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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
Sorry for yet another tire related question, but my searches haven’t uncovered much for my particular question. First a little info:
2006 Elise NA, base model

I never track the car. Just some weekend driving. Maybe a little spirited at times, but relatively sane. I really only drive in the summer months, but in Oregon you never know when it’s going to rain or the roads will be wet.

The door sticker says the tire sizes should be:
175/55 R16 front
225/45 R17 rear
The previous owner installed Toyo R888s on the car right before an alignment. The sizes are:
195/50 R16 front
225/45 R17 rear

I know next to nothing about tire sizes. I do know that finding those 16s in the stock size are next to impossible aside from the Yokohama’s which are nice, but I want something a little more all season.

My question is; are the fronts that are installed now close to the stock size? At least close enough? Is there a readily available tire size that’s closer? Should I just stick with the size that is there currently?

Thanks in advance for all the tire-smart people out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use this size site a lot when looking at tires: Tire Size Calculator

Do you know the width of your front rim? The 175 front is for the narrower front rim, think 6". But yeah the 16" front rim is a pain to find tires for.
I really have no idea. About this [holding my hands up in a field goal fashion] wide. I didn't mention before, but they are stock rims if that helps.
 

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Per tire calculator, 195/50/16 is very close to the stock sizes plus you get a little bit more meat on it. Knowing that OEM size for your car is 175, my guess you have the smaller width base rims which are 5.5. Please confirm you have base rims? I wouldn't go any wider than 195 on those wheels unless you get wider. I would stick with 195s personally.

EDIT: Looks like you responded as I was typing up lol.
 

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In your case, coming up to 195 is arguably a better option than 175 IMO. Although, if you come across a cheap set of LSS wheels with 6.5 fronts, that opens up alot of better choices and selections. As me73 mentioned, certain width rims can only take a certain width tire. I use the tire calculator all the time if I want to get wider tires on my other vehicles.
 

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The 205/50 on a 5.5 inch wide rim although fits raises the front of the vehicle which may induce instability at high speeds. Can be overcome with a front splitter but agree with rest there are better size choices. On the LSS 6.5 rims I like the 205/45/16 Bridgestone potenza RE71R's
 

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The 205/50 on a 5.5 inch wide rim although fits raises the front of the vehicle which may induce instability at high speeds. Can be overcome with a front splitter but agree with rest there are better size choices. On the LSS 6.5 rims I like the 205/45/16 Bridgestone potenza RE71R's
These are what came in the car when I bought it last year. I need new tires which is why I came to this post. There's a lot of good information here.

I love this place.
 

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The 205/50 on a 5.5 inch wide rim although fits raises the front of the vehicle which may induce instability at high speeds. Can be overcome with a front splitter but agree with rest there are better size choices. On the LSS 6.5 rims I like the 205/45/16 Bridgestone potenza RE71R's
Cool, I love that tire! Had it on my 944 Turbo (sold), Miata (still do) and MR2 (gone). If you are using 205 in front (instead of 195) are you also using a wider than stock tire in the rear?
 

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I just went through this exercise to replace my old AD07's. After going round and round about what to do, I made the decision that staying with the same tires (175/225) was the best option this time around with the narrow 5.5" front rims. When the new set of tires are done in a few years, I'll likely upgrade the wheels and go wider. I'm sure I'll have a lot better sense of the right wheel/tire set up for me then.

As a new owner to my 2005 Elise, I didn't want to change too much at once, so that I can get a sense of what each thing that I change does to the riding characteristics. So going to a new set of the same tire will be illuminating in itself.

Additionally, since my skill level is relatively low (taking HPDE this spring), the understeer of stock 175s is likely a good place for me.
 
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