Citroen DS Tyres
We now recommend fitting 165 SR 400 Michelin X front and rear, to all pre 1965 DS & ID and 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS on all post 1965 models
White Wall Citroen DS Tyres
Citroen DS19 tyres
- The first Citroen DS19 from 1955 – 1965 fitted 165 SR 400 Michelin X and 155SR400 Michelin X on the rear.
- From 1965 to 1969 the DS19 fitted 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS on the front and 155 HR 15 Michelin XAS FF on the rear.
Citroen ID19 tyres
- The Citroen ID19 tyres were the same as the DS19 tyres.
Citroen DS21 Tyres
- Citroen D Super and D Special fitted 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS on the front and 165-15 Michelin XAS on the rear.
- The Citroen DS21 tyres were 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS on the front and 165-15 Michelin XAS on the rear.
- In 1973 the DS21 injection model changed its wheels slightly and fitted 185 HR 15 Michelin XVS-P front and rear.
Citroen DS23 tyres
- The Citroen DS23 fitted the same tyres as the DS21, including the later larger tyres after 1972.
Citroen DS Break Tyres
- The Citroen DS Break fitted 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS front and rear, until 1973 when it moved to the 185 HR 15 XVS-P.
Citroen DS Pallas Tyres
- The luxurious DS Pallas, fitted 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS front and 165HR15 XAS rear until 1973 when it fitted 185 HR 15 Michelin XVS-P all round.
Please check out our Citroen DS tyre fitment guide
|Model||Year of production||Front Tyre||Rear Tyre||Spare Tyre|
|DS19 & ID19||Sept '65||165SR400 X||155SR400 X||155SR400 X|
|Break||Sept '65||165SR400 X||165SR400 X||165SR400 X|
|All Models Except;||Sept '65||180HR15 XAS||155HR15 XAS|
|D Super (5), DS21 & DS23||180HR15 XAS||165HR15 XAS|
|Break||180HR15 XAS||180HR15 XAS|
|DS21 inj. & DS23 inj.||185HR15 XVS-P||185HR15 XVS-P|
Up until 1965 all models of the Citroen DS fitted 165R400 Michelin X on their centre lock wheels. These are special 400mm wheels and can only fit 400mm tyres. You cannot fit 16" tyres on these wheels. It is dangerous and you will jeopardise your insurance. From 1965-75 Citroen generally fitted 5"J X 15" wheels these wheels had a circular hole in the middle which is how you know these are 5"J. In the UK these cars fitted 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS. Some models abroad would fit 155 HR 15 Michelin XAS FF and 165HR15 Michelin XAS tyres on the rear. This is a period quirk of the Citroen DS and the best option is to fit the 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS front and rear. Some later Citroen DS and the DS21 Injection and DS23 Injection fitted the 5.5"J wheels (with a square hole in the middle). These cars fitted 185 HR 15 Michelin XAS tyres which are no longer available, instead of the 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS. Michelin presently makes a 185 HR 15 Michelin XVS-P for these cars.
There is no doubt that this is an excellent tyre however there is a train of thought that because the 185 HR 15 Michelin XVS-P has squarer shoulders it is not suited to the suspension of the Citroen DS when cornering hard. The thought is that the equal length wishbone suspension makes the tyre stay parallel with the side of the car. So when the car leans when cornering, the inside edge of the XVS-P lifts and the rounded shoulders of the XAS is more suited to this suspension set-up. There is however a completely separate school of thought that claims that the 185HR15 Michelin XVS-P is the best tyre you can fit to a Citroen DS. The 185 HR 15 XVS-P is often specified as a preference in Europe and Michelin recommend this tyre.
Original Citroen DS Tyres
One thing is absolutely set in stone. Michelin and Citroen invented asymmetric tyres (such as XAS and XVS-P) because the Citroen DS needs asymmetric tyres to drive on modern roads in a straight line. When dual carriageways and motorways were introduced Michelin and Citroen had to improve the DS's directional stability and that was done with asymmetric tyres. Fitting anything other than asymmetric tyres will spoil the handling of a DS.
At Longstone Tyres we have had to rescue many cars from this mistake and enjoyed the relief that the owners of Citroen DS have shown when their cars have been dramatically improved by putting them back on the correct tyre technology.
