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I'm polling folks about how their Ridgelines ride, and especially those who have owned or ridden in Ridgelines with both 17" and 18" wheels. My RTL has the 18" wheels with the OE-spec Michelin LTX M/S tires, and I'd describe my ride as "pretty firm", and bordering on "harsh". I've read folks say that their Ridgeline drives just like a big Accord, and I'm wondering if the wheel size makes a significant difference. In the long run, I wonder if I'd be happier swapping my 245/60R18s for something like 245/70R17s or something. I'd prefer a little more sidewall, but don't know if that's a huge factor. I also believe that these particular tires are on the firm side anyway.

Anyone with 18s switch to a different tire and find that it rides softer?
 

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I can't speak for 17s, but i had the factory 18s and thought it drove very smooth and i described it just like a Pilot. Even my friends felt it was very smooth for a truck. I have since put 20s on it and now i would describe it as firm and some extra road noise.
 

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Stock 17s with OEM Michelin's....rides like a dream. The fact that it has 265xxx kms on it may have something to do with it. Still has all original suspension which could contribute to softer ride as well.
 

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I'm polling folks about how their Ridgelines ride, and especially those who have owned or ridden in Ridgelines with both 17" and 18" wheels. My RTL has the 18" wheels with the OE-spec Michelin LTX M/S tires, and I'd describe my ride as "pretty firm", and bordering on "harsh". I've read folks say that their Ridgeline drives just like a big Accord, and I'm wondering if the wheel size makes a significant difference. In the long run, I wonder if I'd be happier swapping my 245/60R18s for something like 245/70R17s or something. I'd prefer a little more sidewall, but don't know if that's a huge factor. I also believe that these particular tires are on the firm side anyway.

Anyone with 18s switch to a different tire and find that it rides softer?
What tire pressure are you running? Anything above 34 psi could be causing this.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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I'm polling folks about how their Ridgelines ride, and especially those who have owned or ridden in Ridgelines with both 17" and 18" wheels. My RTL has the 18" wheels with the OE-spec Michelin LTX M/S tires, and I'd describe my ride as "pretty firm", and bordering on "harsh". I've read folks say that their Ridgeline drives just like a big Accord, and I'm wondering if the wheel size makes a significant difference. In the long run, I wonder if I'd be happier swapping my 245/60R18s for something like 245/70R17s or something. I'd prefer a little more sidewall, but don't know if that's a huge factor. I also believe that these particular tires are on the firm side anyway.

Anyone with 18s switch to a different tire and find that it rides softer?
I've always thought it rode like an oversized sedan.

Sidewall height will change ride characteristics significantly, using the tire size calculator from www.miata.net the stock size difference from the 2006 17" Alloy to the 2014 18" Alloy is greater than a 1/2" (aprox 0.6")

2006 RTS Specification
245/65-17 Sidewall 6.3in Radius 14.8in Diameter 29.5in Circumference 92.8in

2009 RTL Specification
240/60-18 Sidewall 5.7in Radius 14.7in Diameter 29.3in Circumference 92.2in
 

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Mine rides real great, just like a car. Since I added the AT Falken Rocky Mountain Tires it makes more road noise but only around like 40 mph, on the freeway it is quiet but it looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, all.

What tire pressure are you running? Anything above 34 psi could be causing this.
I use the factory recommendation, 32 psi. It's actually probably a bit low now, just due to the colder weather lately.

I'd say that our 2005 MDX rides like a car. Very smooth, very comfortable. Our Ridgeline rides far firmer than the MDX. I'm thinking the tires themselves and the tire size both contribute to that. I know the Ridgeline never will ride just like our MDX (there's a significant difference in spring rate between the two), but I'd appreciate a little less firm. :)

Maybe I'll go with 17s next time I install tires. There seems to be a decent selection of used wheels out there.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I don't know if this is a fair comparison or not. My 2006 Pilot has 235-70/16 tires and my RL has 245-65/17 tires. I find the RL ride firmer (and more desirable). I run 35 psi in both sets of tires. But that could also be the suspension difference between the two vehicles as well. I've always considered the RL to have a firmer ride than the Pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've always considered the RL to have a firmer ride than the Pilot.
I would think it would have to. The Ridgeline has a payload capacity of 1,500 pounds in the bed. The spring rates are much different.

