White Roof Radio – The MINI Cooper Podcast

MINI Cooper Podcasting with db, Todd, Gabe, Chad & Brian

Woofcast #38

Thanks to the guys for carrying on without me for this episode. I’m sure you heard db breaking up pretty good at the beginning of the show, so I took one for the team and stepped out.

  • Recorded on Gabe’s birthday. He is such a giver!
  • Gabe gets JCW brakes
  • More GP talk and video released
  • 2007 MINIs will show up at dealers in Feb. ’07
  • Todd hates the traveler wheels
  • Todd gets technical with words like hubcentric and lugcentric
  • Gabe and Todd both like road hazard warranties.
  • The Traveler definitely gets and extra side door.
  • The VW podcasts are awful as are the BMW vodcasts.
  • Pants-less podcasting.
  • More audio reviews coming up soon.
  • Another audio clip from Robert in Toronto.

Todd did the hard part

Download || Subscribe || iTunes || Download zip || 44:02 || 20.2MB

45 thoughts on “Woofcast #38

  1. You guys keep nattering on about the appearance of 22-lb. 18-inch wheels, without ever mentioning that they significantly slow acceleration, worsen braking, reduce grip on the road, and destroy the ride.

    How about mentioning that lower weight pays major benefits in performance, and that appearance may not be the only reason for selecting wheels?

    In fact, how about getting quantitative – reporting on performance testing of wheels, and/or how foolish and ricey 18-inch wheels look with stock brakes?

  2. You guys keep nattering on about the appearance of 22-lb. 18-inch wheels, without ever mentioning that they significantly slow acceleration, worsen braking, reduce grip on the road, and destroy the ride.

    Wow it must be a Monday. Well anyway if you listened to last week’s show you would have heard me mention that MINI uses the stock wheel sizes to do all the 0-60 testing since they make the car fractionally faster. So of course less weight makes the car faster. But we’re talking a very small difference and certainly not anything to be concerned about for a car driven on the street.

    I’ve driven all MINI wheel sizes extensively – both on the track and on the street. In the many miles I’ve had with these cars I’ve found that there is very little difference in quality of ride between the 16″, 17″ and 18″ wheels equipped with runflats. That may sound odd on the face of it but that has been my experience driving on some of the worst roads in the US (thank you Chicago).

    Secondly the added unsprung weight (18lbs R84 vs 22lbs R95) is pretty negligible on the street. You’re talking 4lbs per corner. To be worried about 4lbs per corner on your daily commute is really a bit much if you ask me. In fact there’s a bigger difference in feel going from the 16″ R84s to the 12lbs holeys that come stock on the Cooper. If you must worry about unsprung weight on the way to the grocery store, I’d recommend getting some insanely lightweight 15s and some fat tires.

    If you’re tracking the car every weekend I would definitely recommed a set of lightweight aftermarket wheels and some sticky rubber. From my experience I prefer 17s or 18s due to grip levels and steering feel but it’s really more about what you like.

    Now about looking “foolish and ricey”. I think 15″ and 16″ wheels on a MINI look like sh*t and don’t work well with the high belt-line and general design language of the car as it was created by Frank Stephenson. How’s that for quantitative 🙂

  3. You guys keep nattering on about the appearance of 22-lb. 18-inch wheels, without ever mentioning that they significantly slow acceleration, worsen braking, reduce grip on the road, and destroy the ride.

    I’m with you. I actually think 18″ wheels look silly on the car and much prefer the overall look of a 17″ or 16″ on an MCS. It’s not so much the height of the wheel that bothers me, but the height of the sidewall on the tire. with 18″ it looks like they are rolling on rubber coated rims. And, on a MC, I actually like the 15″‘s. That’s a very classic look for the car.

    I’ve never tracked a car with 18″ either, but I know how 16″‘s and 17″‘s feel, and I actually prefer 16″.

    But, that’s just me.

  4. Having tracked 18″ wheels with no issues, I can attest to the fact that they work fine. They also work on the street. They (subjectively) look good and do not

    Considering my 18’s and thier tires weigh LESS than the rolling stock the factory delivered on my car, I don’t see how someone can criticise me for running a larger wheel diameter while still reducing unsprung weight. Especially considering that 99.5% of the time, it’s used to get groceries, tool around town, head to the movies and so on..

    Yes, the sidewall is smaller, and yet the ride quality was actually better, after I got different tires (in this case a better silica compound made for a smoother ride and less road noise.)

