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Snow Tire Recommendations?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Imprezacy

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 01:35 AM

Looking into getting myself some nice snow tires for the upcoming winter season. I live in Vancouver Canada, where we don't get much snow except in the mountains and the mountain passes. I want to get a nice affordable tire that will perform overall quite well because I will need it for very many different type of winter conditions.

Any suggestions? I drive a Legacy wagon 2002.

Also should I get the same size as the stock tires or go narrower?

Thanks.

#2 Valkaru

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 06:22 AM

I put Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50's on my OBW last winter and have great respect for them. I had used Blizzaks on a VW Jetta and they were terrific, having them on the AWD car is Awesome. The only challenge I saw was the limited tread life in warmer conditions. I picked up a set of WRX wheels and tires so I can run alloys year round, but steels are probably the smartest thing for a winter tire. YMMV
Speed Safely!
David

#3 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 07:13 AM

Look for some Hercules PolarTrax. They only cost me $299 for the whole set (mounting, valves, and stems included) and this is their 4th winter. Prices have not changed at all :)

Kevin

#4 Setright

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 08:44 AM

My present winter tyre is Yokohama F310+

It's fairly quiet, has forgiving handling, and grips well on compacted snow. Main weakness is braking on wet asphalt above 5 degrees centigrade, ABS comes on early, but it's not scary or anything.
This tyre is a compromise, but it sounds like what you're looking for. "Real" snow tyres tend to be noisy and have mediocre grip on wet asphalt.

Winter tyre in stock size - for a 1990 Legacy! - 185/70R14.

What's your stock size? I would suggest going down 10mm on width, and maybe compensating in profile.

#5 applegump

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 09:03 AM

Snow tires have come a long way. I just read a very good review about the Bridgestone Blizzak LM18.
Im currently using Continental TS780 with good results. Only thing is, is that they are expensive.

#6 edrach

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 11:28 AM

Snow tires of choice among rallyists are made by Hakkipollitta (SP?). If the Finns can't make a decent snow tire, no one can. I prefer the type Q studless snows here in Seattle. But the WRs are a good all around (yearround) tire. See www.nokian.com.

#7 Imprezacy

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 11:29 AM

My current tire size is 205/60 15" So should I go down to a 195?

Have any of you heard any good or bad things regarding the Nokians, Michelins or Kumhos?

#8 Subie Gal

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 01:31 PM

i've run the
Hakkapelita 1's... studded
Hakkapelita Q's un studded
and Michelin Alpine Sport

i'd recommend any of those to everyone.
excellent grip in the whitestuff!!!

cheers
Jamie

#9 applegump

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 02:56 PM

I would definately not run anything wider than 195. All the wide sporty winter tires were reviewed badly in a winter tire test.

#10 LameRandomName

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 05:28 PM

I don't think the WR's are as good as the NRW's were.

I also have a set of Hakk 10's in 235/75-15 that I have run on both a Trooper I used to own, and my Carice.

For the Forester, I think I'm going to go to a mud tire in the smallest size I can get.

I think the BFG 215/70-15 will fit.

#11 Imprezacy

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 09:41 PM

Just to clarify, What are WR's and NRW's refer to?

Are they different types of Nokian tires?

Thanks

#12 Setright

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 01:15 AM

195/60R15 or maybe 195/65R15 if the former looks too small in the arches :D

Higher sidewalls will produce more wallow and woolly steering, but these things are good on snow, keeps the car's reactions predicable.

#13 edrach

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 04:30 PM

WRs and NRWs and Qs are different versions of Nokian snowtires. Qs are full blown studless snows; the others are more of a year-round tire for areas that don't see as much continuous snow. Check their website.

For those of you wanting to know about tire width. If you plan on lots of deep snow, narrower tires are the way to go. They have less of a tendency to "ride up" on the snow and get down to the harder surface below. Check out the really skinny tires used by the World Rally Series cars in the winter events; there's a good reason they don't use fat tires.

#14 gbhrps

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 06:46 PM

Bridgestone Blizzaks are terrific! My 97 OB ran 195/70/15's on steel wheels and there was no white knuckled driving. The grip was amazing, but stopping power was not an improvement over standard tires. On my 02 OB I stayed with the stock tire size on the car, 225/60/16, Blizzaks and steel wheels and it was a mistake. The wider tire size doesn't allow for the same amount of traction at the same speeds. There is a big width difference from a 195 to a 225 and the wider tires tend to ride up on the snow at higher speeds, rather than cut down through it for grip. The two tire sizes are identical at lower speeds for grip, but the narrower tire far outperforms the wider at speed. When I wear out this wider set, I'll replace them with another set of Blizzaks, but of a narrower size. On another note, I presently have a set of touring Khumo tires on my 300ZX and am very impressed with their ride and lack of noise. I have no experience with their winter tires.

#15 Tiny Clark

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 12:28 AM

Narrower tires = more pounds per square inch of tire surface.

More lbs/Sq inch = better traction.

#16 biffbradford

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 01:41 PM

There are so many different conditions to contend with during the winter. Dry, ice, slop, deep snow, and packed snow.

I think in general, for slop and deep snow you need a narrow, big lugged tread. Narrow to cut through deep snow (not plowing) to the hard pack, lugs to grip, or lugs to channel out the water in slop conditions.

For ice, you need a soft compound with either studs, or an abrasive, sand paper like surface.

For hardpack, a wider tire is okay because you're not moving snow, you just need grip. Here a wider tire with lots of little grooves, or sipes work well. Although your narrow, lugged tire will do a good job as well.

I guess it all depends on where you want the best performance. I prefer the narrow lugged style like the Hakkapelitta 10's, or the Cooper Wintermaster (no longer made, but similar patterns are available from other companies).

jw
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#17 Commuter

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 07:24 PM

A tire's contact patch area is a function of the weight on the tire and the pressure inside the tire. For example, if there is 900 lbs of weight at that wheel, and 30 psi tire pressure, the contact patch will be 30 square inches. (900 / 30 = 30) The shape of the contact patch varies with the tire size / profile. A narrower tire will have an elongated, more oval contact patch. The area however will be unchanged.

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#18 Tiny Clark

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 02:23 AM

Very interesting...

A 225/60 15 will have the same contact area as a 165/75 15?

That's amazing!! Too bad the volkswagon people didn't know that when they made the beetle to drive on ice and snow. They would have put wider tires on it.

#19 northguy

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 08:30 AM

If you can run studs, Hak 10's - hands down the best.




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