Alloys vs steels/economy vs road-holding

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Philip Chidlow
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Alloys vs steels/economy vs road-holding

Post by Philip Chidlow » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:43 pm

As two of the four tyres on my newly acquired estate are going to want replacing soon, I was wondering: If I replace the standard steels with their 165 profile tyres for a set of good GTi silver alloys with new 185s, will I a) notice any significant drop in economy? or b) will that adversley affect the ride?

It's not really a matter of cost as between those sizes, there isn't much to choose from (considering a good make like Pirelli or Michelin).

I would need some bolts though, so if I did choose that route, anyboby got a set lying around? :D
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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:58 pm

I have not noticed any detrimental effects of having the larger tyres, on the contrary the extra grip afforded by the wider tyres makes the car much more surefooted provided the tyres are good, when well worn the wider tyres are probably more prone to aquaplaning and breaking traction under acceleration, especially the 19TD which would wheelspin down motorway sliproads in third gear! A set of uniroyals has made it a very good drive regardless of conditions.
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Post by docchevron » Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:27 am

The difference in economy is negligable. Like, really, there aint any!

The road holding in the dry, and the general feel of the car is much better on wider tyres.

In the wet, the wider the tyre, the worse the grip, due to the surface area touching the ground, however as Stewart said, I run 195 (on 6J's) on both of my cars and the handling in the wet is stunning!, they are exceptional in the dry too, and quiet, and seem to last well despite my abuse of them.

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:41 am

So, I'll need some alloy bolts. Can anyone (or a number of you all) scrape together a set? (I'm not about to pay £1.50 a bolt from a breakers)... I will pay as bit lol
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Post by docchevron » Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:39 pm

Alas, I dont have any the correct size. I've got some pug bolts that I bought from a breaker for mine. It was only when I got home and tried fitting them I discovered they were too short!
I'm sure somebody on here has some?? I paid £90 for new genuine bolts in the end.....

If you get stuck, I'll try and find a cheap supply.

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Post by Philip Chidlow » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:47 pm

I've decided to fit GTi steels with 185 60 R14 Pirelli P6000s or equivalent Kléber (made by Michelin). And I have the bolts for them. And I love the TXD trims I have - they suit the estate so well.

I'll save the alloys for my Diesel auto ( when I find one :lol: )...
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Post by Stewart (oily!) » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:37 pm

THat is an excellent compromise you have reached, you will still get bags more grip on 185s.
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Post by MULLEY » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:25 pm

Philip, have u tried looking up tyres on the following website:

mytyres.co.uk

There is also a website that shows testing results from members of the public:

www.tyretest.com

You would be surprised at how good some of the cheaper tyres are compared to the big named brands such as pirelli, michelin etc... & they are a fraction of the cost.

I purchased some Yokohama's when i bought some alloys off Tim last year, only reason i bought them was that there were already 2 brand new one's fitted, again they came out good in the reviews & were inexpensive.

If i was buying some new tyres (185/60/R14) i would buy the following(Marangoni Vanto), they seem very very good & at an affordable price of £27.50 each inc delivery, so only £110 all in, will need fitting & balancing, but thats not expensive anyway, i have a local place that will do the above & tracking as well for about £40, so for £150, bargain. My other car one tyre alone costs £110 (thats the cheapest ive found).

I personally wouldnt bother with pirelli P6000, they dont come out that well in the test scores especially in the WET, but if you like them then thats fair enough. Have a look on these sites, you may change your mind about what u were going to get fitted.

Let us know what you decide......

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Post by Ian_Fearn » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:31 pm

My top choices for a 185 tyre are:

Yokohama AVS DB
Pirelli P6000's
Michelin Pilot Exalto.

I never bother with cheap tyres as top quality 185's are cheap. I paid about £120 for 4 Yokos plus 20 notes to have them fitted.
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Post by BX Bandit » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:40 pm

My TD has 'borrowed' the set of Alloys off my 16V (well, only the fronts because the old tyres are as old as the car and aren't worth mashing a spud for..Anyhow, I put two on the front which have Toyo Proxes on them. In the dry, the tyre is OK, but it is awful in the wet, really bad. However, there is a significant difference in front end road holding due to the extra width when compared to steely 165s so a switch to 195 or 185 tyres is going to be well worth it and I wouldn't think twice about economy.

Tyres are always down to personal choice and as Mulley I too have used Mytyres.co.uk to order tyres via the post and have them fitted locally. My only comment about the 'tests' that are carried out is that (AFAIK) they aren't actually tests, just opinions of a number of drivers who sum up the tyre based on their own prefernces and experiences. No doubt this will give not an untrue assesment of the tyres but one which needs to be considered as subjective rather than scientific.
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Post by AdrianO » Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:32 pm

Check etyres.co.uk - prices seem competitive and they come to you.

