I need snow tires, and I need your help.

If I want to leave Denver between September 1 - May 31, I need snow tires or AWD. Because the weather in the city can be pretty warm for a good 4-5 months of that, I would prefer that the snow tires be mounted on a second set of wheels. (This is negotiable).

For a little back info, I have a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Fiat uses a 4x98 bolt pattern. The Abarth came stock with either 16x6.5 or 17x7 wheels. Supposedly OEM 15s will fit but aftermarket 15s can have clearance issues, so cheap chinesium steelies don’t appear to be an option...unless someone can help explain wobble bolts or whatever other adaptations are necessary for 4x100 bolt patterns on my car. And explain like I’m a 5-year-old, because I’d rather have an idiot-proof explanation from y’all than any more condescension at a shop. (4x98 steelies in 16 or 17 inch options seem to run $200/wheel).

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Once upon a time I had 17 inch wheels and Blizzak WS80s and life was grand. I was told that 16 inch wheels would have more tire options! ...but this doesn’t seem to apply to snow tires. The only ones I found last time were Pirelli Cinturatos, and they’re a joke. I legitimately do need to drive my car in snow and not just pass traction laws on paper.

So please, Oppo...give me some advice. I don’t give a rats ass about the wheel size or aesthetic if they fit the car - but I do prefer cheap. I’d rather spend more money on better tires. I can’t seem to find a good compromise - it’s either good money for a set of 17s to get Blizzaks again, good money for more 16s and more shit tires, or I’m missing options somewhere because I don’t understand tire clearance and/or wheel fit.

(To throw a little emotional plea in here too, my dad is a car guy. I asked him for help first but he’s ignored the last few weeks of texts I sent him, so Merry fucking Christmas to him too).

Thank you!

Illustration for article titled Wheel/Tire/Math help

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