Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?





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  1. #1
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    Default Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Hi all,

    So I bought a 2006 Defender td5 DC about a week ago. The tyres that it has (Michelin A/Ts) are shot and I want to replace them. The spare is OK, but the rest are really not looking good at all.

    It currently has 265/75 R16s on, and when I bought it I actually initially thought the car might have spacers on it. I'm not a huge fan of the "fat takkies" look so aesthetically I would prefer the standard 235/85 R16s. The problem I have is that the spare is still perfect (never been used, and not too old either), so if I replace with 235/85 R16s I will need to replace a perfectly good spare, which just seems like a waste of money.


    I mostly do overlanding in Namibia (i.e. mostly sandy tracks and gravel roads). Is there any negative to sticking with 265/75 R16 for my purposes? Will the 265 tyres not kick stones up into the bodywork on loose gravel?


    Any advice from the guys in the know?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Congrats Lou!

    Cries of pics or it didn't happen will soon ring out here.

    Anyway I have the fat tyres on (265's). My Defender sits higher than most, has a Terrafirma medium duty suspension but no lift kit. I have no problems with rubbing and stones kicked up.

    Also I like the look of the wider tyre, however mine do not protrude on the sides so does not look like spacers are added and there aren't any.

    I also had to put new tyres on after I bought the car and also had to decide between 235s and 265s...there is a thread somewhere that covers this. I would go 265s again
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    I have fitted 285 75’s on my 2007 Defender which do not protrude outside the wheel arches and I also have 40mm spacers.

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Pics or you did not buy it
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oppies3800 View Post
    Pics or you did not buy it
    Ja ja - I'll try to take a decent photo somewhere interesting this afternoon to keep you guys happy.


    Want to take it up the Swakop/Khan rivers on Sunday as a first little outing. It feels like Boxing Day when I was a little boy - I have this awesome new toy and I just can't get enough of it. Just want to pack all my stuff in it and take it on a nice long trip to somewhere amazing!
    Last edited by Lou07; 2019/02/22 at 03:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    We can answer all your questions regarding tyres etc. but we first need pictures...
    Always think: Could this be sarcasm?

    André Opperman

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    In my humble opinion 235's fair slightly better off road, it may just be my perception but they seem to conform better over obstacles when deflated to provide more grip.

    They also have less rolling resistance and are obviously lighter so this could affect fuel consumption.

    But don't take my word for it hopefully there are a few other informed opinions.....after you post pictures of course.
    PS my ideal tyre size for a defender would be 255/85R16
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Here's a starter for you guys so long - just to get you off my back
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Nice looking Defender . If you are going to the Northern pats of Nam , I would suggest the thinner size . Lots of used ones up north . When you are desperate , and need a tyre , as long as it fits its good . Exotics are not freely available in the rural areas. If you loose a tyre , let it be an old one .
    Just my opinion

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Both sizes have the exact circumference, thus your spare will work 100%.

    I am a fan on the narrower 235's simply due to less rollong resistance and a lighter tyre which = a tad lower fuel consumption.
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    I prefer 265's. I do get some rubbing when I fully turn the steering wheel, though.
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Quote Originally Posted by albertvl View Post
    I prefer 265's. I do get some rubbing when I fully turn the steering wheel, though.
    235s are better off road and quite a bit lighter on fuel.

    I changed to 265, stayed with these. They provided much more stability on road when loaded. They still got me off road where I wanted to go, without getting stuck.

    If
    I had to do an extended trip through Africa, or stay off road most of the time, I would go 235
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    I bought my Landy with nearly slick Bridgestone Dueller AT 235's. When I switched over to Khumo MT 265's I noticed a great improvement in offroad capability. I haven't managed to get stuck once since I fitted them four years ago.

    Now it is difficult to know which of the variables that changed provided the biggest change but I suspect it is MT vs AT. I am not sure how much the width influnces capability.
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  17. #14
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Quote Originally Posted by thabogrobler View Post
    Both sizes have the exact circumference, thus your spare will work 100%.

    I am a fan on the narrower 235's simply due to less rollong resistance and a lighter tyre which = a tad lower fuel consumption.
    Thanks Thabo - there is a small difference in diameter (2mm), so will this do any damage if I keep the 265 spare and run it for no more than say 1000km?

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    As thabo mentioned, the size difference between the two is hardly noticeable. You will be fine using the fat tire as a spare. It's only the width that differs.

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou07 View Post
    Thanks Thabo - there is a small difference in diameter (2mm), so will this do any damage if I keep the 265 spare and run it for no more than say 1000km?
    Hi Lou, it should be fine, a slightly flat or overflated tyre will have the same effect, neither of which will damage the drivetrain.

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClaudeG View Post
    Hi Lou, it should be fine, a slightly flat or overflated tyre will have the same effect, neither of which will damage the drivetrain.

    OK it's settled then - will go for 235's and keep the 265 spare for now

    Thanks gents!

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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    I don't think there is much difference between the two and both are widely used so neither is an odd size. 265s have a bit more rubber on the ground but height wise they are very similar. I can't really justify spending R3k odd for a new spare and would stick with them. Unless you don't like the look: then by all means go to 235.
    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

  22. #19
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Let us know what you decide to get?
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  23. #20
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    Default Re: Defender tyres - 235/85 R16 or 265/75 R16?

    Lou
    Did you get new tyres?

    I am thinking of going the 285 route with spacers. What tyres would the forum suggest in this size (all terrains, there is no mud in Nam)?
    1998 Defender 110 Tdi 300
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