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The forum has been an incredibly friendly place. Here are my questions to make sure I am following so far...

My TrailHawk came standard with a 22x tire? The 22x is the width in mm? If I want to put a wider tire on the same rim I need to use something called a spacer? This "pushes" the tire away from the body so it won't hit the springs? A wider tire gives more traction because of a larger contact patch?

I have aluminum rims (stock)? For winter tires steel rims are better? Steel rims are heavier... what makes them better? Does the stock tire on the TrailHawk work reversed (there are some treads that work best in a single direction, from what I understand). What's a "normal" price for a set of rims, when should my, "I'm being ripped off" detector fire up?

I'd LIKE to get a set of rims and put winter tires on them. Can someone show me what a "good" set of winter tires are versus a "WOW" set of winter tires?

I have tried to do some research, if you know of articles to read, I am happy to educate myself. I'm just trying to avoid the, "Canadian air in your tires" routine...

Thanks for anyone that takes time to help me understand this better. If it helps I live in Colorado, and I'm talking deep enough snow...
 

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Ill try to answer some of this.

As for the tire call out (215/60/16) the 215 is in mm.

here is some good info on what each thing is representing.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=46

As far as wider tires on the stock wheels you will have to dig around here to find what others are doing. Yes, it could start to interfere with the strut body if you are not careful. The use of a spacer to "offset" the wheel more would help clear larger tires.

Aluminum vs steel for winter: http://tires.about.com/od/understanding_wheels/a/Alloy-Vs-Steel-Wheels-Beauty-And-The-Beast.htm

Personally I have always have ran a steel wheel in the winter. Not really because of weight or strength but due to not wanting my good looking alloy wheels corroded from road salt. And it cheaper most the time.

I paid like 40$ each for steelies last time I bought a set.
Buy a second set of tpms sensors if you dont want a light on dash. Cheaper in the long run than having them swapped each season. I just have a light all winter...

As far as winter tire choices... You will get a lot of different reviews and opinions.

I have ran bridgestone blizzak, Hankook Icebear (now discon), General altimax arctic
In my opinion from what I have ran, the Altimax Arctic studded were the best thing I have ever ran in the winter.

If you ask the Subaru crowd where I spent most of my time, you would get the best tire ever created....blah blah if you want to be a true Subaru racer..blah blah you have to have Nokian Hakkapeliitta
 
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