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Obsessive Not Compulsive
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Yes, the 205/55R16 size will fit the MCS wheels no problem, and the overall diameter is only <2% greater than the stock 195/55R16 tires, so your speedometer is affected negligibly.
However if using for winter tires, it's generally advisable to stay the same width or go narrower for dealing with snow & ice.
There are some winter tire options in the 195/55R16 stock size, you can do a search on www.tirerack.com and consider those, or ask your local tire dealers if they have any.
You can also choose at least one run-flat option in that size, in the Dunlop Winter Sport M3. :)
 

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Dunlop WinterSport M2 and M3 are available in stock size 195/55R16, as is the Bridgestone Blizzak WR (I think, though they change models frequently). 205 isn't much wider than 195 but every bit counts in winter.

Harry
 

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In my perfect MINI world
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Been waiting on my TireRack order for a month now. There is 2" snow outside tonite. Looking for other options tomorrow.
 

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Sitting on a park bench..
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look in the FAQs, there's a good chart which helped me figure out which ones....I went with 185s, 15"
 

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MINIBrit
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Having never had a vehicle before that warranted ANY special tyres(!), how much of a difference in traction and/or performance is there really between dedicated Winter tyres and high-performance (or ultra HP) all season's?

Now, I do live in Minneapolis, so I will be dealing with extended driving in real winter conditions. However, I'm not exactly a newbie to winter as I've been here for 18 years now.

Currently, Alice has the OEM 16" run-flats. I am kind of vascillating between getting a dedicated set of Winter wheels/tyres, or replacing the RFs with all season tyres.

Thanks in advance for your sharings...

Chris
 

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In my perfect MINI world
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As I remember the hierarchy for handling snow (worst to best) bias plys, radials, all-season radials, dedicated snows. If you look at the tread patterns it sort of makes sense. The tires that do not handle snow well have a close tight tread, while snow tires have a very open "aggressive" tread to get the snow out of the way and the rubber contacting pavement. Of course that open pattern means less rubber on the road in dry clear conditions.

My latest dilema; I have yet to get my tires from TireRack. In fact, they've pushed the expected date of them getting the rims back yet another week!!! My order was placed on October 21. Yesterday I decided to look at the Gislaved snows I still had for my '94 Saturn SL2. They're on 14" rims. The bolt pattern is right, as is the overall diameter. They're just such skinny tall tires. Should I tell TireRack what they can do with my order and go with these??? Or, should I just wait it out and get my snows sometime next summer?
 

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brown is back
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n0uk said:
how much of a difference in traction and/or performance is there really between dedicated Winter tyres and high-performance (or ultra HP) all season's?

Now, I do live in Minneapolis, so I will be dealing with extended driving in real winter conditions. However, I'm not exactly a newbie to winter as I've been here for 18 years now.

Currently, Alice has the OEM 16" run-flats. I am kind of vascillating between getting a dedicated set of Winter wheels/tyres, or replacing the RFs with all season tyres.

Thanks in advance for your sharings...

Chris
If you've got the stock all-season tires (or any all-eason tire), experience in driving in snow, and the sensability to know when to get off the road, you'll be okay. I lived in Rochester, MN for 3 years, and don't recall there being that many "stay off the roads" days (unlike Vermont).

If you have the stock "performance" tires, which are available with the Cooper's sports package, do not attempt to use them in the snow. Since you're going to need to get another set of tires in that case, I'd recommend getting a second set of 15" wheels, either cheap alloys or cheaper steel wheels, and put dedicated snow tires on them, and keep the stock wheels, replacing those tires when necessary with more hihg-performance tires. That's what I do.

It may pay to get familiar with the sidewall markings on tires...

An all-season tires will have some combination of "M" and "S" on the sidewall somewhere, for mud and snow. A dedicated snow tires will have a snowflake in a mountain. If you've got neither of those, don't try to rely on the tires as having any safety on snow.

look here:
http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/severe.html
 

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brown is back
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reills said:
They're on 14" rims.
I'm 99% sure you're not going to get 14" rims over the front brakes. The first set of 15" steel wheels I got from tirerack didn't clear the front brakes, so I highly doubt any 14" wheel will work. Sorry.
 

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MINIBrit
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Thanks Jason.

Actually, at the moment I have the OEM Goodyear NCT5 run-flats. I just went and looked and could not see either M or S on the sidewall.

Thanks for the other comments though. Sounds like ASRs may be a reasonable compromise, although the separate set is still on the cards.
 

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so far so good

I just had 15" snows mounted. I bought the Dunlop WinterSport M2's (175/65/r15) mounted on 15" 7-holes that I bought. Absolutely amazed at the dry traction of the tires let alone the expected wet/snow traction.
 

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brown is back
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n0uk said:
Thanks Jason.

Actually, at the moment I have the OEM Goodyear NCT5 run-flats. I just went and looked and could not see either M or S on the sidewall.

Thanks for the other comments though. Sounds like ASRs may be a reasonable compromise, although the separate set is still on the cards.
Yup, I had the Goodyear NCT5 tires myself. Those are classified as "summer" tires, so no M+S rating. I'd strongly suggest getting something else for the snow. Especially with the Minneapolis traffic :)
 

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In the Minniapple, I'd get dedicated snows if I were you, especially since you have summer tires for summer. Why put compromise tires (all season, cough, no season) on your MINI anyways? With summer and winter tires you have the best rubber on the road at all times!

Harry
 
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