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Winter Tires


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Urban Coyote

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:55 AM

Hi Everyone,

I've never bought winter tires before and was just wondering what to look for in a decent tire? I've always made due with all seasons, but moved out of town a year ago and drive a lot of back country roads now.

I'm looking for a tire that will stand up to all the driving I do. My daily commute includes a lot of highway and city driving, about 100km round trip every day. Most of the time the roads are pretty good, but my driveway is snow coverd often enough during the winter and I'll have to deal with packed snow on the highways during bad days.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good tire for these conditions that won't wear away to nothing in one season? I wouldn't mind getting more than one winter out of them.

Oh yeah...my car is a '98 Legacy L :)

Thanks!
Urban Coyote

#2 edrach

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:19 AM

Check www.nokian.com. Tires are made in Finnland and probably the best snowtires in the world. I'm partial to studless snow tires since there's not enough snow in Seattle to justify the disadvantage of studs and the Nokias have the advantage of lasting multiple seasons for me as well as retaining their traction in snow past the first year.

#3 bulwnkl

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:48 AM

I completely agree with Nokians. They're not the cheapest thing in the world, but I think they're the best. They have dedicated snow tires, ice tires, tires that are studded with non-metallic studs, and "all-season" tires that are quite good in the snow. I personally have a set of Hakkapeliita Qs (biased for ice because black ice is more common than deep snow where I need to drive). I don't put them on all the time because I don't need them too often, but when I do they're worth every penny I paid for them.

#4 hklaine

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 08:51 AM

http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=44148

May want to check out this discussion, it's recent.

-Heikki

#5 jib

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:15 PM

. . . and I'll 3rd the Hakka recommendation. Blizzaks may stick better on ice for a season or two, but once that thin outer tread layer of special rubber is gone the hakkas rule until they are pretty thin.

Jack

#6 blitz

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:42 PM

They have ...tires that are studded with non-metallic studs

I'm not having any luck finding data on this "non-metallic studded thing", please expound.

#7 Urban Coyote

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:40 AM

Thanks everyone for the recommendadtions on the tires! I'm going to take a look around for some Nokians to see if anyone around here carries them.

Hey Heikki, I was looking through that discussion, but one of my main questions is, what do I look for in a good winter tire....no matter what the brand? If I'm just browsing through the selection at my local tire store, what do I look for and how do I recognize a good tire as opposed to one that might not be so good. Is the rubber softness/hardness stamped on the tire somewhere? Are there certain treds that I should be on the lookout for? How deep should a good tred be....is there such thing as too deep?

Sorry for all the questions! Just trying to get a good handle of the a, b, c's of tire buying :)

Urban Coyote

#8 edrach

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 07:07 AM

Thanks everyone for the recommendadtions on the tires! I'm going to take a look around for some Nokians to see if anyone around here carries them.


I believe the Nokian website carries a list of dealers in the US and Canada.

#9 jib

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 11:16 PM

what do I look for in a good winter tire....no matter what the brand? If I'm just browsing through the selection at my local tire store, what do I look for and how do I recognize a good tire as opposed to one that might not be so good. Is the rubber softness/hardness stamped on the tire somewhere? Are there certain treds that I should be on the lookout for? How deep should a good tred be....is there such thing as too deep?


Most snow tires look like good snow tires.. . open blocky treads and lots of sipes. Read the reports and see what folks say. While I am a Nokian fan, I'd guess that the difference between the top 10 snow tires is less than 5%.

My only caveat would be to learn about special stuff, like the thin soft hydroscopic surface tread on Blizzaks that ususally wears off in two years or less, if driving in warm weather.

Jack

#10 Snowman

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 04:26 AM

One thing to consider if you're getting studded tires: The studs will fall out, regardless of how good of tires you get, and the studs are what really helps you maintain control on ice. I've had good luck buying cheap tires and replacing them every 2 or 3 years after about half the studs come out, rather than buying expensive tires and replacing them every 5 or 6 years after all the studs have come out.

#11 Ranger83

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 09:00 AM

We put Nokian RSi's on a Honda Accord V6 last winter.

I have a 97 OBW and have been extremely happy with the HydroEdge and found them to be a terrific all around tire. They still have 9/32nds tread after 41,000 miles. And I take note that most of the Subarus I see in VT do not have dedicated snows. My sister-in-law lives 3/4 mile up a dirt road and uses AS tires on hers. That why you are carting the AWD gear around all year.

During a snowstorm three of us drove the Honda, another Accord with AS tires, and my OBW with Michelin Hydrodge. With AWD I could start much better on hills with the Subaru. But when it came to braking or turning, the Nokian equipped Honda was best. The AS-equipped Honda was, ah, exciting.

The Blizzak WS50 is a popular tire and can be ordered via mail. But I learned that the special hydrophilic tread is only the outer 50%. This made the Nokians more attractive. I bought them from Johns & Sons Tires in Manchester, NH.

The RSI's have a tread depth indicator molded into the tire. They are much "squirmier" in the dry than non M&S tires and a bit noisier, which is probably true of all. They wore about 1/32nd in 6,000 miles.

They wear faster than conventional tires, no way around it. Put them on as late as you can and take them off as early as you can. You should get at least 20,000 miles out of them that way.

Otherwise, the HydroEdge and Goodyear TripleTread seem to be the best M&S rated all season tires. But neither has the severe weather "Snowflake." I'm putting the HydroEdge on a Quest van as well.

#12 JohnVT

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 05:14 PM

One thing to consider if you're getting studded tires: The studs will fall out, regardless of how good of tires you get, and the studs are what really helps you maintain control on ice. I've had good luck buying cheap tires and replacing them every 2 or 3 years after about half the studs come out, rather than buying expensive tires and replacing them every 5 or 6 years after all the studs have come out.


do you drive your studs really hard on dry roads a lot?? I've had Hakk1's for 3-4 seasons with only a couple of studs coming out, and last year when I bought cheaper snows at Sam's Club, and was not happy when I thought several studs weren't fully inserted, they actually seated completely after using the tires, and again I've only lost a couple of then...

as they say, your mileage may vary!




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