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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have an 03 bugeye and I've been searching on nasioc and google for some time now about the perfect rim size/width for performance and aesthetics. I'm currently looking at rota g-force but not limited to other types of brands so help me out please.

I'm looking to spend about $1,700 for rims and tires:unhappy:

Whats the best for performance and a nice stance? (I don't mind rolling my fenders)
-17x8
-17x8.5
-17x9
-18x8
-18x8.5
-18x9

Once you pick a rim size, please match it with a nice tire size
 

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i have an 02 bug eye wagon and i plan on going with 17x7. maybe 17x7.5. nothing bigger or wider then that. then you run into the whole rolling the fender thing because your rims rub the fenders. but u said u dont mind it so its cool. rule of thumb on rim sizes the maximum u should go is 2 inches up on the diameter. maybe only go 8 inches wide and thats it. you can run 18s on a wrx. i just wouldnt go over 8 inches wide.
 

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If you are going to bother going to 17" I'd get a 17X7.5 because then you have more options for summers and it will be handy if you autox.

In general the best choice is whatever is round, holds air, and is absolutely the narrowest and smallest you can get away with -- so it must have tyre options available, must fit your hubs, and must clear your brakes.

By definition, you only need what you need. Assuming there are no competition rules to worry about, but you are still interested in performance simply for your own sake or hobby or whatever, get no "more" wheel than you need.

Aesthetics are not something that interests me with respect to this initial discussion.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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18x8, +48, 235/40/18

or

17x8.5, +44, 245/40/17

Just my opinion. The first choice I have.
The 2nd choice, I don't. I use a 17x9 w/ a 255/40/17... but I rubbed until I rolled my fenders, that's why I chose a slightly skinner 17.

Again... just my opinion.
 

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If you are going to bother going to 17" I'd get a 17X7.5 because then you have more options for summers and it will be handy if you autox.

In general the best choice is whatever is round, holds air, and is absolutely the narrowest and smallest you can get away with -- so it must have tyre options available, must fit your hubs, and must clear your brakes.

By definition, you only need what you need. Assuming there are no competition rules to worry about, but you are still interested in performance simply for your own sake or hobby or whatever, get no "more" wheel than you need.

Aesthetics are not something that interests me with respect to this initial discussion.
...there is a certain advantage to wider tires, correct? Gets you better grip and whatnot.
 

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...there is a certain advantage to wider tires, correct? Gets you better grip and whatnot.
Tyres are seldom, if ever, free; they are usually spec'ed in the rules. Let's assume they are not for the sake of discussion. There is a point at which the grip need is met adequately while the negatives (cost, weight, potential to hydroplane, potential to tramline, whatever) are balanced. That's the best choice. This is the kind of thinking Helmuth Bott, Peter Schutz et al. went through when picking the width of Dunlops for their test mule in the 80s, for example, according to what info was available to the press at the time. It makes sense.

I don't know what that point is for you. For me it's the stock 16X6.5"s with 225/50/16s on them. I don't autox the car, so in that sense I can pick whatever size I want, since my tyres are free -- there are no rules to follow. Still, I picked the smallest and narrowest I could find with the compound I liked, and pre-existing wheels that are light, clear my brakes, and are paid for.
 

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"Supreme Subaphile Extraordinairre"
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SCCA will not allow you to run anything wider than a 245 tire on an AWD car, with a max 140 treadwear.

ie: Yoko Advan A048s in a 245 size is just about the stickiest you can get without it affecting your class.

Otherwise they move you into the unlimited class if you exceed the 245, or if your tires have a treadwear rating less than 140.
 

