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      10-05-2016, 11:44 PM   #1
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Winter tires, smaller or not?

So I live in Holland. Not exceptionally known for its snowy horrid winter weather, but we get our share of sub zero temperatures and a bit snow. Add to that that Germany is right around the corner and has mandatory snow-tire laws and I am looking at snow tires.

My 430i F36 will be delivered in the 2nd week of 2017 so my snow set will be what I am driving on the first months in my new car. Summer wheels will be the 19 inch 403M rims with stock RFT tires.

For my winter set I am in doubt. The common rule was 'go an inch smaller in the winter'. So 19 in the summer, 18 in the winter. Yet I really like 19 under the 4, looks much better.

Questions:
What are your opinions on winter tire size?
Are there good 19 inch RFT winter tires?

I am looking to get a set of MAK Luft Gunmetal/mirror rims for the winter set, which will look quite good under an Estoril 4 series, I hope.
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      10-06-2016, 12:03 AM   #2
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The main reason to go smaller (in wheel size) is because smaller tires are cheaper and there is more selection. I haven't checked tirerack.com (it's the goto website for tires over here in the USA - it lists many tires you can get over there), but I'm guessing there are only a couple RFT winter tires that you will find in 19".

You should also check out a couple tires that tirerack doesn't carry: Falken and Nokia (Hakkepelitta). Don't forget that, if you go with 18" you need taller tires (bigger profile) to maintain the same diameter. Most of us also prefer a square (non-staggared) setup for winter: the smaller size at the rear allows chains (cables) to be fitted without clanging on the body-work.
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      10-06-2016, 12:07 AM   #3
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So with staggered you mean the wider in the rear, I assume? I wonder if chains are possible at all around the 19s. Then again, the wife drives a 4WD SUV, so if it ever gets bad enough for chains, I think we'll go with that... Chains in Holland never happen, thats only on wintersport holiday to the alps...
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      10-08-2016, 10:32 PM   #4
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While a smaller diameter wheel/tire is not the rule, a narrower tire will typically go through the snow better. You need to adjust the tire width/aspect ratio/diameter to try to closely match the original set-up's circumference.
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      10-09-2016, 07:33 PM   #5
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For winter having nattower tire helps..within certain limits of course..too narrow and you would sacrifice dry road stability.Narrower tire would mean more bodyweight per square inch of contact patch and therfore helps the tire grip on snow covered and icy roads.

You would also be better of gowing with a taller profile tire..this helps deep snow traction and helps protect against potholes. My winter setup is 225 50 17 and with xdrive..I am unstoppable with whatever Ontario has thrown at me.
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      10-27-2016, 01:29 PM   #6
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I got Continental Extreme Winter Contact XL in 225/55/R16 with Sport Edition A7 Black wheels from Tire Rack. These nearly replicate original wheel width/height. I live near Philadelphia, PA and last winter I had no problems driving in snow and I don't even have an all wheel drive. They're certainly available in 17" and 18" from Tire Rack if you want larger size. I only use them for about 4 months in winter thus the smaller size doesn't matter much. I enjoy the car in summer time with F30's crazy setup of 225/35/R20 and 255/30/R20 on Pirelli PZero RFT's. Best of luck and enjoy your GC.
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      11-02-2016, 10:00 AM   #7
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My Winter setup is:
Front 225/45 R18 on M 400 Rims 8J x 18 ET 34
Rear 255/40 R18 on M 400 Rims 8,5J x 18 ET 47
(these are the original wheels from the stock summer setup, but with winter tires)
I first had Pirelli Sotto Zero RunFlat but changed to Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 non-RFT last winter.
Michelin is much softer and better in handling, especially on wet roads.

However, no snow chains possible, with this setup. I can live with that, as I never used chains in 30 years of driving BMW RWD cars.

