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      08-05-2010, 12:01 PM   #1
jms_w
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19" wheels for snow

This may be a stupid question but what is the disadvantage of using 19" wheels as opposed to 18"? Snow tires don't have tread on the sides so less traction couldn't be it. Does it have to do with stiffness of sidewall? But realistically how much difference would 18" vs 19" make? I have the dumb goal of keeping my car looking good with snow tires on. ZCP wheels come to mind.
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      08-05-2010, 12:19 PM   #2
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The problem doesn't just stem from the rolling diameter, but also the width. Generally speaking, snow tires benefit from a narrow track in addition to tread pattern and composition. When you get to the size of the 19s there are just fewer options. Frankly, I can't even cite a snow tire that fits the 19s off the top of my head, but more research (Tire Rack?) would help answer that better.

Also while the 19s etc keep the car looking good, the salt and other crap they put on the road do precisely the opposite to the wheels over time. Take a look at some of the 18 inch wheel/tire packages. While their beauty is more functional than aesthetic they're not horrible looking either.

Edit: Just checked Tire Rack. No snow or even all-season options available when I select tire options for my 19s.

Last edited by BigHat; 08-05-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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      08-05-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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My reasons for 18s have been the following:

1) Greater selection of narrower tires, which are better for "cutting" through light snow
2) Typically larger sidewall which protects the wheels from getting bent due to the inevitably crappier road conditions during winter
3) Less costly as an entire "package"; my car never looks as good during winter due to logistics of washing during subfreezing temps, salty roads, etc. So, though I don't want the car to look homely, I accept a more pedestrian appearance to my wheels... Then the 19s look that much better in the Spring when you swap them back on
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      08-05-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Where there is snow... there are potholes. There are some nice looking 18s that can serve you well as snow tires.
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      08-05-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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ZCP wheels would be a bad choice even if you were going 19" because they're a half inch wider than the 220M's.

I would also recommend getting non-staggered 18" wheels in the front fitment size on all 4 corners with the narrowest possible snow tires you can fit.
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      08-05-2010, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHat View Post
Edit: Just checked Tire Rack. No snow or even all-season options available when I select tire options for my 19s.
I asked about options on the sticky thread a few months back. I don't think they get their first production run until Sept or so. Makes sense the site does not show options.

Can anyone confirm this or comment on availability?
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      08-05-2010, 01:04 PM   #7
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Buy 18's because its been known to be the right thing to do for a long time... and 19's cost more. So just listen to the back of your head and get 18's Plus its August, dont ruin our summer mind set yet!!
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      08-05-2010, 01:05 PM   #8
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Certainly finding 19in snow tires are a big issue.

My advice is to buy a Cheapo car for 1500 for the winter.
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      08-05-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago M3 View Post
Certainly finding 19in snow tires are a big issue.

My advice is to buy a Cheapo car for 1500 for the winter.
+1 2004 corolla riding clean

There are 2-3 options on Tire Rack though for 19s I think the Blizzaks fit. I was thinking of getting those.
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      08-05-2010, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago M3 View Post
Certainly finding 19in snow tires are a big issue.

My advice is to buy a Cheapo car for 1500 for the winter.
For $1,500 you can pay for a lot of cabs. Then you don't have to 1) insure two cars, 2) pay to park the beater (I live in a high rise, own one spot, $75 a month to rent another), 3) endure the fun of maintaining a likely piece of crap and lastly--be seen in it. Jk.
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      08-05-2010, 01:29 PM   #11
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You are exactly right - they don't show in stock now because it's not winter in the US, where TireRack is located and does most of its business.

I know for a fact you can get snow tires that fit the stock 220M wheels. Various forum members have them (check wheel and tire forum).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdude24 View Post
I asked about options on the sticky thread a few months back. I don't think they get their first production run until Sept or so. Makes sense the site does not show options.

Can anyone confirm this or comment on availability?
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      08-05-2010, 01:32 PM   #12
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19" are fine. I prefer the look and since Winter here is half the year I went with 19" Wheels (VMR), and had no problem finding tires that worked great.
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      08-05-2010, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jms_w View Post
This may be a stupid question but what is the disadvantage of using 19" wheels as opposed to 18"? Snow tires don't have tread on the sides so less traction couldn't be it. Does it have to do with stiffness of sidewall? But realistically how much difference would 18" vs 19" make? I have the dumb goal of keeping my car looking good with snow tires on. ZCP wheels come to mind.
Even though conventional wisdom suggests smaller wheels are better, and there are plenty of good reasons listed in this thread to go with the 18s, I would say not to sweat over it too much. If you want a 19" winter setup, you should be just fine. Just be aware of the issues given by others in this thread. They are valid concerns for sure.

