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Question regarding low profile 21" rims

erock7676

New Member
Jan 9, 2021
2
0
San Francisco
Hi all,

First time poster, long time lurker on the forums. Wonderful community, and I look forward to contributing!

I am the proud owner of a 2018 S 100D in the Bay Area. We use it mostly for highway commuting on the 280, sometimes the 101 also. The car came with factory 21" twin turbine wheels. For the first two years of driving it I had zero problems (I tend to drive very cautiously and avoid potholes etc). Early last year, I did some upgrades with SS Customs including powdercoating the wheels matte black. Since then, both front rims have fractured (one of them multiple times), and I am kind of in a tough decision on what to do as I am not inclined to have the rims "repaired" again:

1. Replace with another set of new 21" rims, but decline any aftermarket powdercoating in case that maybe contributed to weakening the rim (was considering just putting on the 21" Black Arachnids if I went this route).

2. Forget low profile altogether, and just go to 19" (was looking at the 19" slipstream wheel) for more tire/rim protection on the highway.

3. Separately, I have read various threads over the years about tire/wheel coverage through Tesla. Is this actually a thing? It was never offered to me when we purchased our car, and am wondering if it actually exists and if we can tack it on once I replace the wheels.

Thank you so much for any suggestions. They are greatly appreciated!
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,321
3,271
Colorado, USA
4. Go 19" Arachnid replicas from TSportline. Best of all worlds.

19" are better in every way save for appearance. Much better size to live with. I may be biased though...

20200802_153022-jpg.607777


20200715_151006-jpg.607778
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
450
NJ
So I recently went from 19"s to 21"s back to 19"s. I had the 21" arachnids. My opinion about 21"s: I dont like the ride (comparatively), I thought it made the care look higher off of the ground, $$$$ eventual tire replacement cost, didn't have all season tires (my particular set up), the god damn motherfucking squeak when stopping (this really was the tipping point for me, maybe just an issue with arachnids), loss of range and finally road noise. If you have a budget friendly option I would go with 19"s.
 

BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,399
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
I replaced our 2015 P85D's square 21" Turbines with staggered 21" Arachnids. Arachnids are:
  • sportier
  • MUCH lighter
  • a lot stronger (forged vs. cast)
  • better handling (wider rear tires & rim + stickier & quieter PSS tires)
I bought my Arachnids new with mounted & balanced Michelin Pilot Super Sport ("PSS") tires and Tesla TPMS from a Tesla rewards recipient for $2,800... a great price considering new mounted sound dampening PSS tires are ~ $1,800 with SoCal sales tax.

Zero issues with Arachnids bending or cracking... unlike what I've heard about Turbines.

IMG_4894.jpeg
 

Bull

Supporting Member
Oct 25, 2020
38
21
Tucson, AZ
I went with 20" Arachnids from TSportline. Seemed to me to be the best of both worlds. (suspension was high in this pic due to curb)
IMG_4773.jpg
 

nomis_nehc

Member
Jul 9, 2018
190
134
Rancho Cucamonga
Zero issues with Arachnids bending or cracking... unlike what I've heard about Turbines.

View attachment 626372

He doesn't have issue with turbines, he has issue with the aftermarket wheel.

It's really simple actually, you gotta first determine which do you value more, aesthetics or durability. If it's aesthetics, stick with 21s, but go with OEM or known reputable wheels. To me, having low profiles simply has a higher statistic probability of having issues. Having said that, I have the turbines and twin turbines, and I've not had any issue in 3.5 years driving in Socal.

On the other hand, if you are okay sacrificing the looks for better comfort, more miles, and less tire issue, go with 19.
 

erock7676

New Member
Jan 9, 2021
2
0
San Francisco
He doesn't have issue with turbines, he has issue with the aftermarket wheel.

It's really simple actually, you gotta first determine which do you value more, aesthetics or durability. If it's aesthetics, stick with 21s, but go with OEM or known reputable wheels. To me, having low profiles simply has a higher statistic probability of having issues. Having said that, I have the turbines and twin turbines, and I've not had any issue in 3.5 years driving in Socal.

On the other hand, if you are okay sacrificing the looks for better comfort, more miles, and less tire issue, go with 19.

This is a great point, and one I wanted to clarify to get your input. So, these are OEM twin turbines. For the first year I had them, no issues. It was after I went to SS Customs to have the OEMs powder coated matte black that I started having these issues. Think it is possible the cracks are due to weakening of the rim by the powder coating process which I have read before, or still due to the low profile of the wheel, or both even?
 