    All the weight cops better ditch thier stereos, speakers, dynamat, interior carpet, passengers, seats, exterior trim and more, before they complain about weight…. You can pull 300 pounds out of a mini with relative ease, if you give up the creature comforts, sound quality and styling….but then you’d have a race car.

    If I recall, the car handles fine delivered from the factory with those “oh so horrible” s-lites, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about switching up a size if that’s your thing. The MINI was engineered to handle all those things, and do it on some stout, less than light wheels.

    For those who wanna downsize. If that’s your deal, that’s obviously fine too.

    I like both, for different reasons, and have driven both.

    Both work.

  5. If you can afford the overpriced JCW 18″ bling, you could easily afford 9lb. (15″), 12lb. (16″) or 14lb. (17″) aftermarket wheels.

    IMHO, if you can’t feel the difference in losing 9 lbs/corner, you shouldn’t be commenting on wheels at all, aside from “I think mine are prettier.”

  6. Oops, and could we discuss the cost of insurance needed for 18″ wheels because they are so vulnerable to road hazards?

  7. If you can afford the overpriced JCW 18″ bling, you could easily afford 9lb. (15″), 12lb. (16″) or 14lb. (17″) aftermarket wheels.

    IMHO, if you can’t feel the difference in losing 9 lbs/corner, you shouldn’t be commenting on wheels at all, aside from “I think mine are prettier.”

    (a) I know this may sound crazy to someone like you, but sometimes people (gasp) like different things. And in some societies people are even respectful of other opinions. I know I know, sounds crazy doesn’t it? There’s also this whole golden rule thing too but we’ve probably covered too much for one day already! Maybe next week we can talk about karma!

    (b) When you autocross every single combination back to back to back and then spend weeks with different set-ups on the road then we can have an adult conversation about this. Until then, you’re just a 12 year old kid on too much caffeine with mindless opinions and no conversation skills.

    You just keep on lobbing them up there… I’ll just keep on hitting them out of the park…

  8. If Todd is going to get a GP, then put me down for a few more whiteroofradio stickers. I think it’s a good way to contribute to the “Todd’s new mirror cap” fund. The wheels have grown on me, but those red mirror caps just keep getting worse.

    Here’s my take on the wheel issue. In a straight line, the 15’s will make your car accelerate the fastest. However, a 17 or 18 inch rim will make your car corner better, because there is less tire side wall flex and you can usually get a wider tire on those rims. My solution: 205/50R16 tires on lightweight aftermarket rims…a good compromise between the two extremes.

  9. RE: Video…

    I don’t think video would add anything and I’m sure it would add a bunch of effort.

    Plus I’m also reminded of the expression “a great face for radio” 🙂

  10. Re: Wheels…your comments from Wolfcast #38, the best wheels for a Mini are OEM wheels to be safe and avoid typical wheel vibration problems. I was looking for more discussion and passion (possibly the db chemistry was missing). In aftermarkat wheels, it is a matter of looking for hub-centric wheels with proper offsets and shopping around for Mini wheel specialists.

    We have the R94 Bridge spoke 16″ wheels, planning to get a R93 5-star Daytona 16″ for winter and looking for something like a 7-spoke two colour tone wheel with tires like Goodyear F1’s for a cross country trip to the Dragon, a lot of comfortable highway miles & gluey traction for the twisties. (Just wanted to learn more about the 15,16,17,18,20 size tradeoffs & a few good aftermarket brand names to trust if considering non OEM wheels, obviously Mini didn’t make their own wheels another good quality company makes them). We have seen aftermarket wheels on various cars, some looking in very poor condition (want to stay away from sub-par quality products). We know the Mini makes corners disappear with stock 15″ R93 wheels and NRF all season tires.

    I’m sure the discussion on wheels will continue as Todd suggests. It is IMHO one of the first and obvious changes people do with their cars to personalize them including tires, audio and gadgets.
    Newbies can learn more from ie. http://www.mini2.com/forum/faq.php?faq=faq_wheels_tyres#faq_faq_aftermarket_wheels

  11. Re: Wheels…your comments from Wolfcast #38, the best wheels for a Mini are OEM wheels to be safe and avoid typical wheel vibration problems. I was looking for more discussion and passion (possibly the db chemistry was missing). In aftermarkat wheels, it is a matter of looking for hub-centric wheels with proper offsets and shopping around for Mini wheel specialists.

