I mentioned in my last post that the 100hp was shortly going to need a new set of tyres, well, after it being called into service on a far more regular basis than the beginning of this year, that time came around a little sooner than expected. Adding 1500kms in just a few weeks saw grip and braking performance disappear and an increase in road noise and fuel consumption.
There was actually plenty of tread left of the Eagle F1’s the car came with, but the rubber had started to crack, so a search for the best price started. If I wanted to continue with F1’s then a set of 4 195/45/R15’s would cost 400 euros fitted, or I could go for Rainsport 2’s at 380, however I had them on my Golf and wasn’t that impressed. So, I decided to go for the F1’s again and cough up the money.
But when it came to the day I just couldn’t do it, instead I took a trip around some more dealers to see if I could better the price. I was shown some Toyo Proxes T1-R’s which have essentially the same tread pattern and stickiness as the F1’s, and were 370 for 4, but if I went for 195/50/R15’s they were 290 for 4!
What can I say, stuff the slightly higher sidewall and possible iffy speedo reading, that was a big saving. An hour later and they were on the car.
The first journey was a strange one and saw me visiting the nearest petrol station to check the pressures and sure enough, tyre man saw fit to pump my new Proxes to between 33 and 35psi, hence the odd feeling. Pressures adjusted properly and a decent drive later, I can honestly say I don’t notice any downsides with this change, in fact, the upside is the increased sidewall has lessened the crashy nature of the Panda on the potholed Athenian tarmac! Grip is also excellent and the car feels like new again – it really has made a massive difference!
My original F1’s lasted 26,800kms, which I don’t consider too bad, especially on Greek roads. I’m hoping the Proxes will prove equally as long lasting. Anyone else made this change?