16 or 17 inch wheels for snow tires [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: 16 or 17 inch wheels for snow tires

13th October 2008, 10:05 AM
According to the owners manual you can use both size snow tires on my 07 Aero. I am trying to find a set of used Saab wheels instead of going with 16" steel. I searched and it looks the like wheel offset is the same on all 93 and 95s regardless of the year.

I realize that the 16" would have a narrower tire and be better in deep snow but we don't' get that much deep snow in MA so I don't now if its worth sacrificing the handling on all the dry days. I plan to run Nokian WRs. I realize that the 16" tires would be cheaper.

This will be the first winter with a Saab so I have no experience with the handling in snow but assume the stock P6s (junk) will be even worse in the snow.
Any thoughts would be apreciated.

13th October 2008, 10:11 AM
i would stick with what ever rim size you have on and just wrap them in a nice set of rubber

13th October 2008, 10:47 AM
I just got an '03 aero and stock Saab 16" wheels with snows. I did this for several reasons.

1)Up here in vermont we get alot of potholes due to freeze thaw and the 17's bend alot quicker than 16's since there is less meat there, and if they do bent they are cheaper to replace.

2)Snows are alot cheaper for 16's

3)You save money everytime you don't have to have them swiched and balanced

4)Everytime you have them mounted you run the risk of a tire monkey scratching your nice 17" wheels

5)Narrower tires are better in the winter. You want less surface area.

14th October 2008, 10:32 AM
I am trying to figure out the same thing. 16" wheels will have a more comfortable ride but 17" will handle better. Everybody always says narrower tires are better for winter but does a 2 or 3 cm width difference (235 vs 215 --> 20/235 = 8.5%) really gets you through deep snow much better? I wonder if there have been any tests proving this theory.

I never had winter tires before so his would be my first. My current car came with summer performance tires so I need to get something before the snow starts falling.

By the way, the Nokian WR tires are all-season tires . For real Nokian winter tires, you would want the Hakkapaliita's. However, the WR's are supposed to be the best all-season tires for winter conditions.

14th October 2008, 10:52 AM
Well, I think each area is case sensative to the narrow/wide tire. If there is fresh snow, slush etc. thats built up and preventing tire pressure on the road, narrower is better. But on smooth ice or dense packed snow I would run a wider tire with more sipes to contact the ground. Its no doubt that a wider tire will 'float' more on fresh snow while a narrow tire will 'cut' through, but you have to think about what you are going to drive in most of the time and go from there. Is 2cm going to make a difference.... well I personally think thats negligable. Is 8cm going to make a difference.... well I think quite a bit.

14th October 2008, 11:13 AM
I will be putting on my winters shortly ...
215/55/16's on the Saab 5 spoke rims I picked up at SOC this past year.

However, given that we do get winter where I am, I'm not worried about a drop in tire performance ... I want better grip in the snow and cold.

14th October 2008, 11:38 AM
I have never run the Hakkapaliita's but I currently run the WRs as winter tires on my VW GTI. Great all around winter tires. Excellent in the snow but little (still noticeable) drop in performance on dry pavement.
THey work well in MA as we don't tend to get a lot of snow at once but I travel north often and the roads in my neighborhood are never plowed well.

I am probably going to stick with the stock size assuming I can find a set of used wheels. If not will probably go with 16s as used wheels are more available.

14th October 2008, 11:45 AM
I run my extra set of GF 17 inch wheels with Ice Guard tires with no issue. I think they are 225/50/17 and they do really good. And they love ice! If my car was lower I would run 16 inch wheels so that there wouldn't be to much build up of snow in the tire wells. ;)

14th October 2008, 11:51 AM
Is there a single winter tire thread with many reviews somewhere? Searching for "winter tires" gets way too many results.

Discount Tire Direct has these Momo Winter wheels (17 x 7) for $110. It seems like 225/45-17 tires would be a good match for these. I want.. :D

What makes this wheel awesome for the winter? As stated above it comes in a Powder Coat finish that is very resistant to chips and stains. It also has been designed with a slightly concave face to reduce impact when using chains and its simple five spoke design is easy to keep clean. Who says you have to run steel wheels with your snow tires?



14th October 2008, 01:55 PM
Is there a single winter tire thread with many reviews somewhere? Searching for "winter tires" gets way too many results.

Why don't you start one ? ;)

I go from 205-55/16 size on Aero rims down to 185-65/15 (Nokian Hakka Q's) on sunburst rims. Our snow is generally wet, heavy and slushy (then eventually freezes to an ice rink), so I find the narrower 185s effective in digging in and "pushing" the slush away sideways. The Hakka Qs work well in that regard, but as soon as the temps go above 7-8 deg C the sidewalls go as soft as the FAA on airline safety .........

14th October 2008, 02:08 PM
Why don't you start one ? ;)Great idea, I noticed you just started one. I started another regular tire thread in the lounge a while back but response was pretty limited. Looking forward to the reviews.


14th October 2008, 02:11 PM
Didn't mean to steal your thunder after I suggested you start one. I'm loaded on caffeine this morning morning morning .................

14th October 2008, 02:15 PM
No big deal, we all are under the influence once in a while. :D

14th October 2008, 05:14 PM
all season long. They are wonderful tires in any conditions. As I live in Minne'snow'ta, I run the gamut of hot and cold weather and messy messy winter conditions.

I haven't had any issues getting around on these, and will be replacing the Blizzaks on my 9-5 wagon, when they wear out.

14th October 2008, 07:40 PM
Myfirst set of winter tires were Nokian Hakka Q's. Fantastic grip in snow and on ice, but very squirrely on cold dry expressways above 70mph. I deliberately did panic stop on black ice one morning when the roads were empty of other traffic. I just about launched myself thru the windshield! The ABS didn't even engage. I was also able to drive at a very controlled 45mph thru 4+ inches of fresh snow while everyone else was crowded into the single cleared lane of a 4 lane roadway. It was GREAT to pass all those white knuckled drivers in their huge SUV's which were traveling at only 25mph! After 5 miles of this driving bliss, a lone BMW (probably with dedicated winter tires also) joined me in the snow covered lane.

My second set were Semperit Sport Grips with an H speed rating. Much more stable on the dry expressways that I most often encounter during the winter, very adequate on snow and ice, but not confidence builders like the Nokians.

My third set are Dunlop Winter Sport M3's with an H speed rating. Performance is similar to the Semperits, maybe a little better.

My fourth set will be Nokians again, assuming I can locate some at an affordable price. The local Nokian Dealers want an obscene amount for these tires!

Krux turnNstuff
25th October 2008, 12:17 AM
my stock 17s sucked in the snow last year with hankook ice bears on them in Vermont snow and even when we really didnt have much and the pot holes did a number on them.. actually hit one at 35mph that I didnt see and cracked the rim right through hence why I now have aftermarket Konig ones.. but for this winter I am running 16s with 205-55-16 hakkapeliittas on and I am hoping that it works out a lot better for me..