Russell

Supporting Member
Sep 25, 2012
848
613
Silicon Valley
If staying with the Tesla brand is not a requirement then get 20" aftermarket wheels, preferably forged.
You get a little bit more rim protection and similar aesthetics and handling of a 21" wheel.
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,399
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
FWIW I bought a set of lightly used 19" Cyclones with Michelin Primacy MSM4 all-season tires for our out-of-state and snow / cold weather trips since they're less prone to blowouts and our Michelin PSS tires are Summer Only.

Cyclone
IMG_4137.jpeg


Arachnid
IMG_4839.jpeg
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,321
3,271
Colorado, USA
I replaced our 2015 P85D's square 21" Turbines with staggered 21" Arachnids. Arachnids are:
  • sportier
  • MUCH lighter
  • a lot stronger (forged vs. cast)
  • better handling (wider rear tires & rim + stickier & quieter PSS tires)
I bought my Arachnids new with mounted & balanced Michelin Pilot Super Sport ("PSS") tires and Tesla TPMS from a Tesla rewards recipient for $2,800... a great price considering new mounted sound dampening PSS tires are ~ $1,800 with SoCal sales tax.

Zero issues with Arachnids bending or cracking... unlike what I've heard about Turbines.

View attachment 626372
I agree that the 21" Arachnids are much lighter..... than 21" Turbines. If you MUST go 21" then the Arachnid is probably the best bet.

Compare them to the 19" wheels I mentioned though and you'll see that they're still MUCH heavier than that option. Especially once you factor in tire weight as well. If you truly care about weight, the wheel/tire combo on that 19" I'm running is much less (I believe it was 36lbs at EACH corner) weight and not to mention far less expensive with better and cheaper tire options. It rides better and the fear of curb or pot hole damage is also considerably less. I've owned five of these cars now and it started out with ONLY considering cars on 21's for my first to now I can't get them off of the car fast enough if I find a good deal on one with 21's. They're truly awful to life with day to day.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,321
3,271
Colorado, USA
This is a great point, and one I wanted to clarify to get your input. So, these are OEM twin turbines. For the first year I had them, no issues. It was after I went to SS Customs to have the OEMs powder coated matte black that I started having these issues. Think it is possible the cracks are due to weakening of the rim by the powder coating process which I have read before, or still due to the low profile of the wheel, or both even?
This is a separate topic but, after powder coating a couple sets of wheels myself many years ago, I will never ever ever powder coat wheels again. Nothing but problem. It added weight, thickness and made them more difficult to balance due to (I assume) varying thickness of powder being applied. It doesn't take much to throw a wheel out-of-whack. It should be noted that all of these instances were shops that specialized in wheel coatings and were well-established and well-reviewed. I assume they knew how to handle wheels and I just wasn't happy with what resulted in every case. My standards are higher than most and I cringe whenever I see people talking about powder coating wheels as an option. It's a terrible idea IMO especially with all of the options available for different looks newly manufactured either from Tesla or other companies.... there really is no reason to do it anymore IMHO.

This opinion is entirely separate from the topic of what size to go with.
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,321
3,271
Colorado, USA
I went with 20" Arachnids from TSportline. Seemed to me to be the best of both worlds. (suspension was high in this pic due to curb)
View attachment 626378

Good looking wheels but I came to a different conclusion when I considered the 20" wheel being a happy median and all of the data. Turns out that the price of the 20" option when you factor in tires is closer to the 21" options than the 19" options. The savings on tires is due to volume... lots more 19" tires exist so the prices are more competitive and there's more volume. For the wheels themselves, it's mostly because they make the same 20" wheels compatible with the Model X as well which requires a LOT more structural support to be rated for a 6,000lb vehicle. You'll never take advantage of these differences on a Model S so you're really paying (in terms of up front cost and long term efficiency) for something you'll never get if it's for use on a Model S. This higher weight rating is immediately apparent in both the price as well as the weight when compared to the 19's. On top of that, compare the price tag of 20" tires compared to the 19" counterparts as well as the significantly lower number of options in a 20" tire and it seems like the 20" option is the worst of all worlds to me. That's why I went with the 19" wheel. If you put the three options (21" OEM Arachnid, 20" aftermarket replica, 19" replica) on a spreadsheet with the total weight and cost including tires it's immediately apparent that the 19" option offers significant improvements in all of the categories that matter. Simply put, it's just the best wheel/tire size to live with according to the data. If you understand these differences and still are willing to make those sacrifices for looks... that's a different conversation and one I can't argue with because it's your opinion. If you're presenting the 20" as the best of all worlds based on performance in all of the metrics mentioned here... well, the data just doesn't support that.
 

