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Old 10-26-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
hoody123
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Default Tire question

I'm in the market for another set of snows for my Astra (I've got the XE 5 door), the other winters I've had since I bought the car in 08 and they've got loads of kms on them (I'd wager at least 80k). I bought steel rims for the winters, and the size of winters I had was the 205/55/16. I'm thinking I'd like a narrower tire and potentially even go to a 15" tire if feasible for my winters.

I'm an absolute ludite with this stuff, but is what I'm pondering something that can be done?

Basically I'm thinking that a 195/65/15 SHOULD do the trick, but I'm guessing it might not be as easy as what I imagine. Will they fit on the rims I currently have? Thanks for any assistance.

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Old 10-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
Astra La Vista!
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Default Re: Tire question

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoody123 View Post
I'm in the market for another set of snows for my Astra (I've got the XE 5 door), the other winters I've had since I bought the car in 08 and they've got loads of kms on them (I'd wager at least 80k). I bought steel rims for the winters, and the size of winters I had was the 205/55/16. I'm thinking I'd like a narrower tire and potentially even go to a 15" tire if feasible for my winters.

I'm an absolute ludite with this stuff, but is what I'm pondering something that can be done?

Basically I'm thinking that a 195/65/15 SHOULD do the trick, but I'm guessing it might not be as easy as what I imagine. Will they fit on the rims I currently have? Thanks for any assistance.
First things first: you can't fit 15" tires on 16" wheels, unless you're from Krypton.

...
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tire question

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Originally Posted by Astra La Vista! View Post
First things first: you can't fit 15" tires on 16" wheels, unless you're from Krypton.
I have an "S" on my underwear!

Wait... no I don't

Bah, sort of thought that might be the case, yeah, I'm a bit of meatball.

Thanks!

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
eneloop
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Default Re: Tire question

On your underwear you say.........hummmmmmm.

Anyway you can use 14's, 15's, 16's, 17's if you want. You just need to have the proper size wheel for the tire. 15" tires need 15" wheels. Now if they make steel wheels in all the size listed for an Astra is another thing. So lets say you found a set of 15" wheels that fit your Astra. You can tell what size tires will fit by opening the link I added and following the simple instructions. You want to keep the DIAMETER as close to the stock tires as possible. You can look at DiscountTireDirect or TireRack for steel wheels.

Open the link and see what size tires will work
http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

...
All the best
eneloop@yahoo.com

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

Last edited by eneloop; 10-26-2013 at 06:20 PM..

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:32 PM   #5
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Tire question

Just going to mention this, but good luck getting a 15" rim over the front brakes. The smallest size rim that can possibly fit on the astra is a 16", so you could go with a narrower 16" tire but with the size you had before should be fine if you buy a good quality winter tire. Two good brands for winter tires that i've used are Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Continental ExtremeWinterContact (Dustineering has a set for sale I believe; may be worth contacting)

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tire question

I run studded 16" tires, and they are amazing. All season's on wide 18" tires like we have are pointless. I once got stuck in 2" of snow in a flat parking lot.

I bought a set of steelies, and all I have to do is swap the tires out, no mounting, balancing etc...

...
2008 red astra xr:
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:44 AM   #7
Astra La Vista!
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Default Re: Tire question

You have to understand that all tire types are a bit of a compromise, as no tire can do everything well. This is rather obvious when comparing summers or "all-seasons" to true winter tires, but there's still an important factor that most winter tire shoppers fail to consider: how often will you actually be driving around in snow/ice? To put it another way: ask yourself what you are potentially giving up by switching from summers to winters.

You also have to understand that no winter tire on the market handles as well as a summer or even an all-season in warm dry weather. To be rather blunt, winter tires are actually worse overall than all-seasons -- when averaged over the course of an entire winter -- if you only drive in snow maybe one week per year, since they can actually perform worse during the rest of the winter months when you are dealing with rain and/or dry. On a warm (7C+) dry January winter day, your old all-seasons can still provide you with better stability than a brand new set of winters. Even studded tires will perform worse on dry asphalt compared to non-studded snows or all-seasons because steel just doesn't grip asphalt as well as rubber, so mind your braking distances under non-icy conditions.

Case in point: a few years ago I removed my 50% worn OEM Hankook all-seasons and put on a brand new set of Hakkapeliita 5s. This was in mid November when the average temperature was still around 8-10C during the day and it was dry and sunny on my way home. Changing lanes suddenly on the highway at 100km/h on my new winters felt far less precise than my old all-seasons, due to the softer rubber composition and taller treadblocks of the new tires. The effect was DEFINITELY noticeable.

Food for thought. (nom, nom, nom)

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Old 10-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
hoody123
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Default Re: Tire question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astra La Vista! View Post
You have to understand that all tire types are a bit of a compromise, as no tire can do everything well. This is rather obvious when comparing summers or "all-seasons" to true winter tires, but there's still an important factor that most winter tire shoppers fail to consider: how often will you actually be driving around in snow/ice? To put it another way: ask yourself what you are potentially giving up by switching from summers to winters.

You also have to understand that no winter tire on the market handles as well as a summer or even an all-season in warm dry weather. To be rather blunt, winter tires are actually worse overall than all-seasons -- when averaged over the course of an entire winter -- if you only drive in snow maybe one week per year, since they can actually perform worse during the rest of the winter months when you are dealing with rain and/or dry. On a warm (7C+) dry January winter day, your old all-seasons can still provide you with better stability than a brand new set of winters. Even studded tires will perform worse on dry asphalt compared to non-studded snows or all-seasons because steel just doesn't grip asphalt as well as rubber, so mind your braking distances under non-icy conditions.

Case in point: a few years ago I removed my 50% worn OEM Hankook all-seasons and put on a brand new set of Hakkapeliita 5s. This was in mid November when the average temperature was still around 8-10C during the day and it was dry and sunny on my way home. Changing lanes suddenly on the highway at 100km/h on my new winters felt far less precise than my old all-seasons, due to the softer rubber composition and taller treadblocks of the new tires. The effect was DEFINITELY noticeable.

Food for thought. (nom, nom, nom)
Well, given that I live 2.5 hours north of Toronto in a snow belt area (we get lake effect snow off Georgian Bay), and I commute a total of 160km/day, my winter tires definitely get all the work they can handle.

Studded tires are a something I'm seriously pondering.

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