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Thread: Why the big wheels?

  1. #1

    Why the big wheels?

    Are there any legitimate benefits of 17" or 17"18" wheels? I've always like a little sidewall on my tires, and smaller wheels can be cheaper...

  2. #2
    Less sidewall stretch and aesthetics.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The other two that come to mind are more tire choices and bigger brake rotors.
    Every inch further off center gives the caliper more leverage to stop the spinning rotor/car
    FWIW
    I like the taller sidewall look and how that helps the ride but I did opt for 13" disc on my 33 because of their no power brakes issue.
    DB
    Hemi33

  4. #4
    Member cChrisM's Avatar
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    I just saw this video and was amazed how much the tire moves around even with a low profile.

    Check this video out and go to 27:33 - they show what happens to a tire when turning. Just imagine what it looks like with a 15" rim with a big sidewall.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMDDm765Ec8
    Picked up Kit 7/20/09, Tear down stage complete, Donor 2003 Cobra 4.6L supercharged, 25k miles on engine, IRS, 6-speed. Attended Build School October 08. Mods done, frame powder coated 12/2012, First Start 7/31/13, gocart 8/2/13, Check out my blog
    http://venomxs.com/index.php?view=ca...tent&Itemid=57

  5. #5
    Bigger brakes are a benefit if you want more stopping power. The other issue I have found (not sure if I'm the only one here) is that if you go with 15" wheels and want to go with big/wide rubber, it can be tricky to find a decent selection of tires. 17" is super common, lots of selection for manufacturers that make all kinds of profiles, compounds, tread patterns etc etc......15" I just can't find the selection.
    Jonas
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  6. #6
    Senior Member billjr212's Avatar
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    this is an oldie and it focuses a bit much on the aesthetic side, and i'm a little impressed that I remembered this article 6 years later (a quick google search revealed it). http://www.caranddriver.com/features...d-tires-tested
    I tend to agree that 17" is kind of a sweet spot for performance and appearance on anything "normal-ish" (ie excluding supercars and tiny or classic sports cars like a lotus 7).

    of course, i can't remember a person's name 3 minutes after I've met them, but...ummmm...what was I talking about?

  7. #7
    Senior Member SixStar's Avatar
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    Owner/builder - AEM Intakes 818R #85

  8. #8
    Big Wheels Keep on Turnin'...

  9. #9
    Thanks. That's something to think about, especially brake selection. We used to just stuff wide tires on the rim so when it flexed one side in a turn, the other side got super loaded. Never lost a tire off the rim after I started doing that. Variety will be the biggest impact, I think. If there are tons of 17s, it'll be easier to find a tire in the budget, right? I remember trying to shop for 225/50 r15, and getting to pick between two. I thought sidewall might not be such a big deal in a car this light, since I used to slide around in 2500-3000 pound cars. On the other hand, maybe this one will be faster

    SixStar, sweet video. Great fun to watch (which is part of why wifey thinks I'm a little weird)

    cChrism, I've bookmarked that video, and I'm going to go back and watch the whole thing. I did skip to the tire part, and I wonder how much force they put on that thing. I guess I don't really understand how much force we're talking about in this car, either, right now.

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