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Wheel & Tire Size Consideration

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Sharkbait, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    I am not a mechanical engineer, but I wonder about potential M3 wheel and tire options. Given a 20” wheel will travel farther than an 18” wheel per revolution of the axle, will the extra distance traveled be offset by the extra power required to turn a larger wheel and tire? Will larger wheels provide more range compared to smaller wheels and tires? I will be happy with either wheel size. Just wondering?
     
  2. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    No. Larger wheels have less range. There's many a discussion on these boards about how the 21" wheels on the S, and 22" wheels on the X have much less range than their respective smaller brethren. Also the larger wheel's tires wear out faster, and are more prone to get flats due to potholes and such.
     
  3. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Rim size has nothing to do with tire diameter. Most tires are roughly 26" in diameter whether they are on 15" wheels or 20" wheels.
    Smaller wheel diameter normally reduces car weight, improves mileage, reduces tire pricing, and rides smoother. Oh and gets little to no curb rash.

    So why the 20" wheels? Same reason people get their face pierced with stuff. Fashion. When the craze is over, the rims will return to normal.
     
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  4. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Thanks for correcting me. In that case, I'm hoping for 18" standard wheels with lower profile tires. I suppose I would benefit from air suspension with lower profile tires - no?
     
  5. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    You and me both. :)
     
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  6. geoffreak

    geoffreak Model 3 Reservation Holder

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    I'm not a fan of huge wheels as they seem a bit disproportionate. Hopefully the possible 18" look about the same size as my 17" wheels:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait Member

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    Yes, 17 or 18" would be fine with me as well. Thanks for the images.
     
  8. bmenius

    bmenius Member

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    It's a trend that is unlikely to reverse any time soon. Modern designs are biased toward larger diameter wheels. Just think about where the 20" wheel began in mass production- the 2002 Ram. At that time, it looked gigantic. But here we are a decade later, and you can get factory 21" rollers on a Boxster.

    Make mine with 20” wheels. I'll take 16” wheels on a soulless appliance, but on something as sharply designed as the 3, I'm not looking to take away from the design.
     
  9. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Fashion never changes?

    Perhaps. Glad I hung on to my corduroy bell bottoms. ;)

    Ford Model A wheels were 21" diameter over 100 years ago. So it wasn't exactly the Dodge truck (trucks run larger dia tires) that started the Big Wheel look.

    In 2014, they wanted to make the fastest Z/28 track car possible that could still be licensed for the street. So they put massive carbon ceramic brakes on it, then reduced the wheels to 19" from 20".

    They lost 44lb on the wheels and tires by doing that.
     
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  10. Shas-O

    Shas-O New Member

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    Running costs must be quite high, my S-MAX has 18" rims each tire is at least £150, thats a major reason for me to reconsider.
     
  11. Kristian G

    Kristian G Member

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  12. vjason

    vjason Member

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    For those curious about prices for similar tires from existing models, from Tire Rack:

    Prices are for tires only.

    Model S:
    P90D 265/35/21: 350-395 each
    90D 245/45/19: 150-267 each
    90D 245/35/21: Most in 300 range each

    Model X:
    75D 265/75/45/20: 250-340 each
    75D 265/285/35/22: Most in 200 range each
     
  13. Dan Detweiler

    Dan Detweiler Member

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    Thanks for these price comparisons. For me, $1200-$1400 every 10-15,000 miles is huge. $800 every 30-40,000 miles is much more to my liking. I have no problem with 19" wheels.

    Of course, as with all things...each to his/her own.

    Dan
     
  14. Craig9080

    Craig9080 Member

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    I have 18" wheels on my Focus ST, which is simular-ish in size, and I think they look great. 19" wheels would took good as well but for any spirited driving I would not use them.
     
  15. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    I would not have an issue with the 20 inch wheel size but weight would be the issue in going with a smaller wheel size.
     
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    10-15,000 miles is low estimate in my opinion unless you are really driving aggressively or tires equipped have very low treadwear rating. You can get summer performance tires and all-season tires in the same sizes (most of the time). On summer tires, you should be able to get 20,000 fairly easily. All-seasons should be no problem to get double that.
     
  17. eisbock

    eisbock Member

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    This is huge. Everybody loves to look cool, but the reality is that's all larger wheels do. They will give you more grief in the long term.

    PROS:
    • Looks cool, I guess?
    • Maybe a slight performance increase. At least, that's what people say, most likely trying to justify their purchase in light of the cons below. Doesn't really seem to be too much difference.
    CONS:
    • Expensive initial cost
    • Reduced range
    • More expensive tires (double!)
    • Tires wear much faster. Expect to replace your pricey tires 2-3 times more often than standard tires. It's not just money either. It's time. Nobody likes going to the shop. You have to coordinate a loaner, rent a car, get somebody to cart you around, etc. It's inconvenient.
    • Parallel parking is suddenly much scarier if you cut the curb a little too close.
    • Harder tires make for a stiffer ride.
    If people have money and time to burn, then go for it. Larger wheels are simply not practical if this is supposed to be a practical car.
     
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  18. eisbock

    eisbock Member

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    I'd say that's accurate. There have actually been reports that tires on electric cars wear faster because the car is so much heavier and the instant torque scrubs the tire treads. If you find yourself the type to take off quickly from stop lights, you're gonna go through tires much faster in an EV.
     
  19. Dan Detweiler

    Dan Detweiler Member

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    Taking off quickly from a stop is a relative term. In a Tesla...for sure! In a Volt...ehhh not so much.

    Dan
     
  20. vjason

    vjason Member

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    Bear in mind I didn't post mileage ratings, which also impacts things. If you are really figuring out your ongoing costs I suggest going to Tire Rack and looking at the details of the tires for difference Model S versions. I only picked a couple of models for that post.

    Let's just say I don't expect to get 3 years (45K miles) out of a set like I do with my Prius C. Based on my habits I will probably need to budget at least $30 a month for tires, and that is on the low end.

    If you are coming from a similar performance car this is not news to you, but if you are coming from something basic this will probably take a chunk of that cash you are saving by not buying gas (for those ICE users of course).

    I used to work with a guy who owned a BMW M3 and his tires were ~$1200 a set, couldn't be rotated front to back due to different widths (same with some Model S), and lasted 18 months or so a set. Of course he drove the M3 like it was meant to be driven, but then again if you spent that kind of cash wouldn't you too? I'm not going to be treating the local freeways like they are racetracks, but I'm not going to drive my Model 3 like my Prius either.
     

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