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Some Answers... (archive)

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Posted by Dave Clement on April 16, 2002 at 19:41:57:

In Reply to: What are Pros and Cons of Staggering Wheels? posted by Bennett on April 16, 2002 at 08:59:16:

The main reason to have staggered wheels is to get the maximum tread width. This translates to maximum traction.

For most cars, both the diameter and width of the space inside the fenders will be different between the front and rear. Given this, it is usually easier to fit larger tires in the rear than in the front. Therefore the rears are made larger and/or wider.

As already mentioned, one of the limitations is that the tires cannot be rotated between the front and the rear. Most high performance tires are unidirectional, that is they are designed to turn only one way. That prevents the wheels from being swapped left to right, which is usually not recommended anyway. Depending on the tires, it MAY be possible to swap the tires from left to right by dismounting them from the wheels.

Using wider and lower profile tires (staggered or not), has tradeoffs including increased tire wear, a stiffer ride, "wandering", decreased traction is the rain and snow and usually a higher cost.

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