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We've Reached Peak Wheel Size

Bill Pemberton

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Gives you the feeling 18s will become even more of the norm, which could mean an even broader group of tires in that size in coming years.Performance cars using larger 17 inch rubber often have a difficult time finding tires in that size - the Viper comes to mind with it's large rears 335/17s.

Hard to believe there will be a mass movement towards 22/23s for track cars as unsprung weight is important and getting that large will put allow weight on each corner ( tires will be much heavier too).

Will wait to see what the racing tire expert, Blacksheep 1, will chime in on this, as am sure he will have some valued insight!
 

302BOB

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When did how big the tires are matter...We all know it's how wide the tires are that puts the grip down....The wider the tire the better, not the taller......Am I missing something here??
 

Grant 302

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Larger diameter wheel/tire combos have a larger contact patch for any given width.


:D

Definitely on the tire diameter.




I think the changes in F1 wheel diameters are more about what can be packaged inside the wheel brakes/areo/suspension wise. I don't expect grip to go up much with the same tire diameter, but lateral control should be much, much better. Suspension and aero effects should benefit as well and be more consistent and predictable.
 

Duane Black

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Grant, NASCAR is going to a larger wheel/lower sidewall too in 2021. The problem in both sports right now is how much the tires absorb suspension changes, so tire pressure changes are just that exacerbated . The thinner tire should provide more ability to change the handling via suspensio .


It's gotten to a point where 14" tires for my 68 Ford Torino are now harder to find and getting more expensive.

I'm not sure I believe we've hit peak wheel size . Was the same thing said in 1979? New materials for construction, new techniques in the future, other changes in automobiles may lead to even more increases in the future
 

Grant 302

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Yeah, I heard that too about NASCAR. There was a thread on that a while back.

I don’t see it as a problem though...the tire is just like another spring on the suspension system. Enough so...that real race tires have spring rates printed on them.
 

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