Hello, I am new to the group, I have been running a black 01 Exige since the end of November. Naturally, since the weather has started to clear up my enjoyment of it has tripled and I am now gearing up for a (restricted luggage!) journey to Le Mans after which I should be along to a few track days to see what she can really do!Anyway, my Exige has just been in for it’s 6000 mile service and it has come the time for new rear tyres. I was noting the converse with interest concerning Lotus’ monopoly on A039’s and Bell and Colvill quoted me �330 for the pair. To which I informed them I would go elsewhere.Whilst I have no immediate issue with the A039’s in the dry, I have found their performance in the wet to be lacking, and as I use my Exige as a day to day car I find it important to be able to extract decent wet weather performance from it.After some investigation I noted the column in the back of this months Evo about the 340R they have. They state that Lotus have tested various tyres and found the best wet/dry tyre to be “Yokahama Advan Neova LTS” and suggested that 340R and other “Elise variants” use them to obtain better wet weather performance.Let us, for now, disregard the near impossibility of actually getting hold of a quote on such tyres!Has anyone sampled these tyres with any news on the wet performance of the tyre?I previously owned a Lancer Evo 6 and I switched to Bridgestone S02’s on that which provided exceptional wet grip, I was almost a convert (Again ignoring the also exceptional wear rate!) to Bridgestone wholesale. Has anyone tried the S02’s or SO3’s on an Exige, particularly in the wet? What I have read is that as the SO2’s are designed for heavier cars they cannot obtain temperature as effectively and thus lose out to the Yokahama’s in the dry.Phew.So, in short, what are the best all round tyres I can get on the back of my Exige that will provide both good wet and dry grip on the road and will not melt to a sticky mess on the track?Any ideas welcome.Regards, Jon.

I can’t help you with alternatives as I’ve not tried any, but I think you’re maybe being a little harsh on the A039s. I’ve thrashed my Exige round race tracks in torrential rain and been very impressed. There have been numerous tyre discussions on this board but we seem to keep coming back to A039s. You might also like to know that a least one accident has been attributed to having differing levels of grip on the front and the back due to mixing tyre types.

To be honest - the best wet / dry tyre is probably the AO39.The Advan Neova was designed for the original Elise as an update to the original Pirelli P0. Comments among Elise owners have been favourable, although I am not sure whether they come in the right sizes for the Exige. I know of people who have been using them on 340R for wet use as well. They are not as sticky as the AO39 in the dry. (Incidentally the Yoko website describes the AO39 as a wet race tyre). I race my Exige - and have found the AO39 pretty competitive in the wet. Could it be your driving style - no offence but it is a bit of a change from an Evo6.As for SO2s - they are rated very well in the wet - personally I thought the ride was harsher than other tyres I have used. Availability now is extremely limited, and again you probably cannot get them in Exige sizes. The SO3s incidentally do not get such favourable reports amongst Elise owners.Yes the AO39 are expensive, but IMHO the best compromise.Incidentally I use AO32R for both wet and damp races, although unless you fancy cutting away some of the inside of your wheel arches they will rub and make small cracks.Cheers

I have looked at driving style and am not convinced this is the issue, I have raced in single seaters for quite a few years now and trying not to sound conceited, I think I know what I’m talking about. The Evo was a handy tow car for race cars, I am not driving the Exige like an Evo! I would have been in a hedge by now!Don’t get me wrong, the A039’s aren’t the worst wet tyre I’ve ever known, in fact they are quite good, I was looking for knowledge of those who may have tried other tyres in case there were improvements to be found.I mention the Evo as it came with Yokey’s and upon fitting S02’s I noted a massive improvement in wet performance.F to R balance was something I thought about but IMHO I figure it is better to have more grip from the rear than the front, this way I live with understeer till the fronts need replacing. Obviously more grip from the front end and none at the rear gives me a shopping trolley! Just like this morning on the wet roads on the way to work, bald rears do make things nearly as much fun as when all the roads were covered in ice in early January!Maybe I’ll stick with the A039’s, they may be the best of both worlds, there’s nothing worse than making a bad tyre choice and having to live for 6000 odd miles on bad tyres.ho hum.Jon.

