17" or 16" wheels? - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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17" or 16" wheels?

I ordered 17" wheels on my becoming MCS.
I was wondering if 16" gives much more comfort, and that it is so much a difference and better than the 17", you would better stick with the smaller wheels, although the 17" do look better.
What do you advise?

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 07:02 PM
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17" give a harsher/firmer ride, and slightly hinder performance, but they look much better

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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I have the 17" R85 S-lites, and although they do ride a bit rougher than the 16", it's really only noticalbe if you plan to auto-cross a lot. Then the smaller tires are a better choice. Part of the rough ride you get with the 17" are from the run-flat tires, and that just due to the construction of the tire. A lot of people have 17" with non run-flat and are very happy with the ride and handling.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Hey, am I alone in actually liking my 15" 8 spoke wheels?

Don't get me wrong, I like the 16" and 17" (and even 18") wheels and would have probably had some if money had allowed. I just think that the 15" minilite look-alike ones really suit the car and make it look different to so many of the others. I wouldn't change them now.

Rene73:

I know what I would do if I were buying again and really wanted larger wheels:

I would order the MCS with the standard 16" wheels and then sell them as unused on mini2. There will be plenty of buyers. Use the money to put towards a set of really nice aftermarket 17" wheels WITHOUT those run flat tyres. This will preserve the ride of the car, get rid of the high cost of run flat replacement tyres and look fantastic.

What do you think?

Tigger
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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IF its looks your after go with the 17`s, IF its comfort your after go with the 16`s.

IMHO I`d go with the 17`s
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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go for the 17's and ditch the runflats! Therfore you get great looks and much better performance.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:03 PM
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The 17" S-spoke wheels are the heaviest OEM wheel that MINI do.

The ride is compromised by two aspects:

(i) The run-flat tyres have strengthened side walls to permit extended running when flat. As such, there is less flexibility to absorb any road shock. This is applicable to both 16" and 17" wheels.

(ii) The increased mass of the wheel, affects the handing of the car, due to the increase in un-sprung mass. This affects the suspension's ability to react to bumps and undulations. This increase in mass will also affect the acceleration of the car initially, as there will be more wheel inertia to overcome. Having driven both wheel sizes back to back, the 17"s are more prone to tramlining over broken up / tar-banded / ridged surfaces.

The trade off between 16" and 17" wheels is this.......

16"s have less mass, hence will improve the ride, handling and acceleration, albeit at the expense of the "looks"

17"s have a slightly wider footprint (205 vs 195), and visually "look" better.

You pays your money.....you takes your choice......!!!

If it's helpful, all the BMW press cars are fitted with 16" wheels........I wonder why that is?


Cheers,

Robert (16" 5-spokes by choice!)

Last edited by Wobert; Jul 7th, 2004 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Can't spell!
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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thx! You have been a great help to me.
I didn't realise that it's the run flat system that causes the rougher ride. I have to find a way to ditch the run flat but with 17". I just ordered the mini last saturday, so I can ask my dealer if he has a nice solution for this. Otherwise I will change my order to 16" and later replace them with 17" without runflat.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 10:31 PM
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most everyone touched upon the differences. you will have less unsprung weight (almost 28 lbs total, not inc the tires) with the 16" wheels, hence better performance and smoother ride. And I know MCS autocrossers that have ditched the 16 and 17's in favor of much lighter 15"s. IMO, Minis look weird with any wheel larger than 17". Plus, 16" tires are cheaper than 17's, runflat or otherwise. Jimbo
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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I have the 16in tires on my MCS and I even dumped the Chili pack for that although I ordered nearly everything else thatīs on the Chili pack. Iīm very happy with both the looks and the performance and the ride is really harsh enough even with the taller tire walls. I drove the 17" wheels on a Cooper with SSP and though they do turn in a little bit quicker, I felt the surface contact over bumps and the overall harmony of movements of the car under cornering suffer from the heavier wheels and the stiffer tires.

I have to admit that I donīt like the looks of the S-spokes and I found the combination EB/W with white 5-spokes the best looking one which also influenced my decision. If I had to spec a ī05 MCS I would maybe choose a HB/W body color spec with silver R90 X-spokes ("Italian Job" wheels) which are actually 17" wheels...

@Tigger

I like the 7-hole 15" wheels very much and they are very nice for the Cooper. They wouldnīt suit the bolder stance of the Cooper S, but in general I find the smaller wheels quite clever and a pleasant antithesis against all that hyper-rim-madness.

Klaus


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2004, 11:16 PM
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Does anyone know the cost (US) of adding the R90 X-Spokes 17' to a MCS?

I just saw Italian Job again and it has me seriously adding stripes and those wheels to my MCS on order.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2004, 03:47 AM
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check out the configurator at miniusa.com because the 05 prices have not increased. as I recall they're pretty expensive, over $1200. Jimbo
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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My 2 pence... Until last week i had 16" 5 Stars with runflats. I then did a swap with someone for the 17" S lites withOUT runflats. The ride with the 17" wheels is far better (without the runflats). Their is tons more traction and the ride is not as harsh. Their is still feedback but i no longer need a trip to the dentist after each journey....As I was advised my a mini2er when I did the swap, ditching the runflats is the best mod you can do to your mini! Seriously I cannot believe the difference. (I am now runnning on Pirelli Pzero Assymetricos) Go for the 17"s without runflats and sell the runflats on mini2, im sure you will get your money back as runflats cost way more (no longer need to worry about the increased cost of 17" tyres)
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobert123

If it's helpful, all the BMW press cars are fitted with 16" wheels........I wonder why that is?

All of the auto magazine reviews I have read of the MCS are with the sport package (which includes the 17"s)
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2004, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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I contacted my dealer, and his suggestion is: try the mini when it arrives and when I realy think it's to rough with the runflats, the garage will take the runflat 'things' out of the tires. Because (in the Netherlands) you can only order runflat's in the tires, also in the smaller wheels. And if I sell the runflat wheels I will have to buy new tires as well as the 17" wheels that would be a expensive thing according to the dealer.
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