View Full Version : 15'' or 16''...?
01-16-2006, 04:53 PM
I know 16 inch rims and the tires can hold more weight, and handle better under load b/c of the small tire sidewall, but what do you think? If Im going to stay around a 31 or 32 inch tire, should I bother going 16? And is there a 15'' tire that has a load range D? Thanks... Alex
01-16-2006, 05:03 PM
Great question, and one rarely touched on...
16" and larger wheels were introduced to address handling performance, load capacity and the fitment of larger calipers and rotors. All of this has to do with the faster road speeds in modern times. A 16 (or 18" for that matter) wheel will deflect less under cornering loads, allowing the vehicle to respond faster to steering input and reduce the likelihood of understeer due to the change in camber caused by sidewall deflection. Lower profile tires also generate less heat (as a result of carcass flex), which allows for great top speed ratings.
I prefer a 16" wheel for expedition work, as there is a greater selection of load d and e rated tires, and most are specified in the ETRTO metric sizing, which favors a narrower aspect ratio.
But, as with everything, there is a compromise. A 16" wheel has a greater chance of damage on the trail, and there is a shorter tire sidewall, which is important for flexibility when aired down.
01-16-2006, 06:02 PM
Just to be anal about it, I think Scott meant that the tire will deflect less than those on 15" wheels, the wheel itself will not deflect.
Something else to keep in mind (which I have little experience with), is finding replacement tires in less developed countries, if you will be travelling abroad. Does anyone know how easy/difficult it is to find a tire for a 16" wheel in Mexico, compared to a 15"?
01-16-2006, 08:06 PM
Scott, as usual...a great help...what would you recommend when staying around 31 true inches?
01-16-2006, 08:17 PM
I know you didn't ask me specifically, but:
what would you recommend when staying around 31 true inches?
I think 235/85R16 is a very good size at just over 31" and that size I'm pretty sure can be found almost everywhere. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they are often compatible size wise with the also common 7.50R16
01-16-2006, 08:23 PM
I like the 235/85 for street and mild trail use on hard surface.
For a heavier truck, or one that will see more soft surfaces, I like the 265/75
01-16-2006, 08:33 PM
my fault...I should have clarrified....I meant what wheel size....sorry.:ylsmoke:
01-16-2006, 08:39 PM
For a 265/75 tire, I would run a 16x7" wheel. The narrower wheel helps to retain the bead under lower inflation numbers.
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