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Telsa is being offered with a 19 inch rim with all season tires, or a 21 inch rim with performance tires. I live in Seattle, and we have a lot of rain, and in the winter some snow.

I like the way the 21's look, but I would like to hear from those out there that have thoughts and experience with these two types of tires. Don't want to crash my car, or be one of "those guys", stuck in 1/8th inch of snow.

Yes, the 21's will give you reduced range compared to the 19's. The outer diameter of the tires is essentially identical, regardless of the rim diameter. The reason the 21's will give you reduced range is because:

1) The tires are wider, so increased road contact produces greater rolling resistance.
2) The tires are made of a softer rubber for increased grip, which means greater rolling resistance.

As an aside: This is why the 21's have a shorter life expectancy. The softer rubber wears more quickly.

AFAIK no one has actually quantified how much this will reduce your range. Probably 1-5%. Still, I'm sure some people with 21" rims will still get better range than the EPA reports, and better than many people driving with 19" rims. Your driving habits are going to be a much bigger factor than your tires.

A Tesla rep quoted me "up to 5%" loss of range with the 21" tires. I'm guestimating 4%, but only your car manufacturer knows for sure.

Has anyone asked about getting Snow Tires on their delivered car instead of all season?

As reasonalbe a price that they are offering for the winter packages I really do not want put lay down another couple of thousand dollars day 1. I would rather do this 5 months later in the spring.

My guess would be 5% to 8% depending upon ambient temperature and road surface.

It can be gain instead of loss if the terrain is loose (sand, mud, snow), more surface area means tire digs less into ground. There is a reason why tractors have huge tires.

.............also on Cougar Mountain here *S* Just gonna park the Tesla when we get a snow forecast. Gotta have the 21"s!

I'm not sure when I'll swap the 21" for the 19" seasonally. The 21's are really only intended for dry roads, so their wide footprints and shallow tread patterns are much more susceptible to hydroplaning in wet weather.

So us western-washington types will only be sporting our 21's a couple months each year...

Once upon a time, 4 years ago, I sold tires to help pay for college. I sold them in Salt Lake City, UT and Seattle, WA where I currently live. My opinion:

Unless you have to traverse a big snowy hill/ canyon or you have a steep driveway, I would NOT get snow tires assuming you are fine driving with 19's all year round. If you are going to swap tires anyways, then it probably doesn't matter all that much. However, if you are going to be driving with 19's all year round, then good quality all seasons (especially premium Michelin tires) last a long time and have ample traction for the snow. For most people they will do fine.

In Seattle, I personally am going to keep the 21's on all year long. I won't be driving much the one week every two years where we actually get snow- like everyone else in the city. I am a perfectly fine snow driver, but I don't trust the other idiots on the road, not worth it to me. The amount of rainfall we get and the roads I drive on does not make me worry about snowfall. Seattle does not get HEAVY rains like a lot of East coast cities. It's a light sprinkle throughout the day and I wouldn't worry about keeping the 21's on.

I am going to get Michelin Pilot Sports probably. They will do just fine.

Err, I said "does not make me worry about snowfall" but I meant rainfall. IN Western Washington, the rain doesn't pour, it sprinkles. I seriously would not hesitate leaving the 21's on. More water will accumulate on the roads in Orlando Florida in their random downpours than Seattle.

JHall: plus there are many performance tires that work great in the rain.

For myself, I don't have the option of passing on the snow tires. I'll be going the 19s in the winter with snow tires, and the 21s in the summer.

I plan on running on the same tires all year long, winter, spring, summer or fall the 21's will answer my call.


We're both in soggy Seattle, what performance tires are you going to run in the rain?

@BYT - I 'hear' what you did there. ;)

I found this article and thought it may help answer some of the questions that have come up.

I live in the Philadelphia suburbs, and over the past few years, our weather has been all over the place--from a practically snowless winter last year to snowmageddon in 2010. Initially I wasn't thinking about getting a set of winter tires (to go with my 21s), but after doing some research, I'd rather pay $2400 for a set of 19" wheels and winter tires than a $500 deductible.


