Want a More Comfortable Ride? Consider a Different Wheel.

Thursday, May 3, 2012 by Doc Horvath

Over the last several years, more and more car manufacturers have been offering larger wheel and lower profile tire options for new vehicles, even on lower-optioned models. Beyond the cosmetic appeal of a larger wheel, the accompanying lower profile tire is normally focused more on high-speed handling and grip - which makes the larger wheel option very popular. From standard 18" wheels and tires on a Toyota Camry to standard 22" wheels and tires for the Ford Edge, more vehicles come equipped with unique sizes that are often in short supply when they need to be replaced. If you're frustrated that the low profile tires don't provide the comfort you desire, we can help.

Besides our years of experience in "plus sizing" vehicles for performance tires and wheels, we can also offer "minus sizing" options for many vehicles. This allows you to move away from low profile / high-performance oriented tires and towards a more comfortable ride and better durability. While most often this practice is done when selecting a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package (where a taller and narrower tire can help with protection from potholes and enhanced deep snow traction), we can also apply the same information to find a smaller diameter wheel that'll fit safely with the appropriate tire size to maintain speedometer accuracy for most applications. Not only would deep snow traction be enhanced with minus sizing, but the cost of the Tire & Wheel Package is usually lower than the package maintaining your vehicle's original size tires and wheels.

To gain a better perspective of minus sizing, read "Size Selection of Winter / Snow Tires."

Comments on Want a More Comfortable Ride? Consider a Different Wheel.

Friday, May 4, 2012 by MichaelW:
How about narrower wheels?
TireRack doesn't have a very good selection of narrower wheels.
As an example, the Civic should be able to use 185/65 15 tires (see Nissan Versa), those tires should be on 5.5" wide wheels.
Saturday, August 18, 2012 by Jag:
Civic before 2006 used 185/65 15 tire but its not safe to get that tire for civic 2006 and later there wont be enough traction if you wan to stop immmediately so go 195/65 15 at least if u have 4 door you can go 205/55 16 it will provide comfortable ride plus confidence in rain while driving at highway
I have civic coupe got 16 inch but i will 15 to improve ride quality
Friday, August 24, 2012 by Doc:
Jag,
The switch from 16" to 15" would probably not make a huge difference, but if you also switch from a high performance tire to more of a "touring" tire that might help as well.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 by J.C. Veloria:
If minus sizing provides better traction in snow plus better gas mileage, should I also consider minus sizing for year-round use?
Saturday, December 22, 2012 by doc:
JC,
A narrower tire will compromise that car's lateral stabilty (at high speed), so we would not encourage minus sizing if you consider yourself an "enthusiastic" driver.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by JB:
looking at a Lexus SC430 hardtop with 22" tires. Currently in Chrysler Sibring Hardtop. Will I lose comfort going to 22" low profile tires?
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 by doc:
JB,
While the 22" wheels may look great, you will lose quite a bit of comfort with that setup. Given the added weight of the larger wheels, your fuel economy and braking performance will also be affected with negative results. If you plan on driving the Lexus on a regular basis, I'd recommend going back to the original 18" wheels or something much closer in diameter.

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