PH Blog: right wheels, wrong wheels

OY61 EBM calmly awaits its fate
OY61 EBM calmly awaits its fate
You could call it a fit of vanity, or maybe more charitably a sensible reaction to the rather mild winter temperatures, but whatever the reason the PH Fleet Golf GTI Edition 35 now wears a set of summer rubber. And the 18-inch alloys that nature (all right, the VW design department) always intended for it.

Rusty-C gets stuck in to winter wheels
Rusty-C gets stuck in to winter wheels
Yes, we know that mid-January is a bit of a brave time to be dumping winter rubber in favour of tyres that serve their best in more clement weather, but there is method to our apparent madness.

Firstly, the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D rubber is designed to give its best on at or below the 7C mark, so when temperatures are skittering into double figures these tyres simply aren't the right choice. Secondly, if we played it safe and really waited until genuinely warm weather, we wouldn't be able to assess properly how much difference the winter rubber makes over 'normal' tyres in cold conditions.

Looking better already?
Looking better already?
Thirdly, there is the undeniable aspect of vanity. Plenty of PHers - and others - have commented in the two months we've had the car that, to put it bluntly, the wheels look a bit <expletive deleted>. So it's time for the Golf GTI Edition 35 to stop looking like a Polo Bluemotion - or a 1.6 S halfway through a Max Power makeover - and stand up for itself a bit more in visual terms.

It's too early to give you an in-depth assessment of how the new wheels and tyres compare with the old set (expect that in the next PH Fleet report in a few weeks time), other than to say that there is an immediately obvious extra degree of bite on turn-in, in dry conditions, at least.

A fine set of alloys?
A fine set of alloys?
What we can say with some confidence, however, is that myself and PH classified admin guru Rusty-C (the chap in the pics) will not be opening a tyre-fitting business any time soon. We were at it 45 minutes and had got through just one and a half wheels before Haymarket facilities man Richard took pity on us and helped out with the rest. We would probably still be struggling with the final locking wheel nut if he hadn't been there...

We've managed it now, however, and have but one question for you: whaddaya think?

Comments (131) Join the discussion on the forum

  • phazed 16 Dec 2014

    Doesn't anyone check grammar anymore?

    "Myself and PH", tsk, tsk.

  • Stupidog 08 Feb 2014



    If you're considering using winter tyres all year please consider trying a better summer tyre first - I assure you they're not up to the task of coping with greasy wet surfaces with the same proficiency as a good summer / rain tyre (I always buy a tyre for wet performance over dry as I stay nearer the limit for longer in the wet at license retaining / legal speeds).
    [/quote]

    Totally agree, Brigestone Blizzacks for Winter, Uniroyal Rainsport2 for summer

  • slikrs 29 Jan 2014

    I'm still on my winter tyres - bought a 2nd set of identical 18's for them. I'm leaving them on as they got me out of trouble once or twice on snow so far as I do have to traverse the higher areas every so often.

    I'm running Nokian A3 which were selected for performance after reading many articles and they're OK but outside of snow / ice or decent sub zero conditions I would take my Goodyear Eagle Assymetric tyres any day!

    I had Bridgestone RE 050As and next to those anything would be better below 15 celcius but the Eagle's are a world ahead of the winter tyres for wet weather performance, stability, braking safety and getting the power down. I was caught out by the winter tyres braking away at the rear under light braking at 3 celcius on wet salted roads - I caught it before the ABS did but it's not something I was preparing myself for, I was alreay driving with additional due care as I could feel the tyres sliding around under me (which is fun when it remains controlled).

    If you're considering using winter tyres all year please consider trying a better summer tyre first - I assure you they're not up to the task of coping with greasy wet surfaces with the same proficiency as a good summer / rain tyre (I always buy a tyre for wet performance over dry as I stay nearer the limit for longer in the wet at license retaining / legal speeds).

  • Stupidog 27 Jan 2014

    Antj said:
    must admit, i have my winter wheels on my 130i, i know the winter tyres make a lot of sense and even though its not been cold cold yet, with all this rain the winter tyres have outperformed any summer tyre i have ever had in the wet. Helps too that i only have a slimlimne 205 on the rear as a posed to the normal 245's.

    However,,,,,,

    I did look longingly at my summer wheels in their larger size and better dark colour and design and thought to myself, go on just for the week, stick em on. But i know its not worth it, roll on April.
    Good call on leaving them on, my mates Corsa was written off last week by an out of control 1 Series BMW changing lanes as it skidded around on ice, luckily no one was hurt.

  • Stupidog 27 Jan 2014

    TA14 said:
    Wow indeed. He's been a member for five years and in that time two of his three posts have been just now on this thread. Rather than tyres I'd be wondering about his reaction times after taking about a year to reply here. Hmmm.
    So your making safety judgments on the number of posts someone has ?


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