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Automobile Magazine.... big wheels and it's affect on ride quality

Discussion in 'Model S' started by eye.surgeon, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Interesting article in this months issue of Automobile magazine by Jamie Kitman. Article is here:
    Rough Rides in New Cars Bring Out My Bad Side

    Essentially says that the fashion of oversized wheels/tires has resulted in a current crop of luxury/performance sedans with crap ride quality.
     
  2. krisg81

    krisg81 Member

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    Ride quality is a preference. Some are willing to trade off some ride quality vs. looks. Women have being doing it forever- you think those high heels are as comfy as some Nike's ? They wear them to look good. It's always a trade off- thats life.
     
  3. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    That's an excellent analogy actually. Big wheels are the high heels of the car world.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, big wheels are a case of form over function.

    But to me that don't look good, they look weird. The tires look like rubber bands wrapped around the wheel.

    I prefer the look of 19" over 21". I would be fine with 18".
     
  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I know, I know. But I love them and couldn't resist. I expect, one day when I actually grow up, I'll go to 19's when I am tired of 500/tire and blowouts. Haven't had one yet. Knock on wood.

    PS: I actually did knock on wood!
     
  6. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I think many buyers see the larger wheels as a paid upgrade and automatically think it must be better. After all, if it's an upgrade it's better, right? And anything "sport" must be better, too, right? lol
     
  7. Vitaman

    Vitaman Member

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    Drove around for 2 months on 21" wheels before I had an opportunity to drive 19" on a loaner.
    19's give a more forgiving smoother ride on rough roads and speed breakers, but the loss of precision handling is not worth it.
     
  8. mike-415

    mike-415 Member

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    I agree, which is why 20-inch wheels are the right choice. 245/40-20 tires have sufficient sidewall for a decent ride and enough rigidity to maintain a good contact patch for handling and steering precision.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And 20s are a lot less likely to break when you look at a pothole the wrong way.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Yah, I've been calling the 21" wheels "high heels" for at least a year.
     
  10. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Were they the same make and model of tire on both sets of wheels? I ask because the tread pattern and tire compound between different tires makes way more difference on turn in and handling feel than does a bit more sidewall across different sizes of the same tire.

    If they were stock tires then you were comparing the handling difference between Michelin PS2 summer max performance tires and Michelin Pilot all season tires, not so much 21" vs. 19".

    Now, comfort is a whole different issue where both size and make can make a difference.
     
  11. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    This.
     
  12. Eseell

    Eseell Member

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    As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "Beauty is pain."
     
  13. Ride Long

    Ride Long Member

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    Even 18" wheels have their issues. My Audi A6 TDI hit one of the man-eater pot holes we grow in metro DC (thanks Arlington County VA taxpayers for leaving these murder-holes in the roads) and there is little margin for error. Tire replaced and wheel has just enough of a flat spot in it that I have to wonder if the vibration is in the wheel or my head. 30 years of driving before this and I never hit a hole hard enough to take out a wheel. I can only imagine how folks with 20" and larger wheels deal with this.
     
  14. point1

    point1 Member

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    Handling is not related to whether the car has 21" wheels or 19". In fact it's more likely that the 19" would have better handling since you can make a 19" rim lighter.
     
  15. Kermit

    Kermit Member

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    The 21" wheel uses a shorter-section tire so there is less rubber & air to deflect compared to a smaller diameter. So they will tend to have a harsher ride. "Handling", i.e., turn-in, can be sharper because of less deflection in the tires. However, larger diameter wheels also have greater gyroscopic effects (moment of inertia) and more sprung mass so these contribute to slower transient response and slower acceleration.
     
  16. strider

    strider Active Member

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    If they made the 19" turbine wheels when we bought our car I would have gone that route. My wife hated the standard 19" wheels and it's her car.
     
  17. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    eye.surgeon: please fix the title, it hurts my eyes...

    either "big wheels and its effect on ride quality" or even better "big wheels and their effect on ride quality"

    thanks
     
  18. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    I'm still trying to work out how the ride quality would ever be expected to be good on any Big Wheel... there's no damn suspension on these things!

    mwOBW509.jpg

    Although to be serious, I think it's all about the profile and lack of any significant sidewall. Might as well be riding on solid rubber rather than pneumatic tires, when they get too big and squat. In the mountain bike world, 29 inch wheels came about as an alternative to 26ers because they supposedly rode better - over things - but of course, had the same tire profile on each rim size so diameter was the only difference. Interesting that the 27.5 came about soon after and seems to be the sweet compromise most people like!
     
  19. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    I have a a grey MS with grey turbines. This grey-on-grey looks hot like a Hugo Boss suit, but yes, is more painful on the ride like high heels (I haven't worn any, but I've heard from my female peers). I also wish we had 20" turbines that looked just as cool, with a little more rubber to insulate from the road.

    - K
     
  20. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Can't, won't let me edit at this point. Try prozac instead.
     

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