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I'm pretty sure that the width of the tire is determined by the width of the rim. You don't see many (read any) cars out there with big fat tires on skinny little wheels.
 

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Look here. This chart shows what tire widths go with what rims. 215/45 on a 7" rim is recommended, but there isn't anything wider recommended. If you don't mind a larger diameter tire, a 225/45/17 is in the acceptable range for a 7" rim, but it's not optimum for diameter or rim width.

Now you know why I went to wide rims.
 

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I had some questions about tires that I didn't find slogging through 20 pages of threads. I've found out enough to understand what the numbers mean in the tire size, but my question is, how does changing these numbers affect real world performance?

I want to keep my stock 17" rims. Is it possible (I've read a few answers) to put on 225s, 235s, 245s on these rims and what would the implications be if I did. I drive in New England so I'd want a tire that handled decently in all weather.

Also, what would be the implications of changing the 45 with a higher or lower number (thinner tire = more fragile/speedo is thrown? etc)?

I like how some of the thinner wider tires look but not if it is going to affect my safety or control. Also, what how would changing some of the numbers affect road noise.

I just thought it would be great to have all this information in one place. Thanks for any replies.
 
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