What Is Meant By Plus Sizing In Tires?
Plus sizing refers to the practice of increasing the size of a vehicle’s tires and/or wheels beyond the original specifications set by the manufacturer. This can include a larger wheel diameter and a wider tire with a shorter sidewall. The process aims to maintain the original overall tire diameter, preserving the vehicle’s gearing integrity, and speedometer accuracy, and ensuring a proper fit.
Classification of Plus Sizing Tires
- Plus Zero: Involves increasing the tire’s width while keeping the wheel diameter the same. This enhances the contact area and reduces the tread profile, improving traction and responsiveness.
- Plus One: Increases the wheel size by one inch. This setup involves tires with increased width and a lower aspect ratio on larger-diameter wheels, offering a balance between performance and appearance.
- Plus Two: Involves a two-inch increase in wheel size, generally translating to an increase in tire section width by 20 mm and a decrease in aspect ratio by 20 points. This offers a more aggressive stance and improved handling.
- Plus Three: This is a three-inch increase in wheel size, resulting in a substantial change in the vehicle’s appearance and performance characteristics. It involves an increase in section width by 30 mm and a decrease in aspect ratio by 30 points.
Advantages of Plus Sizing
- Increasing wheel diameter while maintaining the original overall diameter enhances stability and cornering ability.
- A larger contact patch with the road surface leads to better grip, especially in handling and braking.
- Larger wheels can improve the overall look of the vehicle.
Disadvantages of Plus Sizing
- A decrease in sidewall height can lead to a harsher feel of road bumps and an increase in road noise.
- Larger wheels may require more maintenance and care.
- Larger wheels might not meet load requirements for safe and reliable performance, potentially straining suspension and brake systems.
- Wider tires and larger wheels can be more expensive.
- Wider tires can increase rolling resistance, leading to a slight decrease in fuel efficiency.
When Do You Need a Plus Sizing Tire?
Plus sizing is suitable when seeking enhanced traction, braking ability, and handling, especially for enthusiasts looking to improve their vehicle’s performance. The increased contact patch of wider tires creates more friction with the road, improving traction and braking. This upgrade is ideal for vehicles where high-speed stability and cornering prowess are desired. It is also suitable for off-road adventurers.
However, it’s important to consider the trade-offs in terms of fuel economy, road noise, and the potential increased cost of wider tires.