When it comes to wheel sizes, there are many doubts that motorists wonder about: How big do they have to be to have maximum performance? Better 18, 17, or 16inch wheels? The choice naturally depends on the type of car you own and the driving needs and – why not – also the style of the motorist. Performance is certainly the key element on which to base one’s decision. However, in recent years aesthetics has reached considerable importance. And that is why the goal of manufacturers has recently become to combine these two elements to offer highly functional rims that are beautiful to look at. But in this regard, how important is the size? Is bigger really better?
Limits for car manufacturers
In terms of size, only with cars like SUVs, it is possible to indulge in large wheels – 20 inches or more. While with normal cars this trend is more complicated. In fact, by mounting wheels of excessive size, there are problems with the overall dimensions of the frame. Since the available spaces are reduced (in particular for the engine). That’s why car manufacturers offer larger wheels of up to 1 inch as an alternative for traditional vehicles, for example by pairing the 16inch wheels as standard with a 17-inch version. Larger wheels have a larger diameter and this results in a reduction in the shoulder of the rubber, so the tires will be lowered. The tread can be wider and the profile decrease and this ends in higher handling. Being the alternative measure of a little larger, it represents a valid choice because there is no risk of running into problems.
The critical component isn’t always to overdo it
Trouble begins to arise when you overdo it, that is, the wheel has exaggerated dimensions for the vehicle for which it is intended. Said of the positive aspects like improvement of handling due to the shorter sidewalls. That help to stabilize the tread making the tire stiffer – you cannot take into account the negative ones. The greater contact surface increases grip. It is true but it tends to make the rubber square instead of oval. And, this increases the risk of aquaplaning even at low speeds. Since the flatter surface of the tire will be led to floating on the water instead of “cutting” it. Smaller shoulders, then, reduce comfort as it decreases the cushioning capacity of the rubber and therefore the roughness of the ground inside the passenger compartment is transmitted to a greater extent.
The risks of lowered tires
As the size of the rim increases, the size of the shoulders of the tires is reduced: this equation is negative for tires. The lowered sides decrease the resistance of the cover in that area, so cuts and abrasions become more dangerous; moreover, the rim is also more exposed, and therefore the chances of damaging it in case of collisions with holes or crawls on the sidewalk increase. We must also consider that the work of the suspension is also complicated with tires of higher size: when you decide to mount larger wheels, therefore, it is necessary to recalibrate the suspension by opting for a sporty set-up. Otherwise, the road holding of the vehicle can fail and cause many driving problems.
Who are 4 seasons of tires recommended for?
Four-season tires are an optimal solution for those who are primarily looking for the convenience of being able to leave the same set of tires on board all year round. However, for it to also prove to be a functional choice, some conditions are necessary: in particular, a mild climate and without extreme weather phenomena, especially in winter, since the latter can put the all-season tires in crisis. In such circumstances, specific tires are needed, the winter ones, to be able to adequately deal with ice and snow in abundance.