Welcome to our Site for MG, Triumph and Austin-Healey Car Information.


MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Time for ney tyres

After a split tyre its time for a new set of 155-80-13 only for road use looking for any recommendations of good reasonably priced makes I have a friendly fitter who owes me a favour so can buy on line.
mark heyworth

I'm happy with the Michelin Energy E3B 1 tyres I have. Mine are 145/80/13 and suitably narrow looking but they're also available in 155/80/13.

They're good in dry and wet, not as much grip as the Yokos a-drives I previously had but the Yokos aren't available in our sizes. In my Spridget I like to do spirited drives occasionally but certainly not always mad dashes everywhere.

Unless you're just pottling or bimbling around in the Spridget I'd advise you to avoid the Toyo 350, they're just not suited to Spridgets IMO, I had a set of four and put up with them for 18 months before getting the Michelin.

Take the Tyre Label results with a pinch of salt.

Whatever you buy it'd be interesting to hear your views on its performance once you've had the tyres used in various weather conditions.

Good luck.
Nigel Atkins

Got Uniroyal Rainmasters? 145/80/13 on our Frog that have proven excellent. Running tubeless on standard Frogeye wheels no problem.
MG Moneypit

Hi MG Moneypit - aren't Uniroyal Rainmasters the ones that look odd because the asymmetric tread looks different on the left and right sides?
Chris Hasluck

There are some Yokohama BluEarth AE01 available in the right size and toyo NanoEnergy 3 both reasonable priced has any one tried either of these both have good reviews online.
mark heyworth

some quick notes as tea is ready -

with reviews do take into account that (usually) they're not from use with lightweight classic sports cars, that's not to totally discount the reviews of course.

I like the idea of the BluEarth being 10% lighter than the, the 20% less rolling resistance is good as long as it's not too much at the expense of grip.

Toyo spec tab shows rim size 4" to 5" with 4.5" preferred so ideal for Rostyle wheel rims, the 155/80/13 start out with 6.3mm of tread (other sizes go to 7.7mm tread).

Nigel Atkins

Uniroyal don't make a tyre called "Rainmaster". It's called "Rain Expert" and there is more than one type. I have got the earlier rotational ones in 175/70x13 on 5.1/2" rims. Being rotational means you can only use them on one side of the car because of the "V" tread pattern.

The later Rain Expert 3 is the asymmetrical tread, which only specifies inside and outside, so you can use them on either side of the car. There is another type called Rain Sport 3 which is also asymmetrical, but the pattern is more complicated looking.

My experience with the "V" patterned tyre has been excellent and I have no experience of the other two, but for practicality the asymmetric Rain Expert 3 would appear to make more sense in terms of being able to even out the wear by swapping them around.
Bernie Higginson

I have Rainexpert 2 on my Midget. They're great. Softer sidewalls suit our cars well and although they are soft they don't seem to wear that fast. Track use knackers them.

I had version 1 of the Rainexperts on our old Rover 25, also very good.

I have Rainexpert 3 on the Rover P6. They are also very good but do look a bit odd because it looks like one side is on backwards. Wouldn't get them again just for that but they are very good tyres.
Rob Armstrong

If for road use only, mainly dry use, and providing it is a reputable make - eg Michelin, Uniroyal, Dunlop etc. - I don't believe there is much noticeable difference. I would therefore simply recommend the cheapest.

Anyone tried Conitinental EcoContact or WinterContact in 145 80 13 on a Spridget?

M Wood

My current tyre of choice are Vredestein Snotrac 3 or 5.
They are winter tyres and directional but not assymetric so look quite good.Very grippy in the wet, not tried on snow but good on mud/forest roads. They are quite soft as you may expect but should be fine in the dry also but may not last forever!
They are priced around 40.
John S
J Sloan

Go for the Vredestein quadtrac.
It is an all season and more grippy in summer (the snowtrack moves more in the patern) and longer lasting.
Only slightly less good in snow.

The snowtrack is phenomenal in the snow!

I had ecocontact tyres in 175 size they were good. Used the back ones up in about 7000 miles though.
Rob Armstrong

will 165-70-13 on rostyle wheels fit ok on square wheel arch midget I think these are nearer original rolling circumference than 155-80-13
mark heyworth

original tyres were 145/80/13 and 165/70/13 are almost exactly same rolling circumference (although I've seen on the BBS that 155 were an option).

(the Driver's Handbook gives you this sort of info as well as how to turn the lights on)

155/80/13 are less than 3% different to 155/80/13.

165/70/13 should be fine on the 4.5" Rostyle rim but check with the specs of the actual tyres you want.

