255 vs 265 Tires: Are They Close Enough?
Your tires are the only contact point between your car and the road which means that all of your driving inputs are translated through the tires. This is why it is important to go for a set of tires that suits your car and your driving style. A comfortable cruiser is best off with a set of touring tires while a performance car is designed with performance tires in mind.
However, the specific type of tire is not the only thing you need to pay attention to as the tire width is arguably even more important. In this article, we are going to compare 255 vs 265 tires and tell you why one is better than the other.
255 vs 265 Tires
A 255 tire is 255 millimeters wide (10.04 inches) while a 265 tire is 265 millimeters wide (10.43 inches). This means that these are relatively similar and that they will not pose night and day differences in most areas. However, we do need to point out that a 255 tire should inherently be more efficient, more comfortable, offer better traction in adverse weather conditions such as slush, snow, and ice, and should also be cheaper.
On the other hand, a 265 tire is likely better when it comes to dry traction, handling and stability, weight distribution, load capacity, and aesthetics.
Why Are 255 Tires Better Than 265 Tires?
- Better Fuel Efficiency
- Better Traction In Snow, Ice, and Slush
- More Comfortable
Are 255 Tires More Fuel Efficient Than 265 Tires?
As mentioned above, a 255 tire is 10 millimeters narrower than a 265 tire which means that it should weigh less and it should cut through the air a bit better. These two aspects play in tandem when it comes to tire rolling resistance which refers to the energy needed to roll the tire. A 255 tire does not need as much energy to roll which means that the engine does not need to work as hard.
This translates to better fuel efficiency in the long run as a 255 tire is a smaller object. Even though the differences aren’t huge, they do exist.
Do 255 Tires Offer More Traction In The Snow, Rain, and Slush?
The reason why 255 tires do offer better traction in adverse weather conditions is that they have a higher pressure per square inch rating. This means that a narrower tire is able to push into the snow, slush, and rain a bit better than a 265 tire. A wider contact patch does offer better dry traction, but it makes it more difficult to cut snow to reach the ground.
This is why you’ll often see snowmobiles equipped with fairly narrow tires as these act like the sharp end of a hammer wide tires act more like the blunt end of the hammer as the weight/force distributed across a square inch of the tire is lower. Once again, the differences aren’t huge, but they do help, especially in deeper snow.
Are 255 Tires Cheaper Than 265 Tires?
A 255 tire should be more affordable than a 265 tire for three distinct reasons. For starters, a 255 tire uses fewer materials which isn’t a huge difference, but when scaled up to 1000 or more tires, this does make a difference and lowers the final price of the tire. Secondly, thanks to a 255 tire being narrower, more 255 tires can fit into a container which inherently means lower shipping costs.
Thirdly, we also need to talk about supply and demand as 255 tires tend to be more popular than 265 tires which do lower the final price. Put all these three reasons together and you can conclude that a 255 tire is indeed cheaper.
Is A 255 Tire More Comfortable Than A 265 Tire?
The reason why a 255 tire is more comfortable than a 265 tire is twofold. First of all, a 255 tire has a lower wind resistance rating because it is a narrower object and thus is able to manage air better. This translates to wind noise which should be less intrusive with a 255 tire. This can be most easily noticed while driving at highway speeds.
Secondly, a 255 tire can better manage road undulations as you are less likely to feel the difference in road quality.
Why Are 265 Tires Better Than 255 Tires?
- Better Dry Traction
- Better Handling
- Better Weight Distribution
- Better Looks
Do 265 Tires Offer Better Dry Traction Than 255 Tires?
Previously we talked about how a narrower tire can cut through snow better in order to reach the ground more consistently thanks to a higher pressure per square inch of the tire. When it comes to dry conditions, this works the other way around because the larger the contact patch, the bigger the claws with which to grip the road.
Therefore, a 265 tire should best a 255 tire while in the dry. The most noticeable aspect is actually when launching the car as high horsepower cars do work better with 265 tires. You are able to put the power down more consistently and thus always get better 0-60mph times.
Do 265 Tires Handle Better Than 255 Tires?
When talking about handling, we are talking about how a car manages to change direction, how it manages weight transfer during cornering, and how responsive it is. As far as direction changes are concerned, more traction will enable you to steer better which is where a 265 tire is better. Weight transfer refers to how flat the car can be while cornering and how balanced it is.
This is also where a 265 tire wins as a bigger contact patch does translate to better composure during cornering. Thirdly, a 265 tire is going to be more responsive as you are essentially steering your ship with a larger rudder. This will also usually make your steering feel heavier which is also beneficial for a performance car.
Do 265 Tires Distribute Weight Better Than 255 Tires?
Yes, they do. The reason why is that you have four comparably larger objects at each corner of the car which gives more stability and can carry more weight. An average load capacity of a 265 tire is 2,680 pounds while a comparable 255 tire is around 2,400 pounds which can make a difference, even if you aren’t maximizing your load capacity.
As such a 265 tire should always feel more controlled, no matter how much load your car is carrying.
Do 265 Tires Look Better Than 255 Tires?
As we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder which is why we can’t say that everyone believes a 265 tire looks better, but we can say that the majority of people prefer the look of a 265 tire. This is because a 265 tire looks more athletic and makes the sculpture of the car look a bit more meaningful, especially for a performance car as no one likes a bodybuilder with skinny legs.
255 vs 265 Tires: Table Comparison
Diameter inches (mm): 31.06
Width inches (mm):10.04
Circum. inches (mm): 100.72
Sidewall height inches (mm): 7.53
Revolutions per mile (km): 629.09
Load Capacity 2,400 Pounds
Revs per mile 658.10
Tread Depth is 18 32nds
Max PSI 80PSI
Price $200 – $400
Diameter inches (mm): 32.09
Width inches (mm):10.43
Circum. Inches (mm): 99.29
Sidewall height inches (mm): 7.3
Revolutions per mile (km): 638.1
Load Capacity 2,680 Pounds
Revs per mile 648.80
Tread Depth is 10 32nds
Max PSI 80PSI+
Price $250 – $450
Are 255 And 265 Tires Interchangeable?
They might be. A 265 tire tends to be about an inch/inch and a half taller than a 255 tire which means that you do need to take this into consideration as your existing rims might not be able to accommodate the extra inches. Most 255 rims should be able to accommodate a 265 tire if the inner tire diameter is the same.
Are 265 Tires A Lot Bigger Than 255 Tires?
In reality, a 265 tire isn’t really too different from a 255 tire as it only measures around an inch or inch and a half more in height and 10 millimeters in width. That is not to say that these are identical, but the differences will not be noticeable to everyone. If we were to use the same tire models with a 10-millimeter width difference, a 265 tire would not be all that much bigger.
At the end of our 255 vs 265 tires comparison, we can say that there are pros and cons to each. A 255 tire tends to be cheaper, more comfortable, and better in snow, ice, and slush while also being more fuel efficient. On the other hand, a 265 tire is better in the dry, it looks better, it makes the car handle better, and it distributes the weight of the car a bit better.
If you want to squeeze out every little drop of performance from your car, you are better off with 265 tires, but be aware that the differences are not going to be night and day.