Visual Tyre Size Calculator

If you are thinking of changing your car tyre size or are planning on buying a new wheel/tyre combination then you can use the flash tool below for a visual tyre size comparison of your stock wheel and tyre size versus your new wheel and tyre combination.





Got a comment or question regarding the current version of the tyre size calculator? Click here to leave a comment or ask a question.

Vesion 2 of the tyre size calculator is in development, if there’s anything you’d like to see in version 2 then please feel free to leave a comment here: Tyre Size Calculator V2: Wishlist.

Why is this important?

Matching the combined wheel and tyre diameter is important as it will ensure your ride height and speedometer readings don’t change drastically. An example of this would be fitting 17″ wheels to a car that has 14″ wheels as standard, there are three main consequences:

  1. the ride height will change, the car body will be further from the ground.
  2. the top speed will increase slightly and the speedometer will under read.
  3. the car will accelerate slower.

Read on to see the reason for this in detail.

Tyre Size Guide

Ride Height

Take the default example in the flash tyre size calculator above, here we have a stock tyre size of 165/55R14 and a new tyre size of 215/45R17. There is a total difference of 8.82cm in the two wheel and tyre diameters, if we divide this by two we get a difference in radius of 4.41cm. If we ignore tyre pressures and the effects of adding larger, wider wheels to suspension geometry; then this is roughly how much higher the car will be from the ground.

Speedometer

Then there’s the speedometer, a cars speed reading is usually taken from the transmission and is set based on a number of predefined constants. When you change your wheel and tyre combination you are taking one of these constants and making it variable. The speedometer does not know the new value and so continues to read based on the original wheel & tyre size. If you look at the above default example again you will see that with a 215/45R17 wheel and tyre combination there is a difference of 16.4% in the speedometer reading over the stock setup. As you can see, at 60mph your speedometer should actually be reading 69.9mph!

Acceleration

If we fall back to the default example again, the 215/45R17 wheel and tyre combination has a larger overall diameter by 8.82cm. A larger diameter has a greater rotational inertia which requires more energy to accelerate. Or in other words: the bigger the wheel, the slower the acceleration.

It should be noted that putting a bigger wheel and tyre combination on your car does not reduce your cars power. Your cars power remains the same; however it takes more force to turn your car’s wheels resulting in slower acceleration.

Tyre Width Equivalency Table

You may also find the following table of recommended tyre widths for given rim widths useful when changing your tyre width.

Rim width
Min tyre width
Ideal tyre width
Max tyre width
5 .0 inches
155 mm
165 ou 175 mm
185 mm
5.5 inches
165 mm
175 ou 185 mm
195 mm
6.0 inches
175 mm
185 ou 195 mm
205 mm
6.5 inches
185 mm
195 ou 205 mm
215 mm
7.0 inches
195 mm
205 ou 215 mm
225 mm
7.5 inches
205 mm
215 ou 225 mm
235 mm
8.0 inches
215 mm
225 ou 235 mm
245 mm
8.5 inches
225 mm
235 ou 245 mm
255 mm
9,0 inches
235 mm
245 ou 255 mm
265 mm
9.5 inches
245 mm
255 ou 265 mm
275 mm
10.0 inches
255 mm
265 or 275 mm
285 mm
10.5 inches
265 mm
275 or 285 mm
295 mm
11.0 inches
275 mm
285 or 295 mm
305 mm
11.5 inches
285 mm
295 or 305 mm
315 mm
12.0 inches
295 mm
305 or 315 mm
325 mm
12.5 inches
305 mm
315 or 325 mm
335 mm

via pneus-online.co.uk

356 thoughts on “Visual Tyre Size Calculator”

  1. I have just used the visual tyre size calculator to look at the effect of possible alternative sizes for motorcycles. It was exactly what I needed as I particularly wanted to check the indicated/actual speed situation. I will be posting a message on the Suzuki Owners Club site as I’m sure others will find it usefull. Many thanks,
    Peter.

  2. just fitted 215/60/17`s to back of my previa to try to eeck a bit more mpg. found your website and tyre calculator most helpful, thanks, Danny

    1. @Peter:
      Glad the tool was of use 🙂 I’d not thought of the tyre size calculator in terms of motorbikes, although the basics should all remain the same. Are the range of widths, sidewall heights and tyre sizes sufficient for bikes or would it be useful if I added more?

      @Danny:
      I’m glad my little utility helped, always good to get feedback and to know that people appreciate it 🙂

  3. To Insomniac. Hi, with regard to motorcycles the size range was perfect for me.The standard rear for my bike is only 150.70×17 I am running a 160.70×17 at present which puts me on the wrong side of the speedo error thing. I will be changing my tyres soon and if it will go in I will have a 170.60×17 rear. This will mean the speedo will be slightly under reading. To see typical bike sizes go to….. http://www.motorcycletyresuk.com/
    Which is a local supplier.

    Incidentaly the calculator has recently gone somewhat less visual. In fact it is not apearing at all. Everything else on the page is present. Do I have a problem with flash player?

  4. @Peter:
    No there’s nothing wrong with your flash player, I lost all my site files when the latest version of my blog deleted every file on my hosting account. I got distracted trying to setup my site again with a new theme and better backup routine, I’ve restored the tyre size calculator and you should see it again now.

    Thanks for the additional info too, I notice the front wheels can go as low as 90 in width so I may tweak the options a little to include some values from that site. 🙂

  5. Hi Insomniac. No calculator yet I’m afraid just a big white space 🙁 Still banging on about this tyre size against speed thing, most modern sport-ish bikes have electronic speedos even if they are analogue rather than digital. They assume a standard rear tyre and use the engine revs and gear position to compute the speed. However…. on a lot of trail bikes like my old Suzuki DR600 the speedo is mechanical driven by a cable from a small gearbox on one end of the front hub. So it will be the front tyre size which will affect the reading. Getting boring now ? Peter.

  6. Peter, it might be worth hitting CTRL+F5 or clearing your browser cache. The address for the calculator has changed and you browser is likely still looking for it in the old location.

    Not bored, I like learning new stuff 🙂

  7. I have a BMW 2008 320d M Sport with 225/45R17 & 255/40R17 run flats and the ride is very jittery. I like the stiff suspension, but I do not like the high frequency vibrations coming through which I think is through the tyres being really stiff.
    In peoples opinion, what effect will have replacing the tyres (and wheels?) to
    A) the same size non run flats
    B 205/55R16 wheels and tyres non runflat.

    Thanks in advance Andy

    Thnak

  8. Hi Andy,

    I’ve never had runflats but had heard they could be pretty harsh. I know the sidewalls on the runflat tyres are very stiff compared to regular tyres but I also found this which may be of interest:

    The side walls of run-flat tyres are much stiffer than those of traditional tyres and the vehicle manufacturer has incorporated this into the suspension design of the car. Fitting non run-flat tyres could seriously effect the handling quality of the car and it could become unstable, particularly in extreme conditions.

    Conversely, because run-flat tyres are more convenient, as well as safer, car owners sometimes consider retro-fitting them to cars that were not designed to run on them. This is also not a good idea.
    via: eTyres.co.uk

    I’d consult some other BMW owners before changing to non runflats first, this applies to changing the entire wheel and tyre package as well.

    Try the follwoing forums and clubs for owners views:
    http://www.bmwcarclubforum.co.uk/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=29
    http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/forumGroup.asp?c=77&catname=BMW

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