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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Wheels / Tires / Suspension / Brakes Thinking of DOWN-sizing from 19" to 18"... is that just dumb?
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      11-24-2012, 03:12 AM   #1
rjm98119
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Thinking of DOWN-sizing from 19" to 18"... is that just dumb?

Been trolling your board for a while, figured maybe get an opinion on this from folks around here .

I'm in 2013 535 xDrive M-Sport for a couple of weeks now. Coming from my 2010 535i xDrive (and before it from a 2008 335), even after growing more used to it, this car stills feels a bit... heavy and a tad lumbering.

Thinking to perk it up (having gone from rft to non- in my older 335 with positive results), not only do I want to go non-RFT, I also looked at http://felgenkatalog.auto-treff.com, and, according to it, my stock 351 rims weigh about 32 lbs. (14.53kg).

If that's true, There are a bunch of quality 18 and 19 rims out there which would easily shave 7-10+ lbs off each corner. However, trying to balance the budget, it's quite a bit cheaper to go 18's b/c the tires cost less (and less prone to damage) which makes me lean towards an 18.

I don't push any hard limits with this car, nor my E60 before it. I just want it to feel more crisp and, dare I say, "sprightly". It'll never be a 335, but I test drove several 2013 Audi A6's and they have us beat in that dept as far as stock setups go, but we can't have that, and surely there's some modest cost tweaks to iron this out (hell, the 535 x is only like 100 lbs heavier than the A6, isn't it?).


I know the prevailing trend is to go up in rim size, but all factors considered, does this seem like a "reasonable" approach to get what I want, or am I thinking about this the wrong way? Does anybody with experience think it'll make any real difference?

Also, has anyone noticed any adverse performance/ride-quality issues going with significantly lighter wheel/tire setup on these cars?

Sorry for the novella and thanks in advance for any opinions...
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      11-24-2012, 10:17 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do it. If you look at the new 5 series, it is rather large (i.e., compared to previous models). I think going down in rim size may throw off the aesthetic balance of the car -- but that is just my personal opinion.
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      11-24-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonMsport View Post
I wouldn't do it. If you look at the new 5 series, it is rather large (i.e., compared to previous models). I think going down in rim size may throw off the aesthetic balance of the car -- but that is just my personal opinion.
I hear you, and I'm sure I'm in the minority on this (given the general push for 19", 20", etc.), but I've seen quite a few base (non M-Sport) F10 535s and F10 528 with the factory 18" upgrade and I'm generally fine with it (I much prefer the 18" 350 vs. the 18" 237, though).

Anyway, I think my biggest concern is the balance of weight and cost with the notion that this would hopefully "feel" better. 19"+ wheels tend to be heavier for same cost range, and the 245/40/19 tires are often significantly more expensive (avg of like $30/ea, if I recall) and more prone to damage. This latter bit is big trouble for me since I'm in Seattle, head into the mountains in winter oocasionally (not enough to warrant dedicated winters though), and our roads SUUUUuuuck. Potholes and cracked pavement everywhere, craggy concrete, swollen expansion joints, you name it.

Budget and feel are key for me, and I'm willing to trade a little aesthetic brilliance for it. The 18 seemed an ok compromise but I'm wondering if I'm missing some important factor like, I dunno, if lightweight 18"s feel like s__t on these cars for some reason or something like that...
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      11-24-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonMsport
I wouldn't do it. If you look at the new 5 series, it is rather large (i.e., compared to previous models). I think going down in rim size may throw off the aesthetic balance of the car -- but that is just my personal opinion.
I agree I just put my winter set up on and although the wheels are nice, they are definitely too small for the car. I see a few base 528i's on the road and they have 17" or 18" and it just doesn't look right.
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      11-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the opinions so far but, aesthetics aside, does anyone think there are negative performance implications to doing something like this (especially considering that my driving style, at best, is "spirited" but rarely anywhere near any real boundaries)?

I mean, when I drove 2 F30 335's back to back, one with 19's and the other with 18's, the one with 19's had a ton more road noise, grind, and tramlined like mad on these sh_tty concrete roads, but at the same time didn't feel all that much more stable or agile (considering my driving style). Same with the older e90 I had.

Based on that experience it seems there's only an aesthetic downside (in some folks opinions)... but these F10's and even the E60 are completely different beasts in terms of ride/handling, so I wonder if 18's would make this car feel squirrely. I did test drive a 535 without the M Sport package on 18's, but I was so distracted by that god-awful standard steering wheel (no offense to those who have it... I just didn't like it at all), I couldn't concentrate on anything else...
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      11-25-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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I guess if you put it that way then no, probably no performance implications. I'd have more concerns going from standard/OEM wheel size applications to say 22s -- which some have done.
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      11-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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I run the UK 535i M-sport wagon on the standard fit 18" (Styling 350) wheel set. I've driven a 535i sedan on 19" and find the 18" more refined.

My 535i is optioned with Adaptive Drive, (DDC & ARS), I've driven a 530d sedan with 19" and Adaptive Drive and still feel the 18" give the better ride and refinement. I sense a bit more agility on the smaller wheels, but that is a subjective issue anyway, as RFTs are not the best bed fellows with suspension purity. From my reading and discussions, AD was designed around the 18" wheels anyway, so likely to give optimum performance.

I will be going over to my 17" winter wheel set this week.

"Form over fashion" for me.

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      11-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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I should add to my earlier post that although I prefer the look of my 19" summer wheels, the drive using 18" Pirelli Sottozero's for winter, non run flat, is amazing. Smooth, quiet and forgiving on every bump.
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      11-26-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtoBMW View Post
I should add to my earlier post that although I prefer the look of my 19" summer wheels, the drive using 18" Pirelli Sottozero's for winter, non run flat, is amazing. Smooth, quiet and forgiving on every bump.
I think a good bit of the ride difference is run flat to non run flat.

I run non run flat summer tires on the 351 19 inch wheels and winter non run flat on 350 18 inch wheels.

The height of the 245/45 x 18 sidewall does seem more appropriate and robust on poor road surfaces.
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      11-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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I wouldn't doubt that the 2 factors conspire together to give the better ride. It's years since I ran dedicated winters (don't go up in the mountains as much, and it almost never snows in town), but when I did, I ran Blizzaks (non-rft) and those had a very heavy, grindy feel reminiscent of current all-season run flats (though they were a tad softer) which were on 18's with about the same profile as 19's on our F10's, which I imagine would have been damped by a higher sidewall. (Was on an Audi A6 years ago, pre 2008). Tires have improved a lot so my anecdotal evidence is suspect, but... what I'm really trying to say is it seems likely that wheel size a combination has something to do with it.

All this at least has inspired me to give this a shot .

Now if I could just decide on a wheel....

Last edited by rjm98119; 11-27-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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