I had Advan Neovas on our Elise. They certainly gave better wet grip than the 039s on our Exige.But they were for 15"/16" wheels which the Elise/340R uses rather than the Exige’s 16"/17".Widths were the same though.Not sure that they actually make them at that diameter though.Mark

I have the Neova’s on my Elise and they are the business in the wet. Their dry performance isn’t too shabby either, although doesn’t approach the A039’s (or especially the A038’s from the 340R).Apart from the Speedo I don’t think there is any major issue with slapping on a set of Elise wheels in the smaller size if you want a wet weather set up. It shouldn’t be too expensive to find a set of Elise wheels going cheap either!I understand the LMP class Exiges in the Autobytel last year were running 15" front 16" rear?CheersChris

From what I gather, the A039s are good wet tyres and very good dry tyres.The Neovas are very good wet tyres and just plain “good” dry tyres…Now the A048s are excellent dry tyres… but dire in the wet… it’s a tradeoff.

I have today “done” a dry Rockingham in a Lotus factory hire Exige, fitted with Bridgestone SO2s.Not a patch on the A039s !!!After today, I would not consider anything else apart from the A039s, or possibly the shortly to be released A048s. The latter are highly rated by Chris Dinnage of Lotus Motorsport fame.

quote:Originally posted by Shrapnel01:So, in short, what are the best all round tyres I can get on the back of my Exige that will provide both good wet and dry grip on the road and will not melt to a sticky mess on the track?Any ideas welcome.Regards, Jon.Jon,On the road the A039’s are well suited and designed for the car, but are well overpriced… so what options are there?I have used my Exige almost daily from new since July 2001, and 7 track days; most of these being in the wet.In the wet the A039’s are great on track; but in the dry, if you push it wear becomes a real problem. I had to replace my first set of rears at 13,000 miles (ohh the shame of it). On the first real dry track day at Brands on the indy circuit I anhilated 1 left front and took 2.5mm of rubber of the new rears (open pit lane and about 90 Laps).I was a passenger with Trevor Gravestock running on Slicks at Donington, and there is no comparison in terms of outright performance, if you want 10-20mph corner speed on track then this is the only way to go (although there are a number of concerns on the standard exige set-up to withstand the additional load from slicks).I would think that anything giving better wet perfromance on the road, is as you say going to melt to a sticky mess on track. So my advise would be to get a second set of wheels/tyres for track use and only then maybe think about something other than the A039’s for the road.I actualy think the Exige is overtyred and could do with another 100Bhp. With corner entry speed limited by too much understeer, I find corner exit just a case of smashing the right pedal. The grip from the rears takes about anything you can give it other than in 1st out of a hairpin, so the other area to look at is the geometry of the front suspension, a bit of negative camber and softening the front anti-roll bar is what I have been told works (I must get round to doing this myself)Just to back-up my comments on the excesive rear grip ballance just take a look at the Cadwell Video post on the Track Day reports forum… well err perhaps not … ohh bo***cks I realy dont no what I’m talking about… I’ll get my coat…

quote:ohh bo***cks I realy dont no what I’m talking about… I’ll get my coat…And you were doing so well! [image]http://www.exiges.com/ubb/NonCGI/images/icons/grin.gif[/image]

I would agree that the car generates more grip from the rear than the front, but to some extent Lotus have to engineer the car that way to help people from putting their Exiges into tyre walls!A notch of camber on the front wheels should help kill understeer on turn in and softening the front roll bar should help the mid corner balance. Does anyone know if the dampers are adjustable?There is a downforce imbalance too, and if the rear wing were adjustable I would probably take a few notches out of it. But it isn’t.This setup is designed to be fairly neutral and the balance of the car overall is fine if a little biased towards understeer. On the track there are changes to be made to sort this out, but I figure this setup works well on the road where there are an awful lot more things to hit!On the tyres front, I will probably stick with the A039’s, sticking with what I know can only save me six months on bad tyres!Jon.

