protonic
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:52 pm

20" rims

Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:29 pm

I'm not sure if I like these wheels. Maybe 10 years ago I may have like them a lot more, when appearance trumped everything else. I also test drove an i3 with 19" wheels and I thought it was a much more comfortable ride, but I didn't drive them back to back (1 week apart).

Are the tires the same between the two wheel sizes other than the diameter? How many miles can I expect to get from the stock tires? These are the lowest profile tires I've ever had so it's hard to tell if they need to be replaced. I have almost 14k miles on them which seems pretty new still, but then again, not sure with these low profile tires.

Fisher99
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: 20" rims

Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:33 am

If you're not liking the looks of the 20's, then I would definitely recommend that you go with the 19's. The 20's only have the option of summer tires while the 19's give you the option of all season tires, which not only work better in cold weather but also wear longer. And yes, the ride is a bit smoother with the taller sidewalls of the 19's.

Speaking from the perspective of someone who has the 20's and loves the look but wishes there was a wider choice of rubber.
2014 BMW i3 with Range Extender Engine, Capparis White/Frozen Black, 20" wheels,, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, TurboCord EVSE

protonic
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:52 pm

Re: 20" rims

Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:20 am

No I love the look of the 20s. It was one of my "must haves" when I was shopping. Just a little bumpier ride than I would have liked. I didn't know about winter tires not being available though. That is really unfortunate. Why would they make wheels that don't work in the winter? lol.

I can deal with the bumpier ride (not that bad) but definitely need a solution for winter....

Fisher99
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: 20" rims

Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:40 pm

Unfortunately the only winter solution for those of us with 20's is to also have a spare set of 19's to swap on in the winter. Having said that, I drive mine in the winter with temps down into the 20's (and sometimes into the teens or single digits) as long as there's no snow or ice on the road. When it snows I leave the i3 parked and drive my 4x4 Ram truck. Some people won't drive with summer tires in colder temps because the summer rubber compound gets hard and you do lose some traction capability. I haven't found it to be a problem but then I haven't had the need to do any panic stops either.
2014 BMW i3 with Range Extender Engine, Capparis White/Frozen Black, 20" wheels,, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, TurboCord EVSE

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5032
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: 20" rims

Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:57 pm

As rubber ages, it gets harder. As rubber gets colder, it gets harder. So, the worst combination would be to have older tires (tread depth does matter, but not if it can't conform to the road surface) in cold weather. The stopping and cornering grip is measurably lower.

So, if you drive when it's below about 45F, or your tires are getting older, and you get into an emergency situation, it could be the difference between easily maneuvering around the problem, or stopping. Is that worth it for looks? The tread pattern on summer tires doesn't do well on ice or snow, either.

In some places in the world, not having the 'proper' tires would elicit a citation.

The i3 is sold all over the world...some places never get below the temperature where summer tires work. Also, in many parts of the northern world, it's common to own two sets of tires so that it can be optimized for both types of weather, and in some, it's mandatory. So, on the i3, 20" performance (summer) tires would allow the best of both seasons when the tires/wheels are optimized for the weather.

An all-season tire is a compromise, all seasons. A winter tire doesn't work well in hot weather. A summer tire doesn't work well in cold weather because that's how they're designed. An all-season tire works okay in all seasons, but does not excel in any.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

Boxbrownie
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pastyland, UK

Re: 20" rims

Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:03 am

FYI....in the 19” size there is now the option of buying the new Continental EcoContact 6 tyres, a far better tyre than others in that size.
Best regards........David

If anything in my post offends you please let me know, I may wish to offend you again. ;)

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”