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I'm asking this in general terms. Vehicles in the past seemed to have small wheels and a lot more tire. That's essentially what I'm going for with my Renegade. I'm assuming more tire = better ride quality. Plus I like the black look of the 16's.

My first car, a 1989 Mustang, had 13" wheels. A 1980 CJ had 15's. Even a 1974 Corvette Stingray only had 15" wheels. It would have been unthinkable to put 18 inch wheels on an old school muscle car. Now it's almost subpar to be under 17 or 18 inches.
 

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Bigger wheels = bigger brakes = better stopping power. I came from low profile 18" wheels on my old car to 16" wheels with fat tires on the Renegade. Ride quality is definately better. I don't feel every bump in the road now. Less steering feel though. It's all about trade offs. The Renegade is my DD not my track car.
 

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It's about aesthetics also. Nowadays, most larger wheels just look better, until you get to twenties IMHO.

The Renegades do have really good brakes. For giggles I went down my long steep road with the tranny in neutral and engine off. While steering required much more effort, brakes weren't that different.
 

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I'm asking this in general terms. Vehicles in the past seemed to have small wheels and a lot more tire. That's essentially what I'm going for with my Renegade. I'm assuming more tire = better ride quality. Plus I like the black look of the 16's.

My first car, a 1989 Mustang, had 13" wheels. A 1980 CJ had 15's. Even a 1974 Corvette Stingray only had 15" wheels. It would have been unthinkable to put 18 inch wheels on an old school muscle car. Now it's almost subpar to be under 17 or 18 inches.
Bigger wheels = bigger brakes = better stopping power. I came from low profile 18" wheels on my old car to 16" wheels with fat tires on the Renegade. Ride quality is definately better. I don't feel every bump in the road now. Less steering feel though. It's all about trade offs. The Renegade is my DD not my track car.
It's about aesthetics also. Nowadays, most larger wheels just look better, until you get to twenties IMHO.

The Renegades do have really good brakes. For giggles I went down my long steep road with the tranny in neutral and engine off. While steering required much more effort, brakes weren't that different.
Any manufacturer that makes anything will follow design trends and the trend in the auto world has changed to larger wheels and thinner tires. When it comes to ride quality, fat sidewalls don't really have a huge impact on how your car rides (I test-drove a 2012 toyota rav-4 with fate sidewall tires and it was one of the bounciest cars I have ever driven). Technology of suspension systems and tires have improved since the 80's - which means if they want to, auto makers can give you a smooth ride with bigger wheels and thinner tires. Big wheels in the past were also heavy, but now wheel companies have found ways to make large wheels just as light as a 15" wheel that was made in the 70's or 80's, and having a thinner, stiffer sidewall tires also gives you better turn-in response for crisper handling.
 

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Larger brake rotors = better heat dissipation = better braking. Also, lower profile tires mean less lateral deflection = better steering response and handling. There's also technology. Available technology and understanding in metallurgy meant back in the 80s it wasn't cost effective to produce large wheels that were durable enough without cutting into profit margins. If market conditions and manufacturing capability allowed it, they would have. Back then cast aluminum wheels were a premium and were often called "Mags" in reference to the magnesium alloy they were made from.
 

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All makes sense. Until you look at a formula one wheel.>:D
I think the F1 wheels are only 13" but I did hear that there is talk of going up to 18" rims. Whether or not this will happen, I dunno. It depends on what the F1 tyre manufacturer(s) now or in future decide. Although I can see them consulting the F1 teams.
 

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All makes sense. Until you look at a formula one wheel.>:D
F1 wheels are small because the series adhere to strict FIA rules. Also they use carbon composite rotors and pads where rapid heat dissipation is possible with a smaller surface area. They also take advantage of aerodynamics to direct air to the brakes to cool them. Most of the specifics are closely guarded secret as each team does it their own way. As advanced as they are, failure can still occur... and do.

Their brakes also don't need to last 60k miles like those on a passenger car. They only need to be durable enough to last one race. Everything on a F1 car is refined down to the milligram. Every little bit above the regulated minimal weight (by the rules) is unwanted weight.

http://blackflag.jalopnik.com/this-...-how-formula-one-brakes-are-tested-1736763946

http://www.f1technical.net/articles/2
 

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F1 wheels are small because the series adhere to strict FIA rules. Also they use carbon composite rotors and pads where rapid heat dissipation is possible with a smaller surface area. They also take advantage of aerodynamics to direct air to the brakes to cool them. Most of the specifics are closely guarded secret as each team does it their own way. As advanced as they are, failure can still occur... and do.
But they do handle very well with their high tyre walls.;)
 

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But they do handle very well with their high tyre walls.;)
But F1 tyrewalls don't seem to flex like the road tyres do. Which is down to their construction and they don't have to last long, unlike a road tyre. Can you imagine the uproar if a road tyre only lasts for a few miles instead of a few thousand? Different technology.
 
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Most of the why has been covered. But the current materials also means that, usually, for a given diameter, bigger wheels an thinner tires equals less weight. Les unsparing weight means that it is possible to take weight out elsewhere since that greater mass isn't needed to support knock on effects of a heavier wheel and tire combo.

Less weight is more fuel efficient.
 

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Just saying profile is not the be all and end all of handling. Many other factors.
No one ever said that. But since the topic is specifically on wheels, that's what the discussion has been focused on. And, it's silly to bring in F1 since the reasons F1 cars work the way they do don't apply to street cars. F1 tires don't look the way they do because they give great handling. They are what they are because of the rules for the series and the compounds and construction they use.

Whatever tire or compound, they all have their limits. You certainly wouldn't drive a vehicle equipped eco tires that are designed specifically for best fuel economy (hard compound, low rolling resistance) as you would the same vehicle with R compound. A F1 car can still be driven if it had street tires, as long as it is driven accordingly. Similarly, a Renegade TH will need to be driven differently on the road with MTs or HTs.
 

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No one ever said that. But since the topic is specifically on wheels, that's what the discussion has been focused on. And, it's silly to bring in F1 since the reasons F1 cars work the way they do don't apply to street cars. F1 tires don't look the way they do because they give great handling. They are what they are because of the rules for the series and the compounds and construction they use.

Whatever tire or compound, they all have their limits. You certainly wouldn't drive a vehicle equipped eco tires that are designed specifically for best fuel economy (hard compound, low rolling resistance) as you would the same vehicle with R compound. A F1 car can still be driven if it had street tires, as long as it is driven accordingly. Similarly, a Renegade TH will need to be driven differently on the road with MTs or HTs.
Yes that is an opinion
 

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Smaller wheels and taller tires actually weigh less than wide wheels and low profile tires. Aluminum is light but rubber is lighter. Many of the people I track with switch out their 20" rims and street tires for the smallest rim they can get over the brakes and track tires when they arrive at an event for this very reason. They also remove the slotted and drilled rotors the high end cars come with and use solid blanks at the track but that's a discussion for another day.

Honestly I think the reason for larger rims is that most current designers grew up playing with Tonka trucks and Hotwheels.

-Jason
 
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