I went for this setup because my winter driving is mostly on cold dry or cold wet days. I don't need to drive in hill regions, on days with lot's of snow. However I drove in the mountains without much problems on snow roads, but naturally you get to the limit without snow chains or spikes when the road conditions are bad.
But with todays weather forecast I pretty much know if snow is expected the next day, an then I choose home office or train, as it will be a mess on the roads anyway.

The handling in cold dry or cold wet conditions is very good with this setup giving a lot of grip and very good brake handling.
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      11-03-2016, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanview View Post
My Winter setup is:
Front 225/45 R18 on M 400 Rims 8J x 18 ET 34
Rear 255/40 R18 on M 400 Rims 8,5J x 18 ET 47
(these are the original wheels from the stock summer setup, but with winter tires)
I first had Pirelli Sotto Zero RunFlat but changed to Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 non-RFT last winter.
Michelin is much softer and better in handling, especially on wet roads.

However, no snow chains possible, with this setup. I can live with that, as I never used chains in 30 years of driving BMW RWD cars.

I went for this setup because my winter driving is mostly on cold dry or cold wet days. I don't need to drive in hill regions, on days with lot's of snow. However I drove in the mountains without much problems on snow roads, but naturally you get to the limit without snow chains or spikes when the road conditions are bad.
But with todays weather forecast I pretty much know if snow is expected the next day, an then I choose home office or train, as it will be a mess on the roads anyway.

The handling in cold dry or cold wet conditions is very good with this setup giving a lot of grip and very good brake handling.
Great choice of winter wheels: OEM BMW Style 400M.
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      11-03-2016, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanview View Post
My Winter setup is:
Front 225/45 R18 on M 400 Rims 8J x 18 ET 34
Rear 255/40 R18 on M 400 Rims 8,5J x 18 ET 47
(these are the original wheels from the stock summer setup, but with winter tires)
I first had Pirelli Sotto Zero RunFlat but changed to Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 non-RFT last winter.
Michelin is much softer and better in handling, especially on wet roads.

However, no snow chains possible, with this setup. I can live with that, as I never used chains in 30 years of driving BMW RWD cars.

I went for this setup because my winter driving is mostly on cold dry or cold wet days. I don't need to drive in hill regions, on days with lot's of snow. However I drove in the mountains without much problems on snow roads, but naturally you get to the limit without snow chains or spikes when the road conditions are bad.
But with todays weather forecast I pretty much know if snow is expected the next day, an then I choose home office or train, as it will be a mess on the roads anyway.

The handling in cold dry or cold wet conditions is very good with this setup giving a lot of grip and very good brake handling.

I didnt know pilot alpin pa4 is made in those sizes?
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      11-04-2016, 02:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4NZ4NIT3 335i View Post
I didnt know pilot alpin pa4 is made in those sizes?
At least they are in Europe:

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
255/40 R18 99V XL mit Felgenschutzleiste (FSL)
http://www.reifendirekt.ch/cgi-bin/r...n&typ=R-234043


Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
225/45 R18 95V XL mit Felgenschutzleiste (FSL)
http://www.reifendirekt.ch/cgi-bin/r...n&typ=R-234047
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      11-04-2016, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanview View Post
At least they are in Europe:

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
255/40 R18 99V XL mit Felgenschutzleiste (FSL)
http://www.reifendirekt.ch/cgi-bin/r...n&typ=R-234043


Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
225/45 R18 95V XL mit Felgenschutzleiste (FSL)
http://www.reifendirekt.ch/cgi-bin/r...n&typ=R-234047
Damn,...Europeans
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      12-06-2018, 06:36 PM   #12
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I've got a question regarding winter tires. My summer tires are 225/45R18 and I just put a set of winters on new rims which are 225/45R17. I understand I'm going to have some inaccuracies with my speedometer but I'm more concerned if there will be a negative effect on my xdrive with the smaller wheels or even my traction control? All 4 tires are the same size.
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      12-06-2018, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garrettanthony83 View Post
I've got a question regarding winter tires. My summer tires are 225/45R18 and I just put a set of winters on new rims which are 225/45R17. I understand I'm going to have some inaccuracies with my speedometer but I'm more concerned if there will be a negative effect on my xdrive with the smaller wheels or even my traction control? All 4 tires are the same size.
You'll be ok. Easy on the throttle because the smaller size gives more torque.
The DSC doesn't really care if everything is same size.
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      12-16-2018, 02:02 PM   #14
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going larger?

