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Annual Snow Tire Test thread

post #1 of 403
Thread Starter 

Yes, it's once again that time of year where we have to decide which of the newest greatest tires warrants winter duty on our cars.

I know there are other threads on this topic, but that's old obsolete data.

 

Inquiring minds want to know:  Does the BFG WinterSlalom KSI outperform the XI3 on wet pavement?

Is the XI3 really better than the XI2?

 

To get us started heres some  a test link and some ratings

http://tires.canadiantire.ca/en/info-centre/  (scroll down a bit)

 

http://apa.ca/tire_wintertireratings.asp  (click the link for your type of vehicle to see ratings)

 

http://www.auto123.com/en/auto-parts/top-5-winter-tires-for-cars-in-2012?artid=149072

post #2 of 403
Thanks ghost. Some useful info on these links.

I am going back to Blizzak dm v1 (265/60-18) again this winter (a smoking deal on CL for a set virtually new) after running Blizzak lm25 (255/50-19) for the last couple of years. Have used the dm v1 before and only downside is the wear rate (although to be fair part of that is the driver smile.gif )

Actually here in Tahoe it becomes a tough choice in some ways. You really need a tire that will cope with deep snow at times but a large part of the season you will be driving on cleared roads. Temperatures also tend to be not as low as the east coast hence something like the Blizzak seems to work better than the Michelin x ice.

Hence also the accelerated wear because you spend a lot of time driving a soft compound tire on dry pavement. (That's my excuse for getting 10-12k from a set) Regardless, I need to know I can get over the mountain without any issues so normally the 21 inch summers come off in November and go back on late April or May.
post #3 of 403

Here's a test of four snow tires with both snow traction and ice traction tests.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=167

post #4 of 403
Having choices is good. I don't have much with 255/40-20 in the front and 285/35-20 in the back...
post #5 of 403
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post

Having choices is good. I don't have much with 255/40-20 in the front and 285/35-20 in the back...


What do you do, switch from summer to all season?  At about $1500 for a set of no-season tires, it's almost cheaper to just buy a beater for the winter.  Maybe there is an alternate wheel size you could get with a set of rims.

post #6 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


What do you do, switch from summer to all season?  At about $1500 for a set of no-season tires, it's almost cheaper to just buy a beater for the winter.  Maybe there is an alternate wheel size you could get with a set of rims.

I normally just go from summer performance straight to winter. I'm running Blizzak now. And 1500? No hohoho~about 2200 with all the shipping and mounting at retail. But I got lucky this year and found a preowned set with around 3 quarters of tread life left for 1200. Lucky me. Otherwise I was thinking of going 19 in studded instead. But the initial cost would not be cheap since the extra set of rims is going to set me back for another 2-3 grand at least. With the Blizzak on, it is still offer more control than any winter beaters~
post #7 of 403
Thread Starter 

Well if you only have limited choices, at least the choice you have is one of the better ones.  Cudos to Bridgestone!

Is that 75% tread left really 25% winter compound and 50% no-season, like the last time I looked into Blizzak?

post #8 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Well if you only have limited choices, at least the choice you have is one of the better ones.  Cudos to Bridgestone!

Is that 75% tread left really 25% winter compound and 50% no-season, like the last time I looked into Blizzak?

No they are not the WS series. They are single compound LM 25s. 

post #9 of 403

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R......

Everything else is second rate.

http://tires.about.com/od/Tire_Reviews/fr/Nokian-Hakkapeliitta-R.html

 

"~~Back in the 17th century, during the Thirty Years War in Central Europe, the tiny nation of Finland fielded a group of light cavalry called the Hakkapeliitta. Fighting for the King of Sweden, they were justly feared for their spectacular horsemanship, their utter ferocity and the blood-chilling battle cry; “Hakka Paale!” (“Hack them all down!”) from which they took their name. Nokian's Hakkapeliitta snow tires? Yeah, pretty much like that."

post #10 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R......

Everything else is second rate.

http://tires.about.com/od/Tire_Reviews/fr/Nokian-Hakkapeliitta-R.html

 

"~~Back in the 17th century, during the Thirty Years War in Central Europe, the tiny nation of Finland fielded a group of light cavalry called the Hakkapeliitta. Fighting for the King of Sweden, they were justly feared for their spectacular horsemanship, their utter ferocity and the blood-chilling battle cry; “Hakka Paale!” (“Hack them all down!”) from which they took their name. Nokian's Hakkapeliitta snow tires? Yeah, pretty much like that."

lol I thought you said Nokia. If so then those must be the sturdiest tires ever made!

post #11 of 403

Ghost, please edit your thread title.  "Annual" Snow Tire....

