Lancia Beta Forum

Technical stuff => Wheels/Tyres => Topic started by: peteracs on November 14, 2020, 11:16:15 AM

Title: Tyre selection
Post by: peteracs on November 14, 2020, 11:16:15 AM
Hi All

Standard alloy rims about to be sent off for refurb time to decide on tyres. Car is 77 pre f/l Spider standard rack.

What tyre size should I go for?

What make/type given general non winter driving?

I see that you can get T and H rated tyres which have about 15mph difference in speed rating, but both well over what I intend to do on normal roads of course, so any reason why I should not go for T rated given the difference in price?


Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: WestonE on November 14, 2020, 05:11:46 PM
Hi Peter

Whether any of these tyres are available in 14 inch will be a case of typing it into Black Circles, but I thought I would share the Auto Express Market review. (

Personally I will never skimp on tyres and get the most up to date technology I can because they make such a huge difference to car performance. However grip over mileage for me as few of us will ever do high mileage in our Betas. That was why I switched to track crossover tyres in my Montecarlo which was a revelation. I am not suggesting that for a Beta without power steering.


Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: smithymc on November 14, 2020, 05:52:11 PM
It was news to me that the same size tyre has changed shape over the years, with more pronounced shoulders to more modern tyres.

Have a look at this when they are discussing tyres for an Alfa.


Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: HFStuart on November 14, 2020, 07:08:28 PM
I find 185 with no PS too heavy at low speed to be enjoyable but fine above 30mph.

The god news is that 175/70 and 185/65 are popular sizes for econohatches so there's premium tyres available. You can't go wrong with Goodyear Efficient Grips. 
Or talk to someone like Longstone Tyres and see if they have a period tread pattern ?

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: mangocrazy on November 14, 2020, 11:02:19 PM
Agree with Stuart. Something like the Goodyear Efficient Grips (what a convoluted name...?) mean you get a premium, modern tyre at a bargain price. What's not to like? In terms of tyre width/aspect ratio, go with whatever appeals the most or is the best price. A quick check online shows that 185/65 tyres are significantly cheaper (around £50 vs. £70) and far more available than 175/70 in 14 inch rim sizes.

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: WestonE on November 15, 2020, 10:47:11 AM
An interesting video with some subtle sales messages worked in there. I agree on the old tyre message completely and continue to be amazed by people telling me they still have the original tyres on their 20 year plus car. They must have liked driving on Ice when they were younger!
I think the point about not going too wide on the section and losing progressive/ predictable handling i.e. slip is important. However we are blessed with good independent suspension all round so the need for rounded tread edges is not the same as the Alfa with it's live rear axle. They failed to mention the sidewall deforms to an extent changing to tyre road contact patch. Check out some of the Period VX road test pictures for how the front tyre rolled when pushed very hard.

What is compromised is the built in camber and caster at the front in order to keep the steering lighter (worse on a Montecarlo). On PS cars adding 1.5 degrees negative front camber transforms turn in grip and makes overly light PS steering deliver feel again. Too high sidewalls lose steering precision which was why Lancia switched over. I would go with the 185/65 and forget the tread pattern looking correct for the period in favor of grip and grins.     

For my car I am using every trick available to tune the handling including Gaz Gold coil over Struts, front top mounts that give me adjustable camber and caster. Using the OE Top mounts at the rear for better location along with twin adjustable rear links and custom front wishbones. I have fitted power steering having learnt from my previous Beta Spider running the GC 185BHP engine.

I will use 195 x 50 x 15 Yokohama AD08 track cross over tyres. But I do not recommend these on non PS cars unless you really enjoy weight training!


PS use modern geometry settings with modern tyres or suffer. The OS setting on a Monte are ridiculous with modern tyres and almost dangerous in the wet.

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: capriblu on November 15, 2020, 01:54:19 PM

I switched back to original spec width/profile rubber just over a year ago from 185 section tyres - definitely slightly easier at parking speeds.

I'd just go for original 175/70 H spec from a reasonable manufacturer.   

I fitted these (  and they are fine. (

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: squiglyzigly on November 15, 2020, 07:52:31 PM
On my S2 Berlina Iím currently running 185/65 Toyo and they are very heavy at low speed, to the point of spoiling the enjoyment plodding around. The traction is useful with a tweaked 2L engine but Iím going back down to 175/70 on another set of wheels when theyíre ready.
As well as looking more period, Iím looking for a more period feel and less of a wrestling match.

Itís a personal choice of balance I guess,


Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: betabuoy on November 16, 2020, 07:47:00 PM
Itís Michelin CrossClimate 185/65 for me. They tolerate my 180bhp and while I know many intend to only go out in the dry... it rarely stays that way!  These are great on wet and muddy country lanes too  ;D

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: peteracs on November 17, 2020, 10:07:22 AM
Hi All

Ok, I took some of the advice and ignored others, but not having driven the car ever and finding the whole reviews left by folk to be a complete nightmare in that one person says great tyre, others say never going to buy again, I went for a sort of middle of the road solution I think.

After comments re steering weight and getting on years myself, I went for 175/70/14 H rated. My logic then was as I will do relatively small miles in the non winter period, no track days and the car is a lighter than most smaller/mid range modern cars, I wanted a softer compound which hopefully will not harden too fast and will have some give as I assume the original tyres were part of the original suspension calculation. Also I wanted low road noise. I also did not want to spend a lot this time, so plumbed for Yokohama Bluearth tyres.

Time will tell if this is a stupid choice, but given they were £206 for a set of 5 from Blackcircles I will not have lost too much if I have to change them for something sportier.

It is now that someone comments how awful they are and I have made a stupid decision........

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: WestonE on November 17, 2020, 03:38:25 PM
Hi Peter

The decision makes sense to me even though I have never heard of them. Them seem well suited to a light car from the reviews. If you find you need more front grip under power you will probably be better off stripping the rear struts and reducing the length of the rear damper rods by 20mm. This adds pre-load to the rear springs.

This resists the Beta's tendency to motor boat under acceleration i.e. squat at the rear and lose front traction. I did this to my development Beta Spyder years ago and it worked well stopping me lighting the tyres up in most gears if I used the power. Of course longer springs can be fitted but that will give the car tail up rake.



Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: GerardJPC on February 18, 2021, 01:38:09 PM
Holy thread revival Batman.  I was hoping to find a classic style of Pirelli in 175 70 14 for my 1979 1600 Coupe (Series 2, pre FL), or failing that some Dunlop Sport Classics (I have these in a different size on my 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe and they are fab), but no joy so far.    My local mobile tyre fitter offers me a decent price on modern style Pirelli P1s.  Anyone fitted anything nifty recently?

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: GerardJPC on February 18, 2021, 02:12:10 PM
PS:  Longstone only have Galaxy R1s in 175 70 14.  They seem suspiciously cheap for a classic car tyre.  Anyone tried them?

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: frankxhv773t on February 18, 2021, 02:26:14 PM
Going by Longstone's reputation I would pick up the phone and ask them about these tyres. All reports I have seen suggest they are enthusiasts who know their stuff and will want to help you get the best from your car.

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: GerardJPC on February 18, 2021, 04:11:14 PM
Indeed.  I bought my Appia's tyres from Longstone (proper 60s stylee Pirellis - the car came with actual 60s Michelins).  After talking to Longstone, the conclusion is - better to fit modern Pirellis to the Beta than Galaxies.

Title: Re: Tyre selection
Post by: GerardJPC on February 23, 2021, 03:53:09 PM
The car now has new Pirelli P1 Cinturato Verde 84H 175/70/14s.