You've mentioned going smaller in winter--what about larger? My 328d xdrive came with 18" wheels and RFT. I want to dump the RFTs and go with a larger OD since the Factory offers 19"s and I know they will fit in the wheel well.
Has anyone kept their 18" wheel and gone with a taller tire?
The xdrive ride is v harsh with runflats, so I want to go with a standard tire with a bigger sidewall.
There is not a lot of suspension travel and I'd like a smoother ride, especially over expansion joints on the freeway that really pound the car as it is now.
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      12-16-2018, 07:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2Dad View Post
You've mentioned going smaller in winter--what about larger? My 328d xdrive came with 18" wheels and RFT. I want to dump the RFTs and go with a larger OD since the Factory offers 19"s and I know they will fit in the wheel well.
Has anyone kept their 18" wheel and gone with a taller tire?
The xdrive ride is v harsh with runflats, so I want to go with a standard tire with a bigger sidewall.
There is not a lot of suspension travel and I'd like a smoother ride, especially over expansion joints on the freeway that really pound the car as it is now.
19" will give you SMALLER sidewalls and harsher ride, RFT or not.
Taller tires are generally not recommended. Go to a 17" and taller sidewall if you really want comfort.
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      12-17-2018, 01:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2Dad View Post
Has anyone kept their 18" wheel and gone with a taller tire?
The xdrive ride is v harsh with runflats, so I want to go with a standard tire with a bigger sidewall.
225/50-18 will fit on OEM 8x18" ET34 wheels. But that's the maximum you could do.

Will give you tires with 1/2" higher sidewalls.
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      12-25-2018, 10:12 PM   #17
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Confusion over winter tires for 435i xdrive coupe

