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Thread: Dem Ree-uhms

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Dem Ree-uhms

    In the '80s, it was tinny electronic recordings advising you that "the door is ajar."

    In the '90s, it was auto-strangulating seatbelts that assaulted you as soon as you closed the door.

    But is anything more cement-headed than the current obsession with overlarge wheels - "rims" (ree-uhms, if pronounced in High Ebonics)?

    The sight of something along the lines of a clapped-out '78 Caprice Classic worth maybe $1,200 sporting $3,000 worth of tackier-than-New-Jersey-Hausefrau Cameltoe is a spectacle unique to our era. Even more startling is that the exact same look is emulated by the designers of $60,000 SUVs, which is the surest evidence there is that the ghetto has moved to the 'burbs.

    Where did it all begin?

    Performance cars and (to a lesser extent) off-road trucks used to be the only vehicles that had wheels/tires larger than about 15x7 or so. It made sense, too - because performance cars handle better when the contact patch is bigger (hence, a wider wheel/tire) and there's less flex in the sidewall - hence taller/larger diameter wheels, with shorter, stiffer sidewall tires.

    Trucks and 4WD SUVs usually have M/S-rated tires with big sidewalls for the opposite reason; some flex is good when you want max grip in low-traction situations off-road.

    Then things went wacky.

    At first, it was mere copycatting. Standard cars were made to appear sportier-lookin by outfitting them with larger/wider/taller wheels. But it soon got completely out of hand - to such an extent that today, almost any minivan or "crossover" wagon can be ordered from the factory with 19, even 20-inch wheels, each of them costing probably $500 per and doing nothing functionally useful while doing a great deal to screw up the ride quality, overwork the brakes, increase rolling resistance, steering effort and make the family truckster much more expensive to buy/operate than it needs to be.

    It's as demented - and pointless - as everyone walking around with ever-larger bulging codpieces. Looks at me! Mine's bigger! I must bees impo'tant!

    Gnomesayin?

    It's like crows fighting over a piece of tinfoil to line their nest with - or a chimp dazzled by a shiny key dangled in front of its eyes.

    Every time I see a PT Cruiser (usually also outfitted with fake chrome portholes) or Escalade riding along on its "twennies," a Vesuvius of bile starts to churn in my guts. It's like seeing an old lady in a bikini - or a fat girl in hip-huggers. It just doesn't work - and the whole thing, besides, is about as original as barbed wire arm tattooes.

    Gee, you're a real original.

    I keep hoping it all go away - like Disco and bell bottom corduroys.

    But rap culcha - which gave us the obsession with ree-uhms - shows no sign of losing steam, even after 20 years of defiling America more thoroughly than a TSA goon fondling your 14-year-old daughter.

    Remember how we all thought when the world falls apart, the aftermath will look like "The Road Warrior" - with guys in football pads driving around in V-8 interceptors searching for gazzuline?

    Well, it looks like it'll be a pimped-out Caddy with a gold-toofed thug sporting his ree-uhms looking for a blunt instead.

    Twenty-something years ago, who'da thunk it?

    Not me, for sure.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Where did it all begin?

    Larger wheels (and tires) make sense in exactly two applications: performance cars and (to a lesser extent) off-road trucks. These used to be the only vehicles that had wheels significantly larger than about 15x7. It made sense, too - because performance cars handle better when the contact patch is bigger (hence, a wider wheel/tire) and there's less flex in the sidewall - hence taller/larger diameter wheels, with shorter, stiffer sidewall tires. (Trucks and 4WD SUVs usually have M/S tires with big sidewalls for the opposite reason; some flex is good when you want max grip in low-traction situations off-road.)
    In an average car, what benefit do larger tires have for:

    A) Ride (Is the ride smoother?/do you get more mpg?)

    B) engine rpms? (Does the engine rev slower if the tire is larger?)

    I am sure that larger tires with smaller sides cost more.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony

    'Many are my names in many countries,' he said. 'Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Drarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incánus, in the North Gandalf; to the East I go not.' Faramir

    What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation? Cicero (106BC-43BC)

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  3. #3
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    In an average car, what benefit do larger tires have for:

    A) Ride (Is the ride smoother?/do you get more mpg?)

    B) engine rpms? (Does the engine rev slower if the tire is larger?)

    I am sure that larger tires with smaller sides cost more.

    A) Low profile tires usually accompany gangster sized rims and when they nail a pot hole you will know. Your wallet won't let you forget. I'm sure there is a sweet spot that takes it all into account for mpg/power/comfort (that's for the testers and engineers to decide though).

    B) A larger rim/tire package will lower your rpms, but it might also mess your stock gearing up, in some cases, to the point where the engine is working harder than intended and you end up burning more gas. I know the first thing that usually happens for big-rim-mobiles is the brakes need to be upgraded because the leverage is all screwed up. The stock brake setup can't slow the bigger diameter rims as effectively. I would guess the speedometer would need to be re-calibrated too.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    The only reason I can see for larger rims is to clear larger brakes. I see cars with skinny tires on huge rims and you can see the driver bouncing inside over every bump. I personally want some meat on my tires. I don't live in L.A., never even been to California anyway. Around here, you want something to absorb the shocks from the potholes.

    Blame Chip Foose and a lot of the custom car shows. Give me steel rims, painted black of course with chrome lug nuts for contrast, meaty tires with no less than a 70% side profile and a good agressive tread with spaces between the tread blocks and I can handle anything except black ice.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

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  5. #5
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Yes, those big rims and low profile tires make a vehicle feel darty even on the highway over small bumps.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    IMHO they look fine on the right vehicle ......I said look..... but what I don't understand is why anyone would want them on their every day ride.

    Here in OZ they must shake the stuffing out of car and driver. As for 4WD vehicles ... guess they don't go off road
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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