Wheel sizes: better 16, 17, or18inch wheels?

Posted in alloy wheels, tips, and drafting tires to know which wheel sizes are best suited for your car? Better 16, 17, or 18inch wheels? The choice obviously depends on the type of vehicle and the needs.

Is size related to performance?

At this point, therefore, it is legitimate to ask: do larger tires have better performance? It happens more and more often than the dealer, at the time of sale, offers among the options also larger wheels instead of those of 15 or 16 inches mounted as standard on vehicles, and these measures can be from 16, 17, and even up to 18inch wheels. We are therefore led to think that with these options you can improve the performance of the car. However, it is not so: as regards the size of the wheels, depending on the car, there is a range of dimensions within which you must maintain yourself to have optimal performance, comfort, and safety at the wheel. On an aesthetic level, large wheels and lowered tires certainly have their charm, but it is not said that they are functional to the vehicle you have.

The synergy between tire and rim

In recent times, it has become very clear how important the synergy between tire and rim is in the performance of a wheel, whose union is increasingly engineered to support the car in the best possible way, especially if we talk about sports cars and top of the range. The safety and performance of the tires depend on the close relationship between rim and tire, which pass through parameters such as cornering road holding, handling, control, comfort, and reduced tread consumption.

The tendency of recent years to have cars of ever-larger dimensions has led to the logical consequence of ever-larger wheels like 20 inches or more. So much so that for ten years now there has been a boom in the market of oversized tires. And so low tires and a considerable diameter have ceased to be a niche product intended for lovers of car tuning and have become widespread, mounted on numerous cars.

How do the wheels work?

To understand why larger wheels are not always a solution that brings improvements in performance, it may be useful to understand how this component of the car works. From the very first wooden wheels of the era when man was learning to move more functionally, we arrived at today’s hyper-technological ones, made mainly of aluminum (that’s why they are called alloy wheels). The increase in size in the recent period is associated with the search for better performance, simply because with larger tires the contact surface between the rubber and the asphalt increases and consequently also the grip. However, we must also consider the negative aspects of what we can define as “magnification” of the wheels: first of all, increasing the radius becomes higher the frequency of rotation. This involves a lengthening of the times in the recovery and acceleration and a reduction in the maximum speed.

Cheap tires: do they really allow you to save?

Many motorists in search of savings bet on the purchase of cheap tires, not considering, however, that often the savings are ephemeral because more than low prices the quality of the products counts. What costs little maybe allows you to save initially, but if the rubber is made with low-quality materials and not very long-lived, it will have a short life, forcing more frequent tire changes and therefore nullifying the savings already in the medium term; paradoxically, you will find yourself spending even more than those who instead immediately focus on premium or high-end tires, made to last a long time. This means being able to keep the same set of tires on board for several years until the legal limit is reached as regards the thickness of the notches (1.6 mm), always enjoying optimal performance throughout the life cycle of the tires (except for unforeseen events, of course).

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