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REVIEW: 21" Niche Essen Wheels for my Tesla Model X SUV

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by arijaycomet, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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  2. rgadue

    rgadue Member

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    Great review. I'm actually looking for new wheels and was thinking 21's would be a perfect fit in between the stock 20's I currently have and the Tesla upgraded 22's. I love the way those black 22's look, but concerned of impact on range. I had an S for awhile and miss that sport road hugging feel so I'm looking to attempt to get some of that back with a larger wheel and lower profile tire. Curious, did you look at any other brands. I saw an S with Vossen rims and the setup was sweet. Not sure if one brand is really better than the other.
     
  3. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    When researching brands, it was a toss up between cost, lead time, and overall weight savings. Since I was coming from the 22" wheels that were 38/40 lbs respectively (per my blog post) -- my goal was to save enough weight that I could justify the change. Additionally, I was trying to stay as close to net $0 so the sale of my 22" wheels/tires (while reusing my TPMS) was a factor, too.

    If you are coming from the 20" wheels, and depending on your budget, you may have more options. Vossen makes some gorgeous wheels, and if money were no object I'd surely get something forged from them, or HRE, or Rotiform, or similar. But since money was an issue for me, it was hard to find wheels that were cheap (read: cast, not forged) that were also a weight savings. Another problem I found was that many off the shelf wheels that are 5x120 (our bolt pattern, which is also a BMW bolt pattern) were not able to withhold the weight of the Model X. Finding wheels with the proper load rating was another issue unto itself.

    For me then, these were the only wheels that blended cost, load rating, size, and ultimately my style preference (black multi spoke). There are wheels from TSW that are slightly heavier that looks great, and TSW as a brand also had a few options whose staying I didnt care for that were slightly more expensive, Rotary forged, and only marginally lighter. Also do a search for @acaciolo his X is black (with a gorgeous matte wrap) he has black 21" wheels that are another option, forget brand, they look pretty slick!
     
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  4. balefire

    balefire Member

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    Looks good. Also good explanation of everything in your blog.
     
  5. Yinn

    Yinn Member

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    Once you get some miles on it, I'd be interested to see what the range effect is.
     
  6. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    Been hovering around 418 wh/mi over the last roughly 300 miles since install. Been colder here and 85% of that has been city driving. My prior data was only 20% city and 80% highway over about 1,700 miles. So it's not yet apples to apples.

    Since I logged some great data on my Florida to Ohio drive, I figure I have lots of good expressway data. We have a trip end of March to Lexington Kentucky that should provide ample data. I'll hopefully have more data to present in about a month :)
     
  7. 3s-a-charm

    3s-a-charm Active Member

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    Looks a little "stretched" for my liking (tires are a little too narrow for the rims for my taste). Looks good from afar though.
     
  8. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 9.04.05 AM.png

    Niche Essen M147 Model X Wheels (21”)
    Front: 21x9,0 ET35 - 31 lbs
    Rear: 21x10.5 ET35 - 33 lbs
    Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Tires
    (Front: 265/40-21 , Rear: 275/40-21)

    It is funny to me that you'd say stretched-- obviously your experience with various tire brands/sizes is limited. Every tire is designed differently. Some of them had "curb protection" and others do not. Obviously there is a possibility of stretching a tire on a wheel, the "kids" do it these days (I'm in my 40s, and despise that look plus the poor function and danger it provides).

    As you'll note above (taken right from Tire Rack's web site):
    Front tires are designed to be placed on a 9.0" to 10.5" wheel. Ideally 9.5" -- mine are 9.0" so at low end, acceptable.
    Rear tires are intended to be placed on a 9.0" to 11" wide wheel, ideally 9.5" as well. Mine is 10.5" so not even max, still acceptable.

    As such, my front tires should be the opposite of stretch, and the rears would have a slight bit of "stretch" (though again consider that my rear wheels, while 10.5" wide-- could actually still be another half-inch wider and be within spec of what the tire manufacturer considers both acceptable, and ideal). Also be sure to remember that tread depth (265/275 in this case) has nothing to do with bead width-- which is what the numbers we are discussing here account for overall.

    In the past 25 years I've owned over 60 different cars, and have participated in quite a few lapping days at tracks throughout the Midwest and Eastern seaboard. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that two tires, the identical size, can fit the same wheel very differentially. This accounts both for visual/aesthetic differences, as well as performance differences. But I can assure you in the case here there is no "stretch" as the tires are well within the mfg's recommended range for bead/wheel width.
     
  9. Yinn

    Yinn Member

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    Perhaps that's what he was just trying to say? Personally I've only had aftermarket rims/tires on cars, and I usually prefer the look of a NT01/NT05 type tire, where it gives the appearance of a "blockier" slick type tire with a beefy looking sidewall. I'm not sure that would look right on the X though...only one way to find out. :)
     
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  10. 3s-a-charm

    3s-a-charm Active Member

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    I stand (humbly) corrected. I think it was an optical illusion when I quickly looked at the close-up wheel shot and only saw the top part (on iPhone zoomed in) so it may have looked more "stretched" (like the kids do!) than it actually is.

    Good explanation and nice wheels!

    And yes as the other poster pointed out I generally like to see a little more "meat" outside the edge of the rim if possible. You're right about same size tires looking completely different on the same rim.
     
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