 

Let me know if we have any other nits that need picking :p 

post #12 of 403
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that.  Spelling correction made:o

post #13 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post

Here's a test of four snow tires with both snow traction and ice traction tests.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=167

I would throw my tires away if it took them >50' to go from 12-0 mph in snow.
post #14 of 403
Thread Starter 

Apparently ABS engaged does not do much for stopping in snow.

post #15 of 403
I was disappointed to see that Tire Rack no longer sells Nokian. I know I got my first set from them. Since this is the fourth season on the studs, it's likely I'll be in the market again next year. Wish the studs weren't so critical to get to the house, already have two sets of formerly-studded tires with plenty of tread in the garage.. Made the mistake of trying to push the tire swap to this month instead of October and it cost me $250 for the winch and the grille. :-(
post #16 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Apparently ABS engaged does not do much for stopping in snow.

The best way to brake is threshold braking. It's when you brake as hard as you can without engaging the ABS. ABS is a secondary measure that helps to gain traction for controlling the vehicle when you accidentally lock up your wheels. It basically forcefully release the brake in short bursts so you can have more traction for turning. You can do the same thing by reducing the braking pressure yourself (which, of course, is difficult if you panic...). This actually gives you more control over the car.
post #17 of 403

Nokian used to be part of Nokia but was spun off to become Nokian when Nokia decided microelectronics were more fun than tires.

post #18 of 403
I put a set of Nokian Rotiiva AT's on my Frontier this fall. M&S rated with the severe weather snowflake symbol on them. So, I'll see how they handle in the snow and ice this winter. I had the old, now replaced Vatiiva version on my Tacoma, and wasn't all that impressed with the wet road handling. I have to say the Rotiiva's are vastly superior in the wet road conditions. Got caught out in a heavy downpour on I-5, and the tires tracked straight and no hydroplaning at 60 MPH. Can't say the same for the vehicle in front of me that almost went into the concrete barrier. They are also a bit quieter than the stock OEM BF Goodrich's that I replaced.

http://www.nokiantires.com/tyre?id=132374&group=2.02&name=Nokian+Rotiiva+AT
post #19 of 403
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Apparently ABS engaged does not do much for stopping in snow.

The best way to brake is threshold braking. It's when you brake as hard as you can without engaging the ABS. ABS is a secondary measure that helps to gain traction for controlling the vehicle when you accidentally lock up your wheels. It basically forcefully release the brake in short bursts so you can have more traction for turning. You can do the same thing by reducing the braking pressure yourself (which, of course, is difficult if you panic...). This actually gives you more control over the car.


The fastest way to stop (not steer and stop)  in deep snow or deep loose gravel or sand or mud is to lock up the wheels and dig a trench while piling up snow/gravel/whatever in front of the wheel.  Threshold braking works for everything else.  Regarding ABS, and steering, ABS stops the wheels from locking up, but that's about it, if you want maximum sideways steering force to avoid that deer, you should still let up on the brake pedal when you swerve; the physics of the traction circle are immutable.

post #20 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


The fastest way to stop (not steer and stop)  in deep snow or deep loose gravel or sand or mud is to lock up the wheels and dig a trench while piling up snow/gravel/whatever in front of the wheel.  Threshold braking works for everything else.  Regarding ABS, and steering, ABS stops the wheels from locking up, but that's about it, if you want maximum sideways steering force to avoid that deer, you should still let up on the brake pedal when you swerve; the physics of the traction circle are immutable.

Ok...aren't we saying the same thing here?
post #21 of 403
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I'm just explaining why the 12 to 0 mph numbers are so high; the ABS was engaged. 

post #22 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Yeah, I'm just explaining why the 12 to 0 mph numbers are so high; the ABS was engaged. 

BTW threshold braking still works in snow with ABS equipped vehicles since you cannot lock up wheels effectively, and the brake burst actually disturbs the balance of the vehicle by quite a bit. A good recommendation for snow driving is to stiffen up the suspension if you have the option in your car. Increase the handling and braking by quite a bit. Ok, back to snow tires. (thread jacking is getting out of hand these days...)

post #23 of 403
Thread Starter 

Your assuming your abs will allow you to get to the threshold, before coming on.

