What does Plus-Sizing or Up-Stepping mean?
Plus-Sizing or Up-Stepping are two terms given to the practice of increasing the diameter of your wheels while simultaneously reducing the profile of your tires to keep the overall rolling diameter the same.
Benefits – Plus-Sizing will improve the handling of your car! – each step will reduce the proportion of flexible tire ’sidewall’ to rigid alloy. This will improve response, will help keep the tire tread square to the road and will improve your car’s ‘feedback’. If done properly speedo and odometer accuracy will be retained and the car’s sure to look better (note: properly refers to maintaining the vehicles stock overall rolling diameter).
Disadvantages – In the majority of situations, tire inches are lighter than wheel inches. Plus-sizing can make your overall wheel/tire package heavier. Reducing the profile of your tyres will also reduce your car’s damping deflection under compression [the ride quality will get worse]. Other disadvantages can include you needing more expensive tyres, your brakes looking puny.
One more important thing to think about whenever you change the tire or wheel size. Consider your environment and the area your usually drive on. If you drive in areas where the road surface tends to be rough (i.e. non paved roads or pot hole invested streets) you may want to consider leaving a decent amount of tire. The more tire and cushion the less wheel bends you may encounter. Sometimes choosing a wheel is more then just what looks best.
–Portions Courtesy of YHI