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Old 01-31-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

I've noticed that when you put heavier wheels on a car it gets a bit slower, I've put heavy wheels on my del sol and celica and noticed a power drain, slow acceleration and decrease in gas mileage. Now I'm wondering if you put 'sleepers' on (you know those plain black rims with a bunch of holes that comes factory on a lot of cars with hub caps) will you get faster acceleration and more mph on the civic?

What is the optimal size wheel for the best performance? Big wheels like the 22" are slower? Those Small lawn mower wheel on low riders faster?

What you guys know about this?
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

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I've noticed that when you put heavier wheels on a car it gets a bit slower, I've put heavy wheels on my del sol and celica and noticed a power drain, slow acceleration and decrease in gas mileage. Now I'm wondering if you put 'sleepers' on (you know those plain black rims with a bunch of holes that comes factory on a lot of cars with hub caps) will you get faster acceleration and more mph on the civic?

What is the optimal size wheel for the best performance? Big wheels like the 22" are slower? Those Small lawn mower wheel on low riders faster?

What you guys know about this?
You mean steelies? They are smaller but not that light. I believe the 17's are the optimal size. Why would Honda put 17's if it wasn't the best compromise? 16's would indeed be smaller in diameter and be less detrimental to overall power output, but would give larger sidewall tires taking away from handling. Opposite holds true for 18's.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

although smaller wheels generally give you better acceleration, i wouldn't ever put on a smaller wheel than comes from the factory. as mentioned, bigger wheels (up to a point) give you better handling because of less sidewall flex, but i also think that anything bigger than 17" looks funny on civics. if i ever get new wheels for my civic they'll be 17's.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

Copied and pasted from elsewhere....

"Effects of Unsprung Weight
The sprung weight of a wheel controls a trade-off between a wheel's bump-following ability and its vibration isolation. Bumps and surface imperfections in the road cause tire compression--which induces a force on the unsprung weight. In time, the unsprung weight then responds to this force with movement of its own. The amount of movement is inversely proportional to the weight - a lighter wheel which readily moves in response to road bumps will have more grip when tracking over an imperfect road. For this reason, lighter wheels are often sought for high-performance applications. In contrast, a heavier wheel which moves less will not absorb as much vibration; the irregularities of the road surface will transfer to the cabin through the geometry of the suspension and hence ride quality is deteriorated.

Pneumatic or elastic tires help by providing some springing for most of the (otherwise) unsprung mass, but the damping that can be included in the tires is limited by considerations of fuel economy and overheating. The shock absorbers, if any, damp the spring motion also and must be less stiff than would optimally damp the wheel bounce. So the wheels execute some vibrations after each bump before coming to rest. On dirt roads and perhaps on some softly paved roads, these motions form small bumps, known as washboarding or "corduroy" because they resemble smaller versions of the bumps in roads made of logs. These cause sustained wheel bounce in subsequent vehicles, enlarging the bumps.

High unsprung weight also exacerbates wheel control under hard acceleration or braking. If the vehicle does not have adequate wheel location in the vertical plane (such as a rear-wheel drive car with Hotchkiss drive, a live axle supported by simple leaf springs), vertical forces exerted by acceleration or hard braking combined with high unsprung mass can lead to severe wheel hop, compromising traction and steering control.

Though this is usually not considered important, at least in the popular literature, there is a positive effect. High frequency road irregularities, such as the gravel in an asphalt or concrete road surface, are isolated from the body more completely because the tires and springs act as separate filter stages, with the unsprung weight tending to uncouple them. This can improve overall safety. "
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

i say its half and half for me i see alot of people running 18's and alot of people running 17's.

18's with the right offset will look more aggressive and thats the look i was going for. If you want light weight 18's your gonna pay though its not easy finding the right size and offset combination it can be a frustrating thing.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

So is the factory wheels the BEST for performance? as in best size, weight, hp to weight ratio, offset and etc?
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

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So is the factory wheels the BEST for performance? as in best size, weight, hp to weight ratio, offset and etc?
no. you can easily find aftermarket wheels the same size as stock but lighter. lighter wheels improved acceleration, braking, and handling.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Wheels vs Small Wheel, Heavy Wheels vs Light Wheel

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So is the factory wheels the BEST for performance? as in best size, weight, hp to weight ratio, offset and etc?
Like what vladd said, the specs are good, but you can always go lighter than the factory wheels.
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