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Discussion Starter #1
Hi for 6 months I've been happilly driving round with the original 15" wheels and tyres (R82's). Last week I splurged on some 17" S-spokes and 205/45 17" Toyo Proxes 4. Although I love the look of the new wheels, I've found the handling quite different (slower, heavier) and a little unnerving. Ok, I knew the bumps would be a little harder but I find that the car seems to drift more when accelerating and braking (I didn't notice the car doing this before) and sometimes the steering feels super light, like when you are turning and accelerating (even in the dry). Perhaps I'm just not used to the better/different? grip of the tyres. It certainly seems different...it's just sometimes I'm worried that the tyres are over-inflated or something and I'll lose control - maybe it's just that they are brand new and need some running in. Any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Ian :confused:
 

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UberGeek
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Give your tyres a coupla hundred miles to settle down. The larger wheels/tyres make turn in slower (as there is mor tyre to turn!), but you'll quickly get used to it.

I moved from 16 to 17" rims, and although the 'feel' was marginally better on the 16s, I prefer the looks of the 17s.

:)

-Lee
 

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You should see improvment once the tyres are run in.

I have the 17" S-spokes. I've been wanting to down size to an aftermarket 16" w/ non-runflats to save weight and improve overall handeling, especially at lower speeds. It's true as you say "slower, heavier".

You'll get used to the 17s in time. Its just that the change you made is so drastic. Thats why it feels so strange.

Too late now, but 16s may have been better.
 

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Obsessive Not Compulsive
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Ian, I have no advice for you, still running my original R81's.
Cheeky question though - are you keeping your R82's?
I would like a second set of wheels to run separate summer/winter set-ups.
If ever interested in selling, let me know.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for asking MINNOW.
I plan to do the same...I bought the bigger wheels and tyres for their looks over the summer and plan to keep my existing 15" tires/wheels for the winter - I was really happy with how they performed last year, esp. as we had more snow than most years.
Sorry I cannot help this time. Good luck with your search.
p.s. I got the bigger wheels as 'take offs' at my dealer - they weren't super cheap but 1/2 the price of new ones - maybe you could ask in Edmonton/Calgary if anyone bought a Cooper and upgraded on purchase ?
 

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If you want FUN handling and good RIDE, you cant beat the original 15" wheels - bigger is not necessarily better here. This is true for lots of other cars too - the MX-5 is best on 15" wheels, and the Classic Mini was best on 12" wheels for example (not 13s).

If you want GRIP and a firmer ride, go for the 16s (I made the change from 15s to 16s) - a good compromise in my view.

17s, although looking great, are a step too far handling wise... you'll suffer from tramlining and even harder ride.

Just a matter of opinion at the end of the day though.
 

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Obsessive Not Compulsive
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Thanks for the tip Ian - I'll check with the Calgary dealer about take-offs. Prefer to stay with MINI wheels as opposed to aftermarket, no messing about with centering rings or different lug bolts.
As for the Edmonton dealer - it's under construction but won't be open until Spring '05. (too bad, no place to pop in and admire other colour combos or ponder accessories)
Glad to hear the OE Contis did well in Winter - I'll either run these or splurge on some winter Contis/Pirellis.
Dealer offers a set of steelies/covers/Pirelli winters for $1k, and have considered these so as not to subject alloys to all the sand/salt/slush, but honestly the covers are kinda homely looking. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Minnow,
re the contis. yep no problem in the snow with grip and stuff. The only problem I faced was the car is a little low to the ground and when the roads are deeply rutted its no fun trying to stay out of them. My dealer (BMW/MINI Regina) tried to sell me 'their' winter tyre package for around $1100. It included 15" alloys and snow tyres. However, I quizzed them on what the wheels were and found that they were not OEM ones - and as such I decided against them. Like you, I like to stick to stock fitment as there are no problems with offset, wheel sizes and warranties!
 
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