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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
The question may be too soon to ask but what tires did you fit on your Mini? I'm actually interested if they were R16 or R17.
I know there is this torque to tire diameter relationship and I am wandering what should I fit on my F55 192HP: 16 or 17 inch? I currently have 17 inch but summer tires.
 

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The 'best' winter tyre depends on what your winters are like. Here in Britain, most of the winter there is no snow, so good wet and dry road grip is what matters and for that the biggest winter tyre is best - after all, winter tyres don't grip that well in wet/dry, so I would no longer have a smaller winter tyre than summer, though I used to.

The one I haven't tried is a 205/50-16, which is a non-standard size for a Mini so maybe TuV won't let you have that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will go for the standard size, either 205/45 R17 or 195/55 R16; at least this is what I am allowed to use on my Mini (in Germany). I can't figure out which I should buy though not only money or weather wise (the weather in this area is pretty much the same as UK) but as I mentioned before, I don't know how a smaller rim will impact the car's performance (torque).
 

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Narrow tires are better in snow.
But worse for everything else - which for a central/southern European winter is most of the time.

I think an S needs 205 width winters on wet/dry roads and I would not use less than that on my SD. 195s were OK on my R57 non-S Cooper but then that didn't have enough torque to pull the skin off a rice pudding.
 

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Popular misconception that narrow winter tyres are better. They are only better in unpacked snow. Once you return to packed snow, ice, rain, sleet etc surface area (of the feather cuts) is king.
The reason why motorsport uses narrow tyres in snow is that they a) have a different tread pattern to commercial "road" winter boots and b) narrow works better under heavy acceleration (and probably breaking.. ie NOT responsible road driving in adverse conditions).
 

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Not a popular misconception. It is well known that narrower tires are better in snow and slush. Performance wide tires tend to slide badly in snow. I have first hand experience. So it depends on desire for capability on winter snow covered roads. If snow is a rare thing in winter then wide tires are as good otherwise narrow tires are better.

Hakkepelita 8 studded tires are among the very best for winter - these can handle ice and snow very well. Since the most dangerous winter conditions are ice and unpacked snow (prior to gritting of the road) then a good winter tire will make a huge difference under those most dangerous situations. On dry or wet roads winter tires are often worse.
 

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Just ordered Nokian Hakkepelita 8 the V rated version for my JCW. The best severe winter tire period and they are heavily studded. I live in Calgary - lots of ice here in winter as we get thaws and re-freezing a lot. Could be overkill as in the City the crews usually have the streets gritted after the first storm, however the only time you desperately need a great winter tire is actually on ice or hard packed snow which is where these tires excel. Calgary intersections are especially bad as there is often ice. I will comment again once they are installed and I have had a chance to see how they behave.
 

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Aren't fatter lower profile tyres worse for aquaplaning ie wet too.? I had 16's winters on my r56 cooper s 184 bhp and they were brilliant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't think there is a huge difference between good winter tires if we are speaking about driving on ice; they will skid either way on ice unless they have spikes on them (which they don't). Granted, it helps to have good winter tires but here (North Rhein Westfalia, Germany) there is not too much ice and snow, it's more of a slush. Even if it really snows it doesn't last much.
 

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sounds like very similar conditions to the UK in winter. They still perform better in low temperatures, 7c is the quoted figure at which a winter compound will perform better than a summer compound.

I ran Nokian winters on my MX-5 for 5 years in winter and the difference in snow was night & day, it was like driving on dry roads. The wear on the Nokians was no worse than std summer tyres, i was running 5 months on winters, 7 on summers.

Now granted the MX-5 was a much worse performer in winter conditions than a Mini, being RWD, but what winters give even in marginal conditions is the assurance that you will get from A-B
 

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I don't think there is a huge difference between good winter tires if we are speaking about driving on ice; they will skid either way on ice unless they have spikes on them (which they don't). Granted, it helps to have good winter tires but here (North Rhein Westfalia, Germany) there is not too much ice and snow, it's more of a slush. Even if it really snows it doesn't last much.
The Nokian's I am installing are studded. And yes I agree but I would add that hard packed snow is like ice. Studded tires help where you need it most in severe winter conditions. They offer no advantage in snow or wet. And may be worse on dry asphalt.
 

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Now granted the MX-5 was a much worse performer in winter conditions than a Mini, being RWD, but what winters give even in marginal conditions is the assurance that you will get from A-B
+1

That is why a severe winter tire may help you when you need it most - the black swan event - albeit on what is often a rare condition in modern maintained (salted or gritted) busy city roads (ice or hard pack snow is only a handful of days each winter basically during or after storms and before crews can clear the roads) but what is fairly common in the countryside or mountains. Like seat belts - 99,9% of the time you can do without them! However that 0.1% incident may save you or someone else's life. Winter driving skill is of course the single most important factor - good drivers sense and test conditions all the time and will recognize right away when conditions are extremely dangerous.

Anyway in Calgary these odd difficult days are a joke because all the Rear wheel drive cars with all seasons are stuck and sliding off the roads everwhere. On a short commute you can see dozens of stranded vehicles. I have even seen city buses sliding backwards down a hill! Fortunately only a handful of days are like this each winter.
 

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Anyway - if you drive a JCW - why would you not want the best of the best traction under the wheels - seems ludicrous to buy a pocket rocket and then scrimp on tires....

I ripped the useless all season run flats off the vehicle before I drove it out of the dealers lot and put dedicated high performance summer tires. So for winter I want optimal grip too!

All seasons are the worst tires possible. They don't perform optimally in any condition! Marginal all round performance. All seasons are a crazy concept on a performance vehicle.
 

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I don't think there is a huge difference between good winter tires if we are speaking about driving on ice; they will skid either way on ice unless they have spikes on them (which they don't). Granted, it helps to have good winter tires but here (North Rhein Westfalia, Germany) there is not too much ice and snow, it's more of a slush. Even if it really snows it doesn't last much.
Just among winter tires the worst ice performance stops in 50% more distance than the best. If you compared winters to summer or all seasons the difference would be even greater!

Check this out

http://www.brunowessel.com/content/pdf/hakka_8_and_r_review.pdf

Hakkepelita 8 are king of the severe winter road.

Note that stopping differences between all winter tires (studded and non studded) on dry asphalt or wet asphalt are within about 10% variation.

Differences on snow or ice between ALL studded and non studded can be 50%!!!

The takeaway is that ALL winter tires are similarly good on dry or wet asphalt but only a FEW select tires will stop you hurtling across the centre lane or sliding across the intersection into an oncoming truck when you hit some snow or ice!!!
 

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I would add that the Michelin non studded x-ice is brilliant marketing BS!!!!

The tire is practically the WORST winter tire for stopping on ICE of all the tires tested!!!!!!!!!

That matches my experience having owned Michelin "ice" branded tires in the past - they are practically WORSE than all seasons on ice!!!!!!!

I like Michelin for their smooth running and long wear life which makes them a good summer tire but Michelin ICE is a total oxymoron and extremely misleading to consumers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On ice all tires behave (almost) the same except the studded ones. Yes, a good non-studded tire can make a difference in a critical situation but it's never guaranteed; it's quite a long shot in this area where there is not much ice.
 
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