Lotus Elan

Tyre question?

PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:21 pm

Hi Paul

Those are 70 profile tyres and as I have been told by several people who should know (including Miles and Dougal) the Plus 2 really needs an 80 profile tyre, to fill the wheel arches properly and for the sake of the suspension geometry. I've got 70s on my car and as you know I've been trying to sort its handling out forever and getting nowhere. 80 profile tyres would raise the ride height which will enable the small amount of caster to be more effective (due to the tyre/road contact patch being further way from the pivot point or some such).

I just wish I could borrow a set of 80s to try them out. At least then I could prove or disprove what I just said...
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PostPost by: draenog » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:30 pm

JonB wrote:Hi Paul

Those are 70 profile tyres and as I have been told by several people who should know (including Miles and Dougal) the Plus 2 really needs an 80 profile tyre, to fill the wheel arches properly and for the sake of the suspension geometry. I've got 70s on my car and as you know I've been trying to sort its handling out forever and getting nowhere. 80 profile tyres would raise the ride height which will enable the small amount of caster to be more effective (due to the tyre/road contact patch being further way from the pivot point or some such).

I just wish I could borrow a set of 80s to try them out. At least then I could prove or disprove what I just said...


If I remember, your tyres are 165/70 - these are 185/70, which are much closer in diameter to 165/80 (5 mm less compared to 33 mm):

https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?ti ... -165-80r13

https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?ti ... -165-80r13
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:13 pm

Good point drenog, I am happy to be educated!

@Paul - I take it back.. :)
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:09 pm

pauljones wrote:https://www.oponeo.co.uk/tyre-details/hankook-kinergy-eco-2-k435-185-70-r13-86-t#204334354_label

https://www.oponeo.co.uk/tyre-details/n ... #204096561

Heres my issue.

The above is 2 quick links that give two different products at between £37 and £41 each. A further search on blackcircles will get you more options in and around the same budget.
Hunt hard ish and NSR2s are just over £50 each. A track orientated road legal compound and design.
So for £200 i can have either one tyre or a complete set..forgive me for stating the obvious but i know where my pension will get spent.

Both the top 2 which are cheaper are cat B for wet driving which I consider important over its cat C on fuel. Even the DB rating is lower than some if not most premium brands.

Just my opionion of course


yeah but they are all irrelevant

It's like saying a 2 CV is cheaper so why should i buy a Lotus Elan

They are just modern tyres made by budget tyre manufacturers, that are designed to work on a totally different kind of car. They just won't handle as well. (and look rubbish) It is a wholey different beast. they will be great on a Ford Focus which has so little to do with your car.

It's like saying why is this CD cheaper than a Record. They are built to be used in conjunction with a different machine.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:18 pm

Just read that Vintagetyres are planning to remake some Dunlop patterned 155/13 tyres.. Might wait to see what comes up?
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PostPost by: pauljones » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:41 pm

Dougal

Ive read this from start to finish and the other threads too. I hear you say alot of positives about your chosen brands but also negatives on all other options.
However theres not been any hard tech evidence that says anything. Ive looked and cant see much on the subject that i can work with, unless i read chassis design from Costin and Phipps where things get intereting. Web searches indicate that narrow rubber is more suited to large changes in camber and wide should be avoided as it will lift the outer portion up in corners. Conversely i take from the other side of the arguement that sugests suspension that changes very little in camber can tolerate wider tyres better. Obviously to wide reduces pressure on the contact patch reducing any gains.

Now im no way near being an authority on this and always happy to be educated.
All i can say to the discussion is as previously said, i run 185 verds which i find fine. No rubbing. Good grip and if i push it harder than normal i can lean on the fronts quite nicely. A far as looks go i also think theyre fairly pretty. I would have the same again but i cant. Id go as far to say as even for an older set of tyres they are to me much better than the brand new Hancocks i have on the other set.

My view is personal and objective to how i drive and of course my budget. So £200 is a whole lot easier to swallow, or hide from my wife, than over £1000.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: elj221c » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:03 pm

Didn't there used to be a trade area.?

This thread should be consigned there or locked.

