truck tires-20" vs 17" pros/cons

guitar_randy

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My used truck I bought few weeks back has 20" wheels on it that was added as an option when original owner ordered it. It looks sharp and handles well.
I am curious as to if there are reasons of people going with the larger 20" wheels over the stock 17" wheels other than appearance reasons.
Are there advantages or disadvantages or large differences between the 2 sizes in handlings ,traction, etc. or is it mainly a preference for appearance?
What are pros and cons of 17" vs. 20 " wheels on a 4wd truck?
 

foxtrot

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It's really an aesthetic thing.

Larger wheels typically hurt performance, bringing both slower acceleration and worse fuel economy due to their greater weight.

The only real pros are aesthetics (if you like the look of larger wheels) and the ability to accommodate larger brakes.
 

RAG7890

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I don't own a Truck but I can't see any benefit other than looks.

I read a detailed report on this for Cars, covering 16" through to 19" Wheels. The best overall result for performance, rotational mass, cost of replacement tires, handling etc. was the 17" & 18" option.

My Car has 19" Wheels & IMHO.............19's are for show & 18's are for go.

Unfortunately, the maker of my Car went for show........I am now looking at changing to 18" Wheels & going up a profile from 35 Series to 40 Series.

With a Truck's inherent mass, I'd want some extra Air & Tire Profile. If you want it to look a little cooler go 18".

I should add that as a general rule a Tire's profile & the Air soak up more of a the bump's impact than the Car's Dampers do.

My 2c FWIW.

:cheers:
 

So What

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Check the tire prices.

Aren't 20" tires more expensive?

Of course, after you factor in the cost of new 17" rims, it may not make a difference.
.
 

Rich

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20" tires means that your cock is bigger than the guy who has 17" tires.
 

Dolebludger

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The only practical advantage I can think of is an increase in ground clearance (depending on the aspect ratio of the 20" tires).
 

BuzzHaze

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The gearing is better with a smaller tire and I prefer a higher sidewall for comfort.
 

Dolebludger

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Yes, and a higher sidewall in a 17" could compensate the change from a 20" in terms of ground clearance. Does your truck's tires have low sidewalls?
 

sk8rat

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what kind of truck? what size tires?

17" for multiple reasons:

tires are cheaper

wheels are cheaper

more tire selection

more ground clearance

more sidewall

you can air down your tires for better traction
 

NYPV

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Rim size has nothing to do with overall tire size or clearance. Lets say you have a 36" tire, the 20" rim will give you 8" sidewall height, which will be better handling but stiffer ride. The 17" will give you a 9 1/2" sidewall that will be looser. Unless you are going to extremes with your truck, its mostly an aesthetic thing. I like a smaller rim for more offroad driving, plus I like the look of more rubber on a 4x4. Large for street and strip styles.
 

wwit

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Its aesthetics. Usually.

All things equal, as in the OD of the tire itself with either wheel, 20" will have a much narrower sidewall then the 17" Some people like tires and some like wheels better. So tire people will prefer 17" wheels and wheel people prefer to look at 20" bling wheels. Sometime even larger. 20" tires generally cost far more to replace than 17"s. 17's will give a better overall ride as there is more sidewall to absorb bumps. With 20's the steering response is typically better, but comfort suffers.

If I recall, American Wheel has a vehicle/wheel/tire size simulator on their website that covers many US and import cars and trucks. Allows you to get a picture of the various sizes on the vehicle your wanting to buy.
 

Drew224

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If they are low profile tires, they are more likely to blow out, or to have the rims bend over time from potholes. Not really worth it on anything other than a sports car.
 

guitar_randy

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what kind of truck? what size tires?

17" for multiple reasons:

tires are cheaper

wheels are cheaper

more tire selection

more ground clearance

more sidewall

you can air down your tires for better traction



2009 Dodge ram 1500 4WD
 

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Drew224

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I prefer the handling of lower profile tires, but smaller than a 40 sidewall and the ride is awful. Will be running ~235/45/17s when I finally get around to ordering summer tires.
 

RAG7890

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I prefer the handling of lower profile tires, but smaller than a 40 sidewall and the ride is awful. Will be running ~235/45/17s when I finally get around to ordering summer tires.

+ 1, :thumb:........................I don't mind a hard ride but my 35 Series Tires are a pain on rough roads, especially with the hard suspension. 40 Series would make a load of difference & in actual fact makes it easier / safer to drive closer to the limit (when appropriate) because of the slip angle / feedback near the limit.

IMHO, 40, 45 & 50 Series is where it is at for Cars & SUV's.

:cheers:
 

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