Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Tire change: why new winter wheels should be as small as possible

When choosing new winter wheels and tires, you should always choose the smallest allowable wheel size and width. The benefits are enormous.

Downsizing automatically translates into the highest possible tire sidewall, according to the automobile club

Germany (AvD). On the one hand, this reduces the contact area with the ground and therefore the amount of snow or water that the tire has to move. This reduces the tendency to aquaplaning.

And on the other hand, with a higher tire sidewall, the slip starts more smoothly. This allows you to react earlier at the wheel, for example with counter steering or decoupling. However, with wide tires with a low tire sidewall, the dry performance is much better, especially when braking, where the greater contact patch with the ground is evident.

In the vehicle registration document, there is usually only one approved tire size. But it doesn’t have to be the only one allowed. According to the AvD, you can request more from the instructions for use or from the manufacturer, among other things.

What is equally important: on snow and ice, the air pressure in winter tires should always be 0.2 bar above the value specified by the manufacturer (read more about this here). This opens up the profile of the tire sipes.

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