Not a lot useful except for somebody selling....
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:18 pm

I started this discussion as I am looking to buy a set of tyres for my car and didn’t really want to spend £800 on 4 tyres..I just wanted to get an idea of what other forum members had on their cars ....
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:17 am

Hi Carl,

I bought some Dunlop SP Sport Aquajet 155 from Vintage tyres back in 2002.
They had been made using moulds they had bought in New Zealand.
Very nice to look at but i always found them very heavy for the steering.
A bit noisy when taking bends fast.
Imho the only choice is Michelin XAS FF 155 or like what i have fitted now a modern Dunlop Street Response 2 very cheap and nice light Steering.
Alan
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:22 am

pauljones wrote:Dougal

Ive read this from start to finish and the other threads too. I hear you say alot of positives about your chosen brands but also negatives on all other options.
However theres not been any hard tech evidence that says anything. Ive looked and cant see much on the subject that i can work with, unless i read chassis design from Costin and Phipps where things get intereting. Web searches indicate that narrow rubber is more suited to large changes in camber and wide should be avoided as it will lift the outer portion up in corners. Conversely i take from the other side of the arguement that sugests suspension that changes very little in camber can tolerate wider tyres better. Obviously to wide reduces pressure on the contact patch reducing any gains.


I think this instance is on far stiffer suspension that does not travel so far.

I think you are right read Costin and Phipps. I'm not clever enough or eloquent enough to explain it as well as they will. I have however drawn a picture. One of the things in my picture below that isn't quite right is that the modern car is still leaning as much as the classic cars, which doesn't happen. One of the main features that has allowed modern cars to take advantage of square tyre sections as well as the adjusting camber is fact that modern cars stay far flatter than they did in period.

pauljones wrote:Now im no way near being an authority on this and always happy to be educated.
All i can say to the discussion is as previously said, i run 185 verds which i find fine. No rubbing. Good grip and if i push it harder than normal i can lean on the fronts quite nicely. A far as looks go i also think theyre fairly pretty. I would have the same again but i cant. Id go as far to say as even for an older set of tyres they are to me much better than the brand new Hancocks i have on the other set.

My view is personal and objective to how i drive and of course my budget. So £200 is a whole lot easier to swallow, or hide from my wife, than over £1000.


I'm not saying that the Vredestein are dreadful, although they do look wrong. what i'm suggesting is that a proper period tyre is better (and looks better)

As Much as i can justify the expense of a, complicated to manufacture, high quality, high spec, low volume tyre like a XAS, we cannot get away from the fact it leads to a large credit car bill. my recommendations as to what is actually the best tyre are not about cost. I would suggest that the best tyres you can get in 155R13 & 165R13 are the Michelin XAS https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/michel ... n-xas.html I havce driven on the road and track with these and they are great. That is what i would fit. thhe cotrrect size tyre with a period carcass developed to compliment these cars made by one of the worlds best tyre manufacturers.

I also think that the best tyre for the early cars is a 145HR13 Cinturato CA67 https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/145-r- ... -ca67.html I believe it is the only classic tyre in the size. I think it is also the only sports car tyre in that size, and the price is really good, bare in mind this is a Pirelli not Vredestein or Hankook as earlier discussed.

Then for people who want a wider lower profile tyre Pirelli also make 175/70VR13 CN36 https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/catalo ... gory/2618/ and a 185/70VR13 CN36 https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/catalo ... gory/2618/ which again, i think are (except for a 185/70VR13 Michelin XDX) are the only genuine period tyres available. they are also high spec, period sports car tyre that are produced to go on cars like Elans and make them still handle nicely even when an oversized tyre is being fitted. These are also very reasonably priced and the CN36 looks super cool.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:57 pm

Another vote for the Vredestein Spint Classic here! I had them on my last classic car, an Aston DB2 that I drove many thousands of miles in "spirited fashion" here in Western Canada where the weather can be incredibly changeable but the mountain roads are brilliant! They were certainly not cheap at $400US per tire (185x16). Many friends use them on Jag XKs, Alfas, Porsche 356 etc and all are happy with them.
I was disappointed with your abject rejection of them on a video Dougal!
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:19 am

If you try the Pirelli or the Michelin, you will see that they are better.

