Tyres for Xantia Activa
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Thread: Tyres for Xantia Activa

  1. #1
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    Default Tyres for Xantia Activa

    G'day fellow froggers,

    I find that the next job in making my Activa into something to enjoy is to put new tyres on it. I'd also like to replace the original Activa-specific 15"x6" rims with either the set of standard Series 1 Xantia 15"x6" alloys I've got, or something else entirely (even a different size perhaps).

    The original tyre specification is 205/60 R15 91W, original fit being Michelin Pilot SXGT (so says the label). As best I can tell though, W-rated in this size is no longer available - V rating is the highest now available. That said, I expect good V-rated ones will be just fine.

    So, my question to the forum is, to best enjoy an Activa on those occasions when I'm on that delicious bit of road and to the limited extent possible on all the more boring stuff, what shoes and soles should it have?

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    Enjoyment in this sense for me will be the best combination of the best 'performance' I can afford without affecting the ride comfort/NVH. Based on the latter, I figure I should stick with the 15" rims rather than going any bigger and stick with the original size tyres, but I'm still very curious to hear the forum's thoughts nonetheless.

    Rim and tyre size?
    Tyre brand & model?

    Thanks in advance,
    Harvey.
    Last edited by Harvey; 2nd May 2015 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Clarification.
    Harvey.

    Currently: C6, C5 wagon, C4, CX2200, Xantia Activa, Xantia wagon, BMW K75.
    Previously: Xantia Activa (#2), Daihatsu Sirion, Xantia Activa (#1), Suzuki Alto, Xantia wagon (#1), CX GTi, Xantia CT Turbo, Daihatsu Charade, CX2400, Honda CB250.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Harvey,

    The Activa rims are a beefed up version of the series 1 mags in that I think the metal is thicker and they don't have the centre pop-outs so the tyre dealers hate to balance them. That makes them heavier too. If you are not going to drive at the limit, then perhaps the series 1 rims will give a better ride.

    I didn't think too hard about tyres and just put 4 XM2 tyres on of the Aussie standard size of 205/60R15 which is one profile higher than you mention above. They do fit (after a little timming on the fuel inlet pipe to get some clearance on high position). I know Dave Campbell put some Yokos on the Activa that he bought off eBay a year or so ago and he races it at Willowbank and Lakeside on occassions. My son Dave says the Achillies Chinese tyres give good dry grip for not much outlay. I think you will just have to shop around and see what you can get for a price.

    I have found that once Sport mode comes in on the hydractive, the suspension does get much stiffer and the car gets much more unsettled by undulations or ridges in the road. So all the Activa and Hydractive stuff works best on good flat road surfaces.

    I know the Peugeot and Renault forums are a bit more performance oriented than the Cit forum so maybe a post there will get you more responses.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

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    JBN
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    If you really fancy your skills and want to have fun, bald tyres give the best bang-for-buck.

    John

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    Have found the Hankook optimo to be very suited to the car and VERY CHEAP;about $76 each and excellent in the wet,Andy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    If you really fancy your skills and want to have fun, bald tyres give the best bang-for-buck.

    John
    Running on the rims is even more fun,Andy.

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    Given that you have two sets of 15x6 wheels & that you do not want to upset ride comfort, then I agree that you should stick with them.

    One trouble with 205/60 is a restricted range of available tyres. The SXGTs must be dangerously old by now (10 years is the commonly accepted maximum safe age) but one merit they had was very crisp response. Nothing available in the size will match them.

    That said, a considerable amount of change can be wrought upon a set of tyres' handling behaviour by playing around with tyre pressures & my recommendation (for crisper response from lesser tyres) is to increase pressures & to increase the fronts more than the rear. How much by? It'll depend on what you buy, what handling balance you like & so on. A period of experimentation awaits. I'd start with an extra 5psi in the front and go from there. Find a sharpish corner with good sightlines & with room to get untidy & then play in the wet (including trying a mid-corner lift-off to see how twitchy it gets).

    So, skipping total rubbish, what's available to go on a medium list? (None of the below will be worse than the SXGT for NVH, some will be better in the wet &, as noted, none will be as crisp in response.)

    Everyone with a cit. thinks "Michelin" & if the PS3 were to be available, then I'd agree. But all that is available is the very mediocre XM2 - Avoid (soggy response & poor wet grip).