Not much snow in this, but it still makes the point.  The shortest stop is obtained by disabling the abs and if the snow is deep locking the wheels.

OK, now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

post #24 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Your assuming your abs will allow you to get to the threshold, before coming on.

Not much snow in this, but it still makes the point.  The shortest stop is obtained by disabling the abs and if the snow is deep locking the wheels.

OK, now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I agree ABS in any case will extended braking distance. Many people misunderstood ABS as the device that helps you braking but in fact it only helps steering. I consider that is one of the biggest marketing fail in auto history lol...But I think it is a bit misleading if we put it like that. Driving in snow with ABS I think is still safer than without. If you need to disengage the ABS, you have to unplug the fuse for ABS don't you? Despite the benefit of gain in brake distance, too much control is lost through disabling the ABS for a regular driver (people freak out, slam on the brake and steer...With ABS they can still steer and provide some traction, without ABS that kind of driving will send them into a endless spin~~~~I've seen enough cars in the ditches and I don't want to be anywhere near that...). Let us not recommend tampering with the ABS system and keep suggesting on getting better snow tires~studded even : )

 

When I said threshold braking I mean to engage the brake to the point where it is right before the ABS kicks in and hold at there, basically use the maximum brake force possible without locking up the wheels (of course that the amount of pressure and brake travel needed depends on traction of the surface. In my car it is a little more than 1/8 of the total brake travel on compact snow.). I was not assuming my ABS will let me do that. In that case the ABS will not be activated at all because I am manually preventing wheel locking. Good skill to keep car under control. Useful in many situations. 

 

Now back to snow tires...

post #25 of 403
Thread Starter 

Back on track, a little dated, but tires still available.

 

http://treadreview.com/2012/03/norwegian-winter-tire-test-2011-2012/

post #26 of 403

It seems the laws regarding studded tires are all different in different regions...I brought this up since the studded tires have superior traction over studless ones in snow. If the laws allow I would highly recommend them (also your newly paved driveway lol)


Edited by LaserPower - 11/10/13 at 3:54pm
post #27 of 403
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it's legal to have studs  in northern Ontario (Canada), but not southern Ontario.  BTW the studded tires do not beat the studless tires on wet or dry pavement, which could be most of your driving if they plow the roads; they work better in ice and snow though, that is the modern topshelf studded tires, not the circa 1975 design some companies use as Brand B for advertising purposes.

post #28 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Yeah, it's legal to have studs  in northern Ontario (Canada), but not southern Ontario.  BTW the studded tires do not beat the studless tires on wet or dry pavement, which could be most of your driving if they plow the roads; they work better in ice and snow though, that is the modern topshelf studded tires, not the circa 1975 design some companies use as Brand B for advertising purposes.

 

Right. The sneakers beat stilettos on wet or dry pavement for sure. Post modified. I live in the countryside...

post #29 of 403
I have some nokian hakkapeliitta 7 studded on my fusion sport AWD. Grips on ice like you driving on pavement, great in deeper snow. Looking forward to taking them to the mountains.

Got them for about $1200 with 16" aluminum rims, tpms, and mount/ballance.
post #30 of 403

Last year ran XI-2s on my wife's Mazda 3 and XI-3s on my wagon. (I would have gone with XI-2s on both, because they were less expensive, but I guess the XI-2s have been phased out???) Both cars are FWD-only. They are good tires on snow- and ice-covered pavement. Not as good in deeper snow. Obviously nothing is going to make a low-clearance 2-wheel-drive car handle in snow like a high-clearance AWD. We also did not go the taller / narrower / steel rim route for infuriating technical / logistical / expense reasons detailed elsewhere.

 

The real point of my post is to say that the $70 rebate on Michelin tires has proved to be a bit of a bust. They send you these credit-card thingies from Master Card, with $70 pre-loaded on them. There are so many restrictions on how and where you can use the cards, that the dis-incentive factor is huge, especially when you contemplate having to have a conversation with a cashier with people waiting in line behind you about why your card is no good. On line purchases pose similar obstacles. Finally, there is the increasing difficulty of using up however much is left on the card after your first one or two sub-$70 purchases. Supposedly there is a web page where you can look this up, but I found it unreliable. Obviously you have to specify the exact remainder on the card, and pay for the rest some other way. Basically some amount of the $70 is going to go un-realized, unless you are more skilled and patient at jumping through hoops than I am. In my case, with $140 at stake, I considered this more than a minor annoyance; I considered it false advertising and a blatant effort at grabbing money at the customer's expense.

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