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Discussion Starter #1
I have the standard Pirelli 3000s on my 15X5.5 Alloys.
They are an energy saving type tyre ( low rolling res ).
Has anyone upgraded the rubber yet on the standard alloys.
I,m thinking of trying 185/60 tyres but this is not a popular size in 15" but Yokohama do stock them.
I may go to 195/50 which should have the same rolling radius as a 175/65 but it will harm the ride a bit although there is a wider choice of tyres in this fitment.
ANORAK TIME Do the Chilli specd. cars have taller gearing due to the fitment of 195/55/16. This should be an overall bigger circle than 175/65/15. I changed tyre size and profile on my wifes Merc A Class from 195/50/15 to 185/65/15 which is a bit bigger and it has def improved the ride qual but has also made the car longer geared ie. slower acceleration.
ANORAKS OFF
Mike
 

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I've fitted 195/55HR15 Michelin Pilot Alpin performance winter tyres on to standard steels to my One. I think that the rolling circumference is 0.9% smaller than the originals. Winter performance is now in a league of its own.

Roads around here now look like liquid chocolate as farmers try to reclaim the roads back into fields. The original Dunlops were a bit too slippery.
 

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mike58 said:
I have the standard Pirelli 3000s on my 15X5.5 Alloys.
They are an energy saving type tyre ( low rolling res ).
Has anyone upgraded the rubber yet on the standard alloys.
I,m thinking of trying 185/60 tyres but this is not a popular size in 15" but Yokohama do stock them.
I may go to 195/50 which should have the same rolling radius as a 175/65 but it will harm the ride a bit although there is a wider choice of tyres in this fitment.
ANORAK TIME Do the Chilli specd. cars have taller gearing due to the fitment of 195/55/16. This should be an overall bigger circle than 175/65/15. I changed tyre size and profile on my wifes Merc A Class from 195/50/15 to 185/65/15 which is a bit bigger and it has def improved the ride qual but has also made the car longer geared ie. slower acceleration.
ANORAKS OFF
Mike
195/50-15 tires will make your speedometer (and who knows what other alphabet gizmos) inaccurate, as the overall tire diameter must be within within ±3% of the 175/65-15 specification.

Use 195/55-15 as Apial suggests or possibly 195/60-15s.

Overall wheel / tire diameters:

195/50-15 = 22.68" (576.0mm)
195/55-15 = 23.44" (595.5mm)
185/60-15 = 23.74" (603.0mm)
175/65-15 = 23.96" (608.5mm) {15" stock}
195/60-15 = 24.21" (615.0mm)
205/45-17 = 24.26" (616.3mm) {17" stock}
195/55-16 = 24.44" (620.9mm) {16" stock}
185/65-15 = 24.47" (621.5mm)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheers MINIAC for pointing out my poor maths, I had actually realised my error but I knew someone in the forum would correct me and save me the trouble of a further post.I take my anorak off to you.
From your figures a car with 195/55/15 sits 25.4mm lower than a car with 195/55/16 if the susp is the same.
How many people would intentionaly raise their car 25mm just to have the kudos of 16" wheels?
So 195/55/15s it is for me when I get my car back from the dealer ( locks out of stock) .
Mike
 

