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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of buying new tires for my '97 GSR. Before I do though I was wondering if I should get some 205/50/15 size tires instead of the stock size. Is the only real difference the width of the tires? Will this affect my grip at all? I was thinking of getting some Bridgestone
Potenza S-03 Pole Positions or some Dunlop
SP Sport 9000's. Which would you all suggest? I want a tire that has excellent dry performance, but I also require one that has decent wet performance (We get a lot of rain). I will never encounter snow (I live in South Texas) so that is of no concern. I also want some tires that have decent tread life, I don't want to drop $100+ a tire again very soon. What tires should I get? Thanks for the input!
 

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I'm fairly sure that you will get a little better handling with wider tires. As far as which tires I suggest...I would check out tirerack.com and read the surveys and reviews. I have Dunlop sport 5000s on mine, I love them. I'd recommend dunlops, they seem to have good have all-season performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does anyone else here have any experience with the Potenza S-03 Pole Positions or some Dunlop
SP Sport 9000's? If so, post it so I can try and make my decision.
 

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from what i heard from surferX, if you use 205/50/15 with stock rims that are 6" wide, your handling actually worsens. (it gets "wobbly.")
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does anyone know how much tread life I will get from some Potenza S-03's?
 

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If you're gonna stick with the same size rim do not get a wider tire with a lower sidewall ratio. That's a recipe for trouble. Alignment problems and wobble to name a few. Surfer X is correct. To switch to 205 you need to get a wider rim and dropping for 55 aspect ratio to a 50 ratio means more fender gap. Two suggestions: Either go with a 205/45 16 tire/rim combo or 205/55/15 tire/rim combo if you want to maintain OEM size rim (diameter). Either way you will have to get a wider rim to avoid handling and ride problems.
 

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I have Dunlop SP5000's in the form of 205/50/15 on my stock wheels and I have no handling problems.

With that said, you don't gain anything from getting a wider tire than the stock size...the reason people go with the 205/50/15's is because there is a better selection of tires to choose from as compared to the stock size of 195/55/15. And the reason you don't gain anything from going to 205 from 195 is that the contact patch doesn't increase...I don't know all the technical specifics of that, maybe someone else can clarify. You can check this link as an example of how rim size and tire width determine the size of the contact patch, http://www.dunloptire.com/products/tire.html?tire=sp_sport_5000. (And taking another look at the link, the Nissan Maxima is listed as having a 205 tire stock on a 6" rim, which is the same rim size as the integra.)

The only downside of getting the wider tire on the stock wheels is that the steering response is slightly diminished, but not enough to make a huge difference, atleast to me...I barely noticed any change.
 

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205/45/16 would be closer to the stock overall diameter than 205/50/15. but 205/55/15 is actually a lot bigger than stock and will throw off your speedo a little bit more than 205/50/15.

195/55/15 860.2 (rev/mi) 60 mph
205/50/15 874.1 (rev/mi) 59 mph
205/55/15 844.6 (rev/mi) 61.1 mph

going from 55 aspect ratio to 50 is not that big a deal since you're going from 195 series to 205.

195 x .55 = 107.25 mm sidewall
205 x .50 = 102.50 mm sidewall (-4.43% difference)
205 x .55 = 112.75 mm sidewall (+5.13% difference)

if you stayed with 195s,

195 x .50 = 97.50 mm sidewall (-9.09% difference)

tiresizes

what i was trying to say is that, since the tire is going to be 10mm wider going from 195 to 205mm, you need to get wider rims to cater to the wider tires. if you're planning on keeping your 15" x 6" stock rims, you should really stick with 195/55/15 tires to get the most out of your tires.
 

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fubar - the contact patch DOES increase by 10mm... there's your technical specifics and clarification.
the diminished steering response is probably due to putting on the wider tires on the same 6" rims...

you'll also notice that the tires that go on the 6" rims have more sidewall to somewhat lessen the effect. (i see aspect ratios 60 and 65 with 205 series tires on the webpage of which you provided a link to) i imagine with lower aspect ratios such as 50 or 55 that integras require, the handling problems and wobbles are worse.

i must agree that there is a bigger selection of 205/50/15s than 195/55/15s... why honda picked that size for stock tires, only those japanese engineers would know. maybe 195/55/15s are more readily available in japan. who knows?
 

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dragontegz on Jul/29/02 said:
you'll also notice that the tires that go on the 6" rims have more sidewall to somewhat lessen the effect. (i see aspect ratios 60 and 65 with 205 series tires on the webpage of which you provided a link to) i imagine with lower aspect ratios such as 50 or 55 that integras require, the handling problems and wobbles are worse.
Hmm, just out of curiosity, wouldn't having a lower sidewall lessen the amount of "flex" when cornering?

When the other posters mentioned wobbling, I'm not sure what they mean. I don't have any problems with my alignment.

There is a slight sidewall bulge with the 205/50/15...but I haven't noticed any negative side effects yet for over the year that I have them...but then again, my car is just a daily driver that only sees some spirited runs on a back road every now and then, so other peoples experiences may differ.

However, it has been my experience that most people who buy tires for their stock wheels, go with the 205/50/15 size...so to the original poster of this thread, I would say go ahead and get them.
 

