Brakes Wheels 1st Gen Tires Advantages of 17" wheels

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by Goldsmithy, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Goldsmithy

    Goldsmithy MINI Alliance Ambassador
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    I am having a hard time searching for information on running 17" wheels on a 05 R52 S. Someone gave me a set of 17 ' wheels that exactly match my current white spoke stock wheels.I will not be running run flat tires. A lot of my driving is freeway. Gas mileage increase, all other things being equal? Stiffer ride? Opinions please :) As always, TIA
     
  2. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I have 17 and so does my wife. I like my 17 and when I get new rime it will be the same size. I think they ride fine on my wife's R57. As for my R53 I can't say because I have different springs and struts. I don't really have anything to compare it to. I do like the way they look. Sorry I'm not more help.
     
  3. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

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    #3 wmwny, Jul 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
    I have a set of 17" R90s. They ride okay on my wife's bone stock '06 R53, but when they are on my modded '06 R53, they ride hard, or so it seems. Because Jan tuned my S, the mileage doesn't suffer at all, but on my wife's S, the large rims don't do her any favors. Of course, she drives really slow [yes, MUCH slower than I] and in town only, so that contributes to the lousy mileage. She does like them because of their height [she is 5' nothing and needs a higher ride].
     
  4. Crashton

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    My .02 is the 16" wheel tire combination is perfect for a street driven MINI. Yes 16" wheels will give a better ride that 17's. That's what I ran on mine, but as you know everyone has different likes. Since you have 17" wheels use them.
     
  5. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    17's without Run Rock tire's are fine for any daily driver.

    Any regular tire will softer than a run flat (rock) which is hard tire. New regular tire's will feel so much smoother and last twice as long a run flat tire's.
     
  6. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    And big wheels look cool!
     
  7. 00Mini

    00Mini Well-Known Member

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    Yeah ask any five year old !! :D
     
  8. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    The only advantage of 17's is looks, and a higher ride height ...



    The smaller the tire diameter, the better the ride and performance is going to be (the gearing is better with the smaller tires, and the loss of unsprung weight works wonders too); smaller tires also cost less. On a daily driver, you'll notice the improved ride; the performance, probably not so much. Like Dave said, if you ditch the run flats that too will improve the ride--a zillion years ago when I still had 17's it made a huge difference.
     
  9. DneprDave

    DneprDave Well-Known Member
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    Naw, Bigger wheels require shorter sidewalls. The diameter of the tire is very close to that of 16" wheels.

    Just go to Discount Tire's tire calculator and see for yourselves!
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Yes this is true, one could say this about lots of things!:biggrin5:
     
  11. GokartPilot

    GokartPilot Well-Known Member

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    +++1 Most "upgrade to 17s" where as I want to downgrade to 17s for the issues mentioned above, with heavy emphasis on availability/price. On the shelf 18' that will fit the GP wheel is almost impossible to find at my location. There is almost always a $50 difference when comparing a 17 and 18. Checkout tire rack and compare the selection between the 17s and 18s, not even close. If I could go to a 16" and keep what I have for a brake set up I would, that might have to be another "downgrade" for later on down the road.
     
  12. mrntd

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    I downgraded from 18" to 17" also the ride and performance improved. There is a sweet spot where the right amount of sidewall gives you a good ride and performs better. I've upgraded different cars over the years and each type of car responds differently depending on it's suspension and weight. So checking what others have done, as you are doing, is the best way to find the right fit for you. Just like not everyone wants to run on coil overs not everyone wants the same thing with their wheels and tires. For Ohio the 17"s will be fine. Now carefully select the right tire as they will play a big roll in your comfort.

    If larger sidewalls always performed better race cars would have still have them like they use to. F1 the exception :crazy:
     
  13. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Sorry, no, I'm talking 15's, and the diameter of the tire I run (225/45/15) is significantly lower than OEM...And it makes a huge difference in gearing/acceleration.

    As for the stiffer sidewall of a larger tire, if you get a fifteen with a stiff sidewall, there aren't any issues with rollover once you have tire pressures dialed in.
     
  14. cristo

    cristo Well-Known Member

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    One advantage of 17 over 16 is that there is currently a better
    selection of good summer tires in 205/45/17 than in 205/50/16.
    If you pick 205/55/16, you get a good selection, but with a slightly taller tire.
     
  15. GokartPilot

    GokartPilot Well-Known Member

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    Please explain. I have always been under the impression that going to a taller sidewall will improve ride but increase rollover. Besides an article/review is there a way to determine the stiffness of a sidewall?
     
  16. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Tires vary in sidewall stiffness, usually the higher the treadwear rating, the softer the sidewall. When you go to R-comps and even more aggressive full on slicks, the sidewalls get correspondingly stiffer. You wouldn't want to run a soft sidewall 225/45/15 on the track, like an all season or regular summer tire, it'll rollover or squirm at reasonable tire pressures. Put on a Nitto-01 or Toyo R888 or RA1, the side walls are stiff enough for track duty, but don't ride as nice as a softer sidewall--although they ride much better than a 17 inch run flat.

    Even different tires in the same class have different sidewall stiffness--there is no measure of it other than what the manufacturer says. But chalk and tire pressures usually tell the story.
     
  17. Qik

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    And speedo accuracy :)
     
  18. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
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    Not mine:wink:
     
  19. WolfGTI

    WolfGTI Active Member

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    #19 WolfGTI, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Having run 17x8 wheels with 215 /45/17's for the last 8 years, I switched to 16x8 wheels this year with 225/50/16 tires, both wheels have the same offset - et38 and I am running the same tire - Continental DW.
    The car does feel much more compliant over bumps, the ride is smoother and turn-in felt a bit sharper with the 17's however the car is still very nimble, the 16's are being run at 35 psi vs 34 psi for the 17's. I definitely have noticeably more grip with the wider 16's. One additional benefit - I can brake even harder now with the larger tires. I am happy with my decision.
     
  20. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    I'm a HUGE fan of 16" wheels on a street Mini. I've run 15, 16, 17 and 18... and now run 16" on the street and 15" on the track. Bliss.
     

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