TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Can you educate me about wheels?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by wheels, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. wheels

    wheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    UK
    I don't know much about wheels, I'd like to know more about them in general and on the Model S.

    OK. So the car comes with wheels, 19" by default.

    1)If I get more than 19, such as 21, what affect does this actually have? will it get more control? Will it give me more range(Gas too)? will it reduce range? Is it safer? Is it simply for aesthetics? to look nice?

    2) can one opt to get 20" after purchase? I see that Tesla only offers 19 or 21. Is getting 20" even allowed? would it be the best of both worlds?

    Thanks, if any more questions come to mind I'll be sure to post them.
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    The 21 inch wheels are noticably more expensive. I think they are more often a performance tire which is stickier for better traction. But just as you gain in traction you lose in tire life and range.

    The changes are not great but if you autocross often get the 21 inch. If you want maximum range and lower cost get the 19. I would think the ride is softer with 19 inch tires as well as you have more air and sidewalls to soak up pot holes. But the larger sidewalls allow for more flex for less precise handling.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,751
    Location:
    Texas
    21" wheels will improve the cornering forces on dry pavement at the expense of everything else, assuming all things are equal. However all things aren't usually equal, 21" tires have different tread compounds and casing construction so you'll get some of it back. 21" wheels are more susceptible to curb rash and pot hole damage. They also cost a lot more to replace and have to be replaced more frequently.

    Yes, you can get 20" tires and wheels. No, it's not the best of both worlds. You don't get the 21" performance nor do you get the 19" economy and robustness. You get a bit of each but not enough, in my opinion.

    21" tires are 95% about looks. If you don't take the car to the track, you won't notice the performance difference in any reasonable normal driving unless you opt for the P85+ with its staggered tire sizes.

    My recommendation if you take it to the track is to get the P85+ with the staggered 21" tires and wheels. Also get an extra set of 19" wheels. Use the 19" wheels for everything but track and wearing the tires down to where they will work for the track. (New tires have too much tread depth to be useful on the track unless you purchase DOT approved race tires.)

    If you don't take it to the track:

    1. If you are concerned about cost, get 19" tires and don't worry about it.

    2. If you are not concerned about cost, get the 21" tires and don't worry about ti.

    3. If you are concerned about cost but want to show the car with 21" wheels, get both but mostly use the 19" tires.

    4. Regardless of 1-3, if you live where there is a winter get an extra set of 19" wheels and real snow tires--not the Pirelli tires that Tesla sells; they don't have a good winter reputation with Tesla owners. Don't even think about using 21" tires for winter.
     
  4. texex91

    texex91 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    hell
    Personally I think 21" look the best. There is an issue with Tesla from what I'm reading that they only last between 5K-7500 miles. That's way too low for normal wear of 21" wheels. Hoping Tesla will address this issue soon.

    But, for me 21" is the way to go!
     
  5. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,917
    Larger wheel = shorter tire sidewall. Shorter sidewall means rougher ride, more road noise, more risk of damage due to potholes. It also means some improvements in high performance cornering maneuvers that most drivers will never attempt or be able to tell the difference.

    I think the most important aspect of the 21 inch wheels have fewer tire choices. No snow tires, no Michelen Primacy MXM4s. Most 21 inch tires choices will be shorter life softer tread "ultra high performance summer" tires designed for lots of traction when it is warm.
    Note that if you drive an "ultra high performance summer" tire year round in moderate climates your aggregate traction is probably worse than an all season. ( It will be better only when it is warm when you don't really need it, and worse when it is cold and you do )
     
  6. wheels

    wheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    UK
    How long do regular 19 wheels last for? normal city driving, no racing or anything like that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So what I have gathered so far is, 21 is pretty much for looks and for racing.

    seeing as how I intend to use it for normal use, 19 is best.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    That was only a few people so far. Most are getting closer to 9-10k or even a little above it seems.
     
  8. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,917
    Proper racetrack competition tires ( R compound - super sticky ) usually come no bigger than 18 or 19 inch diameter. A quick search on the web finds nothing bigger than 19 inch.
    A Model S with 19 inch wheels and R compound tires will destroy a Model S with 21 inch wheels and "ultra high performance summer" tires.
    The tire makes way more difference than the size.

    If you are serious about driving on the track you might put your poseur 21s on for street driving but then put 19s with real racing tires on for the track.
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,019
    Also, you should note that if you're into that "range" thing, 21" wheels will take (according to Tesla) about 6% of your range away, all else being equal.
     
  10. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    I think, or rather I know, tire life is directly proportional to how hard we push the car. If you were to drive like a Prius the tires would last quite a long time. But drive it like a Nascar and yes you will eat tires. The problem for me is it is so much fun and easy to drive hard.
     
  11. texex91

    texex91 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    hell
    This is hilarious. Pouser because why? Because u have 19"?
     
  12. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    Because, as he clearly said, there are no racing tires for 21" wheels. If a 21" wheel was really superior to a 19" inch wheel when it comes to track driving, there would exist 21" racing tires. Hence, 21" wheels are alle about looks (just like tire guru jerry33 stated).
     
  13. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    #13 Zextraterrestrial, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    You can get 19" tires that are much better than anything you can find in a 21" tire and more options for that size too. They just don't make racing tires that big as far as I have seen. My car handles much better with sticky 19"s than the 21"s. I want to get a second set of 19"s w/ R compound for next year, can't wait!

    20" wheels look good but are similar to 21" in tire choices. There are quite a few pics around here of 20's on S' if you search

    Range is better with a 19 but maybe better with different tires even more so. haven't been able to see the difference in my 19"s vs 21"s in range because I only race on my 19" wheels
     
  14. texex91

    texex91 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    hell
    Who said anything about using a Tesla to race LOL. Haven't seen any on the F1 circuit.

    19" vs 21" is about what looks better and what one wants. Who cares about 'racing performance'.
     
  15. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    Hence the poseur comment. Did you find it derogatory? English is not my first langue so I'm a bit numb to all the subtility. When I translate it in my head it just means someone who wants to show off [that which in their opinion looks better].
     
  16. texex91

    texex91 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    hell
    Right and because one has 21" doesn't mean they are showing off--it's what they prefer. Hence not Pouser.

    Anyways, who cares.

    I'm busy reading why global warming doesn't exist.
     
  17. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    Great, so no hard feelings then. Everyone should get whatever they think looks best. Only point being if you get the 21" wheels - get them for the only real reason to get them: looks.

    Good luck with that :)
     
  18. goneskiian

    goneskiian Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,986
    Location:
    Bellevue WA
    I agree with most of this except for the part about a UHPS tire only being good in summer like conditions. It has been shown they are the best choice down to about 40 degrees whether it's wet or dry. Maybe we define "moderate" differently but AFAIK if you can afford 2 sets of wheels/tires then the best choice would be to get a set of UHPS and some dedicated winters. Of course, that's only if you actually get snow in the winter. :wink:

    Cheers!
     

Share This Page