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having a lower sidewall would lessen the amount of flex when cornering GIVEN that the tires are sized correctly for the rims.

take a trapezoid. with the base and the top staying the same length (205mm and 6" in this case), the angle of the sidewalls would be sharper with lower aspect ratio. if the trapezoid was taller, higher aspect ratio, the angle of the sidewalls measured from the base wouldn't have to be as sharp as it would when the aspect ratio is smaller.

crude illustration:

/___\ vs. /\
|__|

(you get what i'm trying to say.)

you keep saying that you haven't noticed any negative side effects from using 205/50/15s but you also said that you lost some responsiveness in your handling. that to me is a contradiction.

i already stated that more people end up buying 205/50/15s instead of the stock size due to the bigger selection of 205/50/15s. only because more people do it, it doesn't make it right. you shouldn't really recommend people to do the same when it is in fact a bad thing to do. only because everyone does it, it's not exactly the smartest thing to do. as tommy lee jones said in MIB, everyone KNEW the earth was flat and everyone KNEW the earth was the center of the universe. but now we know better, don't we?

don't go with 205/50/15s unless you can't find a new set of tires that you're going to be happy with in the stock size. that's my advice to you and i'm sticking to it.
 

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I have 205-50-15's on my teg and they are fine. I see what you are saying by that trapezoid thing but keep in mind that we are talking about 5mm on either side here not a huge bubble.

I have potenza 730's they are quite loud but bridgestone released new ones, like a spec 2 or something, to try and fix that. My current tires have about 15k miles on them and I will probably need new ones in 5k or so. I can take on ramps and off ramps at at least twice the speed indicated and autocross regularly. My car handles better then anything I have ever driven. No alignment issues, no problems, nothing, everything fine (except for the noise)

When it gets down to it we are talking about 1cm wider and just a touch shorter. I think that the differences that you will see can easily be made up by the fact that there are so many more tires available in the 205-50-15 range. Potenze S03's are from everything that I have read abolutley sick tires. They dont come in a 195 size.

97 gsr
 

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powerbarRacing on Jul/29/02 said:
I have 205-50-15's on my teg and they are fine. I see what you are saying by that trapezoid thing but keep in mind that we are talking about 5mm on either side here not a huge bubble.

I have potenza 730's they are quite loud but bridgestone released new ones, like a spec 2 or something, to try and fix that. My current tires have about 15k miles on them and I will probably need new ones in 5k or so. I can take on ramps and off ramps at at least twice the speed indicated and autocross regularly. My car handles better then anything I have ever driven. No alignment issues, no problems, nothing, everything fine (except for the noise)

When it gets down to it we are talking about 1cm wider and just a touch shorter. I think that the differences that you will see can easily be made up by the fact that there are so many more tires available in the 205-50-15 range. Potenze S03's are from everything that I have read abolutley sick tires. They dont come in a 195 size.

97 gsr
i totally hear ya. that's why i said don't go with 205s unless you can't find tires in 195 that you're going to be happy with. the selection with 195s sucks big time.
 

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Yo Stuff -

Try to talk to Surfer X. I believe he may have some experience with the Potenza S03's. I chatted with him a while back and if I remember correctly, he thought that the S03's were pretty good tires. I think he recommended the 195/55/15 over the 205/50/15 (check with him to be sure).

Oh, oh!!! I just checked Tirerack ... they have the 195/50/15 on sale right now for $86. I don't know if we can run those on our GSR's. They don't seem to offer a 195/55/15.

Does anyone know if the 195/50/15 would be ok???

Anyway, listen Stuff, if you can lay down the cash for the Poteza S03 Pole Postions, I would. In fact, if someone replies that those 195/50/15's will work, I'll probably order a pair at that price!
 

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Probably....but it will throw your speedometer and odometer off a bit and ride may suffer a little. Search on SurferX's old thread.
 

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Tire rack wont sell those to you if you say that you have an integra because the load rating on those is lower than it is for the stock tires that were on the car. Still safe just lower

97 gsr
 

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dragontegz on Jul/29/02 said:
you keep saying that you haven't noticed any negative side effects from using 205/50/15s but you also said that you lost some responsiveness in your handling. that to me is a contradiction.
Yeah, I guess I wasn't clear. But like I said, I barely noticed any difference in steering response if anything, and that in itself will depend upon a persons suspension setup...because, in the end...my car handles better now than it did with the stock michelins. And the 205/50/15's haven't given me any alignment issues, any wobbling, or any uneven wear...

I'm not doubting what you're saying, but before I bought these tires, I researched quite a bit, and this is the first time I've heard someone saying NOT to get the 205/50/15 tire size on the stock wheels.
 

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Misconceptions about 195 vs. 205

1. The 205's are wider and give you a bigger contact patch.

Contact patch area is determined by tire pressure, not tire size. If you have a tire that is wider that just means the contact patch will be shorter in length. This is why a common trick for people with street tires at the drag strip is to lower tire pressure, as it enlarges the contact patch.

2. 205's give you better handling because they are wider

If you put 205's on a 7" wheel, they perform wonderfully. However on the stock 6" wheel, the tread ends up being much wider than the wheel. The wheel is more able to float during a corner to the outside where it will finally meet the sidewall. If you drive your car at auto-x or track you will notice this but on the street you probably won't.

3. 205/55 is the correct size to get upgrading from 195/55 as the sidewall is the same

I don't really think I should have to include this one but I saw it posted on this thread. Sidewall number is a percentage of the tread width, not a specific measurement. Our tire sizing article should clear that up though.
 

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And as for me, I am running 205/50 right now because like said earlier there is almost zero tire selection in 195/55. If 195/55 Bridgestone Potenza S-03 or Falken Azenis existed I would have gladly bought either of them instead of my 205/50 Potenza RE730. It should be noted that the 205 series S-03 is much wider than a regular 205 series tire for whatever reason. Some tire places are not even able to mount that tire onto the stock wheel.
 

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i use the Falken Azenis Sport 205/50/15's and i have had no problems. but being a street/strip tire they are pretty soft and tread doesn't last that long, but they only cost around $70. It's a great tire for the money.
 
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