I have driven an Alfa Spider on Vredestein which we changed to Michelin. it drives better on the Michelin and the Michelin actually looks good.

I'm not saying that the Vredestein is rubbish, but in my experience the Michelin and Pirelli are better.

Historically I understood why people would fit the Vredestein, back when they were cheaper, l but they just aren't any more. Michelin and Pirelli, with 100+ years of experience, are 2 of the worlds best tyre manufacturers, and they are making tyres specifically for your cars, which are perfect, and look right. what could be better?

Lotus fitted Cinturato on their Elite ( i have them on mine)

from 1952 if you specified radial tyres on your David Brown Aston from Feltham they would fit Pirelli Cinturato, though it would not be cheap. Prior to that it would be Michelin X. If you really wanted to go to town you could have a Borrani https://www.borrani.com/aston-martin-wheels/db2.html

To be honest with you, i don't really get the Vredestein thing. they are not bad tyres, but the real motivation behind it was that containers full of XK and early DB 16" tyres, and later DB and series 1&2 XKE 15" tyres were being shipped out to the States from Europe and fitted to these cars, because of their price which was able to be kept low because of volume, and a sort of resentment to buy tyres off the well known classic Tyre dealer out there, because of margins and price. But the price advantage isn't there any more.

What can i say - try the Cinturato on your DB2. when i do this search https://www.lucasclassictires.com/185R16_c82.htm in the States, yes the Vredestein is still cheaper than the Pirelli, but don't you think a Pirelli is better that a Vredestein in the States?

I would suggest in Europe Pirelli are considered in the top few tyre manufacturers. Certainly in the '60s and '70s it was definitely Pirelli Cinturato, Michelin XAS or XWX. in '68 Dunlop had a bit of the Limelight with the Aquajet, but that was soon eclipsed by Pirelli's Cinturato CN36 then CN12 and Michelin's XWX
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PostPost by: Davidb » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:48 pm

Vredestein are certainly not rubbish-we agree on that. Their performance in the wet or dry is extremely good and I have never had or heard of an issue with one. Now that Tire Rack have started distributing them in the US the prices are dropping but when I was buying them five years ago they were $400US each. Michelin Pilot Sports were $600 and then they stopped distributing them! Pirelli were not available... As regards appearance, that is a subjective issue that never concerned me or anyone I know who uses them-mostly ex-Brits of a "certain era".
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PostPost by: jbeach » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:38 pm

Dear Elan tire experts,

I've been reading this post since it's beginning and finally feel moved to chime in.

During the early-to-mid 70s, I had the fortunate opportunity to compare at some length the performance of Michelin X, XAS, Cinturatos, CN36, Semperit, Dunlop, etc. Most of this driving was in 60s XKEs, MGBs, and early 70s Porsche 914s, pushed hard on fast, curvy public roads and in autocrosses.

At that time, XAS was a quality tire that was quiet, had a good ride, and above-average performance. But the CN36s, and, to an even greater extent, Semperits had significantly higher ultimate grip and a more direct, linear response to steering input. The mid-70s version of the XAS simply lost the performance competition in fast-road and autocross conditions.

Flash forward to today. I have not tried a modern XAS. Michelin tires are generally excellent. I've fitted Michelins to all of my other cars for the past 25 years and assume the XAS is vastly improved from what I experienced in the 70s, as tire technology has move forward significantly.

If I didn't have Vredestein 155x13 HR Sprint Classic + on my Elan, I would bite the monetary bullet and fit the XAS and I'm certain it would be worth the money. After all, even by modern standards, the Elan is one of the finest handling cars ever made. Let's face it - if ever there was a car that deserves the best tire possible, it is the Elan. Spending an extra few hundred dollars for the absolute best interface between your car and the tarmac should be a no-brainer.

I have some of the last Sprint + tires to be sold in NA - produced just over 2 years ago. I was lucky - I snagged a set just as the North American inventories were drying up. These tires are superb on my Elan. Their linear response to steering input, breakaway characteristics, and ultimate grip are all superlative. Why Vredestein has discontinued them is a complete mystery - I just hope they begin producing them again.