Our MDX has P235/65R17s, very similar in size to the 17" size on the Ridgeline. Unfortunately, the MDX uses the older 4.5" bolt circle wheels, whereas the Ridgeline has the 120mm bolt circle wheels, so I can't swap across to see how much difference there is just due to the tires and tire size.
 

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Ride quality is so subjective. Some people like a firm ride that feels very connected to the road. Sure-footed. Planted. Precise. Accurate. Confidence-inspiring. Interactive. They would describe this as a "good" riding vehicle. These same people would describe the handling of a 1986 Lincoln Town Car as nauseating, numb, vague, and even dangerous. Some people mistakenly interpret a solid and quiet vehicle as having a "good" ride without actually considering the vehicle's handling characteristics.

Having said that, I find the ride of all modern vehicles to be firm, loud, and harsh - including my Ridgeline. I prefer the cloud-like isolation that disappeared with large, rear-wheel drive luxury sedans (aka "land yachts") in the 80s-90s. I like soft valving, soft springs, lots of isolation dampers, and extremely light steering. There was a time when much attention was paid to make a vehicle quiet and as isolated as possible from the road. Now, the market seems to be driving that "euro" driving experience. Names like Cadillac and Buick that were once 2-ton isolation tanks have now stiffened up their steering and suspensions and tuned their exhausts for a "sporty" sound. Even on premium luxury vehicles, suspensions lean towards firm in the interest of handling.

Deep sidewalls and soft rubber compounds will help some with small modulations (i.e., course pavement and minor imperfections), but the characteristics of the "shock absorbers" will have more effect on larger modulations (i.e. potholes). Old land yachts had deep sidewalls, soft rubber, soft shock valving, linear instead of progressive rate springs, small or no stabilizer bars, and the body and frame were isolated by rubber cushions. This gave for a soft, smooth, quiet, cloud-like, comfortable ride. You could drive over a small farm animal with little or no disturbance inside the cabin. Unfortunately, these terms are polar opposites of sharp, crisp, accurate, safe, handling. Over the last 100 years, we've gone from bone-jarring to cloud-like and now we've taken a step back to somewhere in the middle as a balance between comfort and handling with the scales tipping towards one end or another depending on the vehicle.
 

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I find after 3 sets of tires, oem michelins, then goodyear x2.. 17 wheels..ride good but no comparison with new tires..seems best first 5k..then harder imo...first oem michelins went 80k and still decent tread..but new tires always best..and makes the biggest difference regardless of size somewhat...in ride quality..i always do the 32 psi like placards say
 

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Even with somewhat higher psi (34-35) I find the ride excellent. I prefer it over softer rides as it feels more stable. Only a reduction in road noise could make a significant improvement to the overall driving experience for long journeys.
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I also like the ride at 35 psi. More importantly, my tread wear seems more even at 35. At 32, it appears I see more wear on the inside and outside edges indicating under pressure. Yes, I use a calibrated gauge.
 

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They both ride like a tall Accord
 

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Different tires make a huge difference. I test drove an 08 that had some off-brand tires with a very aggressive tread. Hummed like a rock crawler and rode as rough as one, too. I ended up buying my 06 with Michelins, rides much nicer and a lot quieter.
 

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Mine rides like a champ, as good as a lot of cars I've driven. Much MUCH better than any other truck I have owned.

It is not as soft on bumps as a typical 2wd Chevy half-ton, but it does not wallow around like the Chevies either. My Ridgeline has enough firmness to remind you it is a capable truck, but never punishes.

It is particularly good on washboard roads and bad pavement. In such conditions it is pretty loud inside, but the truck handles the jitter and bumps very effectively.
 

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I bought my 2014 RL Sport in March of 2014. Coming from a 2006 Toyota 4Runner that I drove for 207,000 pretty much trouble free miles. I'd say the RL rides way better than the 4Runner. Softer, yet less body roll, almost sporty for what it is. My wife drives a 2006 Infiniti FX35 with the sport suspension package, and I prefer the RL ride.
 
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