    Yokohama C-drive 2: Probably also avoid but it's a possibility (also soggy response & mostly reported to have poor wet grip).

    Those eliminated, we get 3 semi-decent tyres & choice will depend on priorities.

    Dunlop Fast-Response: on old type now but, as the name suggests, reasonably crisp. Wet grip not as good as the best of the current crop though (but then only one of those is available & it has its own faults). That said, it seems fine in the wet in most tests. It would be the closest to the SXGT in harshness. In fact, closest on all parameters.

    Bridgestone T001: part of the Turanza range, this has the best lateral wet grip (there seems to be a braking weakness though) of those in 205/60 but it has a fairly soggy structure & you would definitely have to play around with front/rear pressures to attempt to crispen it up in response.

    Hankook K415: Another old type but I'd judge it to be the best blend of response crispness & wet-grip in the size. The T001 will grip better in the wet & the Dunlop will be crisper. Personally, I'd get the K415 as a "C" road tyre. Your priorities will dictate the decision.

    I have personal experience (on different vehicles) of the C-drive 2, the K415 & the T001 but anecdotal evidence is poor evidence & your best source is a range of magazine tests.

    The XM2 is not part of Michelin's European range & tests are scarce but a link to one is below (not that I'd consider fitting it to be anything but daft). Click 'next-page' to see the bit of the table with the XM2 (down with the "penny dreadful" duds).

    Summer tyre test by russian Za Rulom magazine (185/60R14; 3.2013)212 | Laneks

    For the other tyres, I'd suggest browsing tests available at the British site Tyre Reviews. A link is below. If you go to the top right corner of the page, you'll see "(browse) by brand". Select & then scan down the list of brands to find the brand & specific tyre type you want info on. Select, & apart from a list of anecdotal reports, you'll see a list of links to tests featuring that tyre. Don't just read the awarded rank, look at the detail of the parameters of interest to you. Of particular interest is any test which has more than one of the medium list on it (though a bit of indirect evidence can be had by seeing how two not-directly-compared tyres each fare against a more widely present third tyre - like the excellent & omnipresent PremiumContact 2). Also of particular interest are tests using a tyre width & profile similar to yours (some tyres work better in some sizes than others); fortunately 205/55-16 is a common, & close enough, test size.

    Tyre tests at tyrereviews - TyreReviews

    Hope all of that helps.

    Or:
    You could stretch a point on size (& mildly undergear the car), endure a bit more harshness (probably even a bit more than the SXGT) gain a lot in crispness of response & wet grip & fit Bridgestone's new, & seemingly excellent, Potenza Adrenalin RE003 - it's available in 205/55-15. Or, in the same size & less crisp & wet-grippy (but still excellent) & less harsh, Continental's PremiumContact2.

    Personally, I'd slightly shift size for the sake of two tyres which are each better than anything in 205/60 thus becoming available.

    Cheers! Peter

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    Thank you all indeed for your considered thoughts. Just what I was hoping for

    I've decided to try the Series 1 rims, being the later ones with same offset as original Activa rims. Easier to balance with the hubcaps, and in theory more comfortable than something bigger. I'd like to keep the original visual proportions too at this point (sidewall to rim). I can't rule out the strength question you raise Ken, but at this stage I'm happy with them. We'll see....

    So I've had them checked for roundness - tested near perfect and not worth touching. Just getting them restored cosmetically (kerb damage and paint) then.

    As for the tyres, again thank you all for going to the time and effort to write out your advice. I'm still digesting it all and doing some research while I wait for the rims, but I'll be sure to update again with the progress.

    Harvey.
    Last edited by Harvey; 12th May 2015 at 10:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Everyone with a cit. thinks "Michelin" & if the PS3 were to be available, then I'd agree. But all that is available is the very mediocre XM2 - Avoid (soggy response & poor wet grip).

    Cheers! Peter
    I have XM2s on the Xantia and the CX. I find them really good. You can't unstick the Xantia unless a bit insane like JBN. Quoting overseas testing for tyres is pretty useless as road compounds are different and even the makeup of tyres may vary for different markets.
    Mine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
    Thank you all indeed for your considered thoughts. Just what I was hoping for

    I've decided to try the Series 1 rims, being the later ones with same offset as original Activa rims. Easier to balance with the hubcaps, and in theory more comfortable than something bigger. I'd like to keep the original visual proportions too at this point (sidewall to rim). I can't rule out the strength question you raise Ken, but at this stage I'm happy with them. We'll see....