If you think about it, its basically all arbitrary anyway. E9x M3s can't use anything less than an 18" wheel due to brake size, while E9x 3 series can get away with 17s. Yet, who with an M3 thinks the (RWD) 3 series really has an advantage in the winter? Furthermore, the next generation M3 will probably have bigger brakes and perhaps not be able to wear even 18" wheels. Will everyone's winters get worse? Nah. My guess is that the new argument will suddenly become 19"s vs. 20"s for the winter.
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      08-05-2010, 01:45 PM   #14
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I'm getting 19's with Blizzak LM-60s

I have an Interlagos Blue coupe with ZCP I was going to get 18's for winter but decided to go with Alugelgen SF-71s (only available in 19's) in hyperblack since they look pretty similar to the ZCP wheels.

I realize the advantages of the 18's price wise and selection-wise, but for the money thought the Alufelgens ($899 currently including shipping) were hard to beat & my snows on my e46 M3 lasted for about 7 years so replacing the snow tires isn't going to be that big an expense.

I ordered the wheel/tire package with BMW center caps, RoadForce balancing and TMS directly from Matt/Alufelgen some time ago. They are getting the tires from TireRack--the rear Blizzacks were backordered, but are supposedly coming in this week.

Meanwhile I got some curb rash on my front R wheel trying to squeeze by someone making a L hand turn. I'm planning to do a DIY repair myself with Bondo and Wurth silver paint using NASA technique as detailed at several sites since I feel that repeat trauma is inevitable.
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      08-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #15
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Nothing says you can't do it, but all the points above are valid. Selection is more limited, price of the tires is usually higher, pothole damage is a little more likely.

But if you have well maintained roads in winter, the tires you want are available, and the price works out, there's no functional reason you can't.

Blizzak LM60's are available in 235/35R19 and 255/35R19 already.
Pirelli 240 Sottozero are the only ones that make a 245 and 265/35R19 combination, and they're not in stock.

I should probably make a new winter thread fairly soon here, or maybe just revive the old one.
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      08-05-2010, 04:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoo View Post
I have an Interlagos Blue coupe with ZCP I was going to get 18's for winter but decided to go with Alugelgen SF-71s (only available in 19's) in hyperblack since they look pretty similar to the ZCP wheels.

I realize the advantages of the 18's price wise and selection-wise, but for the money thought the Alufelgens ($899 currently including shipping) were hard to beat & my snows on my e46 M3 lasted for about 7 years so replacing the snow tires isn't going to be that big an expense.

I ordered the wheel/tire package with BMW center caps, RoadForce balancing and TMS directly from Matt/Alufelgen some time ago. They are getting the tires from TireRack--the rear Blizzacks were backordered, but are supposedly coming in this week.

Meanwhile I got some curb rash on my front R wheel trying to squeeze by someone making a L hand turn. I'm planning to do a DIY repair myself with Bondo and Wurth silver paint using NASA technique as detailed at several sites since I feel that repeat trauma is inevitable.
Re: NASA technique, don't use Wurth. Unless you can get hold of an old can, the latest blend is too dark and doesn't match. Trust me, I've tried it. Use Einzetts silber spray instead. I've repaired S4 wheels and M68's with great success.
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      08-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
Nothing says you can't do it, but all the points above are valid. Selection is more limited, price of the tires is usually higher, pothole damage is a little more likely.

But if you have well maintained roads in winter, the tires you want are available, and the price works out, there's no functional reason you can't.

Blizzak LM60's are available in 235/35R19 and 255/35R19 already.
Pirelli 240 Sottozero are the only ones that make a 245 and 265/35R19 combination, and they're not in stock.

I should probably make a new winter thread fairly soon here, or maybe just revive the old one.
Ben, please let me know when you get Blizzak's in. Don't want to wait until it snows and I have no choice. Thanks!
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      08-05-2010, 06:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jms_w View Post
Re: NASA technique, don't use Wurth. Unless you can get hold of an old can, the latest blend is too dark and doesn't match. Trust me, I've tried it. Use Einsetts silber spray instead. I've repaired S4 wheels and M68's with great success.
Wow.. Just received my cans of Wurth Silver and Clear lacquer from AutoGeek. Hope you're wrong. I guess I'll try a test spray on some other object.
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      08-05-2010, 08:13 PM   #19
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Wow.. Just received my cans of Wurth Silver and Clear lacquer from AutoGeek. Hope you're wrong. I guess I'll try a test spray on some other object.
The clear lacquer works fine. I do hope you prove me wrong about the silver. Maybe I got a bad batch, who knows. Trying to find another use for it. The Einzetts is a better spray with more metallics. Btw, it's alot easier to work with the wheel off the car. Less chance of overspray on car. PM if you have any questions.

Here's a pic of before and after of the S4 wheels I repaired. The before pics are of the wheels clean. All had major curb rash.
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      08-06-2010, 02:05 PM   #20
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I was going to get winter wheels/tires for the M3, but I changed my mind and got me a great "hoopty" for the cold days: '01 Ford Mondeo with just 8,000 miles on it
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      08-11-2010, 10:24 PM   #21
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I run Blizzaks on my OEM 19s.. works like a charm.
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      08-12-2010, 04:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
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I run Blizzaks on my OEM 19s.. works like a charm.
Same here for 2 Chicago winters... No issues at all... Even with potholes from hell...
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