Sales Are Way Off, Could It Be the Tires?

Page 1 of 2  
This new fad of larger wheels and how-low-can-we-go tires just might be scaring off the middle-aged bread and butter customers.
Not too long ago, -75 and -80 tires were the norm. Wheels were mostly 14
inch for typical family cars and station wagons. Those sizes and profiles must have evolved by the application of good engineering sense. They delivered fine performance and durability.
What's driving the recent trend? Today's cars look like they're riding on their rims. Could it be this is a cheap and dirty way to lower the cars? Intuitively, they look like a hard ride and easily subject to impact damage from road hazzards. Also, being as wide as they are, it would seem difficult to get them to wear evenly across the tread and equally difficult to achieve alignment angles which are always calculated to the center of the wheel. Is there a bonafide reason to these new designs, or is it just stylists' whim?
A popular theory is these low and wide tires provide better cornering and traction. Is that really the case or just advertising hype? How about hydroplaning? If wide tires hydroplane earlier, then there is no merit in the traction claim. As for cornering in a passenger car, its hard to beat a VW Scirocco and those typically were equipped with -80s.
Frankly, oversize wheels and undersized tires turn me off esthetically. Eyeball engineering tells me they are all wrong. My guess is a sizeable minority feels the same and are avoiding the new models solely for that reason.
Manufacturers need to offer reasonable tire options. Particularly, the 14 or 15 inch wheel with -80 profiles. Keep in mind there are buyers out there who remember 6.70-15 wheels and tires and that roughly corresponds to -90 profiles.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 01:32:15 GMT, "Berkshire Bill"

sure they'd be a bad thing with the upgrade on mine.
--
Spike
1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 2+2, Vintage Burgundy
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nomen Nescio wrote:

A few comments: (1) Low profile does not automatically (and very seldom does it) mean a wider tread. Besides, tire manufacturers finally learned that they can design sipes and wide circumferential grooves in the treads to solve the hydroplaning issue. For some reason, they were pretty stupid about the obvious for many years. Nowadays (is that a word?) wider does not mean inherently susceptible to hydroplaning with half-way intelligent tread design. (2) One advantage of larger wheels and lower profile tires is that for a given tire OD, the brake rotors can be larger - that may be one of the main drivers to the larger wheels, as attaining problem-free brakes seems to be a problem on many (most?) cars these days. One of the first mods I did to my Concorde was to go from 15 to 16" wheels so that I could convert it to the larger factory rotors - the LH cars really need those. (3) One of the biggest downsides of larger wheels is that the rotational moment of inertia is greater, so straight line acceleration suffers. (4) Another downside of larger wheels is that tires are priced like bikinis: As the amount of material in them decreases, the price increase exponentially (compare prices of 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 inch tires and you will see what I mean). (5) As far as the harder ride with lower profile: That can be partially compensated for with suspension and spring design, although unsprung weight cannot be compensated for no matter what - and that contributes to harsher ride.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No offence, but I do not like the image of my Bonnie with 14 inch -80's tires.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I feel the 70s are the best compromise. My cousin has a Volvo with very low profile tires. The only difference I've noticed is a harsh ride on breaks in the pavement.

-Worse for hydroplaning all things being equal, harsher ride, more tires and rims damaged from potholes. It has been mentioned that hydroplaning can be made to equal a regular tire, but I disagree on the conditions I sometimes experience. Like going up a steep mountain road in heavy rain with a stream of water coming down in the depressed from traffic roadway- just like driving up hill on slick ice. I found a 70 tire that will handle this, but noticed some all season treads from the same manufacturer that obviously wouldn't. -They require much more spare wheel well height, so many cars have a much narrower spare and can't take the flat tire in in the spare well.

65+. The silliest thing I saw was a large truck based SUV (Yukon or similar) with extremely low profile tires; 45 I believe. That vehicle would tip over before the cornering of those tires was effective. Just kiddy stuff, like those trunk fins that are useless at legal speeds.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Spam Hater wrote:

Why is everyone insisting on keeping "everything else equal"? There is nothing - absolutely nothing - inherently more hydroplane-susceptible about low profile per-se if the tire is sized properly with the lower profile. I'm not into the extreme either (I have 60's on my Concorde, and that is "extreme" as I want to go), but when one goes to a different size (larger wheel & lower profile), one simply specs the numbers to maintain the same tread width ( => hydroplaning susceptibility) and tread OD (speedometer/odometer reading).
You could go to smaller OD and *still* maintain the same tread width (hydroplaning resistance) if you wanted to. There's no reason one couldn't go with larger wheel, lower profile, *and* narrower tread if hydroplaning is the concern while maintaining speedo accuracy - absolutely no reason.
It's ridiculous to list worse hydroplaning as an inherent property of lower profile - because there's no reason to keep "everything else equal" - the conversion charts reflect that.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Spam Hater wrote:

Lots of folks have been surprised at how fast the -50 and lower profile tires often wear and how easy it is to do massively expensive rim damage. Ask any Volvo 850R owner!
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nomen Nescio wrote:

IMHO it takes about a 60 series tire to get a good compromise between ride and handling. However I do see your point, there's a lot of vehicles out there with much lower profile tires than even that...
nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
i couldn't agree with you more!!the"play' of all companys just not tires is to the absurd and over hyped sell on the ignorance and strupidity of the consumer!!greed is as greed does!!but the tire thing is mostly a warm and freindly client type of situation.but stupid is as stupid does makes this an epidemic of national lunacy!!and i thought the NRA was nuts!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you think a org. that is for common sence education and fights for a constitutional guaranted right is nuts, then your other conclusions are probably pathetly off base also. KB
--
ThunderSnake #9 Warn once, shoot twice
460 in the pkup, 460 on the stand for another pkup
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well if it is for common "sence" education.... you failed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If your strongest rebutel is my spelling, which on a newsgroup I am not that worried about, then you have no argument. KB
--
ThunderSnake #9 Warn once, shoot twice
460 in the pkup, 460 on the stand for another pkup
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That would be "rebuttal". ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hairy wrote:

Before you have a rebuttal, wouldn't you first have to have a buttal? :)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, thank you, but it sounds too kinky for me.
Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think it would have to be called a butt, minus the al before you can decide to rebutt al. Like he said, this is usenet and doesn't count as a real life experiment.
...Ron

-- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

post's were sorta self defeating.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That'll be "...an NRA..."
:-) DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.