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mike58 said:
From your figures a car with 195/55/15 sits 25.4mm lower than a car with 195/55/16 if the susp is the same.
How many people would intentionaly raise their car 25mm just to have the kudos of 16" wheels?
So 195/55/15s it is for me when I get my car back from the dealer ( locks out of stock) .
Mike
Most people with 16" wheels probably get them in conjunction with the lower riding Sports Suspension Plus. Even so, looking at the US specs for the Cooper and 'S', the 'S' (16" and SS+) still rides about 6-7mm higher than the Cooper (15" and SS). But then the 16" wheels are 1" wider than the 15" wheels and you can probably fit them with 205/50-16 tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
At the risk of being pedantic just how much lower is sp susp + than the regular Cooper set up.
The 16" wheels and tyres are def. a popular option even without SS+ and from our deductions would affect the car adversely in two ways 1. taller gearing and so slower acceleration 2. Increase ride height by 25mm which must affect handling. Grip isn't everything.
I had thought ( and I'm probably wrong) that SS+ set up was firmer dampers and stiffer anti roll bars I cannot recall any mention of lowering.
My observation is that cars with the 16" wheels do look far too tall.
Our cars drive so well that a performance tyre option should be tuning priority number one, the car is too good a drive to be saddled with rubber based on it's fuel saving ability.
If you ever can get hold of a specialist Michelin tyre in a size to fit a Mini rim it would be awesome, they are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres -- A lightweight ,soft, road legal track tyre 5mm tread. I have them fitted to my 911 and they are THE BIZ. . Only available from Silverline Wheels.( Porsche Club Great Britain ). They were tested on the Autocar and Motor grip article ( 01/08/01) and managed an incredible 1.15G.(max)
In the same article a Cooper cornered at a v. respectible 0.98G (max) and was pipped only by cars wearing P-Zeros and Mich Pilot SXs. -- The Cooper had standard Goodyear Eagles so there is a HUGE potential for increased driving enjoyment if grip is your benchmark.
Dr Mike
 

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mike58 said:
At the risk of being pedantic just how much lower is sp susp + than the regular Cooper set up.
The 16" wheels and tyres are def. a popular option even without SS+ and from our deductions would affect the car adversely in two ways 1. taller gearing and so slower acceleration 2. Increase ride height by 25mm which must affect handling. Grip isn't everything.
I had thought (and I'm probably wrong) that SS+ set up was firmer dampers and stiffer anti roll bars I cannot recall any mention of lowering.
My observation is that cars with the 16" wheels do look far too tall.
Actually, the ride height difference between 195/55-15 and 195/55-16 wheel/tire fitments is only 12.7mm, since only half the difference in overall diameters effects the ride height.

I just went back through some old emails and found this from Tech Man at MINI USA:
The MINI Cooper with sport suspension has a ground clearance of 113mm (4.5"), while the Cooper S with Sport Suspension Plus has 120mm (4.8").
So, your recollection about Sport Suspension Plus is right on ... it's not any lower than the Cooper sport suspension. The difference in ground clearance is due to the 175/65-15 versus 195/55-16 wheel/tire fitments.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can't believe that I fell for the 50% diameter v ride height conundrum, I am a silly sausage, but still an increase of 12mm is not what you're after when specing a sports option.
 

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A 205/55R15 is almost right on the rolling diameter (lower diameter by .1 inches) and it will fit fine. This would obviously be the widest you go on the 5.5 inch wide rim.
Just to give you an idea of fitment, on my Miata's 15x6 rims, I raced on 205's but also 225/45R15's as well. You shouldn't get too much sidewall flex from a 205 on a 5.5, although it is oversized.

A 195/60R15 is the next closest (taller diameter by .2 inches).

At least in the US, there are many tires available in both of these sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
MINIAC I was going over the figures you quoted for tyre diameters and I would suggest that your 185/60-15 figure of 621.5mm is incorrect as this is the sum you would arrive at for 185/65-15.
The figure I calculated for 185/60-15 is 603mm making this a very close match to the stock diam of 608.5mm
Perhaps this combination of sl wider, sl lower,sl stiffer tyre may improve grip and handling without ruining the ride?
I'll let you all know if I upgrade to this size-- probably Yokohamas.
Mike
 

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mike58 said:
MINIAC I was going over the figures you quoted for tyre diameters and I would suggest that your 185/60-15 figure of 621.5mm is incorrect as this is the sum you would arrive at for 185/65-15.
The figure I calculated for 185/60-15 is 603mm making this a very close match to the stock diam of 608.5mm
Perhaps this combination of sl wider, sl lower,sl stiffer tyre may improve grip and handling without ruining the ride?
I'll let you all know if I upgrade to this size-- probably Yokohamas.
Mike
Mike ... you're absolutely correct ... I've edited my original post to reflect both 185 size diameters.

I would think you should be fine with either 185 or 195 60-series tires.
 

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Would the tyres project too far beyond the rim if going for either 185 or definitely 195 tyres ?? Would this cause a handling problem or excessive wear on suspension, bushings or suchlike ?? Any ideas ??
 
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