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  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 06:31 AM
BertStevens BertStevens is offline
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Who needs low profile tires?

There's a pothole thread over in the F12 forum with some pretty ugly wheel damage pictures.

So I thought it might be interesting to discuss who really NEEDS low profile tires vs. just getting them for looks.

Go!

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  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:26 PM
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ed325i ed325i is offline
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I really don't like the fashion trend towards bigger and bigger wheels with lower profile tires.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:34 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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IMO it is a really stupid trend and in a few years will go the way of vinyl roofs and gold plated trim. Up to a point there is somewhat of a performance improvement but the trade off in ride quality and the fact that they are so easily damaged makes them a poor choice in many cases.

CA
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:21 AM
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cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
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"Need" is such a loaded word. None of us need them anymore than any of us really need a BMW just to get from point A to point B. Only a wheel big enough to properly fit over the brakes is needed.

Wheels have grown larger to cover larger disc brakes. Large disc brakes are needed slow the heavier and heavier cars. That has made lower and lower profile tires a style marker for performance. Modern cars often don't "look right" with a smaller wheel for a given tire height, although a lot of that is dependent on the style of wheel too. A wheel with spokes that end at the tire looks bigger than a wheel with spokes that end at a lip.

Maybe someone needs to bring back white walls to break up the large sidewalls of "tall tires".

One interesting off-shoot of this problem is Land Rover LR4 and Range Rovers. The vehicles that are mechanically capable off-road, but now the smallest wheel that will fit over the brakes is a 19". No one makes a great off-road tire to fit the 19" or 20" wheels in a tire short enough to fit under the fenders. Off-roading with the wrong tire is just as bad as summer tires in the winter, and so they are destined to remain mall crawlers with owners fitting 22" (and beyond) wheels.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:44 AM
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At least the LR Defender still comes with 16" wheels.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
At least the LR Defender still comes with 16" wheels.
and hasn't been sold stateside since the previous century, which at this point is awhile ago. Besides, if we want to be uncomfortable and drive vehicles that look like they belong in another era, we can still buy Jeep Wranglers with proper off-road tires from the factory.

At least we can get a new Grand Cherokee from the factory with 17" wheels if desired. Even the 18" wheels are fine for off-road tires, even though the top trim levels seem to think 20" wheels are desirable for a Jeep.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:05 AM
BertStevens BertStevens is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Up to a point there is somewhat of a performance improvement but the trade off in ride quality and the fact that they are so easily damaged makes them a poor choice in many cases.

CA
It is said that a dealer's job is to separate us from our money. It seems low profile tires have gone past the point of handling improvements and into the excess cost era.

Either buy the insurance or prepare to pay for damaged wheels and tires!

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  #8  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:37 PM
BMW220i BMW220i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post

Wheels have grown larger to cover larger disc brakes. Large disc brakes are needed slow the heavier and heavier cars. That has made lower and lower profile tires a style marker for performance. Modern cars often don't "look right" with a smaller wheel for a given tire height, although a lot of that is dependent on the style of wheel too. A wheel with spokes that end at the tire looks bigger than a wheel with spokes that end at a lip.

.
Brakes haven't really gotten much larger.

Part of the problem is European pedestrian standards, which require a little space between the top of the engine and the hood. To make the car look good, the wheel wells need to be bigger. That makes it necessary to make the wheels bigger to look proportionate.

Big wheels are not better for performance. They are worse because they are heavier. They do no turn faster but to the inexperienced driver make the car feels like it handles a bit better.

Slightly wider tires often mean slightly bigger wheels but for the really big wheels, the tire width is not wider.

For most cars, 16" for winter and 17" for summer is fine. 19" is crazy.

I thought the definition of low profile tires was something like an aspect ratio of 60 or less, like 195/60R15. Now, nearly all cars have low profile tires. Of course, the original poster may be referring to really low aspect ratios like 35 and 40. Remember the early 1980's Porsche 911's? They had Pirelli P7 Cinturato 225/50R16 tires! In those days, 3 series BMW's may have had 185/65R14 tires. Saab 900 turbos were really radical with 15" wheels.

Last edited by BMW220i; 01-12-2013 at 12:43 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:02 PM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Originally Posted by BMW220i View Post
Brakes haven't really gotten much larger.
The front brake discs on my current car are the same diameter as the wheels on the first car I ever owned.
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