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I'm kind of confused about changing out the wheels. I understand why some people change out the tires, but other than moving to a larger size, why change out the tire.

Is it purely cosmetic, or are there also performance gains? If you go to a bigger wheel, do you have to go to the dealer to have anything reset in order for the speedometer, odometer, etc. to work correctly?

I know if you make a slight increase (say 18 to 19" wheels) that there are calculators that will determine what size tire you need to come close to the other size (I have 18" winter tires on my Nox and 19" summer tires - .03 difference). It would seem if you went from something like 17" to 21" that something would have to be reset in the car. Is that right?
Not really. As long as the outer diameter remains the same, you are just going for a lower profile tire, i.e. a smaller sidewall. Smaller sidewalls also contribute to ride harshness because there is less give between the wheel and the outer edge of the tire. Riding in a car with 14" wheels will be significantly different than the same car with 18" wheels.

Technically, lower profile tires are quicker to react to track conditions during cornering because there is less squirm due to the shorter sidewalls, and this fact has contributed to low profile tires being used in sports sedans for years. Wheels keep getting bigger while the tire's outer diameter rarely increases.
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