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20 inch All season versus 21 inch summer

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Old 08-02-2017, 12:41 PM
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Default 20 inch All season versus 21 inch summer

Folks,
I did read through some of the existing threads but couldn't exactly find what I was looking for.

1) Do the all season tires last longer than the summer tires? I am guessing yes

2) Can one use the summer tires during winter in say Tahoe. I live in northern California and honestly I don't expect to drive to a snow area like Tahoe more than once a year. So getting winter tires would be overkill. But can one manage with summer tires and AWD for typical Tahoe trips in winter? Will the all season be better for this?

3) I will be taking air suspension. How much of a ride difference will I see with both tires?

4) Why are exact fit all seasons not available for the 21 inch rims?
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Old 08-02-2017, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bytebuster View Post
Folks,
I did read through some of the existing threads but couldn't exactly find what I was looking for.

1) Do the all season tires last longer than the summer tires? I am guessing yes

2) Can one use the summer tires during winter in say Tahoe. I live in northern California and honestly I don't expect to drive to a snow area like Tahoe more than once a year. So getting winter tires would be overkill. But can one manage with summer tires and AWD for typical Tahoe trips in winter? Will the all season be better for this?

3) I will be taking air suspension. How much of a ride difference will I see with both tires?

4) Why are exact fit all seasons not available for the 21 inch rims?
1. Yes, without a doubt most any all season will last longer then a summer tire, particularly when it comes to the Q7

2. Its usually not suggested to run high performance summer tires in snow or ice. If you are sticking to clear roads on a nice temperate day in taho, then I think fine. But not with any snow or ice. They get very hard in temps under freezing temps and a general web search on the subject will overall suggest its a def no no.

3. Air suspension has been discussed on many threads this past year. I do not believe anyone out there regrets getting it, the ride is better then the standard springs, but frankly the standard is darn good, so its really a matter of budget and where to put your money.

4. No exact fit all season for some reason, I know its nuts. The Conti DWS06 All Season in a 295-40-r21 is the one many have gotten including myself. That said I liked them at first, but going back to the summer tires as I just preferred the smoother ride and handling better. Hopefully rotating every 4k keeps the life better then the last set :-)

Last edited by Meyecul; 08-02-2017 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:19 PM
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Thanks Meyecul.
I am thinking I will just go with the 20 inch.
Wife will be angry if we can't take the car to tahoe
Sad to miss out on the black optics package though. Love the look of that package. Grrrrr!
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:37 PM
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Summer tires are completely unusable in any snow. Not even a little usable.

But the real real problem with 21" is harsher ride, additional wheel cost, and much more expensive tires. 21 looks noticeably better to me.

Steel springs should feel as good as the air suspension when they are in the middle setting. But will lack the ability to puff up for added smoothness over rough roads. And air can load level when towing or have heavy stuff in back.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bytebuster View Post
Thanks Meyecul.
I am thinking I will just go with the 20 inch.
Wife will be angry if we can't take the car to tahoe
Sad to miss out on the black optics package though. Love the look of that package. Grrrrr!
Overall prob a good decision and not just for the snow issue. I like the 21's looks a little better but the 10 spoke 20" are not bad. The 21's are proving to be quite costly tire wise (at least for me) and I only have just under 13k miles on my Q7.

One thing to think about. If you really like the black optics features on the car, you could always get it, take off the 21's and sell them with the tires and find some OEM 20's or an aftermarket OEM black optics style wheel in a 20". The proceeds from selling the 21's would likely be a near even swap $$ in the end. Then you have the best of both worlds. Selling the 21's would be super easy here on the forum classifieds. Lots lot owners would likely jump on them.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rsilvers129 View Post
Summer tires are completely unusable in any snow. Not even a little usable.

But the real real problem with 21" is harsher ride, additional wheel cost, and much more expensive tires. 21 looks noticeably better to me.
.

Got news for ya, I have spent a lot of time in 2017 Q7s with 19", 20" (steel springs), and I own the 21"s (air suspension). Imo, the 21's (at least with air suspension), have the best ride of the three as they are not run flats. The run flats in the 19 and 20s on steel def have a firmer ride w more road transmission and rotational steering wheel / pedal feel then the 21's. Not that its bad, they ride just fine overall but the 21's with air suspension are more plush.

I have not tried 21" on steel springs nor 20" on an air suspension. The latter, may be the best compromise here for tread wear, cost and ride combined.

Problem with the 21's is as you mentioned. That better ride (and to some, better looks) goes along with poor tread wear, limited weather conditions, and higher cost.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:01 PM
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I know run flats have an inferior ride, but I believe in winter tires, so the run flats would be gone when they wear out.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:05 PM
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Actually I would probably replace them with regular all season when they wear out. But still also have winter tires.
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Old 08-02-2017, 03:09 PM
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OP, If you prefer 21in, and dont mind the cost of running em.. then just get a second set of smaller winter wheels for your Tahoe trips and swap em out.. Your paying out the nose for wheels/tires anyhow, whats another set in the grand scheme of things? Damage your 21s sliding into a curb and it'll cost yeh more than the winter wheel set.

But no, you should not be driving on summer performance tires in below freezing temps on anything thats not dry.. unsafe for all concerned, even with AWD its too risky.. Here in Colorado the'd ticket you after pulling you out of the ditch for having an unsafe vehicle.. Ive seen snow in Tahoe that would rival what we get.

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Old 08-02-2017, 03:20 PM
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Do most of you swap em out yourselves or take it to a tire store?
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