Getting Fed Up with 17-in Low Profile Tires.....

Bob Gregory rggpa1 at
Wed Apr 18 17:15:13 EDT 2007

First off, thanks for all the great input.  Solid BTDT for options ranging from $79 (Sumitomo HTR+) to $200++++.  

As others have mentioned, individual preferences result in differing "recommended" tire types.  That's why I now desire a "performance" tire that will actually stay together for it's entire tread life.  You guys have addressed my request very well.  I have morphed (devolved?) from somewhat
of a tire snob to a tire cheapskate (altho Nokian will remain my only winter tire - my current WRs are so good it's silly!).  Will I miss "ultra" handling atributes?  Maybe but I have had enough of $200 tires going belly up with (seems like) increasing regularity.

With stock suspension setup and alignment, I have experienced 
varialble wear patterns based on tire size and brand.  (Yeah-there are other variables too.)  At 225-45-17, the RE040s wore very evenly.  At 235-40-17, the T1-S wore bably inside, had the "edge bevel" thejimrose mentioned, and structurally fell apart.  At 205-55-16, the Nokian NRW wore slightly more on the inside than the outside; Nokian WR and Goodyear RS-A ("free tires mounted on 16-in C4 Avus wheels I bought last year - used them for about 5 months before mounting WRs for this past winter - RS-A great for big 4-wheel drifts on wet roads!) wore evenly.  Now 225-45-17 SportContacts, but only a few hundred miles so no wear comments possible.

One more variable at 16-in:  16-in Avus are different offset than OEM (yes, they do fit the B5 S4 w/o spacers, as long as you have ~50% worn pads!).  The NRWs were on Ronal R28s with OEM offset (I now own 6 R28s and 5 of them are bent - that's why I switched to C4 Avus - heavy but strong - for the winter).   I now have dedicated winter pads!  good thing pad changes on front calipers are so easy.  Winter prep consists of wheel/tire change, brake pad change, and pull out pinch bolts and reapply massive amounts of anti-seize.

Tramlining also varied widely.  With sizes noted above, RE040 tracked pretty straight; T1-S were horrible (wider than OEM and structural weakness didn't help here); both Nokians and RS-A tracked dead straight (helped by less width).  Now SportContacts wander a bit.

I'm in SE PA, so bad or constantly under construction roads are normal, leading me to strong wheels ( = heavy) and tires (= less than ultra).  And I'm OK with that.

Thanks again to all.

p.s.  Anyone know why my emails (and others) don't word wrap within the visible screen, while others do?  I hate having to scroll over.  Mine didn't used to do this.

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