Bear in mind that not all all-season tires are equal. Some have a severe service rating and you'd be hard pressed to find a traction difference between them and the best "real" winter tires. Other are "Texas all-seasons" and are really summer tires with enough low temperature flexibility to not turn to wood at freezing temperatures. They're there to get you by in areas where there is only a few days of snow on the road and the rest of the time is either dry or raining.

However, 21" 35% aspect ratio tires are a very poor starting place for a winter tire. The wider the tread width of a tire the less traction in most winter conditions it will have (and the 21" tires have a wider tread width than the 19" although both are really too wide for winter conditions in my opinion).

Best winter traction is obtained with a long narrow contact patch rather than a short wide one.

I would strongly recommend a second set of tires and wheels for winter if you live in an area with a real winter, or if your summer tires are the 21" tires.

@jerry3 - Thanks for your input and sorry for the confusion. I'm planning on getting the 21" performance set for the summer and this 19" set for the winter.


That is certainly what I would do if I was getting the 21" tires.

Can someone tell me if the tires are rotatable at all? I assume no. How would a ranger rotate them? I'm talking 21s.

They do have tire chains available in accessories section, thoughts?

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't both 19" and 21" tires 245 width? If yes then the width has no bearing on the decision. Certainly tread pattern and rubber softness are important for winter driving.

You only need one jack and one jack stand to rotate tires. Jack up one wheel, put jack stand under and remove jack. Remove wheel. Jack up next wheel, remove wheel and put on previously removed wheel. Lower jack and repeat with next wheel twice. Then put last wheel on where the jack stand is, jack up there and remove jack stand. Lower jack. Done.

You probably can rotate rear wheels in front and front to back but not right to left, unless you also change rims in them (those 21 inch tires have rolling direction, changing right to left would reverse that, which would be bad).


those 21 inch tires have rolling direction, changing right to left would reverse that

I remember that there was a discussion of this issue and maybe at that time the outcome was that the "turbine fan" has opposite/symmetric direction left and right. Looking at recent images of production cars (Get Amped tour, pics from first owners, galleries in online reviews) I no longer think it's true. There seems to be exactly one version of that rim, and as a result the "fan blades" are reversed on the left vs. right side of the car.

If you double check, ensure that you look at actual, natural photos. Any images that are touched up for marketing material are bogus (e.g., they may be flipped/mirrored to make the car look into a certain direction).

Sorry -- where's edit?!

Timo, you were talking about the tires, not the rims. With regard to the tires of course you are 100% right. Actually, I assume that all tires have a rolling direction, so the problem would be standard with any wheel rotation, wouldn't it?


Unless the tires specifically say they have a rolling direction, how you rotate them makes no difference. Either the front to back or criss-cross method is fine. The "radial tires must be rotated a certain way" is one of the pieces of FUD left over from when the tire manufacturers that didn't make radial tires were trying to slow (or better yet stop completely) the adoption of radial tires.

There are two types of rolling directions:

1. Tread pattern: Tires with tread pattern rolling directions always have sidewall markings with the words "rolling direction" on them.

2. Casing rolling direction: These tires do not have "rolling direction" markings on the sidewalls, only arrows. The arrows need to point to each other on the top if the car is rear-wheel drive or away from each other if the car is front wheel drive. That is the drive tire needs the arrow to be pointing in the traveling direction and the free rolling axle needs to have the arrow pointing in the braking direction. These kinds of tires are typically motorsport and DOT motorsport tires.

I haven't purchased non-directional tyres in over 20 years. It's been so long that I'd assumed all had gone that way.

It may have something to do with always driving performance cars.

Rotating tyres on my current cars means having the shop take them off the rim - front and rear are different sizes, so side to side swaps only.


Most of the better tires today are either asymmetrical, directional or both. Asymmetrical tires aren't necessarily directional although many are. A very few are asymmetrical and casing directional. With those you purchase two "A" and two "B" tires because one type only goes left-front right-rear and the other goes right-front/left-rear (Where A type or B type goes depends on whether the car is front or rear wheel drive).

Yep - most (all) of the asymmetrical tyres that I've purchased have been directional. Haven't looked at anything for front wheel drive, as I refuse to own one.

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