One more vote for the Michelin X-Ice XI2's. I put them on a 5-Series RWD BMW last winter and it turned the car into a tank in the snow, and the control and stopping performance was amazing. On top of that, they felt like a summer tire on the road, and were actually quieter than my summer Bridgestones. I can't recommend them highly enough.
Originally Posted by Philpug
Not really. They test in a controlled environment, an ice rink. We get very little ice here. I am looking to for a tire that is better in snow than ice. TireRack and DiscountTire are two of the best, I have bought at least 4 sets of tires from each of them, from snows to summers to r-compounds when I was racing solo-2.
Not true. Although 'one' of the tire rack tests was conducted on an ice rink, they have done others, such as snow and ice covered track testing to test all-round winter performance (not just snow or ice). The Michelins are always at, or near, the top.
Originally Posted by Walt
Any real snow tire will wear faster than a conventional tire. Most of the extra grip you get from a winter tire is due to it being made out of softer rubber which inevitably means faster wear.
That's not quite correct. A winter tire driven in the winter will wear at about the same rate as a summer tire driven in the summer. Winter compounds are designed for cold temps and have similar wear ratings to summer tires when driven in their recommended temperature range (the Michelin X-Ices have a 60,000 km tread wear warranty). I get about five years of use from a set of winter tires, and I have them on for about 6 months of the year. If you use them in warm temps, however (above +5C), exactly what you described will happen.... they will wear very quickly.
Also, although a softer compound does indeed contribute to winter performance, the extra grip is mostly due to the tread design in combination with the siping you don't get with summer tires. The softer compound helps the winter tread pattern and siping to work better in the cold.
Edited by exracer - 10/10/11 at 7:22am