    Believe me this isn’t our wheel show… when you hear that one, you’ll know it 🙂

  12. Well Old Rick…

    I’ve driven your car within the last month, so I think I can comment just fine thanks. I know your setup with the 15’s and FSD’s, and I know you are an opinionated son of a gun. I also know that your car did not have the same feedback as mine through the same turns. It sounded nice and quiet, and handled very smooth, but it certainly did not have the same feedback to the seat of your pants that the setup on my car has. The roll on the sidewall of 15’s contributes to a very different feel. One I personally don’t prefer. Also, with the brake setup I have (Brembo), the smallest wheel that will fit over the caliper is a 17.

    I liked yours, and I like mine, just the way it is. But thanks for the insulting commentary about my ability to decide what I should comment on and what I should like.

    Apparently I shouldn’t be allowed to comment, by your standards. Nice.

  13. Oh, and if the difference between a 17 S-lite and a lighter 18″ aftermarket wheel tire combo on my 5 block, 25 MPH trek to the grocery store matters that much to you, then you live in a world I don’t wanna go to.

    Also, while you are at it please explain to all of us the reason Michelin runs the short sidewall profile they do on an Audi ALMS car, verses the tall sidewall of a modern F1 car. Say a Sauber or McLaren for example?

    Yeah the question is Rhetorical.

    Answer? Differnt applications, yet…..

    Very different and both work at the limit.

    Just like road cars.

  14. Also, while you are at it please explain to all of us the reason Michelin runs the short sidewall profile they do on an Audi ALMS car, verses the tall sidewall of a modern F1 car. Say a Sauber or McLaren for example?

    Actually modern F1 cars use smaller wheels purely to impose a limitation on how much contact patch (and therefore grip) the cars have. This limits the cars speeds through the corners by reducing grip levels.

    Or in other words, using smaller wheels with larger sidewalls slows them down and puts on a better show for the fans.

    Of course there are other racing series that don’t have this restriction and thus the large wheels (LeMans, ALMS, tarmac WRC etc.)

  15. Yes. That, and the tire sidewall of an F1 car actaully comprises the bulk of the F1 car’s suspension travel. The nominal flex of the CF control arms, the short pushrod activated damper and spring travel, mixed with the sidewall flex gives the car its range of vertical motion.

    Whereas the Audi R8 and now R10 relies less on its tire’s sidewall flex to acheive the suspension’s balance.

  16. From Woodcast #7….The Mini R99 polished wheels look great (on the web) but we have not seen them in real life yet.
    The price in Canada is $2840 + taxes. WOW!!!

    Are theses wheels eligible for RRSP (401K) retirement investment accounts???

  17. OT- I love watching the old F1 cars at historic events and such, because it’s fun to see the older spec cars have so much vertical travel. Particularly the pre-downforce era cars like Dan Gurnney’s AAR or something. The cars bob up and down on skinny tires in the turns and under braking, with no real aero wing downforce. Great stuff.

    Even the later cars from the era of Jackie Stewart and Mario Andretti (Colin Champan’s tunneled Lotus) still bobbed up and down in comparison to the current F1 chassis.

  18. That, and the tire sidewall of an F1 car actaully comprises the bulk of the F1 car’s suspension travel. The nominal flex of the CF control arms, the short pushrod activated damper and spring travel, mixed with the sidewall flex gives the car its range of vertical motion.

    Yeah you’re totally right there. Forgot about that aspect of it. I wonder who the first team was that figured out they could use the mandated small wheel/tire combination as a component of the suspension.

  19. Probably about the time they had a real handle on CFD, inside the tire. So, the advent of the computer era?

    Before that it was likely a bit of engineering feuled common sense and an understanding of the molecular properties of nitrogen (what they use to inflate them). Oh, and a touch of witchcraft 🙂

  20. Here’s a vote for no video… besides the fact that I don’t have a video iPod i’m not sure that it would add anything to the show.

    That being said, love the show, keep it up!

  21. If you can afford the overpriced JCW 18″ bling, you could easily afford 9lb. (15″), 12lb. (16″) or 14lb. (17″) aftermarket

    First, I never realized there was a correlation between weight and money, unless you are speaking in gold, which these wheels are not made of. Next, I can’t believe anyone would desscribe the JCW 18″s as “Bling”. I watch my share of really bad hip hop videos and don’t recall Nelly driving in a MINI to get his “Grill” done… I have also never seen a MINI with some 22″ spinners, so its safe to say it is a fairly blihg-free vehicle .