ManuelV

Member
Sep 24, 2020
31
26
German,
Powdercoating is problematic. It takes a high temperature and quite some time. German TÜV did some tests and it can reduce the strength of rims by 20%. Really depends on the temperature and length of the coating. Additionally removing the paint before coating can reduce the strength even more.
Looks great, many people do it, but I personally wouldn't do it.
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,399
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
I agree that the 21" Arachnids are much lighter..... than 21" Turbines. If you MUST go 21" then the Arachnid is probably the best bet.

Compare them to the 19" wheels I mentioned though and you'll see that they're still MUCH heavier than that option. Especially once you factor in tire weight as well. If you truly care about weight, the wheel/tire combo on that 19" I'm running is much less (I believe it was 36lbs at EACH corner) weight and not to mention far less expensive with better and cheaper tire options. It rides better and the fear of curb or pot hole damage is also considerably less. I've owned five of these cars now and it started out with ONLY considering cars on 21's for my first to now I can't get them off of the car fast enough if I find a good deal on one with 21's. They're truly awful to life with day to day.

Hmmm... I think your statement "the wheel/tire combo on that 19" I'm running is much less (I believe it was 36lbs at EACH corner) is incorrect:

19" tires & wheels (FRONT & REAR)
24 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tire
+ 27 lbs: TS Sportline Arachnid wheel
51 lbs TOTAL


21" tires & wheels FRONT
25 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport ZP tire
+ 28 lbs: Tesla 245 Arachnid wheel
53 lbs TOTAL (front)

21" tires & wheels REAR
28 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport ZP tire
+ 27 lbs: Tesla 265 Arachnid wheel
56 lbs TOTAL (rear)


Yes you're correct your 19" tire / wheel combo is:
  • lighter
  • smoother
  • more resilient to curbs & potholes
  • less expensive
However 19 tires/wheels they don't handle nearly as well and don't look at good to most people as my 21" Arachnids / Michelin PSS tires either.

Great part is we have great tire & wheel CHOICES. I and many others choose 21" tire / wheels... and we respect your 19" tire wheel choice. If I lived in Colorado I'd definitely run 19" tires & wheels for their curbs & potholes resilience. Out here in sunny SoCal potholes aren't an issue since it rarely rains... and never snows.

When I take our Tesla to snow & potholed roads, I swap on my 19" Tesla Cyclones and Michelin MSM4 all-season tires. They worked GREAT on our last snowboard trip to Breckenridge in late winter where there were LOTS of potholes and snow.

Definitely different tires & wheels for different environments. Our rock crawling Jeep Wrangler Rubicon had 35" All-Terrain tires on 16" rims to avoid "rock rash" and allow them to air down. Incredible upgrade from the 31" tires it came with. Right tire for the expected use.

The Tesla Model S Wheel Guide - T Sportline - Tesla Model S, 3, X & Y Accessories

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Sport+3&partnum=445YR9PS3XLV2&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&autoMake=Tesla&autoYear=2015&autoModel=Model S&autoModClar=P85D
 

Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,321
3,271
Colorado, USA
Hmmm... I think your statement "the wheel/tire combo on that 19" I'm running is much less (I believe it was 36lbs at EACH corner) is incorrect:

19" tires & wheels (FRONT & REAR)
24 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tire
+ 27 lbs: TS Sportline Arachnid wheel
51 lbs TOTAL


21" tires & wheels FRONT
25 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport ZP tire
+ 28 lbs: Tesla 245 Arachnid wheel
53 lbs TOTAL (front)

21" tires & wheels REAR
28 lbs: Michelin Pilot Sport ZP tire
+ 27 lbs: Tesla 265 Arachnid wheel
56 lbs TOTAL (rear)


Yes you're correct your 19" tire / wheel combo is:
  • lighter
  • smoother
  • more resilient to curbs & potholes
  • less expensive
However 19 tires/wheels they don't handle nearly as well and don't look at good to most people as my 21" Arachnids / Michelin PSS tires either.

Great part is we have great tire & wheel CHOICES. I and many others choose 21" tire / wheels... and we respect your 19" tire wheel choice. If I lived in Colorado I'd definitely run 19" tires & wheels for their curbs & potholes resilience. Out here in sunny SoCal potholes aren't an issue since it rarely rains... and never snows.

