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After 15k miles on the stock A048's, it was time. My rear tires were showing beneath the rubber.... and running into a few t-storms on my 30 hour roundtrip from Alabama to Illinois, I was searching for the next set of tires.

Most importantly, I had to figure out what my main use of the lotus was. My car is mostly street use with an intention of 1 or 2 track/autocross per year until I get my other DD back. The mini is a great DD, but I will be lending it to my cousin when he starts living with me to study English here.

After days of research, I came down to 3 options:
1. Get 2 new rear A048s. The fronts still had some good life on it, so this would have been a good choice to keep the car "stock"
2. R888s. It's been proven by many that these are great tires.
3. R1Rs. Very similar to R88s, but more street oriented. I read that it has the same rubber as the R888s, but with more tread and a slight difference in construction.

Looking at the use of my car, I decided to go with the R1Rs mostly due to the fact that my car is street driven. If I tracked/autocrossed more, I would have went with the proven R888s...

The only thing with the R1Rs is that it comes in wider size than stock. Using this: http://www.sector111.com/images/products/product_comparisons/wheel_comparison_1_2008.pdf, I realized that it was okay to go wider. People commented on that wider tires will yield more understeer, loss of response, and less gas mileage. However, I have wider tires on the subaru over stock and I actually liked the change so it wasn't that big of an issue.


Fronts: 205/50R16
Rears: 235/45R17

First Impression
-The rubber felt really soft!

-Streetability was superb. I know my stock A048's didn't have much life in it... but the ride was so much softer. I intentionally drove in crappy roads and over railroads, etc. While I felt like my car was about to snap in half on my A048s, the car was softer than my subaru (even though it does have some harsh suspension setup)! I used to cringe before I hit any bumps, but not any more.

-Grip feels good. It was still within the break-in period, so I didn't go crazy. Unfortunately, Alabama doesn't have much windy roads either :mad: However, I have tried some "spirited" driving and I was pretty confident.

-I always thought my exhaust drone was loud... but I realized that my tires also contributed to that drone. With new tires, it drones less on the highway...

-The car feels much stable at higher speeds.

-Lastly, I did feel as though the car was less twitchy with wider tires over the A048s. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Still, I felt good driving it.



To summarize, I think these are great tires for the street. If I ever make the lotus more track/autox oriented, I would get another set of wheels and r-compound tires like the hoosiers. My impressions will probably change as these wear out, but it was a good alternative to the R888s and it "should" last a little longer. It was also about $150 cheaper than the R888s. I know the cost difference isn't much, but I just didn't want to purchase an "overkill" of a set of tires for the street unless all I did was spirited driving. I am happy with my decision and hopefully this would help future tire-lookers out there.
 

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I REALLY appreciate this write-up. I'm always looking for a tire that's a half step down from A048s, but a step-and-a-half down in price.

Thank you!! :clap:
 

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I have been happy with mine so far! They did great in the rain too! All the guys who had AO48's on one drive were stuck doing 50ish mph while I had no problems doing 70+mph! That piece of mind is almost worth it, plus they are pretty cheap!

I'm running 205/45/16's and 225/45/17's
 

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I use my R1R tires for the street too. I have done some autocross on them as well. I second the motion on superb wet handling. The wet traction is very predictable. You have to keep the pressure low on these tires to prevent the center from wearing out, about 22 front and 25 rear (cold).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I use my R1R tires for the street too. I have done some autocross on them as well. I second the motion on superb wet handling. The wet traction is very predictable. You have to keep the pressure low on these tires to prevent the center from wearing out, about 22 front and 25 rear (cold).
Really? Thanks for that comment. I usually go 2psi above the stock settings (so I'm running 28 front 31 rear). I might just bump it down to stock settings. 22/25 sounds really low. It also might affect its handling.
 

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Watch the wear in the center of the rear tires closely. When the center wears, the ability to channel water off the tire is reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I REALLY appreciate this write-up. I'm always looking for a tire that's a half step down from A048s, but a step-and-a-half down in price.

Thank you!! :clap:
Not a problem. I'm the type of person who constantly searches around the forums/internet and look at all the reviews before I buy something. I'm glad it helped:D

By the way, the cheapest set I found (for any tire for that matter... especially if you live on the east coast) was from treadepot. It was also amazing how fast they shipped the tires. It got here in 2 days and I got the shipping confirmation email AFTER I received them :coolnana:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Watch the wear in the center of the rear tires closely. When the center wears, the ability to channel water off the tire is reduced.
Thanks :) What were your thoughts on autox? And what pressures did you use for autox?
 

