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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to decide between two tire and wheel combos and hoping I can get some insight from y'all.

175/50-16 on 6" wide rims (tire 16lbs, rim 15lbs) VS.
205/50-15 on 7" wide rims (tire 22lbs, rim 10lbs)

My question is which of the two would get better mileage. (One is wider and lighter but heavy in the rubber).

The car will have a max of 200hp so the 205 is preferred for me, MPG is as important as 0-60 and 90% of driving is freeway and will have traction control.

Thanks guys.
 

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Depends on how you are driving the car and what type conditions exist. Weight helps for coasting, not stop n go.

Are the tires slipping? You got way more contact area with the wider tire than the narrow one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My commute is 60 miles of freeway, 75-80mph, I'm really interested in the effects of weight vs width. I know there will be a traction difference so if a lighter but fatter wheel will get better mileage that's the way to go. Also the swap hasn't begun and I want to compare mileage between new tire vs the stock RE 92s before I pull this motor.
 

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I'm assuming this is a gen 1 Insight that you're doing a k-swap with...

If that's the case, in my opinion, you're not going to gain any handling or performance improvement by going to a larger rim diameter. With double the HP, you will want a wider than OEM section width, but it's going to be a trade off between grip and fuel efficiency. Also keep in mind that you're adding more HP, but it's not like you're doubling the weight of the car. You want a wider tire so you're not squealing during acceleration, but it would still corner decently with something in a 175 width. I think a 205 section width would be overkill, anywhere from 175 to 195 would work well depending on preference.

If you still have the stock 14" rims, you could go with something like this. If you're set on larger rims, I would recommend going with the 15" (10 lbs is pretty light for a 15" rim, how much $ is that?) and getting something in a 195/50R15 like this or a 175/55R15 like this. These options will keep your overall weight down helping your acceleration, ride comfort, and MPGs.

If it's really between your two original choices, I would expect the 175/50-16 to yield better gas mileage due to it being more narrow and more of the weight of the setup being further in, but it would have less grip and give a harsher ride than the bigger tires on the 15s.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your reply jonnyviri, here's some more info. The swap I wound up going with is L15a automatic (still on palet) so my 200hp goal is a very lofty one. Any loss of traction is not an issue as I will have traction control at some point if needed. The only place I care about performance is at freeway speeds so standing starts and high speed cornering are NA.

The two tires I was looking at are both Yokohama S Drives but I can find an even lighter 205s. The only reason I would go with the 205 is the fact it's a lighter combo than the 175.

After all of this Im gathering that the thinner tire would do better even though the combo is heavier. If the 175 works well, they do make a 13lbs Volk that are 16x5.5 that I would consider ($$$).
 

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umm, you're confusing me, the 205 combo you mentioned is 1 lb heavier than the 175 combo you mentioned...

175/50-16 on 6" wide rims (tire 16lbs, rim 15lbs) VS. = 31 lbs
205/50-15 on 7" wide rims (tire 22lbs, rim 10lbs) = 32 lbs

Stock setup: 165/65-14 on 5.5" wide rims (tire 13 lbs, rim 10 lbs) = 23 lbs

If you like the Yokohama S drive, just keep the stock rims and get them in a 185/55R14. The tire would still be a bit heavy at 17 lbs, but it's a lighter setup than what you're thinking of doing, would still provide way more grip than stock, your overall diameter will go down half an inch making the weight increase a bit less of an impact, and you don't even need to buy rims.

There are some interesting options with a 15" rim, but if it's 7" wide, every tire you could put on it is just going to be too heavy. If you can get a lightweight 6" wide 15" rim, then you could get tires in the 175/55R15 size. the weight and tire diameter would be pretty close to stock as long as the rim stays around 10 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pardon my math, I came to the conclusion when I found the Dunlop DIREZZA DZ102 which is 2 pounds lighter. I do like the look of the 16s and they will weigh in on my decision but the logic behind the stock wheels make a lot of sense too. I also want Wildwood calipers but I will reconsider them too. I had the stock rims from the Fit on my car with 185/55-15s and the decrease in performance AND mpg was huge...... ride was nice though.
 

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I don't know what the fit rims weigh, but a 185/55-15 would have been about 18 lbs and your diameter would be 23" vs stock 22.4", the difference you saw with that setup would be similar to what you would see with the 175/50-16s, only your ride would be less comfortable with the bigger rims.

It sounds like you're not likely to be happy with a setup that weighs ~30 lbs and even if you dump $$ into really light rims, the rim weight doesn't matter as much as weight that is further out. If you don't want a huge difference from stock, you should try to find a tire you'll be happy with that only weighs about 15 lbs. or less and use whatever rim it'll mount on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're half right as I do want a smooth ride, but I want a confident ride at 120mph and performance that will rival ZR1s while keeping and exceeding original MPGs (when on freeway)..... all that aside I think Im sold in the 175/50-16s, Keep in mind Im also vain enough to want a set of Volks just because they're Volks.
 

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Just installed my Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max last month. I bought these tires because of the price at 4wheelonline|shop for tires. So far, I like their handling and grip. Very smooth on the highway, though didn't notice any increase in fuel economy.
 

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You're half right as I do want a smooth ride, but I want a confident ride at 120mph and performance that will rival ZR1s while keeping and exceeding original MPGs (when on freeway)..... all that aside I think Im sold in the 175/50-16s, Keep in mind Im also vain enough to want a set of Volks just because they're Volks.
How do you plan to keep the original MPGs on the freeway with stickier tires and a less efficient engine?
 
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