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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just swapped from S Spokes on Pirelli run-flats to X Lites on Goodyear F1s.
The change in ride and feel is remarkable but the biggest change seems to be in terms of acceleration. At a given point on a road I drive every day I know what speed I can reach from a standing start at a junction, with the X Lites the car is now a full 5 mph faster putting it on a par with my previous car a Boxster (only other mods are intake and exhaust). While I was swapping wheels over I weighed both just to see and the X Lites are exactly 5 kg lighter/wheel. 17.6 vs 22.6. A huge difference when it's rotational mass.
I remember being told a story a couple of years ago that when Subaru brought out a version of the Imprezza in Japan they wanted it classifying as a super-car which meant meeting certain performance criteria, one being a standing 1/4 in a set time or lower. When the car missed this time they were stuck as they were not allowed to alter the engine spec, so the solution they came up with was to fit lighter magnesium alloys and low and behold the car was more than quick enough. As I was told at the time, each wheel is like having an additional flywheel on your engine.
So, change your wheels if you want a quicker car. ;)
 

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The Silverado
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hmm nice write up..

i have actually been thinking about doing this because ive heard you get a smoother ride with the 16s and lighter wheels and acceleration.. but i haven't really had the time to organise a swap :rolleyes:

But i'd be interested to hear your opinion on high speed cornering :D .. when you take long sweeping bends fast; do you notice the car can't grip as much?

anyone else got any opinions on a swap?

Also... is the benefit coming from Swaping to a size of 16" .. or is it from the weight reduction?

cheers
 

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MINI2 No.1
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bkwalker said:
hmm nice write up..

i have actually been thinking about doing this because ive heard you get a smoother ride with the 16s and lighter wheels and acceleration.. but i haven't really had the time to organise a swap :rolleyes:

But i'd be interested to hear your opinion on high speed cornering :D .. when you take long sweeping bends fast; do you notice the car can't grip as much?

anyone else got any opinions on a swap?

Also... is the benefit coming from Swaping to a size of 16" .. or is it from the weight reduction?

cheers
If you go from 17" and runflats to 16" and some "proper" grippy tyres, it's all plusses.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In terms of cornering the grip seems a lot higher, I went for 205/50/16 tyres so the actual footprint is the same as the 17s but the as Paul said the grip of a 'proper' tyre is far better. As far as the acceleration thing goes I think it's purely down to the light weight as the rolling radius will be almost the same, the tyres I've gone for mean it's slightly lower on the 16s but my 17s were probably worn enough to equal it out. When you throw in the fact that the tyres cost me £370 for 4 and they can be repaired if punctured it's a no-brainer really. The only other thing I needed was a can of tyre foam, I've seen people on here talk about sealant and a compressor but Halfords sell a version made by Holts that inflates and seals the tyre. On offer at the moment for £7.99 (normally £9.99). By the way, I got my X Lites by phoning round BMW garages to see if they had any cancelled orders or swapped wheels in their stores, my local dealer had a brand new set that a customer had cancelled and I bought them for £250 which I didn't think was too bad. One dealer said that if they'd had a car on the forecourt on X Lites they would have done me a swap.
 

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Mini Mod
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DJG said:
In terms of cornering the grip seems a lot higher, I went for 205/50/16 tyres so the actual footprint is the same as the 17s but the as Paul said the grip of a 'proper' tyre is far better. As far as the acceleration thing goes I think it's purely down to the light weight as the rolling radius will be almost the same, the tyres I've gone for mean it's slightly lower on the 16s but my 17s were probably worn enough to equal it out. When you throw in the fact that the tyres cost me £370 for 4 and they can be repaired if punctured it's a no-brainer really. The only other thing I needed was a can of tyre foam, I've seen people on here talk about sealant and a compressor but Halfords sell a version made by Holts that inflates and seals the tyre. On offer at the moment for £7.99 (normally £9.99). By the way, I got my X Lites by phoning round BMW garages to see if they had any cancelled orders or swapped wheels in their stores, my local dealer had a brand new set that a customer had cancelled and I bought them for £250 which I didn't think was too bad. One dealer said that if they'd had a car on the forecourt on X Lites they would have done me a swap.
You moved to a shorter than stock diameter tire. In that regard you basically changed your final drive ratio ( something like 1.5%). I know, I run 205-50s in auto-x. On top of that you have also made your speedo more inaccurate than it already was. If yours is like mine it's reading almost 5MPH fast at 60MPH. Check yours if you have an easy way. I'd like to compare to mine.

It's a nice change though isn't it?
BTW I originally ran X-Lites. They work well.
 

