The following is what I posted to a VW Forum about my decision on how to go on Winter Tires:
This whole winter wheels business has been a long process. Low-budget for wheels and tires has lead me down a few paths. Initially, O.Z. light weight 18″ wheels were what I wanted with the Pirelli Winter Sottozero but good O.Z. wheels in the color I wanted were $275 plus another $2xx for the tires which had me outside of my budget so then I had decided to just run 19″ Tires on my Cadiz wheels and let the Cadiz sort of be defected to winter use only but honestly, they’re quite heavy wheels and the winter tires I think were $275 per so if I hit a hidden pothole that’s under snow or have a flat or dent the wheel, it’s a lot to replace and it’s barely any side-wall and I usually have to replace a winter tire eventually. Not to mention the initial cost of mounting the 19″ tires on the wheels are more expensive but that would have been a one-time fee.
Then w/ the Sottozero on the Cadiz (the only winter tire that fits my OE wheel according to tire Rack), I’d start saving money for Forged wheels that are 18s to go with a PSS setup come May (which is the earliest I can put on Summer tires).
I’ve been struggling for weeks on going 17″ wheel in a brand I didn’t really care for for the same price as just buying 19″ tires and rolling on Cadiz for winter. The cadiz still has a bit of resale value because of their limited nature so today I finalized the plan.
Buy 17″ wheels that are fairly light with Blizzak LM-32 (a tire I ran on my old Golf R with pretty good success” and I’ll keep the Cadiz w/ ContiSport tires for now since they only have 5K miles on them. If I can hit my savings goals of 2K by April, I’ll sell the Cadiz 19″ wheels and tires for whatever i can and add that to the 2K to buy really nice wheels & tires that are light, well made with PSS setup…maybe some leftover money for folding mirrors.
So I spent $1375 w/ Shipping on
17×7.5 Black Painted Advanti HY Hybris
225/45R17 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
The setup required centering ring and lug bolts and of course Tire Rack mounts the tires on the wheels ahead of shipping. I just hope these wheels clear my brakes without issue. The question is, I wonder if I should take off my ECS Spacers? (10mm & 17.5MM) and the 19″ Cadiz doesn’t have a lot of clearance as it’s flush with the fender and VWR Springs mean I can’t really load up a lot of gear so I’m thinking about taking off the spacers for winter time purely because snow will get built up in the wheel well and has no where to go with the current setup. Even though I’m going down 2″ the diameter is not much different (2% I believe).
Thoughts on that?
I’ll post pics once the tires are put on. It’s still above freezing during the day up here but nights are in the teens with snow fall coming Sunday so I guess I held out long enough.
What ended up having with the spacers is that they were pushing the tires out too far for what I’m comfortable with. They were basically just inside the fender line and not only would this cause an issue with ice and snow debris but also the ability to load up the car with people / beer and luggage so I’m going spacer-less for winter-time. $325 per wheel + tires isn’t bad and I like that I will spend a lot less on each tire or wheel if I get any damage / flats this season. Not only that, with a Nitrogen fill, it only cost $40 to change from Summer to Winter. $80 a year for tire changes is much cheaper than mounting and balancing tires twice a year on my stock wheels.
Here are a few photos: