Ride Quality: Rim size vs Sidewall
There's a huge thread about 17" vs 20" rims & ride quality. Is this really a fair question to ask?
Wouldn't it be better to compare tread & sidewall size instead of rim size? If you go up in rim size, but the sidewall length increases, shouldn't the ride quality increase as well (assuming you don't inflate to the max PSI)?
Let's start with two examples:
Example 1: 265/70r17 vs 35x12.5x17
Example 2: 265/70r17 vs 35x12.5x20
Am I wrong to assume to that the ride quality between the stock tire & a 35" on 20s should ride about the same since the sidewall is basically the same (assuming we're comparing the exact same model & brand of tire) or am I missing something?:4-dontknow:
I build tires for a living , I can tell you there are lots of variables. The # of plys the tire is made with. More = harsher ride. Rubber compounds vary vastly. Summer times are generally much softer than a winter tire and ride much smoother. Most factory tires are made of harder compound rubber to reduce friction with the road. This increases fuel economy slightly. Trust me the auto. manufactuers will sacrifice ride quality for another 1/2 mpg.
Another issue is the rim/tire weight changes the way your shocks and springs respond to the road. Changing to more - offset and going wider on rim width increases the leverage force on the suspension. Which usually results in a smoother ride.
My best advice is go to tirerack.com and read reviews.
Look at the load ratings too, the higher they are the stiffer the ride generally speaking. My advice, pick a nice strong lightweight 18" or 20" wheel and find the lightest tire in the style you want.... But of course refer back to owner reviews. You should have no reliabilty issues with A/T's or M/T's with reliabilty.
Tire pressure is a factor as well but then you run the risk of uneven wear with under/over inflation.
My final remark on this, pick a tire you like and make sure it is made of a softer rubber.
Ex. My last ride came with 225/45/18 all season mild performance tires. They were hard as rocks even at 32-35 psi.
I switched to a 1 inch wider rim with a bit more -offset, they weighed 9lbs less each than the stock wheels.. I chose a 245/40/18 summer "W" rated performance tires. Tires weighed 2lbs more than the stock tires..
End result was huge. Much better braking/acceleration/ride quality and the same mpg's. You can feel the weight loss from a dead stop and it gets even more noticeable as your speed increases.
Anyways I hope I answered your question, I tend to ramble.. Anyone else feel free to fill in what I missed.
I recommend Bridgestone Duelr A/T's, they ride better than our stockers last an easy 60k miles or more with proper care. I put them on my old 4wd Nissan pickup.. I went with a 31x10.5x15 vs the stock 225/75/15's. Believe it or not i picked up 3 more mpg's due to the terrible gearing the truck came with so it was able pull stuff with it's 4 cyl. engine.
Thanks for the replay. I appreciate the time you put into it. Don't worry about the rambling.
That's a heck of a lot of info there. The offset info you gave me is priceless. I'm really glad you posted here. I'm thinking of going 35x12.50x17/18 AT for ride quality & ability to stop and keep traction in wet environments. I understand the repercussions of moving to a larger tire (speedometer won't read true & there should be a mileage hit).
Is it possible to get a tire with those dimensions to fit with a negative offset?:4-dontknow:
yes but you run the risk of rubbing with -12 or greater. You will also need a leveling kit or lift to clear a 35" tire. I Have a 35x12.5x17 Toyo MT's on XD series crank rims with a 0 degree offset and I have no clearance issues.
Keep in mind, the greater the offset the more your tires will stick out past your fenders. here are a few pics of my truck to better give you an idea of what it would look like. http://ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=139401
That truck looks sick btw. The color is awesome. :smiley_thumbs_up:
I'm thinking of getting the ATs since I never go in deep mud. Anywhere off the road will most likely be hardened earth or have some grass, so I should be ok.
Rims are the only thing tripping me up. I have a 4th Gen 2500 in Mineral Grey & finding rims I like is difficult. I'm so hard to please. lol
I hear you, picking a rim and tire combo is one of the hardest decisions to make but definitely worth it and it makes the biggest impact.
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