Winter Wheels


Experience my Member
So what is everyone (where winter is applicable) going to do when winter hits? It'll be sad to put steelies on, but it seems quite neccessary.

Also, when putting steelies on, what size tire would I have to get to get accurate speedometer readings on 15" rims?

Blue, 01, MP3. -> Yellow, 03.5, MSP
Winter wheels will definitely needed. I am planning to put 16" inch steel wheels. Anybody know how much are they?

Stock MP3, 01


the local mr mazda mechanic said 14" is too small. he said that 16" rims would be a good idea. can you say SCRAP YARD 4 times fast?

enry, webmaster
Why not use 15" wheels ? The tires would be less expensive and I think that the wheels would be easier to find...

I think I'll put 195/55R15 tires or 185/60R15 to have a better grip...

Stock MP3...


goddamn it why is it impossible to get a straight answer. is car mechanics such an imperfect science?

enry, webmaster


Thinner is not always better, If you are planning to put on Ice radials (like Michilen Artic Alpins, my personal favorites)then more contact area is better, thinner is only better in deep snow(it cuts through better) or if the tires are cheap or use old technology, but on ice for both braking and acelleration wider is better, with the right tires that is!!!
As far as the right size, it's simple our rims are 17" tall the tires side walls are total 3.69"" high (205 times .45 =92.25 which = aprox. 3.69") so tire and rim has a total hieght of 20.69", as long as your new rim tire combination = the same height, your speedo will be the same.
eg. 15" rim would need a tire with a sidewall height of 5.69". I'm planning on going with a 205/70-15 which has a sidewall height of 5.74" which is more than close enough.
You could also go with a 205/60-16 which has a sidewall of 4.92", for a combined height of 20.92", not perfect, but close enough (your tires can wear more than .23 of an inch during their life span), but the 15" tires will grip better on ice due to the give of the higher sidewall.

Hope this helps.

P.S. If I made some errors please forgive me.
I just wanted to add a correction in terms of finding the overall tire size diameter.

You should add the wall size/section height twice to account for the top and bottom walls. 205/45R17 = 205mm*.45= 92.25mm= 3.63in/wall.

3.63in/wall*2wall + 17in = approx. 24.3in total diameter. So you'd probably want to stay as close to that as possible to keep as accurate as possible speedometer readings.

The best fit would probably be 195/60R15. :)

Michelin Arctic Alpin 195/60R15 88Q fit this bill. If you want H rated tires, get the 205/50R16 87H Pilot Alpins.

The Dunlop SP Winter Sport M2's closest fit would most likely be the 205/60R15 91H.

Yokohama has 215/45R17 87H Winter Guardex F310's that should fit, however the Guardex 720's have better fits.

It doesn't look like the high-end Pirelli Winter 210 Performance tires will fit unless you go with their smallest 225/40R18 88H. This would put you over 25 inches overall diameter. I've read that you should stay within 3% of the original equipment's tire height, so you should stay within 23.6 and 25 inches. The Winter 210 Snowsport's have better fits within that range.

Toyo has the Garit HT which looks to have tires that should fit.

Bridgestone has the Blizzak LM-22 205/50R16 87H which should fit.

Kumho and Firestone have winter tires also but I didn't find any H speed rated tires -> basically performance winter tires, so I didn't include them.

As you can see, I'm doing research myself and I'm kind of leaning toward the Dunlops, however, I haven't found out any prices yet.

Hope this helps.