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The positives to going with wider tires:
1. Larger contact patch and more grip on dry pavement.
2. Some people like the look of a wider tire, but that's a bit hard to see from almost every angle anyway.
Negatives:
1. Heavier weight.
2. More expensive tires.
3. Your summer tire choices become more limited the larger you go.
4. Hydroplane more easily.
5. Tire choices for winter tires get much more limited.
6. Tire performance for winter tires decreases as you go very wide.
7. You'll need to roll your fenders, adding more expense, as you go very wide.
8. The more grip you have, the more stress and wear it puts on your suspension and drivetrain components.
9. Acceleration, braking, and suspension performance all decrease as you go with wider i.e. heavier wheels and tires. You could easily lose 5-10% of your 0-60 acceleration by going to the widest width and rim size you listed. You could also easily add 10% to your braking distances.

The positives of going to 18" versus 17":
1. Looks.
The negatives:
1. More unsprung weight.
2. Less tire choices.
3. More expensive rims.
4. The larger i.e. heavier wheels decrease acceleration, braking, and suspension performance as noted above.

As you can see, there's a whole lot of negatives and not many positives as you go larger. Given that you said you're looking for feedback on performance and looks, you'll want a balance.

You didn't list any mods to your car, so my answer is based on a stock car. That means you don't have the power, suspension, or braking mods to take advantage of a lot more grip, so that throws the 8.5" and 9" options out the window. You also listed a $1700 budget, which I assume includes mounting and balancing, so again that throws those two choices out the window since those tire sizes tend to increase price significantly over an 8" tire.

That leaves us with 17x8 or 18x8. Again, given your budget, you're going to be able to step up a level in wheels, tires, and maybe both in terms of performance if you go with the 17" over the 18". In terms of looks, the 17" wheel looks excellent on your year/model. An 18" looks good too, but there's not a huge improvement in looks in my opinion. So I'd go with 17x8 for the rim.

The best fit tire for that rim size is a 225 width, and for your year/model, I'd go with a 40 aspect ratio. So that leaves us with a 225/40-17 tire size. I'm also assuming since you're in BC you're going to want to run summer- and winter-specific tires, so this leaves you with a ton of winter tire choices that won't break the bank. If you're looking at getting all seasons, then again you'll have way more choices in this size than in just about any other size.

For reference, you're going to add ~2 pounds per wheel between a 17" to 18" in this price range. You're also going to add ~2 pounds per 1/2" of tire width. So a 17x8 with a 225 tire is going to weigh about 6 pounds less per wheel than an 18x9 with a 255. I'm not sure of your rim size and width you currently have, so by going to the larger or largest options you have there, you might be adding 10 pounds at each corner. That's going to seriously and negatively affect your performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see where you are coming from SD_GR, I don't autox at the moment but its nice to know some details about width and tires. My car is currently a DD so a 7.5" should be good for commuting and capable when the turns come in.
 

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I been looking for wheels for weeks, thank you teflon you cleared up a lot for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Thanks for that write up teflon_jones!
Going with 18's seems like a complete negative besides the "look factor" and I really don't want to sacrifice my performance. Right now I'm using Enkei rsv 17x7 rims bronze w/polished lip with crappy fuzion tires and stock rims for winter. I’m a manager of a detail shop at a Subaru Dealership and I have access to the shop whenever I need to work on my car so there’s no issue with getting things mounted/balanced and all that other expensive labour work.

My car is basically stock besides the cobb accessport, special tune, enkei rsv rims, lightend cobb pulley, and k&n typhoon.

So for performance wise its basically stock but in a couple months, I’ll be putting in the following items:
-Vf34
-sti tmic
-Pnp headers and crosspipe
-bigger injectors
-grimmspeed ewg wth tial
-invidia catless dp
-cobb catback (tired of the big pipe on the magnaflow, it attracts cops like a mofo)
-Special dyno tune
-Tein coilovers and cusco sway bars

All of this stuff is on order and should be going on once I receive it.

Future items to save $$$ for:
-6spd tranny swap

For rims, I think I’ll go with 17x8 with 225/40. One more question, will I need to roll my fenders with 17x8? I’m linked to a body shop so they can do this for free.

Do you have any recommendations on rims?
 
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