Car Tires- looking For Great Handling Replacement Tires

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by James Edward, May 19, 2003.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

    May 1, 2000
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    I have a 2002 Camry with 15" wheels. What is a good step up in the handling department as far as tires are concerned? I know the ride would be somewhat stiffer with a better handling tire- that's fine.

    I just find the handling/ride to be too soft with the stock Bridgestone Potenza RE92's. I know there are usually tradeoffs for better handling- stiffer ride, more noise from the tires, etc., but I can live with that if I get appreciably better handling.

    Please let me know some to look into. Thanks...
  2. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 15, 1999
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    The Tire Rack

    I can't recommend a specific tire for you, but if you want better performance, buy new 16" or 17" wheels, with a bit wider, lower-profile 'summer' tires. The lower profile tires may give up a bit in terms of ride comfort, but they will greatly improve handling.

    Keep the 15" wheels with your all-seasons for winter. When the all-seasons wear out, buy dedicated winter tires. With two sets of wheels, change-out every winter and spring is as simple as changing all four tires.

    All-season tires are nice for convenience, as you can use them year-round. But in order to be used year-round, a lot of compromises must be made in their design, so they don't do anything particularly well.

    Aside from the cost of new wheels, keeping two sets of wheels/tires is no more expensive than having one set. Since you're only using each set for half the year, they last twice as long.
  3. Andrej Dolenc

    Andrej Dolenc Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 22, 1998
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    Leo's suggestion is a good one. You have to make some tradeoffs for high performance rubber. First is tire wear, the second is winter performance. I drive a '97 M3 and have 2 sets of wheels & tires - high performance Z rated tires for the summertime, winter tires for the winter. Tires made for super grip just aren't designed to do well in the wintertime, it can be downright dangerous to drive them when it's snowy.

    That being said, tire technology has advanced tremendously. Today's high performance tires just about equal race tires from not too long ago.

    Definitely consider bumping up to 16" or 17" tires, the difference is noticeable.

    As far as tire recommendations, comes down to how much you're willing to spend. Michelin Pilot Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-03 tires are both known to be fantastic gripping tires, but they're not cheap. I personally run Toyo tires (Toyo Proxes T1-S). Just about the same amount of grip, and less expensive. You gotta find a tire shop that carries them though. Look around at to find a dealer.

    Tire rack is a very cool store, if you get wheels & tires from them they'll arrive mounted, balanced, ready to mount on your car and roll. Lots of info there too, dig around there for lots of advice and tire reviews.


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