I've not got a SWA so can't confirm fit but if you look in the Archives there'll be plenty of info, if not someone will confirm, I daren't rely on my memory.
Nigel Atkins

>>155/80/13 are less than 3% different to 155/80/13.<<

should have read 145/80/13 are less than 3% different to 155/80/13
Nigel Atkins

I have had 165/70/13 on Rostyles and they fitted OK on a square wheel arch Midget. However, I did feel that the 165/70 tyres were a bit 'squirmy' on the 4.5 rims and were much more stable on 5.0 rims (and fantastic on 5.5 rims). 5.0 Minilites fit OK on a square arch Midget. Even 5.5 rims fitted OK but did foul the wheel arch on track days where the back axle moves about quite a lot!
Chris Hasluck

as an example of what Chris has put about 165 section on 4.5" rims the Toyo NanoEnergy 3 165/70/13 has an 'Approved Rim Width Range (inch)' of '4.0-5-5.5' with 5" being on bold as preferred size, this would also apply to the Yoko BluEarth AE-01.

But how a 165 tyre feels or performs on a 4.5" rim will vary depending on the make and model of the tyre.

See also page 23 here -

Nigel Atkins

I'm not disputing just interested to know for future reference please, and it could help Mark with his choice, which make and model of 165/70/13 tyres felt squirmy on 4.5" rims?
Nigel Atkins

Hi Nigel
They were Uniroyals but as they were fitted around 6-7 years ago I can't recall which type (Rain something but not the current Rain Experts). I replaced them with Toyo tyres which were very good and then Yokohamas which were excellent.
Chris Hasluck

Hi Chris,
thanks for your reply.

I'd also be interested to know please which model of Toyos and which model of Yokos please if you don't mind.

Models of tyres seems to change very regularly (too frequently for actual advancement perhaps) so it's difficult to keep up to date.
Nigel Atkins

All the Uniroyals I've tried have had pretty soft sidewalls. Not sure if that makes a difference to the squirmy feel but I suspect it might.
Rob Armstrong

Hi Nigel
The Toyos were fitted on some alloy wheels that I sold last year so I can't check what they were (sorry). The Yokos are the usual A-drives.
Chris Hasluck

thanks anyway. I'm with you I found the Yoko a.drives really good and I'd be very pleased if I could find something to match them in our sizes.
Nigel Atkins

Bit the bullet and ordered toyo 165-70-13 yesterday at 15:00 from blackcircles and they quoted delivery for the 17/01/17 they arrived 10:30 this morning great service, getting them fit over the weekend so will see how they are next week.
mark heyworth

Mark, good news.

So Toyo NanoEnergy 3, 165/70/13 then (and an extra 1mm of tread compared to 155/80).

Probably putting something you already know but go easy on the tyres for the first 200 or so miles this time of year as they could be 'greasy' from new and check the tightness of the wheel nuts after the first 30-50 miles.

Once things have settled you might want to experiment a bit with slightly increased tyre pressures as 165/70 is for 5" rims as apposed to 155/80 for 4.5" (Rostyles are 4.5" rims) but depending on the tyres you might not find much difference.

Nigel Atkins

16-70-13 Tyres fitted and tracking done with trakrite and all fine will take it easy for a couple of hundred miles, a bit of a scare when i fitted the front they seemed to catch on full lock at the back and front of the wheels but when back on all 4 wheels there is plenty of clearance.
mark heyworth

I'd like to give a shout out to say how pleased I am with my new 165/70/13 Yokohama Blue Earth AE01s.

They've done two weekends at Loton Park hill climb and the grip from the tyres, combined with the brand new grippy tarmac has been amazing. New personal bests for both my son and myself - and by quite a margin too!

When I got the car five years ago I wanted Yokohama A Drives, as recommended by a certain N Atkins on many occasions. Unfortunately they had just been discontinued and I couldn't find a set, so plumped for Toyo 350s - big mistake!

Blue Earths have finally made it onto the MSA approved list and, having really scrutinised the contenders and read numerous reviews, I decided to give them a go.

The rubber is much softer than the Toyos (concrete?) and even on a wet track there was no sliding where the Toyos would have been spinning and slithering all over the place. The grip off the start line was amazing helping to make several really good starts - the best being 2.71 secs for 64 foot (64ft in 2 secs = 1g acceleration). At the end of the runs the rubber had heated up.

So far I've been running higher pressures than the Toyos with 24 at the front, 26/27 at the rear but the 'feel' is so much more positive than the Toyos and dropping the pressures to 22 front and 24 rear just didn't feel as good.

Sadly I've still not cured the wheel-arch rubbing completely, though it's much reduced. A bit more work with the screw jack I think!

I've no idea how long these tyres will last, especially given the abuse they receive, but, in view of the fact that they were far from the most expensive and the way they've performed for me so far I'm not that bothered!

C Mee

thanks for reporting on your new tyres, I'm glad to hear they're doing so well.

I don't want to rain on your parade, as our overseas cousins say, but the Toyo 350 aren't a good tyre to compare against on a Spridget I've found. I changed my Toyo 350 when they still had lots of tread and not much wear as like you I found them to be so unsuitable for all but very moderate Spridget road use so I can imagine your problems with them on a track.

Still good to have such a glowing report on the Bluearths.
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 02/01/2017 and 07/08/2017

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archives. Join the live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS now