MINI Cooper Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a lot of comparisons between 16 and 17 inch wheels, but I want to know about the performance of the 15 inchers. I think they will be more practical, because you get the space-saver spare, and they are cheaper to replace than the run-flats. But how much of a performance penalty do they come with?

Could you mix regular tires with run-flats safely? Can you get a donut spare even if you have 16 inch wheels???

Inquiring minds want to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
I've got 15" and just the MMS (Mini Mobility System) - no space-saver wheel.

Grip and handling are superb, and I assume the ride is better than with 16" or 17" wheels. Plus I checked the price of the 16" tyres and am glad I didn't get that option now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
The larger wheels/tyres do offer more grip. Both CAR and EVO magazines have commented on this and it is just as you would expect. However, when tested against direct rivals such as the Puma and Yaris, the standard Cooper was never criticised for a lack of grip.

Whether you need or want the extra grip is impossible for someone else to answer. Some even prefer the "limit" to arrive at lower speeds because the fun for them is cornering on the limit.

I went for the standard wheels and tyres. I very rarely get the opportunity to corner anywhere near the limits of the tyres but I benefit every few yards from the better ride on my local roads which are very poor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
I bought a Sep bld. with SS+ and 15s for the following reasons:

15s are:
1. Cheaper to replace, and therefore I cringe less when I am scrubbing the hell out of them!
2. Cheaper if you split the sidewalls
3. Larger sidewalls = Less chance of kerbing my alloys
(I live in London and suffer on-street parking... Beats buying a garage and only being able to afford to drive a Datsun ;) )
4. I prefer reaching the limit earlier - and enjoying it!
5. Not sure if it's an old wive's tale, but I am led to believe that wider tyres = less progressive and faster break-away on the limit
6. Softer ride than ss+ on l6/17s, which keeps wifey happy - although if I had my way i'd have concrete springs ;)
7. The wheel design is more like that of the old Minilites
8. Less space btwn the spokes for the local riff-raff to start shoving stones in yer brake pads when you're parked-up (and believe me, i've seen it done!).
9. The S-Spokes weren't avail. back then :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Personally, if I was going to go with the 15's, I'd put 205/55R15's on them. Plenty of tires available and they'll fit fine. The rolling diameter is .1 inches lower (the closest to the 175/65).

I'm still not sure, other than gas mileage, why MINI would have a 5.5 inch wheel and put a 175 on it. At least a 185, even a 195, would be a "factory safe" size.
 

·
...where´s the any-key?
Joined
·
23,182 Posts
Good Idea

Garfield said:
Personally, if I was going to go with the 15's, I'd put 205/55R15's on them. Plenty of tires available and they'll fit fine. The rolling diameter is .1 inches lower (the closest to the 175/65).
That's a good idea, I never even thought of doing that. I have gone for 17" myself but it was purely for cosmetic reasons. I have driven a Mini with 15" wheels and had no complaints when it came to grip.

Sometimes I wish I had got 15" especially when you consider the 17" run flats will cost £170 each:eek: But what's done is done.

LMB:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
906 Posts
Michelin told me that the widest Pilot Alpin tyre that they would fit to a 5.5J wheel was a 195. I would check with the tyre manufacturer on the max width before purchasing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Manufacturers will only tell you what they feel is furthest from a lawsuit. I've raced on 225's on a 6 inch, I'm sure the Coopers with 15's will be racing on 205/50R15's.

But again, you do have a point and if you don't feel comfortable running the larger tire, don't. I usually have them mounted first to see what they look like on the wheel.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top