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Originally, I used the standard pressures. Performance was enhanced by lowering to the values I quoted. Even with excessive pressure the tire was only slightly slower than my hoosier slicks.
 

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I'm happy with the R1Rs also ... got the 225's on the front with only slight rub at full lock.
 

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I also switched to using r1r from stock a048 (went up 1 size from stock F and R). I am still playing around with tire pressures, my car has an aggressive alignment (previous owner) so I don't think mine will wear like others. Higher then stock pressures don't work well for me, it feels too bouncy and squirmy. I figured with more pressure it would increase the turn in, this is not the case...
The a048 have better road feel due to the stiffer side walls, it is more like they communicate with a higher resolution the the r1r. I found the stock tires too race oriented for me and am quite satisfied with my purchase of a more "street" tire.

AJ
 

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Discussion Starter #12
gotcha. Yea, it did feel like I lost some of the road "feel" with these tires... but on the street that's not a bad thing.

I'll definitely mess around with the pressures. I have it set 1 psi below the stock values for now.
 

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Here's a tip: when the tread goes to about 3/32s the tire hits a different compound and will be horrible. When you start to see the different color rubber appear, you know the tire is done for. I suspect you'll get about 8k miles out of the rears if you drive it at all aggressively.

Otherwise, the tire is fantastic although it lacks the transitional response of a stiffer carcassed tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for the tip. I hate when tire companies do that sometimes... I understand it saves costs but... hopefully by the time I go through this set + another rear set, I should be making my car more autox/track oriented and go with other tires.
 

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Also for the fronts, to retain the road feel you can go from a 50mm sidewall to a 45mm sidewall. This will make it stiffer giving you more feel. At least that is how I understand it and it worked for me!
 

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getting a tire that's stable in the rain and puddles isn't "almost" worth it... it's absolutely worth it. It's a hard requirement if you ask me.

I'm used to the 245's in back so a 235 still looks kinda skinny to me, but they're a nice looking tread regardless.

You can always get stiffer sprung adjustable coil overs to modify the ride if you want... i've got the ohlins double adjustables and although i was tempted not to go with adjustable suspension becuase i didn't want to have to fuss with it... I'm SUPER glad i did it. i wanted a softer ride than my LSS and now i have stiffer springs for a flatter ride, but yet a softer ride over bumps, and still stable and fun.
 

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I ran an autocross today on R1Rs. They are great cold. I was having some understeer issues as they warmed up, however, I found that they responded very well to dropping the pressures. My times kept improving as I lowered the pressures. I got to 22F/25R. I think they can go lower.

The tires are big. I put on 205/50-16 on the front and they do rub at full lock. I have 235/45-17 on the read which seem larger that the 245/45-17 Star Specs I have. The R1Rs are sticker than the Star Specs.
 

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I just picked up 2 rear R1R's for my LSS rims since my AD048s are gone. I went with the 245/40/17s that others have mentioned. I'll post pics when I get them on thurs/fri
 

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I had 3 sets of wheels, Street, Hoosier Wets and Dry's. I was tired of loading/swapping 3 sets so I sold my Hoosier Wets and Street tires/wheels.

Main reason for that is I never got heat into the hoosier wets and they were just ok. So I bought the R1R's and went with 205 f and 235 rear (due to tt rules). As a street tire they are fantastic, as an intermediate track and rain tire I am 8 sec. or more faster over the Hoosier Wets.

I have had many people say BS...until I show them the data. With proper psi they get heat, tread water very well but if the track gets to dry the tread feels squishy and just will not perform.

I am a fan of the tire now ;)
 

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waddup guys i just installed mine earlier this afternoon sizes Front 205/50R16 and Rear 235/45R17.

First of all, thank you all bros for writing up this tire if not, i would've been burning cash on another set of A048 LTS which gives me extremely low and frustrating tread life.

And i was just wondering...what kinda tire pressure you guys running on PSI???????

tire shop gave me 28psi front and 30psi rear this afternoon and it was raining very hard and it felt very floaty and skiddish in the rain, and even when i was in the parking lot, my steering felt very soft and easy even at an absolute stop. i deflated down to 24psi front and 26psi rear....and i will try it later in the morning and see if there are any improvements.
 
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