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Thread: A 16-inch tire option for the OEM crowd.

  1. #1
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    A 16-inch tire option for the OEM crowd.

    A few moments to spare so I thought I would chime in with a nice bit o' info I stumbled upon. Normally, for us 16-inch OEM Abarth owners who prefer the smaller sized, lighter-weight wheel, our choices in replacement rubber are rather limited and to be honest, the stock offset tucks the tires a bit further away from the wheel well than what visually, I suppose we'd like. Nothing a 10-15mm spacer couldn't resolve but I have another option that doesn't quite push things out like a 15mm spacer but certainly puts more rubber on the tarmac.

    Most 205/45/16 tires obtain their measurements on a 7-inch wheel, which ultimately means said tire when placed on the 16x6.5 Abarth wheel will lose approximately .2 off its measured tread width. If you swing over to Tire Rack, you'll note the vast majority of 205/45/16 tires have a tread width between 7.1 and 7.4-inches. Our stock tread width for the Pirellis is 7 inches. If you opt for a replacement quad of typical 205/45/16 tires, you're not really gaining much from that 205 tire. For example, a tread width of 7.3 on a measured rim of 16x7 would be reduced to 7.1 inches when placed on the OEM Abarth 16x6.5, resulting in a slightly heavier and taller tire for..... .1 of an inch difference. Might as well stick to the 195/45/16.

    However....enter the BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 Ultra-High Performance Summer tire. Because of its construction, the sidewall...according to BF Goodrich, is 40% stiffer than normal which stabilizes the tread area, resulting in a higher contact patch. The results are impressive. When placed on a 16x7, the tread width of this tire is EIGHT inches. That's almost an inch wider than other tires sized exactly the same and nearly equal to the stock 17-inch set up for the Abarth. Mount it on the 16x6.5 Abarth wheel and you're still at 7.8 inches, compared with the stock 195/45/16 Pirelli's 7-inch tread width. Remember...tread width is the rubber to the road. Section width is inner sidewall to outer sidewall. I almost always ignore section width when comparing tires. I want to know how much of that section width finds its way to the pavement.

    I'm keeping this discussion simply to numbers and not quality or style of the particular tires out there. I've heard great things about the Sport Comp-2 and if I retain my stock 16-inch wheels, will definitely replace the Pirellis with this tire and enjoy the benefits of more rubber on the road (.3 inch taller, which helps to close the wheel well gap) without being forced to run an all-season 195/45/16, which truth be told, makes zero sense for south Florida owners like myself who have no reason on God's green earth to run an all-season radial on a car like this.

    I ponder just how better my Abarth could be with decent tires...especially ultra high performance summer gummies.

    Anyways, fodder for the search engine when new, 16-inch Abarth wheel owners go tire shopping and no, I don't work for either BF Goodrich or Tire Rack.
    Last edited by Seafarer61; 04-26-2013 at 01:48 AM.

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  3. #2
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    That is exactly the tire I plan on installing on my 16" wheels. Thanks for the additional info!

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    Senior Member DJ Sueno's Avatar
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    So how do you find out the tread width if the manufacturer doesn't post it ? The Continental Contact Extreme DWS are nice tires for 205/45/16.

    I also wonder how would a 205/50/16 work ? Would it fit, and how off would the speedo be? The 205/50/16 measuring rim width is for a 6.5, so that would be the best tire for the 6.5 wheel. Probably have an overall smoother ride, as long as the tire would fit in there...

    I had contacted Tire Rack before and they said go with the 205/45, but I would prefer the 205/50 if it rides smoother and has a better contact patch then the 45 series, even if you sacrifice the speedo being off by a negligible amount...

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    DJ, the speedo would be 3.3 mph on the low side. A 205/50/16 tire is a full inch taller than stock, affecting your gear ratio as well (slower). Because the tire is so tall compared to stock, in addition to being a heavier tire, the rotational weight of it extends further from the hub. All of these factors will contribute to a decrease in acceleration and street performance. For track use, opinions vary about tire sizes. I'll keep this particular response to street use.

    That's too much of a difference for me, personally, to accept. 205/45/16 offers a great alternative to the rather limited offerings in the 195/45/16 size. No reason on earth an Abarth in my neck of the woods should be shod with all-season radials. I can understand Fiat's decision though since obviously, not all Abarths are sold in hot weather climates. However, I'm originally from Maine. I couldn't bare to drive my Fiat in the winter. I know what salt does to the undercarriage of an automobile.

    I'd chase down a '92 Sentra and throw two 50-lb bags of kitty litter in the trunk during the winter months and be done with it.

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    Yeah down here in TX I could run summer only year round and be fine
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    If you people don't want my help, then I'll just take my good looks and country pork rinds back to the bus stop!

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    This is very helpful. I only wish I could take advantage, but I can't safely run summers all year (Wisconsin winters).
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Sueno View Post
    So how do you find out the tread width if the manufacturer doesn't post it ? The Continental Contact Extreme DWS are nice tires for 205/45/16.

    I also wonder how would a 205/50/16 work ? Would it fit, and how off would the speedo be? The 205/50/16 measuring rim width is for a 6.5, so that would be the best tire for the 6.5 wheel. Probably have an overall smoother ride, as long as the tire would fit in there...

    I had contacted Tire Rack before and they said go with the 205/45, but I would prefer the 205/50 if it rides smoother and has a better contact patch then the 45 series, even if you sacrifice the speedo being off by a negligible amount...
    Tire Rack publishes specs on the tires it sells on the website, including tread width. Also, "revs per mile", which is the proper way to compare tires to determine speedometer error.
    2013 Grigio Abarth "Abby" (bought 3/2013)
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    Untitled.jpgHello--sorry to bring up an old thread, but I am looking for 16 in tires on my 16x6.5 abarth rims...

    right now i have 195/45/16 on em..pirelli's..

    i want to know what i can do to fill in the gap of my wheel well by manipulating the tire size...meaning, what will give the closest visual affect to achieve that even if its really not?

    195/50? 195/55??
    205/40? 205/45? 205/50 (i hear these fit)??
    or, i know 215 can fit on 6.5, right? 215/40? 215/45?

    what do i do? help?

    i really don't want to lose THAT much performance and i understand now that taller/heavier wheels WILL do that. so i get that there is no way around it unless the diameter and weight somehow stay the same..
    i believe 205/40/16's are the same performance as the 195/45/16, but will they achieve that visual affect of filling in my wheel well a little bit? im on stock height right now..

    get what i am saying everyone? i hope that was good enough of an explanation.. btw, i do have snow in winter time to deal with if that matters..i believe it does a bit (215 might be too wide for winter driving? or am i wrong there?)

    anyway, thank you in advance..


    edit: looks like 215/45/16 is pretty close to 195/45/16? maybe i can get those and have a slightly beefier tire for comfort/looks? idk :X added image of results..Untitled.jpg

    edit #2: ok i think i have narrowed it down to 205/45/16 OR 195/50/16.. see below..





    from this it appears speed is improved with the beefier looking 195/50's...but then im not getting the aesthetics of the wider 205's... opinions? thoughts? thanks again!
    Last edited by turbodharma; 02-10-2019 at 04:51 AM.

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    not letting me edit my last post--just wanted to say i think i have decided on 205/45/16. seems to be the best balance in order not to lose much speed and still hadd more comfort, and the wider tire should be looking a bit nicer too...hope it doesnt make my car look a whole lot higher off the ground :X

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