I used to buy East European mor (sometime literally :)) 165's for my 1st BX and only got about 20k out of them. My current pride and joy came with Michelins, and not only is the grip far superior (at least, when going around corners, rather than stopping quickly, hehe) but the fronts lasted 42k and the rears have lasted 56k and should make 60k, so are not at all worse value. (Of course, with a BX you never know when its Day of Judgement will arrive, so it's a risk putting expensive rubber on).

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Post by MULLEY » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:01 am

Quite correct Bandit, they are just drivers opinions, however, whenever i have read scientific tests these are just as subjective in my opinon, reason being is that they only use one model of car.

I think tyres are one of those eternal mysteries, you will only ever know if they are any good by driving on them & trying to remember what the previous make of tyres felt like, not always easy to remember.

I did have the experience of having some really cheap nasty tyres fitted to my Clio which replaced some Michelin's (which i thought were expensive & not that good value), however these new tyres were about 90% as good as the michelin's in the dry so quite good, however in the wet they were only about 60% as good, in other words i quickly went back to Michelin's.

Ian, regarding cheap tyres? are u referring to the price or the brand? as in both cases this doesnt necessarily ring true. I got those Debica Frigo2 winter tyres & am pleased as punch, they are great in the wet (not had any snow yet, so cant comment) & very grippy in the dry (have to be careful otherwise they will wear out in no time), also very quiet as well, modern technology really has progressed things (silica compounds i believe?).

In conclusion, i would rather make a choice of tyre using multiple ratings from various people doing different mileages, different driving styles & different vehicles & from different climates than a mates advice (unless running the same car that is). Reason for this is that if everyone who fits that particular make of tyre thinks they are good, then they are unlikely to be bad.

Some of you may disagree which is fine, but why pay over the odds for well known branded tyres that may not be as good as a different brand?? But if you have a specific tyre that u have always liked, then if u r happy then stick with em. Only trouble i have found is that the tyre manufacturers always update the tyre specs, tread patterns so you invariably cant get hold of the exact same one's anyway, pain in bum if u ask me. The web seems to be the best place to track down a runout tyre & normally at a bargain price......

So what tyres do other members of the club use?

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Post by Vanny » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:04 am

exaltos and energys - michelin all the way!

The energys aren't bad in the dry, start to become a bother in the wet but return good economy and i've just had one go past best at in excess of 70,000 easy doing miles on three different cars, so at £40 a corner thats money bloody well spent! They are the nearest equivalent to MXT's, and the Mk1 energies had pretty much the same tread pattern (latest energys have totally different tread pattern which is a litle bit better in the wet, as fitted to teh AX)

Exalto's are worlds appart however, probably better because of the increase in size (5j alloy rims with 185 width, which is the smallest you can get in Exaltos and the wait while i ordered gained me £15 in cash!) but they are much much better in the dry and equal in the wet as the energys are in the dry! I've also put these on track which did a lot fo damage but less than Yoko's seem to take. I just love how positive and shore footed they are!

I've also got Champiro tyres on the back 17" alloys and goodyear F1 (near slicks) on the front, and the champiro's are spectacular in the wet and really good in the dry but they do wear fast, do seem to run warm and on 17" with 40 profile and 205 cross section all on a BX you can forget about the 1st lane on the motorway as you'll get buffeted all over the place in the tram lines (mastly a factor of profile rather than width i think)

Currently after collway rally tyres (or pirrelli gravel tyres) for a bit of fun on the 'special' journeys! (i still do just about enough of them to make it worht while!)

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Post by BX Bandit » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:34 am

In conclusion, i would rather make a choice of tyre using multiple ratings from various people doing different mileages, different driving styles & different vehicles & from different climates than a mates advice (unless running the same car that is). Reason for this is that if everyone who fits that particular make of tyre thinks they are good, then they are unlikely to be bad.
I agree Mulley, that's the crux of tyre choice - go with the opinion of a collection of people or stick to a tyre you already know. A few people, mainly DocChevron have mentioned Uniroyals several times so I'm tempted to give 'em a try when the time comes.

I used to run Michelin Energies for ages, but found that as they got older (and they lasted well) the wet grip became terrible and chunks started disappearing from the tread as if the rubber had become brittle.

I then changed to Yokohama S306. Much better grip in wet and dry but a softer compound and didn't last as long. Comfy quiet tyres tho'. I have recently put some winter tyres on the front. Cost was a major consideration and as I mostly do local journeys in the BX I went for a cringeworthy set of Firestone Winterhawks. Not bad, more grippy in the mud and ok in the wet. They are uber soft so I won't expect them to last long. May not get them again tho'.

On the Xantia, I run either Michelin Pilot Premacy, Conti Premium Contact - slightly softer and more plyable than the MPP, or best of all Good Year Eagle F1 DSG2..an excellent tyre but quite soft. I'd love a set of DSG3s on the 16v...
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Post by Gareth Wales » Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:46 am

But wouldn't swapping OE steels for alloys constitute a "modification" in insurance terms? I raise this apropos the disgraceful attitude of some insurance companies who are, it seems, only too anxious to get out of paying anything at all in the event of a claim (Also see Jon's Direct Line difficulties)
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