quote:Originally posted by Shrapnel01:A notch of camber on the front wheels should help kill understeer on turn in and softening the front roll bar should help the mid corner balance.It will help, but it won’t cure it. The more camber, the less understeer but the more the car is undrivable on a public road. I have increased the camber as far as I am happy to for road use and softened the roll bar to the maximum, and the car still understeers quite noticeably on the limit, albeit less so than with the standard setup. Sufficient camber to make the car neutral on a circuit renders it virtually undrivable on a public road. Ho hum�

JonWas the bell and colvill quote of �330 for a set of rear A039’s, I’am sure my local dealer was talking more of the thick end of �500 for a set. As I’am shortly going to be needing a set of rear’s, I’d be intrested to know what sort of price seems to be the going rate, and am I doing something wrong as how the hell do you get 13000 miles out of a set of A039’s.Dave

IIRC, Rears are �160 each, & fronts are �140 each - plus fitting & balancing, plus VAT.

After never being sure about my Toyo Proxes… I did my first track day on them at Hethel on Saturday and they were excellent. Tonnes of grip and still loads of tread left. They are very progressive and start to let go slightly earlier than the 39s but controlling the car on them is far easier.I might even be tempted to get another set next (�450 for the whole set!!!)

I didn’t get 13,000 miles out of my rears, that was X111GED, I only managed to get 6000 miles out of mine, with no track days yet!Which is nice.It seems Bell and Colvill were having a bit of laugh by quoting �330 for the pair. During the 6000 service I was called and informed that they would have them fitted for �330, in hindsight I should have said “yes!” straight away. Instead I said that I would have a look around elsewhere and come back to him. After looking elsewhere and subsequently coming back to them the price suddenly became �187.53 each plus fitting, a combined �375.06. Naturally, upon asking why I was quoted �330 only the week before all knowledge of that conversation was denied. Ho hum.What amused me a little was that a friend with a Ferrari 360 pays less for his rear tyres than that! And they are 275/40’s!I am going to go with cheaper tyres on the rear for now, either Bridgestone S03’s or Yokahama AVS Sport (Which seem to have a more or less identical tread pattern to A039’s), they might be worse, they might be terrible but I figure if I don’t try them out I will just spend too much money feeding Lotus’ cashflow problems! If they’re awful I’ll go back to A039’s and have expended �200 on this “experiment”.I figure if they are lower on grip than the A039’s it can’t hurt to push the balance towards front end grip. My Trip to Le Mans should give them a good test and afterwards I was planning to nip down to the 'Ring so we shall have to see how she runs.That is, IF she runs!Jon.

Shrapnel01Rather you than me!Mixing tyres at the best of times is dubious, but in an Exige!!!Running around town, you’ll no doubt be okay, but taking it on the “Ring”, which is fast, twisty & potentially a mixture of dry & wet surfaces, could well be a different matter.

Shrapnel,I would definitely not do that![This message has been edited by RussT (edited 21 May 2002).]

quote:Originally posted by Shrapnel01:If they’re awful I’ll go back to A039’s and have expended �200 on this “experiment”.Stand away from the mixed up rubber sir. Hunt around for A039’s. Could end up being a lot more than �200.

quote:Originally posted by Dave:and am I doing something wrong as how the hell do you get 13000 miles out of a set of A039’s.My excuse [image]http://www.exiges.com/ubb/NonCGI/images/icons/wink.gif[/image] is that a lot of the miles are commuting in Traffic, or when absolutely neccesary - Motorway miles. I would think about 10 of the 13,000 miles were like this.I did take off 2mm of a new set of Rears at Brands Indy Circuit in April, so I am sure with a bit of effort you could destroy a set in under 500miles Ouch. I have done about 9 Track Days but only 3 in the dry, I don’t think you get any appreciable wear in the wet. My inside front looks to have overheated, and a long sessions on an open pit format seems to have been the main cause of damage.On the Geometry question and thinking back to my last track day. On the way to the circuit I found a nice section of B road but on an unfammiliar Road ran into some high speed yumps that had car crashing up and down all to the tune of wearing out all 4 wheel liners. It was only just stable enough with the standard set-up, and still quite an exciting ride, but I reckon it could well have been thrown off the road if it was any more nervous at the front… On roads you know, I’m sure it is no problem; but once in a while you are going to hit some unexpected bumpy bits. Its made me think twice about tweaking with the settings…