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Tire Rack's Tires, Wheels, Brakes & Suspension
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  #1  
Old 10-24-2012, 03:51 PM
nik328xi nik328xi is offline
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Help please, 16 v 17 inch winter setup

First let me say I did search but didn't find a lot of useful current information.

Need to get a set of winter tires & wheels for my new to me 2011 E90 328ix and have become mired in an internal debate over 205/55/16 vs 225/45/17 inch options. The 16s would in theory be the better choice since they are slightly narrower and taller and in the mountains of Western Pa our winters can be anywhere from pretty mild to wild and so that was the direction I was headed in with the new Xice3.

Then I was playing around on Tirerack and found some closeout 17 inch wheels I like that would make the 17 inch option cheaper with either the Xice2 or WS70s. Which has led me to get stuck in a 16 v 17 looping debate with myself. Anyone care to chime in?

Thanks

nik
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2012, 08:35 PM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Question Decisions, decisions, decisions

You are weighing optimal (the narrower tires) vs. opportunity (the "good deal"). If the narrower tires were also a good deal, it would be a no-brainer, right?

Looking at it another way, you have to decide whether you'll settle for something less optimal in order to take advantage of a good buy. It's like having your heart set on a steak, but lobster is half-price, and you love both. What do you do?
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2012, 08:46 AM
nik328xi nik328xi is offline
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Order both.

Seriously though I like the analogy. I guess my real issue is how optimal is the optimal choice? While in theory the taller and narrow 16s are the better choice in the real world is it a noticeable difference since the variation is relatively small (less than an inch in width)?
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Past: 2007 328xi E92 Alpine White over Saddle with dark burl walnut STEP|ZPP|ZSP|Heated Seats|CA|6FL|PDC|iDrive|Logic7

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said "I drank WHAT !?!?!"
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik328xi View Post
Order both.

Seriously though I like the analogy. I guess my real issue is how optimal is the optimal choice? While in theory the taller and narrow 16s are the better choice in the real world is it a noticeable difference since the variation is relatively small (less than an inch in width)?
I went through the same process when buying a winter set for my 328iT. I was willing to go with 16s, but found that my preferred wheel was not in stock and ended up going with 17s.

Re tire sizes, you could actually thinking about further choices -- with narrower and wider tires available in both diameters. Given that narrower is better-- truthfully, though, I think the difference is not dramatic -- think about this:
16-inch: Narrower 205/55R-16 or wider 225/50R-16
17-inch: Narrower 205/50R-17 or wider 225/45R-17
and so in my case, I was willing to go wider for non-snow performance and ended up with a 225 tire.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2012, 12:17 PM
nik328xi nik328xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMC View Post
I went through the same process when buying a winter set for my 328iT. I was willing to go with 16s, but found that my preferred wheel was not in stock and ended up going with 17s.
This is my problem, the wheels I like aren't available in 16s which is why I'm leaning towards the 225/45/17. I know they're winter wheels but around here that can 5 months so want something that still looks good so may sacrifice some snow performance to get the wheels I like.
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Past: 2007 328xi E92 Alpine White over Saddle with dark burl walnut STEP|ZPP|ZSP|Heated Seats|CA|6FL|PDC|iDrive|Logic7

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said "I drank WHAT !?!?!"
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2012, 06:24 AM
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AWD car with winter tires... Doubt you'll notice any snow performance issues between the two...

You may notice better dry road performance with the 17" set-up, though... plus, the car will look better..

I've run the 17" set-up on three different RWD E46s.... and, they are all tanks with winter tires.. nothing can stop them... Take the best deal and run with it..
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2012, 07:32 AM
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The tire type will make more of a difference than 20mm in tire width. IE : a more aggressive winter tire like a Blizzak WS70 or Michelin Xi2 in 225/45R17 performs better in snow and ice than a 205/55R16 performance winter tire.

Winter http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=AB2&...nter/index.jsp
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2012, 09:12 AM
nik328xi nik328xi is offline
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Thanks all, I decided on ordering the 225/45R17 Michelin xi2s on some Sport Tuning T10s. A few bucks cheaper than the 16s and I like the wheels better than the 16 inch options.

nik
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Past: 2007 328xi E92 Alpine White over Saddle with dark burl walnut STEP|ZPP|ZSP|Heated Seats|CA|6FL|PDC|iDrive|Logic7

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said "I drank WHAT !?!?!"
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
AWD car with winter tires... Doubt you'll notice any snow performance issues between the two...
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik328xi View Post
Thanks all, I decided on ordering the 225/45R17 Michelin xi2s on some Sport Tuning T10s. A few bucks cheaper than the 16s and I like the wheels better than the 16 inch options.

nik
I failed to notice that you've an xi. I totally agree with the above. I've gone through 8 inches of snow with all season radials on my xi without an issue.

You done good!
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2012, 01:49 PM
nik328xi nik328xi is offline
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Thanks.

I had all seasons on my E92 xdrive and didn't have any issues but since the new one has sport tires as part of the M package I either needed to swap to all-seasons or just get a winter and summer setup so I chose the later approach to maximize performance in respective season.

Tirerack worked fast, ordered late this morning and already got the shipping notification.
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Past: 2007 328xi E92 Alpine White over Saddle with dark burl walnut STEP|ZPP|ZSP|Heated Seats|CA|6FL|PDC|iDrive|Logic7

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said "I drank WHAT !?!?!"
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