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Riding on JCW power!
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DJG said:
In terms of cornering the grip seems a lot higher, I went for 205/50/16 tyres so the actual footprint is the same as the 17s but the as Paul said the grip of a 'proper' tyre is far better. As far as the acceleration thing goes I think it's purely down to the light weight as the rolling radius will be almost the same, the tyres I've gone for mean it's slightly lower on the 16s but my 17s were probably worn enough to equal it out. When you throw in the fact that the tyres cost me £370 for 4 and they can be repaired if punctured it's a no-brainer really. The only other thing I needed was a can of tyre foam, I've seen people on here talk about sealant and a compressor but Halfords sell a version made by Holts that inflates and seals the tyre. On offer at the moment for £7.99 (normally £9.99). By the way, I got my X Lites by phoning round BMW garages to see if they had any cancelled orders or swapped wheels in their stores, my local dealer had a brand new set that a customer had cancelled and I bought them for £250 which I didn't think was too bad. One dealer said that if they'd had a car on the forecourt on X Lites they would have done me a swap.
very interesting and a good write up......................I'm in this exact situation and will be swapping soon

do you find there is more space between the top of the wheel and the arches with the 50 profile tyres and does it look odd? the cheapest I can find the dunlop runflats with a 55 profile for is £125 excluding fitting

good idea about phoning around the dealers, I hadn't thought about that, did the £250 include tyres? did you speak to the parts department or someone else?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With regards to the speedo over-reading etc. as you say it's by may be over by 1.5% compared to my S Spokes, as they were worn I reckon maybe 1% so the difference of 5mph I noticed is still significant even taking this into account as the 1% is only going to equate to 1mph at 100mph.
The £250 was wheels only, I paid £ 620 with Goodyear F1s. I would talk to Mini sales in the first instance as they tend to know when they've swapped wheels around. The wheels fill the arches as much as the S Spokes did because they are the same diameter (give or take a few mm) due to the tyre wall being deeper. Personally I prefer the look of them as I thought S Spokes had got a little common. :)
 

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DJG said:
With regards to the speedo over-reading etc. as you say it's by may be over by 1.5% compared to my S Spokes, as they were worn I reckon maybe 1% so the difference of 5mph I noticed is still significant even taking this into account as the 1% is only going to equate to 1mph at 100mph.
The £250 was wheels only, I paid £ 620 with Goodyear F1s. I would talk to Mini sales in the first instance as they tend to know when they've swapped wheels around. The wheels fill the arches as much as the S Spokes did because they are the same diameter (give or take a few mm) due to the tyre wall being deeper. Personally I prefer the look of them as I thought S Spokes had got a little common. :)
Oops just realized something I didn't say.
My speedo was off 3 1/2 MPH at 60 MPH ( pretty standard from what I've read ) with the stock tire/wheel combo. So going up to almost 5 was about right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The increase in speed by 5mph was in the same car, all conditions being the same except a wheel change, any error in the speedo reading would have been the same on either set of wheels, the only difference is about 1% in diameter equating to 1 mph @ 100mph, or maybe I'm missing something. Ultimately though the car now seems to hit higher speeds at given points than it did before I swapped. :)
 

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DJG said:
The increase in speed by 5mph was in the same car, all conditions being the same except a wheel change, any error in the speedo reading would have been the same on either set of wheels, the only difference is about 1% in diameter equating to 1 mph @ 100mph, or maybe I'm missing something. Ultimately though the car now seems to hit higher speeds at given points than it did before I swapped. :)
Sounds right. I know mine is quicker with the 205s on it.
My 1MPH change at 60 was verified with a good GPS for what that's worth. I did get a change to test that against a State Troopers radar gun at one point and they both gave me the same result.
I was actually traveling just under 57MPH when my speedo was saying 60.
 

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...where´s the any-key?
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I swapped my S Spokes for some 18" wheels which on their own are 8lbs lighter per corner never mind the tyres. The difference in handling and pick up was noticable, the S Spokes are a heavy beast.

I think I'm going to get some x-lites though, 18" just aren't practical for the real world. If you so much as touch a curb that's your wheels chewed. I think I'll get them fixed up and sell them on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LMB said:
I swapped my S Spokes for some 18" wheels which on their own are 8lbs lighter per corner never mind the tyres. The difference in handling and pick up was noticable, the S Spokes are a heavy beast.

I think I'm going to get some x-lites though, 18" just aren't practical for the real world. If you so much as touch a curb that's your wheels chewed. I think I'll get them fixed up and sell them on.
Good idea, I still think the mini looks great on 16s and with a 205 tyre you don't loose anything. Also interesting to note that all the original MCS press cars had X Lites and non-runflat tyres.
 

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Blue is the colour!
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Paul Mullett said:
If you go from 17" and runflats to 16" and some "proper" grippy tyres, it's all plusses.

:)
Exactly. I went from an OEM 16" with runflat combo to 17" alloy with proper tyre combo and my ride improved, so go figure! ;) Plus I made a minimal saving of 1kg per wheel. :D Well, at least they weren't heavier!
 

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bepmoc-er
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those run flats really must weigh a lot then, anyone compared like for like sizes? just as an aside i really do recommend Eagle F1s (bothe the old GSD2 and newer GSD3) I've used them on my non MINI and they are amazing. not only are they grippy but the break away is so progressive and they're a decent ride to boot! :)
 

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Riding on JCW power!
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DJG said:
Good idea, I still think the mini looks great on 16s and with a 205 tyre you don't loose anything. Also interesting to note that all the original MCS press cars had X Lites and non-runflat tyres.
DJG, where did you hear that the press cars were fitted with non-runflats? I thought they were fitted with the better Dunlop RF's from what I've read.
 
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