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Discussion Starter #1
Of all the billions of tyre companies and tyre combinations is there really only one non-runflat 195/55/16 tyre available to us (the antiquated Firestone Firehawk) in the whole world or has anyone found any others (not including winter spec).
I'd prefer not to change to 205s or 17"s, in an ideal world I'd have a Pirelli P Zero Rosso N4, but it's not possible in this size. :(
Where are all the 195s. :confused:
Help!
 

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speedynz said:
Of all the billions of tyre companies and tyre combinations is there really only one non-runflat 195/55/16 tyre available to us (the antiquated Firestone Firehawk) in the whole world or has anyone found any others (not including winter spec).
I'd prefer not to change to 205s ...
Why don't you want to run 205/50-16 tires :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi ya Miniac,
thanks for your question, you've opened up a can of worms here so before I go any further I should say that I don't mean to offend anyone that has already fitted 205s as replacement for factory 195s, this is only my personal rant.

My experience with my Mini and previous vehicles is that 'overtyreing' whilst potentially (although not always) offering more grip also can have some detrimental effects for overall driveability, poise, feel and adjustability, these being some of the Minis greatest strengths, lets make no mistake, this is a world class chassis we're playing with.

It was for the same reason that I chose 16s over 17s at buying time (that was a hard decision though as the 17s look so much better) I tried both and prefered the 'lighter' feel and more progressive chassis adjustment that the 16s offered, confirming my initial thoughts that this is a tiny car and 17inch Carlos Fandangos, whilst beautiful seemed at odds.

It is'nt that long ago that every hot hatch from Strada Abarths to Peugeots GTIs wore 185/60s on 13inch wheels (most pizza's are bigger than that).

My motives are not to save 3/10ths on the Tesco's run or to set Caterham matching lap times at Oulton Park but to be able to adjust my line with the throttle as well as the steering wheel.

Smooth breakaway with throttle lift oversteer on my favourite wet roundabout is just plain hilarious and repeatable all day on 195s but a bit of a jerky pant stainer on anything bigger, (I have tried 205s/225s) similarly I can dive deep into apex's, lift off to tuck the nose in and the tailout, ABS clacking away with no understeer except a lovely induced 'push' under power on the exit.

In faster 3rd and 4th gear bends I simply don't need any more grip, how many people are seriously managing to slide their cars on the road at these speeds, we're talking 80-100mph drifting here (a very serious Tesco's run!).

I've even considered (you won't beleive this) downsizing to 185s but there are no 16s available.

Sliding, drifting, feeling the edge, pushing the envelope (going beyond it?), at sane, ie manegable speeds is one of the great joys of driving. It's what makes MX5s and classic rear drivers like Lotus Elans and Caterhams the icons they are.

I simply don't have the gonads to get a 225/40/17 dancing, and the 'snap your spine' g-forces they exert, whilst numerically and subjectively admirable are a little one dimensional.

Once again this is my personal preference and I know many owners feel differently, I respect your choice and your agenda may differ greatly to mine, no offence is meant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks miniac, your knowledge is appreciated, it's another string to my bow, but could you seriously stick 15s on a CooperS, I lost enough sleep over resisting the factory 17s!
 

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I like your style speedynz! I think I saw a Goodyear Eagle F1-G3 in 195/45 16 at tirerack. $92USD each. Just a little shorter, so more revs per mile, but a little gearing advantage too. Speedo would read 60mph at 58mph. I am thinking of these as replacements myself. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks JCIP, I like the lower gearing aspect most of all.
That's a mighty 'tight' tyre as 45% of 195 is only 87mm of sidewall (similar height in fact to a 285/30 or a 245/35) which could make for interesting ride and handling characteristics whereas a 195 with a 55 aspect ratio tyre has fully 20mm more 'wall' at 107mm.
Mind you I hear you Hawaiian dudes can handle such things! :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bloody norah a Cooper S on 15s!
I don't think it's for me but your insight and willing deserve applause anyway.

How about all you people running 205/16s who understand my angle giving me some feedback, positive :) or negative :( .
 

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speedynz said:
Thanks JCIP, I like the lower gearing aspect most of all.
That's a mighty 'tight' tyre as 45% of 195 is only 87mm of sidewall (similar height in fact to a 285/30 or a 245/35) which could make for interesting ride and handling characteristics whereas a 195 with a 55 aspect ratio tyre has fully 20mm more 'wall' at 107mm.
Mind you I hear you Hawaiian dudes can handle such things! :D :D
Yes, speedynz, it is a shorter tire, and I am always a little concerned about the wheel rim being closer to the pavement for street driving. That was one of the reasons I swapped the dealer the stock 17' s that came with my car for the 16's he had from another! But you were looking for a tire to match the 195/16's , and I think this is about as close as you can get. It is also less money than some of the other choices, and the ride,noise, handling and wet performance are supposed to be pretty good. For those reasons, plus the gear advantage, it is worth a look. I will follow along should some of the 205's have some advantage. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks JCIP, I appreciate it, and you're right, my aim was to find a 195/16 replacement, which you did, my original concerns about adjustability etc also run to very low profile tyres although I will be fascinated to hear of your outcome.
 

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JCIP said:
I think I saw a Goodyear Eagle F1-G3 in 195/45 16 at tirerack. $92USD each. Just a little shorter, so more revs per mile, but a little gearing advantage too. Speedo would read 60mph at 58mph.
195/45-16 tires have an overall diameter of 22.90" compared to 24.44" for 195/55-16. This (6.3%) is way over the ±3% recommended difference. When you speedo reads 60 mph you would actually be traveling 56.2 mph.
 

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MINIAC said:
195/45-16 tires have an overall diameter of 22.90" compared to 24.44" for 195/55-16. This (6.3%) is way over the ±3% recommended difference. When you speedo reads 60 mph you would actually be traveling 56.2 mph.
Sorry, Miniac is correct. I was using a 50 series as a comparision, not a 55 vs. 45. Gearing advantage would be even greater, but speedo error would be as stated: 60mph would actually be 56.2. Revs per mile also greater, so more engine and tire wear. Still, might be worth the trade-offs if size/gearing/cost is important. :p
 

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205/50/16

The same tire is available in the 205/50/16 size. While more expensive at $124 USD [tirerack], it is a very close fit to the 195/55/16. Only a smidge shorter than the stock size. 60mph=59.5 actual. Only 7 more revs per mile.
 
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