Originally Posted by MC Ski
NayBreak -- Thanks for that! Funny you mention the Hankooks -- I took a close look at those exact tires. I really liked them but went with the Michie LTX M/S2's (M/S I know means mud & snow) mainly because I felt like they'd handle a little better, and they're warrantied for 70K as opposed to 55K for the Hankooks. The Hankooks have a more aggressive tread than the Michies & I was a little worried because of that they wouldn't do quite as good on dry pavement. Consumer Reports gives the MIchelins a 72 to the Hankook's 64, for what that's worth. This truck is going to be my daughter's first vehicle & we were looking for a solid year-round tire for Missoula, something that would do well in bad weather & on backroads (she boards, rock climbs, likes to camp) but still be good in town. I take it you've driven the Hankooks -- how do they feel? Do they stop well on pavement, wet or dry? Any noise or handling issues? BTW I did get a good price on the Michies.
Consumer Reports is pretty clueless about these things. My tires are a lot ( a LOT ) more aggressive than the Hankooks...I spend a lot of time offroad and in severe conditions and have some friends who run the Hankooks on their family trucks with very favorable impressions. I am 42 with four kids...I am conservative about safety FWIW in terms of perspective...I like more aggressive tires because they have far more capability across a broad range of conditions. Dry roads have traction and it is a pickup...any of these tires will likely outperform the truck in handling/stopping.
In any case, tread life isn't always something to be maximized. A tire is best in the first 2-3 years, and after that the compound hardens and performance declines along with an increased risk of sudden failures. It might take 10 years or more to realize a 70K warranty unless she drives out of town regularly, and that is way past the prime life of any tire, plus prorated warranties lose value in a hurry.
If she stays in town and hits the local mountains, I think the best tire out there is the Goodyear Duratrac, and it is a tire designed for pickups. I recommended the Hankook for you based on your drive...but it is a mild tire for a mountain town. I know a lot of people who run the Duratrac on their $50K family Land Cruisers over long highway miles...commute to work and serious offroad use and a great winter tire. If she gets offroad to her fav spots things like sidewall strength should be factored.
Having said all of this, I totally get your approach. It depends on which way you want to be conservative. I think a truly highway biased like the LTX is a bit of a waste in a smallish mountain town and it gives up a lot of capabilty for the adventurous...but then my little girl is only 8
. PM me if you want to discuss...I spend a lot of time with tire performance in the mountains but have to maintain solid family use year round...and I don't want to turn this into a tire thread.
It can be hard to make the leap to more aggressive tires, but it is much like the skier on a 90mm+ ski who realizes they can still rail groomers while opening up the whole mountain...