As a brand new member, this is my first post. Please be charitable if I inadvertently demolish some of the conventions established in this forum. Anyway. . . .
Last February I departed with my beloved 2007 328i when I bought a 2016 435i Xdrive coupe. Obviously, I am loving every mile I drive! However, the tire situation leaves me very confused. As implies, I purchased the car used with 25K miles. The tires/wheels that came with are 225/40/19 Goodyear RFT (square configuration).
To begin, I am confused with the size of these tires/wheels as I have not been able to find any factory configuration that has 19" tires squared. I see a lot of 18" squared, and 18/19 staggered, but not 19" squared. Is this a factory configuration. What the hell did I buy?!?!?! Moving along.
Early last winter I bought a set of studded Hakkapeliitta 8's for my 328i. WOW! I stuck to the snow and ice like velcro! Hands down, the best winter tire I have ever met (btw, I spent half of my life in Alaska; I have seen a few studded tires over the years. The Hak-8's are truly, "otherworldly").
My main question: I I still have the Hak-8's and am curious if (1)--I would be committing a sin against BMW if I installed them on my 435i-x. How far can we safely push minus sizing? (2) Is the mere notion of putting 205/55/16's on my 435 insane? To be sure, I expect that this would result in a noticeable reduction in performance/handling -- but it is winter, after all. Even a speed fool like myself won't be rounding corners at 90 mph in the ice and snow. Important side bar: I have great floor jacks, impact wrenches, and a large garage. I intend to swap the studded tires out with all season Michellan Pilot Sports as weather conditions change over the course of the winter.
Does anyone have helpful advice? Heck, even your unhelpful advice and general mockery would be welcomed.
Thanks!
Brett
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      12-25-2018, 10:26 PM   #18
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16" is unlikely to fit over your brakes.
It will be unstoppable with real snows, Hakka's or otherwise.
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      12-25-2018, 10:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandallson View Post
As a brand new member, this is my first post. Please be charitable if I inadvertently demolish some of the conventions established in this forum. Anyway. . . .
Last February I departed with my beloved 2007 328i when I bought a 2016 435i Xdrive coupe. Obviously, I am loving every mile I drive! However, the tire situation leaves me very confused. As implies, I purchased the car used with 25K miles. The tires/wheels that came with are 225/40/19 Goodyear RFT (square configuration).
To begin, I am confused with the size of these tires/wheels as I have not been able to find any factory configuration that has 19" tires squared. I see a lot of 18" squared, and 18/19 staggered, but not 19" squared. Is this a factory configuration. What the hell did I buy?!?!?! Moving along.
Early last winter I bought a set of studded Hakkapeliitta 8's for my 328i. WOW! I stuck to the snow and ice like velcro! Hands down, the best winter tire I have ever met (btw, I spent half of my life in Alaska; I have seen a few studded tires over the years. The Hak-8's are truly, "otherworldly").
My main question: I I still have the Hak-8's and am curious if (1)--I would be committing a sin against BMW if I installed them on my 435i-x. How far can we safely push minus sizing? (2) Is the mere notion of putting 205/55/16's on my 435 insane? To be sure, I expect that this would result in a noticeable reduction in performance/handling -- but it is winter, after all. Even a speed fool like myself won't be rounding corners at 90 mph in the ice and snow. Important side bar: I have great floor jacks, impact wrenches, and a large garage. I intend to swap the studded tires out with all season Michellan Pilot Sports as weather conditions change over the course of the winter.
Does anyone have helpful advice? Heck, even your unhelpful advice and general mockery would be welcomed.
Thanks!
Brett
Why not sell your old tires and buy tires for the car you have now? There are at least 7 places in spokane that sell that brand.
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      12-26-2018, 12:54 AM   #20
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brandallson 16" rims are not fitting a 435i, 18s barely fit on mine and i got the regular brakes
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      12-26-2018, 01:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbobiggens View Post
Why not sell your old tires and buy tires for the car you have now? There are at least 7 places in spokane that sell that brand.
Great advice. I thought of that too. The only issue there is that the tires run about $800/set. And although they have fewer thank 1000 miles on them, people don't seem to want to pay even half that much for a set of used snow tires -- no matter the condition. That is, if three weeks on Craig's List is any indication.
All the same, I suppose that $300 I could (maybe) get for them is better than a poke in the eye, egh?
Thanks for the response.
Brett
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      12-26-2018, 02:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switchman8 View Post
brandallson 16" rims are not fitting a 435i, 18s barely fit on mine and i got the regular brakes
Well, this is truly the news I was not hoping to hear -- but glad I heard it anyway. Yup, come to think of it, those are some mighty big discs and calipers. Looks like I just suck it up and throw down $1200 on tires and another$600 (at least) on wheels.

On the other hand. . .

Spokane doesn't have snow/ice on the roads all winter --- but when you need traction on ice/snow --- you need traction on ice/snow. So, my overall strategy was to have a designated set of studded winter tires/wheels that I would swap out as the weather and road conditions warranted. This meant new wheels AND new tires. However, I was looking at the Hakkapeliitta R3's. The Cryo-crystal technology is pretty interesting. I actually have a pair of Merrel boots that have a similar gig going on with the sole material (ceramic crystals in the rubber) ii if you take a running start and try to side on ice you fall on your face. My point is that these may be the best solution for snow and ice -- short of studs, but without the irritation/poor handling of studded tires on dry pavement. I have come to be a true believer in the Nokian Hakkapeliitta line of tires. I reckon I'll go this route; a thousand bucks but no swapping out of tires as the weather changes and spare the expense of buying new wheels.

Again, thanks for the info about the wheel size and the brakes. I suppose massive brakes and disks explains the 19" square configuration that came with the car (probably previous owner didn't want staggered wheels and went with the only square configuration possible.)

Happy new year and fun/safe driving!
Brett
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