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So...... how does it ride with super light wheels, a bit more sidewall and the B14s ? Also, the tyres look quite stretched on those rims, what tyre size and rim width ? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
The tyres are 195/45 and in spec for the 7xR16 rims so they're fine.

Rather than doing the mods all at once I chose to add each one separately with sufficient time inbetween to be able to figure out what difference they each made. If I went into it all I'm sure I'd sound like an over-opinionated dullard but each step was an easily noticeable improvement. They're all quite popular mods and I'd recommend each one.

The standard OEM wheels are fantastic looking (I don't think I've ever seen anyone say otherwise) but they really are a heavy design. If you ever take one off it's actually surprising how heavy it feels. They must mix their aluminium alloy differently in Poland! When the OZ wheels arrived I watched the delivery guy carry all 4 boxes to my house in one go, lol. They are a tad over half the weight of the Oswalds.

On the road this makes an instantly noticeable difference. I've done this type of mod with other cars so knew what to expect. There's plenty to read online about the multiple advantages of reducing unsprung weight (if you haven't done it before). The lower inertia effectively means that the wheels stay in contact with the road better over bumps. There's improved grip, acceleration, braking, less harshness, better steering feel. Dropping down to 16 inch has the benefit of reducing weight further but also a slightly taller side-wall for better ride comfort and less stress when encountering pot-holes.

Sorry if I'm preaching to the converted but the lightweight wheel mod is well worth understanding. I can see other's point of view that think you need the Oswald for the GTI look. I guess it comes down to how much you value aesthetics compared to dynamics.

6643
 

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Hi Uppy, thanks for your reply. You are definitely preaching to the converted :) I have swapped wheels on a few previous cars to improve the ride. Our Tiguan came on 19s and I swapped down to 17s, went from 28kg to 21.5kg per wheel (actually went back to 19's on that car eventually as the ride was ok on them and the 17s looked hideous). Had a 530d that was on 19" RFTs and swapped it down to 18" non-RFTs, went from 28.5kg to 19.5kg per wheel !!! (Sidetracking a bit - the style 619 BMW wheel, despite being the bog standard wheel on the lowliest 5 series, is actually a forged wheel made by Fuchs and weighs only 9kg in 8Jx18).

From my limited experience so far, running Oswalds at 30F/28R, it's the rear that is the bigger problem in terms of ride quality and noise. It does feel like very heavy wheels being kicked up by every pothole edge and cats eye into a very light rear end without sufficient damper control.

I am pretty much decided that I will put on a set of 16's. Just can't decide between a set of Upsilons or Triangles off ebay, or something aftermarket and very lightweight like the Alleggeritas.

According to this site VW up! (AA) 2011- - Original Felgen - Seite 1 Oswalds are 11.0kg*, Triangles are 8.6kg, Upsilons are 8.2kg. Need to add a bit onto that for 5mm spacers. I think the Alleggeritas are about 6.2kg right ? 3 reasons to go with Triangle/Upsilon:
  • cost (4x new Triangles inc centre caps is £450 or less on ebay currently);
  • factory look (would be less of an issue if I could be sure of getting some version of VW centre cap to fit Oz alloys);
  • the Alleggeritas only seem to be available in a 7J width or greater which restricts my tyre choices.

3 reasons to go with Alleggeritas:
  • those who KNOW will give me subtle nods of approval at petrol stations;
  • the further reduction in unsprung weight will help the ride;
  • no extra expense and faffing about for spacers to clear the calipers (correct ?)

I would ideally fit 185/50 tyres. The car only weighs 1070kg. I'm not interested in any more dry grip than the factory tyres give, I'm more interested in wet weather grip and avoiding aquaplaning, and less NVH coming from the rear. As others have noted, the choice of top quality tyres in that size is poor, but I can get Kumho Ecsta HS51 in that size for £53 each and they have done really well in the recent tests I've seen.

What do you think ?

(* weighed an Oswald plus factory tyre this morning. 17.7kg with 2k miles on the tyre)
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
It sounds like you've thought about it even more than me :)

I'd say that's a pretty good conclusion.

One other advantage for the VW wheels is that they're designed to fit the UP so the centre bore is exactly correct to fit the 57.1mm spigot on the wheel. If you opt for the OZ wheels the centre bore is 68mm so you need 'hub centric' rings. OZ actually supply a metal set of these but they don't take any load, they are simply to align the wheel upon installation so I bought a set of plastic rings instead to save a few grams. It all helps ;)

You are correct that the R16 Alleggeritas clear the callipers - no mod required.

I agree that it's the damping that lets down the OEM suspension. I haven't really done enough miles on my B14's to make a proper judgement yet but first impressions are favourable and after driving to one of the bumpiest country lanes local to me I was happy that it hasn't introduced any uncomfortable or harsh characteristics. The adjustable range of the B14's is from 30mm to 50mm drop and I've currently got them set pretty high (35mm drop). I intend to drop them lower at some point just for a test but I'm fairly sure that I'll be keeping them relatively high. It's more about the improved damping for me than how it looks.

I also agree that tyres should be chosen on how they feel in the wet rather than the dry. I've not got a lot of experience of different tyres but I've always been a fan of the Rainsports for wet weather grip so they are my 'go-to' if the PS4 isn't available (which it isn't for the wheels I now have).

Let us know what you decide....
 

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Top respect for the modifications and putting dynamics 1st!
This photo was taken yesterday on the cars 1st roadtrip down to Cornwall I was very impressed with the ride quality it's now better than it was standard at a much more GTi like ride height 😎😍
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I spoked to my local VW dealer yesterday and learnt that my car was originally bought with a servicing pack so my first two services will be free of charge. That wasn't mentioned in the advert when I bought it so that was a bit of an unexpected result.

Another sign (along with the paint protection pack) that the original owner had to sell unexpectantly after just 6 months :/
 

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Prior to the 16s I wont lie, I ran a bit hot and cold with my Gti.... when I was in the mood I loved it but...there was always a but.

Since putting the Sparcos Trofeos and rainsports on I am falling deeper and deeper in love with this stupid little car - it just seems to deliver the same levels of smoothness in everything it does now, the engine, the ride etc

I was driving it down the road that goes by the front of Stobo Castle last week (did it again last night) - its twisty road through the woods, must be following a river somewhere - absolutely hammering it - it just felt so engaging to drive.

Again Brough to Sedburgh on Wednesday evening - late - sunroof open - heated seats on - twisty flowy cresting road - you can absolutely pin the thing and tip the front end into anything - its got the best front end of any FWD I have ever driven.

I must have done 2000 miles in the last 4 weeks and loved every one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 · (Edited)
Good stuff ^^

I'm wanting to retire up in the borders or Dumfries & Galloway area in a couple of years so I read your driving trip descriptions with interest (y)

I did a driving holiday based in Cappercleuch last year and it was ace. I'm off for a week up in the Gatehouse of Fleet area next month.

It's quite hard to explain to someone just what a difference lighter wheels make. When I first did it, I changed for aesthetic reasons (I had bright gold OEM wheels and hated the look) and replaced them with anthracite Prodrive wheels which were magnesium and happened to be waaay lighter. I was gob-smacked by how much improvement there was in how the car drove. Ever since then it's something that I look into doing when I get a new car.
 
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