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Tall and skinny or short and fat? (235/85 v. 265/75)

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by sportsguy, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Sep 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM
    #1
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    So, if my math is accurate, a 235/85/16 and a 265/75/16 are within roughly a .12" of each other in overall diameter, with the 235 being the slightly taller option.

    Anyone care to venture an opinion why one combo might be better than the other? The arguement around tread width and traction seems obvious enough. But, the flip side to more traction is often broken driveline components. Not saying that won't happen with the skinnier tire, but simply thinking of a counter point to the "more tread=more traction" angle.

    I'm kind of over the fat tire look and have always prefered the slimmer tire approach on my Jeeps. Taller sidewalls often beget more comfy rides, too. Flip side is more to pinch offroad...

    Looking for input from the crew here on this idea of the skinnier tire.

    Specifically I'm also trying to learn if the 235/85/16 (effectively a 31.72" tire) will rub when offroading. Given all the coverage that 31's fit on a stock truck, I'm sure they'll be fine around town. It's when off in the cuds I'm concerned about. Rubbage sucks... :(

    Some facts:

    Tires are all terrain style tires (Goodyear MTRs).
    Truck - 2011 Tacoma Reg Cab 4x4 4cyl, 5 speed - stock suspension, stock steelies

    FWIW, I'm enjoying this tire size calculator and comparison tool - allows you to compare 3/4/5 tires side by side. Though it does flash a warning about potential brake failure if you suggest a tire size that's more that 3% different from stock. (Lawyer in da house... :rolleyes:)
     
  2. Oct 2, 2011 at 6:20 PM
    #2
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Any thoughts gang?
     
  3. Oct 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM
    #3
    Andrew H

    Andrew H What is this "search" you speak of?

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    See build thread.
    Personal preference and/or needs

    I have 265/75r16. Going up to 285/75r16. I think it looks better.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2011 at 6:29 PM
    #4
    malander

    malander That's some tight butthole

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    I'm not so sure about that.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2011 at 6:13 AM
    #5
    Tylan

    Tylan Active Member

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    I have been going through the same thought process and just settled on the 235/85/16. My reasoning is snow. Except in deep snow off road, skinny has always been better for me. Cut down through the slush and crap and get to the road and traction that is below. I spend a lot of time on snow covered roads in VT in the winter and that is what swayed me to skinny.

    New tires are going on today. I'll take a picture and out it up tonight or tomorrow.

    Oh, and I agree with Andrew...I like the look of the wider tires, but I had to go with function over fashion here...
     
  6. Oct 3, 2011 at 6:29 AM
    #6
    allmotorrex

    allmotorrex Grove St. Fabrication

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    you can fit 32s with no lift with some trimming on ur fender wells! and as for the fat vs skinny tire, its all in what u want ur truck to be able to do! You say u dont like the fat tire look but about the only thing a skinny tire is good for is what Tylan said and better mpgs! If you plan on goin offroad at all you want those fatter tires! You'll get better traction because of more surface area, goin through mud, snow, or sand will be easier because fatter tires distribute weight more evenly across a bigger area. And on road and offroad handing will be a lot better with wider tires too cause it will essentially provide a wider track and better traction. And im not so sure that you're gonna have to worry about snapping drive shafts because of wider tires! Maybe if you went extremely wide but I would say 99.9% of the time that happens its either driver error or a mechanical failure due to already weak parts
     
  7. Oct 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM
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    malander

    malander That's some tight butthole

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  8. Oct 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM
    #8
    malander

    malander That's some tight butthole

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    Fwiw I don't think either one of those tire sizes are bad options and neither will stress your drivetrain to the point of failure
     
  9. Oct 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM
    #9
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    Not true in snow , unless you are talking about floatation over deep , deep snow like you are planning a trip to the North Pole
     
  10. Oct 3, 2011 at 10:18 AM
    #10
    AndrewFalk

    AndrewFalk Science!

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    :)
    Skinny tires = greater pressure and better traction in most instances.

    Wide tires = larger surface area for floating over sand.

