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Discussion Starter #1
My search for a reasonably-priced Insight has been unfruitful for several months. However, I'm still looking into all the issues I might encounter, and one of those issues is tires. Almost every manufacturer has abandoned 165/65R14, and the few that are offered are mediocre at best. I live where we have snow and ice for 5 months every year, and I'm very picky about what tires I want for winter. Blizzak WS80 are the best snow tires I have ever owned, but the closest size they make is 175/65R15. They are 0.4" wider and 1.6" taller than stock. Anyone have any experience with fitting larger than stock tires?
 

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I don’t believe you can fit 15 inch tires on 14 inch rims. You could always get a new set of rims.


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Narrower is also better than wider for grip in snowy conditions. Narrower tire means more weight per square inch of road contact.

For winter tires I'd consider the Nokian Nordman 165/65R14s, or even the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 175/65R14, because although they're wider, I've heard that they have lower rolling resistance than the Nordmans. If I had a set of 13" wheels I'd consider the Nordmans in 155/80R13, but my extra set of wheels (4 space savers) are 14".
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don’t believe you can fit 15 inch tires on 14 inch rims. You could always get a new set of rims.


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Thanks for the input everyone. Correct! 15" tires will not fit 14" rims. I would buy an extra set of 15" rims with the correct bolt pattern. Due to the cost of mounting and balancing tires twice per year if you only have one set of rims, the extra set will pay for themselves in less than two years.

Narrower tires are better for both winter grip and rolling resistance, not to mention lighter in weight, but I doubt that any stock size tire can come even close to the performance of those Blizzaks. Tire Rack (among other car magazines) does performance tests, and the winter tires that fit the Insight were rated among the worst. With very slick conditions and very steep hills, I want the best grip at any cost.
 

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These are Mini Cooper 16 inch rims with Federal SS595 in 205/40/16. The Mini Cooper 4 lug rims fit fine. Along with any Honda 4x100 rim. My wheel/tire combo is pretty much the same rollout size as stock. I have much, MUCH, more grip though!
 

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I would just put on 13” snows

my insight has 165/65r14 blizzaks fitted to steel rims , they were still available when I got my car.

If you need a beater Insight I have one off in Wisconsin but no idea what you consider reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

These are Mini Cooper 16 inch rims with Federal SS595 in 205/40/16. The Mini Cooper 4 lug rims fit fine. Along with any Honda 4x100 rim. My wheel/tire combo is pretty much the same rollout size as stock. I have much, MUCH, more grip though!
Great info! If 205's fit, then 175's should be no problem. Now it's just a question of that 1.6" diameter difference.

I would just put on 13” snows

my insight has 165/65r14 blizzaks fitted to steel rims , they were still available when I got my car.

If you need a beater Insight I have one off in Wisconsin but no idea what you consider reasonable.
I don't know if 13" rims will clear the brakes. I wanted to put 15" wheels on my Xterra, but the rotors and calipers are so large that they won't fit inside the wheel cavity. There's a decent one here in town that the owner is willing to sell, but it has 220k miles on it, the battery pack is dead, and it has a CVT. I would have to plan on an engine rebuild or replacement, and I definitely want a 5-spd. 1st gens show up all the time at insurance auto auctions in California, but I'm in eastern Washington State.
 

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I have a set of 13" steel wheels off an older Honda Civic and they work fine. Got them at the junk yard for $100. Correct center hub, correct hole spacing, clear the brakes. I'm running 155/80R13 Blizzaks on them (winter only) and they work great.

Also they sort of look like the aluminum wheels that were used on old Jaguar racing cars, which is cool!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a set of 13" steel wheels off an older Honda Civic and they work fine. Got them at the junk yard for $100. Correct center hub, correct hole spacing, clear the brakes. I'm running 155/80R13 Blizzaks on them (winter only) and they work great.

Also they sort of look like old aluminum wheels that were used on Jaguar racing cars, which is cool!

I just checked the Bridgestone website, and it appears that they are narrowing their size options. WS80's are being discontinued as WS90's are being introduced, and there is zero availability for wheel sizes smaller than 15." Modern cars don't use small wheels anymore, so Bridgestone has probably decided that it doesn't pencil to keep manufacturing tires for them. I guess I better buy two sets when I find something that fits.
 

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I have some older Datsuns and indeed, small tires are getting really challenging... if you think 14" tires are tough, go shopping for 12"! I've had good luck finding tire shop closeouts on Epay in smaller sizes and particularly winter tires seem to show up with fair regularity.
 
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