When I take our Tesla to snow & potholed roads, I swap on my 19" Tesla Cyclones and Michelin MSM4 all-season tires. They worked GREAT on our last snowboard trip to Breckenridge in late winter where there were LOTS of potholes and snow.

Definitely different tires & wheels for different environments. Our rock crawling Jeep Wrangler Rubicon had 35" All-Terrain tires on 16" rims to avoid "rock rash" and allow them to air down. Incredible upgrade from the 31" tires it came with. Right tire for the expected use.

The Tesla Model S Wheel Guide - T Sportline - Tesla Model S, 3, X & Y Accessories

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Pilot+Sport+3&partnum=445YR9PS3XLV2&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&autoMake=Tesla&autoYear=2015&autoModel=Model S&autoModClar=P85D

We'll agree to disagree on the 21" wheel handling better than the 19" wheel. Riding harsher doesn't equate to better handling and I actually felt as though my cars also "handle" better with the smaller wheels. I know that "handling" is a hugely subjective term we throw out that can mean about a zillion different things & everything gets lumped into that category. So, to get a little more specific, I felt they have less rotational mass for things like cornering (both decelerating & accelerating) and planted due to more sidewall to absorb bumps when the surface isn't perfect. They are tend to be FAR less likely to hydroplane or "wander" in street ruts than their larger counterparts.

The 36lbs each corner was a guess since I didn't have access to my #'s when I posted it. I agree that it sounds like a pretty substantial difference though now that I think about it so let me find my numbers again...

The 19" Arachnid replica is 23.7lbs per wheel per Tsportline, (not 27lbs as you listed)
Interestingly the 19" split 5-star factory wheels go about 30lbs per corner.
The 19" tire I spec'd (DWS) was 25lbs in the size for those 19" wheels.
The Tsportline version of that wheel in a 20" adds 7lbs per wheel. That's not insignificant.
The 20" tire I compared (DWS) was 2lbs heavier in a 20" than the 19" for a total of about 10lbs per corner between the 19" and 20" option of the Tsportline replica.
21" Turbines (what I was comparing at the time since that was what was on my car) 35.2lbs front and 38lbs rear.
21" OEM Arachnids are basically 28lbs (avg f/r since they're within a pound of each other)
The rear tire for those staggered wheels is a 31lb tire.

So comparing the extremes (21" turbine rear vs 19" replica fronts) we come up with a difference of 20.3lbs per corner with both wheel and tire. That's not as far off of the 36lb number I posted as one might think at first glance but it's still a big difference from what I said.

I think the "36lbs per corner" number I was remembering was the (rough) difference in total between the 20" and 19" Arachnid replica option since those were the primary ones I was considering. The difference between those two options is about 40lbs total which is fairly drastic given the 1" difference in wheel size that isn't substantially different visually.

That said, I think we're in agreement on the 21" Arachnids because if I lived in sunny SoCal I'd probably be rocking those too. We're also definitely in agreement that having this many more choices is amazing since everyone's situation is different.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,024
493
Springfield, VA
Another vote for 20" being the best mix of handling, aesthetics, and durability. This tire/wheel combo is within a pound of the stock 19" cyclone setup with MXM4s (lost a pound on wheels, gained a pound on tires):
TSW wheels.jpg


Of course there are compromises with any setup (weight, ride quality, tire wear, durability, cost, etc.) but I'm pretty happy with this mix.
 
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BrokerDon

Active Member
Aug 23, 2014
1,399
1,289
Newport Coast, CA
That said, I think we're in agreement on the 21" Arachnids because if I lived in sunny SoCal I'd probably be rocking those too. We're also definitely in agreement that having this many more choices is amazing since everyone's situation is different.

Exactly. The best choice of tires & wheels is a direct ruction of :
  • the environment you're driving in (snow, rain, potholes, etc.)
  • you style of driving: aggressive, casual, hyper-miler
  • budget
IMHO the 21" Arachnids are great for sunny SoCal... but your 19" Arachnid TS Sportlines are better for all-weather Colorado.

Low profile 21" tires & wheels will ALWAYS outperform 19" tires & wheels. Look at ANY high performance sports car or road course race cars... they're ALL low profile tires & wheels. Think Formula 1 where budgets are non-existent and performance is KING.

But Tesla Model S is NOT a sports car... but 21" staggered Arachnids with super stick Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires definitely make it handle better... and hook up better in stop light races too.
 

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