too soft when warm.

Someone gets high performance summer tires, and they can feel better handling, in warm weather.
These tires happen to have shorter sidewalls, warm temperature compounding, and a wider tread.
Then they want to give all the credit to the wider tread, which has the least effect.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top