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Old December 4th 2002, 07:39
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dgluyas dgluyas is offline
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How Big Is Big 17,18,19???

Does size matter?? What is the biggest wheel and tyre combo people think is still german look but not overdone? I have seen some 18s on a bug but unless you are running rubberbands for tyres they can look a little overwheeled. What do the GL community think is the best looking size? It appears 17s arre the most popular.:befuddled :befuddled

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Old December 4th 2002, 10:07
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doesn't really matter. 17's are just the more commonly available modern rims and have the price sweet spot. 18's are getting there, but are currently still a premium. widths and offsets vary quite a bit depending on your application.
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Old December 4th 2002, 15:30
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I like 16"s for everyday use.

17"s are doable but tire prices soar and the ride gets choppy due to the low profile tires.

18+" are show stuff that I do not think are long lived on a real driver.

Plus as a driver I like a little sidewall so I can "load" them in turns. With the ultra low profile it is hard to "feel" what the car is doing and how much grip you really have... It is too late when she starts to break traction as you are now in saving your ass mode which is bad.
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Old December 4th 2002, 16:04
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As far as looks go, I think 17's look the best. Fills everything up right. 16's look good also and are more forgiving with the larger sidewall. 18's are pushing it. 19's are like

Also, you're going to have to fill up that empty space with a big rotor.
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Old December 4th 2002, 16:37
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Hi All,

FYI.... a 235/35/18 like I'm running on the front has a section height of 3.23".... same as a 205/40/17... The advantage is a much LARGER contact patch... but the disadvantage is weight...

A 265/35/18 like I'm running on the rear has a S.H of 3.65"... larger than a 215/40/17 at 3.38"....

A 195/50 has a S.H of 3.84".... So its not really 'Rubber Band' tires with 18's.

IMHO I think 19's are too big for a daily driver.... but to each his own.

My .02c

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Old December 20th 2002, 05:06
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Michael Ghia Michael Ghia is offline
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I think it depends on the age of the bug.
This is my own opinion but I think the earlier the car (small windowed, Oval or Split) the smaller the wheels should be... Like 16's.
On a late car (1968 onwards, 1302 and 1303) then 17's and 18's look good.
It's all in relation to the size of the windows... weird huh!
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Old December 20th 2002, 08:45
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There was picture of a Mexican Beetle floating around the net with 20s, the car was not low enough so the wheels looked very strange, I think 17s look about right but 16 are OK if you bad roads and need the deeper side wall. I have found the larger the diameter the tire the less twitchy my car is.

Steve C
STI powered 1303 in the works.
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Old December 21st 2002, 13:40
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Jim Andritsakos Jim Andritsakos is offline
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I am running 18" wheels at my 1303 gl.
No problem at all.
I am using 35 series tyres front and rear.
Jim Andritsakos

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Old January 11th 2003, 01:48
jmillheiser jmillheiser is offline
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on the older cars i like the look of the 16 inch fuchs.

on newer stuff i would prefer 17s on a smaller car or 18s on a larger car.

in my experiences with 17s i find that they give more feel and better response than 16s and still ride tolerably. but most 16s or 15s ive seen ride better. ive found that 13" and 14" rims tend to have a very negative effect on handling and a worse ride (narrow tires with tall sidewalls) than 15s and not to mention how little brake you can fit inside one (drive a newer hyundai or kia with the 13 or 14 inch rims and you know what im talking about)
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Old February 13th 2003, 01:24
mabus013 mabus013 is offline
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Okay, it goes like this...

Wheel size is increased in order to run taller tires and keep the same sidewall height. Taller tires are run to gain contact patch size without having to have aburdly wide rims. The problem is, if you take any given wheel style, the 16" size is always heavier than the 15", etc, so you don't want to 'over wheel' your vehicle and increase unsprung weight (and reduce your ride quality as well as your handling, which is what you're paying your good money for to upgrade your running stock). Honestly, on a +/-2000lb car, good, lightweight wheels are probably near optimum, maybe some 16's if you're running a lot of power. Anything above that is probably overkill. One of the best-handling cars in the world that's accessable by mere mortals is the Mazda Miata MX5, and that originally had about 90 or so hp at the rear wheels, a roughly 2100 lb curb weight, and ran 14's on ultra lite (for cast, factory feasible equipment) wheels with not a lot of width, so take that into consideration. Similiar power-weight, vehicle size, etc. but with a much better suspension, and one of the best handling cars you can buy. We all agree that the bigger wheels look cooler (I myself want 16x7's front and 17x8.5 rear, and I will eventually be running a lot of power (and power adders )so I can pass it off as 'necessary' ), but how much performance are you willing to lose to run the big, bling wheels?

My thoughts,
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Old February 13th 2003, 16:56
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It seems that a 17 inch wheel has the best proportions to a bug. Some may remember the "Silver Arrow" that had 18 inch TSW Hockenheim R's with 235/35 tires on it and I thought that looked awesome!! On the other hand, there was a pic of a bug with 19's and someone mentioned that it bore a striking resemblance to a covered wagon, which I thought was very true. Maybe it depends on the wheel type. A 18-19 inch, 8-spoked wheel, like the "covered wagon," may look a little silly. 18-19 inch BBS "mesh" style or Porche wheels may look ok. But 17 inch wheels in any style seem to look fine. We have seen tuner wheels, mesh wheels, porche wheels, spoke wheels, etc., all in 17 inches and they look good.
I guess as the wheel size gets bigger the style range of wheels that look OK gets smaller and smaller.
Your thoghts?
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Old February 13th 2003, 17:49
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I think the "Covered Wagon" was at stock ride height with 19's. Maybe if it was lowered it would look ok ? The other problem is you need some HUGE brakes to take up the space behind the wheels.

I'll be looking for some 17's for the track, and save my 18's for the street.

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Old February 14th 2003, 17:13
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That is true about the ride height. I guess if a car has the "stance," it has the "stance."
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Old February 14th 2003, 17:32
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Ive seen some bugs with 20's and it looks rediculous. :silly:
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Old February 26th 2003, 10:19
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trevorbrady trevorbrady is offline
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surely there comes a point where too large a contact patch equals lower pressure equals less grip?

Like the caterpillar earth movers are hugely heavy, but because of their large contact patch with the ground, they don't sink.

If the weight of a beetle remains constant but you play around with tyre widths, then a narrower width tyre equals a smaller contact patch equals greater pressure per square foot/metre of that contact patch equals greater friction (grip)

or am I taking it to extremes?
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