  22. I forgot to mention this in my previous post – I have changed my stance on the 2 shows per week and now love the idea. Also I am pro-video for the show. So far I have loved all the changes and feel they are for the better. I have learned a ton in the months I have been listening. Please keep it coming!

    John

  23. From current Honda Element owners:
    If MINI does not put the second door on the driver side of the Traveler they are crazy!!! Who wants to walk all the way around the car every time after putting your child into the back of the car or after just closing the door for the back after someone has got in? Someone in the back seat probably will not be able to close the front door. – Rollin & Theresa

    Hey Todd, you already know I’d take a tire/wheel show, keep up the fight.

    If you do video would it be on a separate download? Would it be blended with the show? – Rollin

  24. One more thing;
    Todd,
    When you get the GP if those mirror caps are a metallic red I’ll take them! Here’s hoping for $32k.

  25. Dear WWR Management,

    (Boy, that sounds important) I think that a video podcast would be a great idea, you could show how you actually do some mods (Gabe’s latest would be very informative to the rest of us) But I think that they should be in conjuction with audio podcasts. With many fans listen to your podcast in the car, a video podcat would make for a very dangerous drive, while an informative video podcast could be watched in the comforts of our home (or garage!)

    Keep up the good work, we MINI fans appriciate all the hard work you guys do!!!

    Cynthia in Greece

  26. I believe staying with a core audio program makes the most sense. Especially with car audio podcast listeners and most of us anyways.
    The program recognition is your voices with your comaradiere. Add video and maybe 3+3=2 the video becomes a bigger distraction to listening. (Ever happen to you?; heard an instantly familiar radio voice, then see a person sounding familiar and questioning your senses?) Informational video clips or (images, pdf’s) that compliment the program, yes that makes great sense. (how-to’s, events, pictures)

  27. Gabe, DB and Todd…

    While I love the idea of video, I vote for staying with radio format only, right now. Don’t expand your scope to soon and dilute your ability to do the radio show the best you can. Focus on your core strengths and make them stronger. Still photos (webcam caps)on the website are fine but, if it were up to me, I really wouldn’t get into the video stuff yet. There will be plenty of time for that if you make the radio element a home run in the podcast ratings and quality.

  28. Well, IMHO, 18″ wheels are suitable for SUV’s but at least we got some discussion going on the topic.

    I continue to maintain that a 10lb. or more difference per corner is a huge difference in all the things that matter, and that large wheels are important only to fit large brakes. Also, one has to be a very smooth driver to avoid breaking loose those rubber-band tires, as hair-trigger response also means that one can lose traction just by a twitch of the wheel.

    BTW, JCW Driver, my 205×55 Michelin tires on 15×7″ wheels are compromise tires. I’ll probably step up to Bridgestone S03’s when these wear out, which looks like about 12K miles for the fronts. I’ll get a bit stiffer sidewall by doing so.

  29. hmm… my link got mangled. In the path where it says “minicoopers” should be “mini_cooper_s”

  30. Yikes, it doesn’t like underscores! Let me try it this way:
    [GP presentation]{http://www.mini.com/com/en/mini_cooper_s/index.jsp?content=jcw_gp/main.jsp}

  31. Okay, I don’t know how to force underscores. “cooper” on either side should have an underscore before and after.

  32. > otherwise just post it direct and it will link automagically
    But apparently not if the url includes two or more underscores! I’m not familiar with markdown, and its underscore for italics seems to take precedence over url link. I see that markdown uses backslash as an escape character. Here’s a test on the url I was trying to post earlier (I’ve inserted backslashes in front of each of the underscores):
    http://www.mini.com/com/en/mini\_cooper\_s/index.jsp?content=jcw\_gp/main.jsp

  33. Gabe, we found an excellent picture of a Hyperblue Mini with polished R99 wheels… Very Classy…now we want to see them live.
    They are 1 lbs heavier than the 16″ R94’s.
    What size range of tires would likely work well for a MC?? I recall reading once that you ran 17″ wheels with NRF’s on your previous MC.
    Can’t wait for that wheel/tire show.

  34. This is funny, everytime someone posts a set of beautiful looking 18s on NAM or any sort of MINI related website, we see the same people complaining about the weigth, comfort, braking capabilities. Never fails…. Here is the deal, I like the MINI with 18s, if the car brakes worse than having it with 15s, I will put a BBK on it, or if it is too heavy, I will add couple of more hp, how about that?

    People have different tastes, different visions, you gotta learn to understand different perspectives, and gather as much information as you can… A little more respect.

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