How is ride comfort related with tyre size?
Nowadays mostly all new cars that are launched have bigger wheels and larger tyre sizes. No doubt bigger tyre increases the appeal of a car and could generate interest among customers to flock manufacturers nearest dealership. A bigger wheel/tyre combination not only looks good but also reduces the tyre’s sidewall height. The sidewall is the part of the tyre between the inside diameter (where the tyre meets the wheel) and the outside diameter. The more sidewall you have, the more cushion there is between you and the road. Many cars with 16 inch and 17 inch wheels have small aspect ratio that converts to a small sidewall. This design vastly improves handling but tends to deliver a rather harsh ride.
Does more sidewall rubber affects my handling performance?
Conversely, handling becomes poor if you have tyres that have tall sidewalls i.e more aspect ratio in wider tyres. This is because rubber have the tendency to flex during cornering which will give poor response against any steering input. Thankfully, there is a good middle ground between ride comfort and performance, and it all comes down to wheel size. Whether you’re in the market for a less aggressive ride or you already own a car and want to have a better ride capability than handling then changing your tyre is the best solution.
Shall I change my tyre size if ride quality is poor?
Almost all of the cars that are sold today offer numerous trim levels. Base models usually have the smallest tyre/wheel combination, while top most trims are offered with alloy wheels and bigger tyre/wheel sizes. If you’re not the kind of driver who enjoys driving at higher speeds and gets thrilled with sharp corners, you’ll probably be happier with the smaller tyre that comes in base variant. If the trim you like comes with bigger wheels and you don’t like the ride then you can usually ask the dealer to equip the car with different wheels. Best is to check online regarding wheel size and tyre size that will fit the best. Any change in tyre size will impact in gear car performance and fuel economy. You may feel the car to be sluggish if you have chosen a bigger diameter tyre. On the other hand you may feel it to be peppy if you have gone for a smaller tyre. Keep in mind that Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) alloy wheels will be far more expensive than most aftermarket wheels so you have to shop around to get the best fit of tyre for your car. Settling down on everything that your car dealership says can prove costly to you.