Friday, 25 September 2015

Picking a new set of tyres for Charlie

Keen readers will have noticed some of the pictures I posted up previously showed a severely worn (and illegal) tyre on the rear offside. Funding issues and priorities meant that I was not so smart and had delay the acquisition of a new set of tyres.

This was despite the previous owner telling me that he had put four good tyres on the car before I bought it in January.

Finally, I got around to it and did an in-depth search of the tyres available and their ratings. Classic Mini owners will know that there are limited options for their 10, 12 or 13-inch wheels, but when you move up to 17-inchers, the choice becomes a little overwhelming.

With little prior knowledge of the 'best' tyres to go for a I did a Facebook shout out, as well as looking at sites such as A million different answers from a million different people helped keep the water muddy, but with my own research I think I'd found a winner.

Tyres sold in the EU now legally have to display three ratings: one for fuel efficiency/rolling resistance, one for wet weather grip and one for road noise levels (in dBs). By prioritising the purpose of these tyres I could narrow down my selection.

Being a bit of a tightwad, I looked initially at the fuel efficiency rating - I don't see the point in wasting money/fuel! Despite the ratings for tyres running from A-G (A being most efficient), I couldn't find any A or B-rated tyres for fuel/rolling resistance. The best I could find was the Dunlop Sport Maxx RT with C-rating - it was also an Award-winning tyre with Auto Bild magazine. However, at £123 per tyre... it was too much to swallow.

MINI has more recently been using Hankook tyres as standard, but I didn't want to get run-flats, so I looked at some other brands aswell including Continental, Dunlop and Pirelli, but again finding the right combination of cost and efficiency was tricky.

In the end I looked a lot at the customer reviews for the Hankook tyres I had narrowed down (Ventus V12 Evo2), and this was pretty much the deciding factor. 

Despite the E-rating for fuel efficiency, the reviews were glowing in every respect and I liked the style of the tread. So I took the plunge and soon took delivery of a brand new set of four priced around £88 each.

This was a big relief, and there was a lovely smell of fresh rubber in the house for a couple of days until I got them fitted... which I will tell you about next time.

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