Last month I took delivery of the new Cades Bern wheels I want to fit to the Mondeo. The simple twin-spoke design has a classy yet contemporary look, and compliments the ST’s chunky arches really well. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about the size – 20 inch – as fitting oversized wheels has the potential to ruin a car (anyone remember the Fiestas of the late 90s/early 2000s with 18in and 19in rims!) but the Mondeo is a big old bus, and I’m pleased to say swallows up 20in rims with ease.
A large part of making the wheels work is getting the right tyres. With a large rim you inevitably need a small profile tyre, but go too low and you risk sacrificing ride quality. Also, as the profile size is based on a percentage of the overall tyre width, careful consideration needs to be taken here too. A 300mm wide tyre with a ’30’ profile is much taller than a 200mm tyre with a ’30’ profile. After measuring up last month, I’d worked out that the tyre I’d need would be a 235/30R20 – its rolling circumference is actually only 6mm larger than the stock 225/40R18 tyres, so it clears with no hassle. So, it was soon time to shop around for some new rubber. When it comes to choosing tyres it’s all too easy to be lead be price, but my advice is don’t! Those four small rubber contact patches with the road are ultimately what controls all of your car’s performance and safety. Never underestimate the need for a quality tyre!
With that in mind, I was straight on to Continental Tyres and put in an order for a set of ContiSportContact3s in 235/40/ZR20 size. As the standard fitment rubber for many high-end manufacturers, and having previously driven cars using their tyres, I knew Continentals would be perfect for the big Mondeo – offering fantastic wet and dry weather performance, excellent feedback, and a decent level of ride comfort too, even in a 30 profile.
As soon as the tyres were delivered I couldn’t wait to get the new wheels fitted. With the help of workshop mechanic Mat, we soon had the rubber mounted to the rim, balanced up, and ready to bolt on. And what a difference!
Getting the Cades bolted on required the use of some TPi alloy nuts, as the standard ones are too big to fit in the bolt holes, and quite frankly just look rubbish. But with everything bolted in place, and after one final check for clearances, the car was back on the ground. Instantly I knew I’d made the right choice. The wheels fill the arches perfectly, and even though the car is currently on standard suspension, it actually looks lowered. I’ve always planned to lower the car a bit too, so a slight drop in ride height and it’ll look quite tough I reckon.
But at least those scabby standard wheels are now a thing of the past, and I wont be embarrassed by the rims every time I drive it. And the timing couldn’t be any better with the summer show season in full swing – it just needs a damn good wash an polish now…