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19" or 21" wheels

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by granget, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. granget

    granget Member

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    I'm getting ready to order my S85 and think the 21" grey turbine wheels look really cool. But I'm wondering about how firm the ride might feel compared to the 19" wheels. Has anybody driven both wheels to compare the ride? Also I've seen on other forums here that tires on the 21" wheels wear about twice as fast as those on the 19" wheels. Maybe the 21" guys just drive more aggressively. If I'm going to feel every bump on the road and have to buy new tires every other year, maybe its better to stay with the 19's. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    I have both sets of wheels and don't think the drive is much different. The 21s are a bit noisier and do wear faster, but are gorgeous. I compromised and put the 19s on in the winter.
     
  3. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    I purchased my Model S with 19's and drove for 5 months with them and just could not stop thinking about how beautiful the 21's were. I think I tried to be practical then said to myself, WHY? So bought a used set of silver 21's and love them. There is a bit more noise depending upon the road surface, but do not notice much more of a harsh ride and I live on a country road with lots of uneven and patched pavement. I think the air suspension helps with the ride. I also drive with the suspension in low always, so will get less miles from my tires. Hope this helps.
     
  4. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    21s for me. I have air suspension, so nothing seems bumpy or jarring. Love the look. 15K miles .... I figure 3-5K left on the tread.
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    i'm tired of repeating my answer to this question over and over. let me try quick summary this time: 21s are 100-400% faster wear rate than 19s (expect replace every 5-20k vs 40-50k for 19s), much more expensive, noisier, rougher ride, prone to [tiire] damage, prone to [wheel] damage from potholes, prone to curb rash [wheels], they reduce range, SUMMER TIRE ONLY (not to be worn during cold winter...VERY DANGEROUS), so expect flats, tow trucks, many inconveniences, and a very high cost of maintenance [tires+wheels]. but hey, they look cool.

    if you want the cool look of the 21s but in 19s instead (so without any of those issues described above), you could get these instead Tesla Wheels For Sale | T Sportline Model TST Wheel 19x85 (I have these in grey mounted on my P85 w\ Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 255/45ZR19s). these wheels closely match OEM specs and passed extensive testing (results posted in other threads). my 2c. honestly, i love the looks of the 21s, but I'm just not willing to deal with any of the above issues or fork out a ridiculous amount of money for upkeep.
     
  6. AndreyATC

    AndreyATC Member

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    21s are not just to look pretty
    It gives you much sportier ride
    19s are too floaty.
    Road feel and steering response is much different from 21s
    It's perfect for your winter setup though
     
  7. PaulusdB

    PaulusdB Mayor Gnomus Vintage Limb

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    #7 PaulusdB, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
    I ditched the mandatory 21" Performance Plus rims for all the reasons yobigd20 mentions. Got 25 cents to the dollar for 'm.
    Super happy with 19" (4x 8.5J) winter set and 20" staggered (2x 8.5J / 2x 10J) summer set.
     
  8. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    It's worth mentioning that Michelin has a new 21" tire that is considerably less expensive than the PS2: the Michelin Pilot Super Sport $293 from Tire Rack vs. the PS2 at $530. I got 15K miles out of my first set of PS2 tires.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This has been my experience exactly. I use the 19" in the winter only. Switching to the 21" in the spring is like getting a new car!
     
  9. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I bought the 21"s primarily for looks initially. The tires have worn out very fast, yes...

    but I drove the 19s on a loaner and really did not like the floaty ride. So I'm sticking with my 21s. Tried the Michelin's too worse wear than the Continentals in my case. More info on all of this on my blog.
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    floatiness is completely gone after I mounted 255/45ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. man this thing is really planted now....takes off like a rocket with no slip and no floatiness. it feels 1000% better. no need to go with 21s to be able to have than planted non-floaty feeling.
     
  11. AndreyATC

    AndreyATC Member

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    Now put staggered 21s and see what the real difference is

    P.S. I can see how 20s could be a good compromise, but you can only do so much with 19s
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    It would be nice it Tesla simply switched to 20". Seems to be a lot more options than the 21" size. Would still look good I think.
     
  13. MattMDK

    MattMDK Member

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    I have the Performance + with 21 inch wheels. They look great. If the road is smooth, the ride is smooth. If the road has bumps, you will feel every bump. If you appreciate a sportier feel go for the 21s.
     
  14. salamagd

    salamagd Member

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    To those complaining of a floaty ride on the 19"s, do you have the coil or air suspension? I'm thinking of going with the 19"s for practicality, but I like a slightly solid ride so hoping that going with the standard suspension over air will bring back a bit more of the road feel.
     
  15. flodrab

    flodrab Member

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    I didn't get 21's because I drive a lot of surface streets in L.A., and low profile tires and pot holes are a bad combination ... but 19's ride a little soft and look a little small, so I got some 20's ... I think that's the sweet spot ... also, I went staggered, but more for "looks" than any quantifiable performance factor ... 255/40-20X9 in front, and 285/35-20X10.5 in back ... wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sports

    wheel.JPG
     
  16. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    We purchased an MS for a lot of the typical reasons: environmental, awesome style, comfort, efficiency, insane performance, quietness, American-made, avoidance of middle-east oil, convenience (no gas stations), safety, storage capacity, and to affirm a political belief that EVs are the future. The 21's ARE cool looking, but they compromise too many of the reasons we had for buying the car. To each their own.
     
  17. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    That's what I think, too. The number one reason for me not to get them was that they cost more and reduce range and wear out quicker, thus adding even more cost. Seems like a waste of money just for looks.
     
  18. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    . . . not to mention the bumpy ride, the environmental cost of tire replacement, and a bit more tire noise.
     
  19. AndreyATC

    AndreyATC Member

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    I guess there is a reason Tesla comes with performance package
    Those who need extra performance order it, simple as that
     
  20. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    As long as people are making an educated decision they should choose wherever they want. Tesla does need to do a better job of this. People who have never had rims like 21" rims with summer tires simply will be surprised when they need new tires in 10-15k miles or so.
     

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