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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Downgrading from 19" wheels - Performance loss/gains?



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      07-07-2021, 11:41 PM   #1
CRUSHER_MKVIII
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Downgrading from 19" wheels - Performance loss/gains?

Im currently running VMR V801's in 19x8.5 +35 and 19x9.5 +35 with 255/35/19 and 275/35/19 (This is what the previous owner was running so I kept it on, yes understand the M3 fitment is messing with my gearing and probably sapping my acceleration and fuel economy).

Im looking for max performance out of my e90 325i RWD sedan w/ n52b25 pre lci, specifically more acceleration and sharper cornering.

- What would be the best route?
- Should I downgrade to 18 or 17 inch wheels?
- Should I go for a 225 or a 255 square setup?
- Will increasing the sidewall height reduce that sharper cornering that Im
looking for?
- Should I just change the tyres to 235/35/19 + 265/30/19?
- Does my 325i need more than a 225 square?
- Will a 225 square feel more nimble/sharper than a 255 square?

Thanks for putting up with this, Im grateful for any answers.
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      07-08-2021, 07:35 AM   #2
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A lot of it depends on what tires you get. I run 17" OEM style 285s on my 328i with a square setup (225/45R17) on summer tires and I feel it is the perfect combo for ride, handling, and acceleration. I drive my car hard on the twisty backroads that also have some pretty shitty pavement in spots, and it grips well, even on Tail of the Dragon in light rain. My previous tires were Continental Extreme Sports, and currently have Michelin Pilot Sport AS4's. Both work very well. The downside in my opinion to the larger wheels is the car rides like garbage, the wheels are heavier making for more weight on each corner, and the tires having a smaller sidewall are more susceptible to damage.
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      07-08-2021, 08:11 AM   #3
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I think the 19" wheels perform and are great looking on a 335 or M3 but are boat anchors on other models. When I owned an E46 325Cic, it came with 17" Style 44's then I bought 18" Style 197's and it felt more planted but a little heavier. I currently have 18" Style 189's on my 335 and am thinking about a set of 19" but running a 30 profile tire on local roads may be a risky move. Perhaps you might think about a square 235/35/18 setup, you can always add a small spacer in the rear to bring the wheel more flush. The benefit to square is the ability to rotate tires on all four corners.
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      07-08-2021, 11:52 AM   #4
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I would definitely go wider to help with front end grip/feel (also front swaybar) and since youre looking for handling, go 255/35/18 square. 255/40/17 would give you cheaper tire cost, little lower weight, better ride but also more sidewall flex.
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      07-08-2021, 01:04 PM   #5
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I am running 245/40-17s square (previously 245/45s, but the Michelin Pilot Sport AS4s weren't available in 245/45 - 245/40 is closer to stock anyway) on Style 157s to replace the original 230s on my car, I really feel there are no downsides other than losing 10mm width on the rear. If you were willing to pay for aftermarket wheels and either run a staggered setup or run camber on the front, you could run 255s and in that case I would say that there is really no downside. Some would say that you'll lose some crispness on turn in but unless you're driving exclusively on Autobahn quality roads and racetracks, the 19s just are not practical for everyday driving. I don't miss mine at all, and the 17s are noticeably lighter.

Do be careful though - I'm missing a chunk out of my RF fender after blasting a pothole that was hidden by rain while going around a corner. I can't say that that is due to running 245s in the front as opposed to the stock 225s. I can say that checking your bump stops and replacing them if they are falling apart is critical - my bump stops went completely before my struts did, although the RF strut was pretty blown (possibly due to the same incident that damaged my fender? I can't say which came first, chicken or egg, but I can tell you that my ride was pretty bone jarring before I fixed everything. Apparently these cars actually ride on the bump stops at rest and they contribute to the spring rate.)
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      07-26-2021, 06:44 PM   #6
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If you're looking for performance, those heavy aftermarket wheels + those massive tires are literally making you slower in every scenario. Stick with M-Sport specs and you'll be fine. Your 325i honestly doesn't need more tire than what the non M-Sport offers. Wider tires are only really beneficial in performance when you are having traction issues. For acceleration? You will be fine with anything from a 225mm-255mm setup.
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      07-26-2021, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- What would be the best route?
M-Sport specs. 18x8 and 18x8.5 225/40/18, 255/25/18.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- Should I downgrade to 18 or 17 inch wheels?
18" is the sweet spot. 17" if you find a set of wheels you really love, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- Should I go for a 225 or a 255 square setup?
I prefer the staggered M-Sport setup. Largest benefit from running a squared setup is prolonging the life of the tires, being able to rotate them with ease and frequency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- Will increasing the sidewall height reduce that sharper cornering that Im
looking for?
Not necessarily, depends on tire pressures you are running etc, you should just stay with stock sidewall ratio specs, relative to whatever width you run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- Does my 325i need more than a 225 square?
Not really. Larger tires are only beneficial if you are frequently running into traction issues during acceleration or cornering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
- Will a 225 square feel more nimble/sharper than a 255 square?
Yes. Narrower tires will result is a dartier, sharper 'feel'. However like I previously said, you should probably just go with the E90 M-Sport specs. 225 in the front and 255 in the rear.
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      09-17-2021, 02:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzer View Post
M-Sport specs. 18x8 and 18x8.5 225/40/18, 255/25/18.