Tyre pressures are often an issue with the Citroen DS, so Longstone Tyres gives a basic recommendation of going with 29psi in the front and 26psi in the rear. The Safari model has 29psi in the front and 32psi in the rear.
Michelin XAS Citroen DS Tyres deal
When Dual Carriageways were invented and cars were cruising at far higher speeds than had been previously possible, Michelin with Citroen together developed the asymmetric tyre for the Citroen DS to dramatically improve its directional stability at cruising speeds. It is true that the earlier cars fitted 165R400 Michelin X tyres and for comfort and grip at lower speeds they were great, but when these cars started to maintain speeds of 65+ mph for extended periods of time on dual carriageways they needed the added stability of asymmetric Michelin XAS.
It is true that owners of a DS might want to buy non-asymmetric tyres, but that is only because they are cheaper. The Michelin XAS tyres are not cheap, but there is no doubt about the quality of the XAS and the technology in the rubber. It is worth considering that making classic tyres in such relatively small quantities for a company such as Michelin is not a cheap process.
Many people assume that because a Citroen DS or ID is worth over 10,000 Euros then, of course, you should be able to afford a set of proper tyres. However, at Longstone Tyres we see that the present value of a car has no relationship to what you should spend on tyres. Many owners of a Citroen DS are not looking at their car as a valuable investment. Many of these cars are owned by enthusiasts that bought their car some years ago because they loved the car; not because they thought of it as an investment. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to find the money to spend on a set of tyres. We have done our best to help people resist the temptation of cheap non-asymmetric tyres by offering a set of the Michelin XAS tyres with new Michelin tubes at an extremely good price.
Recommended DS Citroen tyres
The initial Citroen DS fitted the 165 SR 400 Michelin X radial tyre. The first major change in tyre fitment to the Citroen DS occurred in 1966 during Michelin's ownership of Citroen when they took the unique step of fitting a 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS at the front of the car and a smaller 155x15 or 165x15 at the rear, (as far as we are aware the Citroen DS is the only car legally allowed to have larger tyres on the front in the UK!) The later cars fitted a 180 HR 15 Michelin XAS or 185 15 Michelin XAS all-around. We at Longstone Tyres would recommend the fitment of the 180HR15 Michelin XAS on pre '73 DS Citroens, as these tyres were designed for Citroen DS.
Citroën DS History
After 10 years of secret development with many ideas tested on the Traction Avant, the Citroen DS 19 was shown to a shocked public at the 1955 Paris motor show. As with the Traction Avant before it, the Citroen DS (Goddess!) featured a raft of technical advances. The most revolutionary of these was the high-pressure hydraulic system which was used to actuate the clutch, gearchange, brakes, steering and of course the hydro-pneumatic suspension system (as seen earlier on the Citroen 15-Six-H Traction Avant). The amazing suspension system allowed the car to be raised or lowered by 6 inches meaning changing a tyre didn't require a jack, you simply raised your Citroen DS inserted the support and then lowered the car leaving one side dangling in the air! It was even possible to drive the car with only 3 wheels (although not many people tried it).
The styling of the Citroen DS was quite possibly its most controversial feature. Some people have called it a "space-age" although it was penned 6 years before man entered space! It is very much a love it or hate it design with no middle ground.
In 1968 the Citroen DS was given its first major redesign giving the car four headlights fitted behind plastic covers. The inner pair of headlights swivelled with the steering (a feature Mercedes have just introduced 38 years later!) while the outer pair were linked to the suspension to maintain a level beam.
Also in 1968 the Citroen DS21 (introduced in 1965) and the Citroen DS19 gained more power and the names were changed, the DS19 became the DS20 and the ID's became the D spécial, if equipped with the old engine. The D Super was fitted with the new DS20 engine. The Citroen DS21 became the DS23 in 1972 when the 2.3-litre engine was fitted and the D Super was made available with the DS21 engine and 5-speed gearbox.
On the 24th April 1975 production of the Citroen DS ceased after selling 1,455,746 units. These included the 7 or 9 seater Safari (or Break), The Prestige (with a glass panel between Chauffeur and owner) and Decapotable (convertible) both made by Henri Chapron and the Pallas with leather trim and superior external finish. The Citroen DS made a formidable rally car and also gave birth to the remarkable Maserati powered Citroën SM (perhaps the car the DS always wanted to be?).