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Sombody please give me a good reason why 19" rims are better then 20"

2301 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  b4z
On a cts
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Effects of Unsprung Weight The unsprung weight of a wheel controls a trade-off between a wheel's bump-following ability and its vibration isolation. Bumps and surface imperfections in the road cause tire compression—which induces a force on the unsprung weight. The unsprung weight then responds to this force with movement of its own. The amount of movement, for short bumps, is inversely proportional to the weight - a lighter wheel which readily moves in response to road bumps will have more grip and more constant grip when tracking over an imperfect road. For this reason, lighter wheels are sought especially for high-performance applications. In contrast, a heavier wheel which moves less will not absorb as much vibration; the irregularities of the road surface will transfer to the cabin through the geometry of the suspension and hence ride quality and road noise are deteriorated. For longer bumps that the wheels follow, greater unsprung mass causes more energy to be absorbed by the wheels and makes the ride worse.

Pneumatic or elastic tires help by providing some springing for most of the (otherwise) unsprung mass, but the damping that can be included in the tires is limited by considerations of fuel economy and overheating. The shock absorbers, if any, damp the spring motion also and must be less stiff than would optimally damp the wheel bounce. So the wheels execute some vibrations after each bump before coming to rest. On dirt roads and perhaps on some softly paved roads, these motions form small bumps, known as corrugations, washboarding or "corduroy" because they resemble smaller versions of the bumps in roads made of logs. These cause sustained wheel bounce in subsequent vehicles, enlarging the bumps.

High unsprung weight also exacerbates wheel control issues under hard acceleration or braking. If the vehicle does not have adequate wheel location in the vertical plane (such as a rear-wheel drive car with Hotchkiss drive, a live axle supported by simple leaf springs), vertical forces exerted by acceleration or hard braking combined with high unsprung mass can lead to severe wheel hop, compromising traction and steering control.

As mentioned above, there is a positive effect of unsprung mass. High frequency road irregularities, such as the gravel in an asphalt or concrete road surface, are isolated from the body more completely because the tires and springs act as separate filter stages, with the unsprung weight tending to uncouple them. Likewise, sound and vibration isolation is improved (at the expense of handling), in production automobiles, by the use of rubber bushings between the frame and suspension, by any flexibility in the frame or body work, and by the flexibility of the seats.

A high dollar 20 would probably have the same weight as a stock 19. You would also be using a lower profile tire which would give a harsher ride. Fuel mileage and breaking could change too. If it's all about looks, don't worry about any of the above.
I agree one of the best write ups of unsprung weight I have read.

Don't forget that acceleration and braking are affected negatively.
My wife's '04 Tahoe came with the optional 17" aluminum wheel package. I then put on factory 2008 5 spoke 20s.
As soon as I left the tire shop I could feel a difference in acceleration and in braking. It just wanted to keep rolling and not stop.
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