18" is the sweet spot. 17" if you find a set of wheels you really love, I guess.


I prefer the staggered M-Sport setup. Largest benefit from running a squared setup is prolonging the life of the tires, being able to rotate them with ease and frequency.


Not necessarily, depends on tire pressures you are running etc, you should just stay with stock sidewall ratio specs, relative to whatever width you run.


Not really. Larger tires are only beneficial if you are frequently running into traction issues during acceleration or cornering.


Yes. Narrower tires will result is a dartier, sharper 'feel'. However like I previously said, you should probably just go with the E90 M-Sport specs. 225 in the front and 255 in the rear.
I've got the stock 193m 18" wheels but for some reason the last owner had 3 front wheels and 1 single rear wheel (Having a hard time looking for someone to swap the extra front for a rear).

I can find plenty of e90 wreckings with 194m 17" wheels but none that are willing to sell a single rear 193m.

Would I be doing myself a disservice by going for a set of 194m 17" wheels? I heard they're exceptionally heavy when compared to the 193m.

Also I was just thinking if it would be worth it to purchase some lightweight 16x7 then run 205/55/16 as 16" should clear the 325i brakes.

Or were 16 inch rims only aimed towards winter tyres + 4 cylinder e90's?

Sorry about all these questions again.
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      09-17-2021, 11:20 AM   #9
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http://www.bmwstylewheels.com/3

Style 194 is about a kilo lighter per corner compared to 193. Not surprising as it's the lesser diameter. If you like the design, seems fine.

Going from 19" to 16" would certainly be noticeable. I for one would never run 205/55/16 under any conditions, the ride is just way too squishy.
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      09-18-2021, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUSHER_MKVIII View Post
I've got the stock 193m 18" wheels but for some reason the last owner had 3 front wheels and 1 single rear wheel (Having a hard time looking for someone to swap the extra front for a rear).

I can find plenty of e90 wreckings with 194m 17" wheels but none that are willing to sell a single rear 193m.

Would I be doing myself a disservice by going for a set of 194m 17" wheels? I heard they're exceptionally heavy when compared to the 193m.

Also I was just thinking if it would be worth it to purchase some lightweight 16x7 then run 205/55/16 as 16" should clear the 325i brakes.

Or were 16 inch rims only aimed towards winter tyres + 4 cylinder e90's?

Sorry about all these questions again.
Sounds like the previous owner cracked one of the rears and just replaced it with either a front they purchased or a full size spare they had. That is weird, but not necessarily uncommon with negligent car owners.

Just depends what you want/easiest for you. If you really can't find an affordable single rear, just get another front and run a squared setup. 17" wheels are the lowest I would go if you're looking for any kind of performance. If you're just looking for a cushy daily w/ cheap tires the 16"s would be fine. Seems more trouble than it's worth unless you really want to change your wheels. If I were in your position I would just find a 4th front and run a squared setup.
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      09-20-2021, 12:53 AM   #11
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I started on OEM 21's, (I forget the initial tire it came with) and the ride felt rough but I just chalked that up to being a P85+. I burned through a set of tires in about 7k miles, but I was driving aggressively at first, and also my alignment was slightly off making things worse. I swapped to 19" slipstreams with snow tires in Dec and was floored at how smooth and soft the ride was. It felt soooo much better. I've put about 7k miles on those, and they are holding up exceptionally well. I'm also driving a little less aggressive though.

Swapping back to 21"s next week (New Arachnids!) and while I'm happy to get the 21 look back, I'm not looking forward to the rough ride.
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      09-27-2021, 01:42 PM   #12
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My recommendation is:

245/40ZR-17 tires - square
Apex 17x8.5" ET40 Hyper Black APEX ARC-8 BMW - light wheels that look great
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      09-30-2021, 07:57 AM   #13
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OZ UltraLeggera 8x18 et34 with 235/40 all four is a very well balanced ride in my opinion - it handles well (as it is really light), car look fine, you may still drift easily around corners (which is not so easy on 275 and larger setups)...
only downside is the lower traction when you floor it from the standstill (again, it depends to what we compare it to).
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