    But there is a point where a tire is too skinny, or too wide. You have to find a happy medium.
     
  11. Oct 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    #11
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    I just ditched my 245/75/16 Falken Rocky Mountains for some GY Wrangler Silent Armors that are 265/70/16. Falkens were 30.05" od and GY are 30.06" od. The Falkens were very heavy and skinny. They rode like crap compared to the GYs and they looked goofy being all super tucked in the wheel wells. The GYs ride better, quieter & are lighter. They also look like they belong there and fill the wheel wells. I highly doubt you're gonna induce any driveline breakage with any tire with the 4 cyl so it'd be a matter of what you want it to look like and what the tread life/weight is from one tire to another.....but I'm in TX and snow isn't an issue and of late having a wider tire won't be hydroplane issue either since it's not raining for shit & looks like it won't for years to come.
     
  12. Oct 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    #12
    Valley Viking

    Valley Viking Well-Known Member

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    Dry snow, anything will grab but floation is nice, give me the wider tire. Wet & slushy, need to dig through it, the skinny tread is better. Where I live out by the coast you almost always have to climb thru the wet stuff before you get to the rarely seen dry power. If I can't get thru the slush I may as well stay home.
     
  13. Oct 3, 2011 at 1:44 PM
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    Tylan

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    Great article! Just spent way too much time reading it, but worth it. One key point for me was that when people mention that wider tires are good for snow, no one takes the extra time to point out that what they mean is wide tires are good for snow that is "deeper than 110% of the vehicles minimum ground clearance". Other then that, skinny is going to perform better in snow, slush, etc.

    As usual, if I didn't need winter performance, I really like the look of the 285s!
     
  14. Oct 4, 2011 at 7:51 AM
    #14
    Tylan

    Tylan Active Member

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    Here is how she stands today: 235/85/16 DuraTrac with 5100s at 1.75 in the front. She is at the dealer now getting the rear leaf TSB done, so should sit more level when I pick her up tonight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Indiehawk likes this.
  15. Oct 4, 2011 at 8:03 AM
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    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    Those don't look as narrow as I thought that size would. Looks good. Way better than the 245/75/16s did on mine.
     
  16. Oct 4, 2011 at 2:33 PM
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    allmotorrex

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    i dont understand! isnt that what i said!? ok so this article says its needs to be 110% of the ground clearance but how was my statement wrong?? Let me clear this up a little more then, for "minor" off roading situations, (including but not limited to: shallow snow with a hard surface underneath it and slushy/shallow mud with a hard surface underneath it) skinny tires are good. For "major" off roading situations, (including but not limited to: deep snow where a hard surface cannot be reached by the vehicles tires, deep mud where a hard surface cannot be reached by the vehicles tires, and pretty much any sand situation) fatter tires are better! Hopefully that makes my statement "true" now!

    and Tylan, truck looks good man;)
     
  17. Oct 4, 2011 at 3:54 PM
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    malander

    malander That's some tight butthole

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    1) A skinny tire is better for traction unless whatever you're driving through is 110% of the frames height, not just better for mpgs

    2) you get better traction because of more psi to the ground, however footprint does help in those situations where whatever terrain is 110% of the frame

    3) it's definitely not a given that you'll break parts with wider tires, but the added weight (and this will vary from skinny and wide tires) does strain it a bit more

    Just think of a wheel on a train. Maybe 4" wide? And they have an amazing amount of traction on a very slick surface.

    I'm not trying to be a douche at all I'm just the devils advocate :D
     
  18. Oct 6, 2011 at 11:59 AM
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    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Thanks for hashing this out gang! great info. :)

    Tylan - truck looks great! Love this look. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Oct 9, 2011 at 9:22 PM
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    joebob1319

    joebob1319 Well-Known Member

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    Tylan - How do the tires ride in that size? Do you have any wandering or sidewall flex in corners? Your truck looks good. I'm looking at putting a camper shell on mine next year.
     
  20. Oct 9, 2011 at 9:30 PM
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    08pretaco

    08pretaco Almost there

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    why not 255/85/16... love mine
     

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