The right winter setup for me (135i M-package)
I'm newly a 135i owner (2009) and plan to DD during the winter, mostly around the Detroit area. I have the "M sport package", currently equipped tires are new, summer only:
Front: 215/50 R18
Rear: 245/35 R18
I'm looking to understand the options a little better and put together the right setup for me, either on the stock rims or on a new winter wheel set.
Im not an old lady behind the wheel but am not trying to push the car to its limits or compete. I'm not a naive driver but nor do I think I'm any kind of pro or out trying to prove stuff. EG I understand the difference between liftoff drift and power oversteer and know it when it happens on accident, but I'm not out trying to make these things happen on purpose.
That being said I would put my priorities as safety , which for me is predictability, good feedback, and handling, and would take these over max grip potential on dry. That criteria met, I'd look to find the sweet spot between performance, value, and looks. Lastly I think I'd rather have greater control on the unexpected icepatch or slush, even if the number of of days with multiple inches of snow tend to be low (if unpredictable) around here.
It looks like there are only a couple of winter tires options fit the OEM wheels, and with the TPMS and everything considered, this would save some money, but not that much since these tires are not cheap. So I'm leaning toward some mid-range alloy 17s, symetric all around with perhaps something like the blizzack WS70 in the studless catagory over something in the performance winter catagory.
One question is about the performance winter category (H & V rated), it seems from the tirerack description that I'd like the G rated better, but is this oversimplified? Often I know that subjective ratings (eg the rating of the performace winter tire on ice or snow) are scewed to the expectations of the user, eg the tire may not actually be any worse on ice but the driver demands more out of it.
Second is understanding the ramifications of size on grip, balance and handling. Is having the symmetric setup mess up the balance and feel of the car much?
Will the larger sidewalls yield a lot more roll? What about the tire catagory's effect on handling and feel? I know on my last car, stepping up from the bottom shelf tires to some Primacy all seasons had a huge effect on the handling.
I know I'm sortof geeking out on this stuff but I think it'll be cool to be riding around all winter knowing I got the best setup for me. =]