    So I've had them checked for roundness - tested near perfect and not worth touching. Just getting them restored cosmetically (kerb damage and paint) then.

    As for the tyres, again thank you all for going to the time and effort to write out your advice. I'm still digesting it all and doing some research while I wait for the rims, but I'll be sure to update again with the progress.

    Harvey.
    Soooo... it's about time I gave an update on what I did for tyres for my Activa. Thank you again to those who took the time to give their considered advice back in May. Sorry I've taken so long to report back. I'm afraid buying and selling Activas and work on the CX (oh..and attending to my Citroen funding stream....) has taken precedence.

    Anyhoo, long story short I ended up going for a set of Bridgestone Turanza T001, in original size of 205/60R15, but only with V speed rating. Still, I've been very happy with them indeed so far (albeit only over a few thousand km or so).

    As expected, nothing is available in that size anymore with the originally-specified W rating, and still no one I've been in contact with has been able to tell me what the Citroen engineers' rationale would have been in putting such a high speed rated tyre on a car that can only do about 220km/h. My best conclusion (which no one has disagreed with) was that it must have had something to do with the higher sidewall loadings to be expected from the faster cornering in a car where the tyres are potentially being loaded more than in lesser-model Xantia (for example, S1 VSX Turbo CT only specified to have V rated tyres). So, based on all that, I had to stick with getting the highest rating on the market, which is of course the V rating.

    How I came to the Bridgestones T001s? Plenty of reading of professional reviews on the internet and picking the brains of anyone I came across and in the end, an expedient process of elimination of my shortlist given ever-decreasing availability in the original size with the desired V rating. For economy and choice, I had to stay open-minded to lesser speed rated options, but ultimately I really wanted to get the best performing tyre I could find in the original size, regardless of price.

    The shortlist was in approximate order of preference:
    1. Yokohama C.drive 2
    2. Bridgestone Turanza T001
    3. Continental ContiComfortContact 5
    I would have had the Yokos....if I could have got a set less than 1000km away, but alas. The Contis were appealing, but if I remember correctly I generally preferred the overall design of the Bridgestones. So, combined with my analysis of the various review data, the Bridgestones it was.

    In the short time I've actually been able to test them (only done a few thousand km or so on them), I'm so far totally happy with them. I know that an Activa can feel fantastic on crappy tyres, but I certainly have enjoyed exploring the capabilities of my Activa with the best original-size tyres (in my reasoning) that I could find to equip it with.

    If anyone cares, I can go into more detail of what I expected and have since experienced with the Bridgestone Turanza T001s, or what I thought of the others options on my short and not-so-short lists, but I've probably prattled on enough for now.

    ...and just because I've got nothing better to do (ha!), given the greater range available in 16in size, I'm also considering sacrificing the original styling and ride comfort and using a set of 16in. aftermarket rims to see if any 'better' lower profile tyres are worth the trouble and presumably harsher ride. At this point though, the 205/60R15 Bridgestone set seem to have way more than enough grip for my purposes

    Something to waste time on perhaps after I get the CX closer to roadworthy.........
    Harvey.

    Currently: C6, C5 wagon, C4, CX2200, Xantia Activa, Xantia wagon, BMW K75.
    Previously: Xantia Activa (#2), Daihatsu Sirion, Xantia Activa (#1), Suzuki Alto, Xantia wagon (#1), CX GTi, Xantia CT Turbo, Daihatsu Charade, CX2400, Honda CB250.

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    Interesting.

    I wouldn't have had the Conti CC5 on even a medium list (soggy in structure - the name says it all - & mediocre wet grip). I think Continental to be the most competent current manufacturer but this one is a dud.

    Anyway, the T001 is not a bad choice but I'll be curious how you've found it for crispness of response & would surmise that a period of tyre tressure experimentation has occurred. I'd recommend upping them all round with 4psi more at the front & 2psi more at the rear as a first experiment. One test is what happens on lift-off in the wet on a fastish corner. Considerable change can usually be wrought in vehicle balance by playing with pressures. I must say, though, that my own experience with the T001 was that the structure was relentlessly "soggy" & unresponsive to pressure tuning. (Only tyre I've ever had that was that recalcitrant.) I ended up changing springs to rebalance the vehicle (long story I won't bore people with - it's in a T001 post in the Renault forum somewhere).

    cheers! Peter

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