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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I have a gash in the tire sidewall, so now I'm changing the front two tires. At the front I currently have 165/60-15 Conti ProContacts.

A few months ago, I changed my rear tires to: 185/55-15s with General AltiMAX RT43 (thanks to @mattwithcats advice).
I have been really pleased with the ride and handling, esp thru winter in NY.

The wheels are "style" package stock sizes, so they are the 3-spoke alloys, and I don't plan on changing the front wheels to all same size as many have done.

What brand and size would anyone recommend for the front tires? I would think that a higher sidewall ratio like a 60 would be better for the bumpy city streets.
I've read that 175/55-15 is the max size on the front tires with stock rims.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The same tire should fit the front rims you have. I don't know if it will rub the fenders or not....
I think they will rub.

Basically I am keeping 185/55/15 at rear so I'm choosing between 165/60/15 and 175/55/15 for the front. Not sure which would be better combo.
 

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I was told I could go up to 195's up front. right now I have 175/55's. front and 195/50's rear on my 3-spokes.


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I had a 60 sidewall when originally bought. Not sure why, but feels smoother with the current 175/55's. have really rough roads here.


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depends on what they make the sidewall out of. I know the Altimax were made to absorb more of the bumps in the road than other tires.
 

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I had a 60 sidewall when originally bought. Not sure why, but feels smoother with the current 175/55's. have really rough roads here.


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175/55 and 195/50 are the tires that came originally with those wheels. As a crap shot I got one of the optional wheels hoping they would come with 175/55 up front, but came with 165/60 instead.
 

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There were optional wheels that came with different size tires. If you go to www.tirerack.com and select a Smart Fortwo, (I use 2013 because mine is a 2013), it will further ask which set of tires.

I believe I said STOCK FRONT RIMS. I can't comment on optional wheels as there are a multitude of different sizes.

:shrug:
 

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I would hate to see someone mount a tire on a small (4.5) rim that was designed for a wide rim. That would cause some headaches. always best to verify the size of the rims when buying tires.
 

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When we bought our 2011 it rode like Fred Flintstone's car!

I put 185/55R15 Hankooks all the way around - with the stock big/little rims - and they transformed both the ride and the handling!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
165 is a slightly taller tire so will be safer bet for traction control compatibility. I wouldn't risk the shorter 175s.
Do you think I could go from 165/60-15 to 165/65-15 at front? Tirecalculator says that the diameter is 22.8" and 23.4", respectively, with a +2.6%, and I get the slightly higher sidewall for better ride. I wonder though if you would get more traction from the 175s, and hence a smoother ride. The style rims are 5" wide at the front.
 

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What I look at are the three sets that do happen to come with the car, and try to keep the revolutions per mile within the differences. So I looked at the 165/65-15 with the 185/55-15 and is seems more than the highest of the three, which is a red flag for me. 175/60-15 seems closer. Will look a little more.... (My son wants the iPad I'm using...)
 

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155/60R15 and 175/55R15 -10.18 Revs per mile
165/60R15 and 195/50R15 +4.6 Revs per mile
175/55R15 and 195/50R15 -3.89 Revs per mile

165/60R15 and 185/55R15 -8.32 Revs per mile (Good)
165/65R15 and 185/55R15 +16.18 Revs per mile (Out) above +4.6


There is only one 165/65R15 tire listed on TireRack! Your options are limited.

Very few 175/60R15 tire choices on TireRack

175/60R15 and 185/55R15 +9.71 (Still out), but closer to +4.6 than +16.18

Both 165/65R15 and 175/60R15 should fit 5" wheels I believe. I checked. (The 185/55R15 is meant for minimum 5.5" wide wheel. I am sorry I made the suggestion as that is not meant to fit the 5" wide wheels that you have. For some reason my memory was thinking the front were 5.5" wide...)

My mother's C350 has a staggered tire setup. It came from Mercedes that way. The rear tires were shot before 30k miles. The rear brake pads were also worn really early. I believe this is due to the rear tires being shorter than the front. Traction control "thinks" the rear wheels are spinning relative to the front and applies the rear brakes to compensate.... Front tire tread depth and pads still good...
 

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We recently replaced the stock sized Conti tires on our 2010 Passion (175/55R15 rear and 155/60R15 front) with the same size Kumho Solus Kh16 tires ordered through Wal-Mart and the car rides much better than before. It's smoother/less harsh and seems a bit quieter. It also gets around better in snow than it did with the Conti tires. Just info to consider.
 
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