Tire Width vs Rim Width

Messages
2,018
Location
Ontario, Canada
2018 golf R. Stock size is 235/35/19 for summers. optional winter sizing most common is 225/40/18 or 225/45/17. but many also use 215/50/17 for exact diameter match or 205/50/17 is recommended by VW

Since you are AWD, you can afford to run a little wider without sacrificing acceleration grip. I run 225/45/17 Hakka R2 on my E90 BMW here in Ottawa and snow is absolutely never an issue, the car is a rocket ship in the white stuff, and it still feels decent in the dry. You would see a lot more dry pavement than I would. I am running them on factory 17x7.5” rims.
 
Last edited:

whirlwynds

Thread starter
Messages
7
I wrote continental and they referred my question to an engineer. Here is their reply:
"
Thank you for your enquiry. Yes, choosing the wrong rim width can have a practical impact.

Generically, too wide rims may improve handling but exhibit a harsher ride (sidewalls not as flexible) and too narrow rims may cause sidewall deformation when fast cornering.



Continental always recommends the bolded measuring rim width per Tire and Rim Association Standards Manual or the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation).

We show 205/50R17 has a recommended wheel width of 6.5 and 215/50R17 has a recommended wheel width of 7.0



Your VW dealer can provide more details/feedback on specific vehicle applications in their model lineup.
"

I think I may try and size up to a wider tire in future, but not without increasing my rim width as well.
 
Messages
3,350
Location
BC, Canada
I wrote continental and they referred my question to an engineer. Here is their reply:
"
Thank you for your enquiry. Yes, choosing the wrong rim width can have a practical impact.

Generically, too wide rims may improve handling but exhibit a harsher ride (sidewalls not as flexible) and too narrow rims may cause sidewall deformation when fast cornering.



Continental always recommends the bolded measuring rim width per Tire and Rim Association Standards Manual or the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation).

We show 205/50R17 has a recommended wheel width of 6.5 and 215/50R17 has a recommended wheel width of 7.0



Your VW dealer can provide more details/feedback on specific vehicle applications in their model lineup.
"

I think I may try and size up to a wider tire in future, but not without increasing my rim width as well.
The BOLD number is the wheel that the tire's measurments were taken, and typically somewhere in the middle of the recommended wheel
width selection.
Here is a question often asked; "Can I run 275/65/20 tires on a 10" wide wheel?" The answer will depend on who you ask.
The widest wheel recommended for that tire size is 9.5 inches. Fords run that size on 8" and GM HDs on 8.5" wide wheels.
I have 2 sets on 8.5 & 9" wide wheels. Going for the bro-truck look of oversized wheels, in my opinion is a safty issue.
 
Messages
2,874
Location
pa
those using real snow tyres are best served by a dedicated setup. bought a cheap set of alloys with the narrower setup mentioned for my 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg, had discount tyre mount + ship them free, put the $$$$ BBS OE rims aside for summer use.
 
Messages
4,632
Location
Decatur AL USA
Research done.

That column of values is from ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization) and it is the maximum section width value ANY tire of that size is allowed to have. The data is for car designers so they can make sure there is enough clearance under the fenders. It is NOT real measurements. It is also not tread width nor have anything to do with the contact patch.

So in light of that, your question doesn't make sense.

But here is some advice: The road surface has much, much more grip than snow does, so anything you can do to penetrate the snow layer is beneficial - and that means narrow tread and high pressure.

If you are willing to change wheels, you could use a smaller diameter wheel and an even more narrow tire. See Tire Rack for details on what fits your car.

It varies depending on the type of snow. In the deep stuff the wider and taller the better. Big wide 37x15.50 work well on an H1 Hummer with narrow rims when the snow is 6" above the bumper. It allows you to run 12 psi and get a wider foot print for more drive an less sink. Try a 35x12.50 on a 12" Wheel and you end up with snow 12" above the bumper and make no headway with 24 psi in the tires to keep them on the bead. That's with snow depths were the snow ends up in the interior if you roll down a car window.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,186
Location
Cali
I don't like a lot of bulge in the sidewall. Makes the tire slightly less stable at higher speeds. For example, my Nissan Hardbody has 195/75r14 tires on 14x6 wheels. I've run 275/60r15 tires on 15x10 wheels.
295/50 on a 15x10" rim.
IMG_0941.JPG
 
Top