Mazda MX-5 Upgrade: Winter Wheels

I have always envied people that know what they want in life. The story of my life has been full of uncertainty and indecision… until I started looking for a Miata. I knew exactly what I wanted!

The dealer that showed me the first Miata I went to see in flesh and actually test drive, told me good luck finding a red hard top for the price I was willing to pay. He said it so sarcastically… and then I proved him wrong. I got exactly what I was looking for, a Copper Mica Red with a PRHT for not that much more than what the dealer was asking, except it was from a private owner who only put 1/3rd of the miles on the car compared to the one the dealer was selling.

During that search I was really unsure about the wheels. I really liked the five spoke OEM 16 inch that came stock on some base models. But I knew that IF I bought a car with them, I would also get an OEM 17 inch ten spoke set to have as a spare. And I am proud to say that after a few months of searching, I got a fantastic deal on a set of the five spoke wheels.

Based on my research on Miata.net it was recommended by one of the reps from Tire Rack who is the forum’s sponsor, to use smaller wheels with slimmer tires for the winter. Instead of the low profile 17’s, they recommended 16’s using a 195 tire. And I’m so glad I got myself a set of 16’s, now the deal-hunting begins for some winter tires, hopefully they’ll be on sale now that the winter is finally over (its early April and we still had snow a week ago) we’re only about 8 months away from next winter anyway. I plan to keep the car for a long time, so having a spare set of wheels is a must.

I bought the wheels through eBay. After a few months of random searching on the forums and Craigslist, I knew it would cost me upwards of $300 to $400 for a reasonable set. The other night I logged into eBay, typed in “Mazda Miata Wheels” and the first search result that popped up showed a set of pristine 16’s with a current bid of $100 with local pick up only, listed in a New Jersey town that’s only 25 minutes drive form where I live. The listing was like a God sent. I didn’t have to drive for hours to some neighboring state. I didn’t have to pay a ton for shipping from across the country. They were right here! So there I am, sitting in the car at a shopping center parking lot, glued to my phone with only a few minutes left to auction’s end, submitting my bid. And I won! Not only that, I won the auction for significantly less than I was prepared to pay, which makes me really happy. I quickly contacted the seller to see if I could pick up the wheels that night because I had my Road Trip to Watkins Glen planned for early the next day, and the guy agreed.

I was seriously concerned that the wheels might be stolen since they sold for such a low price. But once I arrived at the seller’s home all my worries went away. Not only that he’s also a current owner of a beautiful 2007 Miata in True Red which is far brighter than my Copper Red. And he’s actively involved with a Miata club called Del Valley, which is awesome because now I have someone locally whom I could cruise with and meet other Miata owners. I’m really excited!

mx5 wheels

mx5 wheels 17s

mx5 wheels 16s 17s

mx5 wheels 16s

mx5 wheels summer winter

mx5 wheel

Good deal all around. The 16’s came with center caps, so that’s a big plus. And still have some tires mounted on them which I guess is a bonus. Though I’ll be shopping for new winter tires soon. Will I have any issues using the smaller wheels? Like will the speedo be off? Not according to this (or at least I’ll be going half a mile faster at 65mph)

205.50.R16 to 205.45.R17 tire comparison