For what it is worth, Vredestein was founded in 1909, began making bicycle tires in 1934, and car tires in 1946 - that's 72 years. I'm sorry, but, with respect, I cannot get on board with the suggestion that Michelins or Pirellis are better simply because they have been producing tires longer than that.

My two cents - and I realize worth only that. Very interesting thread, containing lots of useful information.

Cheers,

-John
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:00 pm

jbeach wrote:For what it is worth, Vredestein was founded in 1909, began making bicycle tires in 1934, and car tires in 1946 - that's 72 years. I'm sorry, but, with respect, I cannot get on board with the suggestion that Michelins or Pirellis are better simply because they have been producing tires longer than that.


Hi John

It isn't my suggestion that Michelin and Pirelli are the best tyre produces in the world, just because they are 100 years old. The point is that they have been able to keep going for 100 years because they are the best tyre produces in the world. they have always been at the leading edge of tyre development, particularly in the period we are interested in here.

In period Michelin developed the XAS which was a groundbreaking tyre, developed to make cars of that period be more relaxing to drive on dual carriageways. So the XAS has a asymmetric carcass as well as tread pattern, which is developed to enhance the tyre in many ways, because like the human foot, different parts of the tyre do different jobs, one of the main improvements with the XAS was directional stability, cars were increasingly finding themselves cruising at high speeds on motorways and dual carriageways that were springing up all over Europeland. Modern cars have come up with a different way to deal with this. They add a whole heap of caster to your front axle and then overcome the derogatory effects of that with very clever modern fangled powersteering.

Also the current XAS is the FF Formula France road race compound, which are brilliant. I suppose one of the concerns of a racing compound is that they might not benefit from getting old, I suppose i had these on a car i used to race and use on the road, and i don't suppose they ever got more than a couple of years old, so i couldn't really comment. But we never had any concerns about XAS, only good reports.

Aesthetically they are perfect. great looking 1965 tread pattern that continued right through until 1979 where it was slightly modified to become the XVS, nice clean side wall as they did in period, No fancy patterns all over the tyre side wall, it is just correct, and pure.

I have got to say i love selling XAS because they reflect well on my business. i know them well, having had a few cars on them, but what i really like is after i have sold them all i ever hear is people contacting me saying how much better they are than what they had on before. I never get any complains about XAS. I hate complaints we don't tend to get them. It is good for my business, because we say " fit XAS they are great" they fit them, they are great and they are happy with our service, knowledge and very happy with the tyre. We come out smelling of roses.

I'm not sure Vredestein have got the heritage of building tyre carcasses in the '60s and '70s. I don't think i have stumbled across them, while i have been looking into OE tyres on sports cars. so they can never really celebrate the history side of things. In my experience of driving on a wide variety of classic car tyres, Michelin XAS and Cinturato are much better. So i think they have a place as a budget tyre, but it is just a shame they look like that. Even if for some reason you like the tread pattern, which i'm pretty sure is not a period sports car tyre tread pattern, no one could think that that side wall looked good on a classic sports car.

For the Cinturato tyres in the States these guys are the distributors https://www.lucasclassictires.com/Pirel ... o_c255.htm I think as a 145R13 for the early cars the Cinturato is a bargain. I don't think there is another sports car tyre in that size, i don't think there is actually another period tyre. I can't see how anyone could argue there was a better tyre for these early cars.

I think for the rest of the Elans 155HR13 XAS FF https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/155hr1 ... as-ff.html is the best and for the MK 2 https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/165hr1 ... as-ff.html I think we are as good pleace to buy these from as anywhere. we ship the Michelin Classic Range most places free of carriage charges.

I think the CN36 tyres are the best possible tyres for a sports car of the Elan period, if you want to fit oversized tyres, but you will enjoy driving your cars most if you stick with the OE sizes that Lotus chose to fit on these cars. it is worth mentioning that low profile tyres came out in 1968, and lotus chose not to fit them. I would suggest unless you are racing don't mess with the gorgeous handling of an Elan. The XAS is not a cheap tyre to make or buy, but they are brilliant, so its worth it, if handling comes as a higher priority than cost.
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