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Best snow tires for Floridians - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post
 

 

I own these tires.  They are my year-round tires for my non-ski vehicle.  I like them.  I wouldn't dream of using them in the snow without chains.  I also own General Altimax Arctics which are my winter tires for my ski vehicle.  Examining these two models of tires with my own hands and eyes tells me that there's no comparison.  The compound is different, the tread depth is different, the proportion of voids is different, and one has sipes.

the Conti DWS technically has sipes also.

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post
 

 

I own these tires.  They are my year-round tires for my non-ski vehicle.  I like them.  I wouldn't dream of using them in the snow without chains.  I also own General Altimax Arctics which are my winter tires for my ski vehicle.  Examining these two models of tires with my own hands and eyes tells me that there's no comparison.  The compound is different, the tread depth is different, the proportion of voids is different, and one has sipes.

On the DWS's,  I've had these tires for 3 seasons of which two had really good snow falls enough and a ice storm of the likes that I've never seen.

 

During the first 2 seasons the snow and ice grip wasn't bad at all (I would say if anything slightly below winter tires) the third season close to about 20%-25% thread left with "S" barely visible at the start of the winter season, traction was down and you could feel the difference in the rubber on the cold.  Enough to make one go "Hmmmm, maybe I should get new tires, but keeping the money for skiing you know,  I just have to drive better ;) "

 

Now I'm close to 10% left +/- and the "S" is gone and well into the "W" and you can feel the rubber is hard even on dry.  Considering the tires have 90K km (about 55K mile) and they are V rated I'm impressed.  I'll be fair and say I am a spirited driver.

 

The tires will be changed before the snow falls.

 

BTW I do carry chains but have had yet to use them even in 3 to 4" of snow this season during the most recent season (to be fair, 4" was pushing the limit and was on the verge of putting on chains however it was only a short distance about 1200 yards).

 

Have to say I've bought several different tires from Tirerack.  The performance reviews and customer comments are actually pretty good indicator as to what you can expect from a tire. 

post #33 of 48
Leave the OEM tires and ride the bus. In fact, ride the bus regardless.
post #34 of 48

The bus's schedule isn't the greatest unless you are really organized.  At certain times of day, you miss it and you've got a long wait.

 

 

He'll be wanting to grab that Good Medicine bus and it appears that it doesn't run much.  Not sure what happens if you want to go home early.  I don't know if there is a "on request" stop possible?

post #35 of 48
Oldschoolskier's experience with the DWSs is pretty much as designed. Tanscrazydaisy is right that they're not snows; in particular they lack the number if block edges and voids that seem to be what make dedicated snow tires do what they do.

(Oops, just realized it was Xela who commented on the DWSs, not tansycrazydaisy)

If I were in the OP's shoes I'd want snows for the whole drive--except, as the OP said, that his relative in TN can store them for him. Ultra performance all seasons would be better than most, but if I'm driving across the northern States in the dead of winter and then driving up a mountain every day for several weeks, I want to be comfortable doing it.
post #36 of 48

The Conti ExtremeContact DWS is not available in tire sizes for the vehicles in question.

post #37 of 48

Another tire which looks very similar to the DWS is the Hankook Optimo 4S also rated as Snow tire but designed as an all season.  Haven't tried it so I'll make no further comments about it as to performance or life.

post #38 of 48

In my experience, there's a palpable difference between a snow-rated tire and a dedicated winter tire. I have compared them in similar conditions on the same vehicle.

 

For a little snow on a flat road, I'd be OK with a snow-rated tire.  If I were driving snowy mountain roads, like the kind typically found near skiing, I'd get dedicated winter tires in a heartbeat.

 

I did the math.  The cost of the tires and rims was less than what a body shop would charge for a new bumper.

post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post
 

In my experience, there's a palpable difference between a snow-rated tire and a dedicated winter tire. I have compared them in similar conditions on the same vehicle.

 

For a little snow on a flat road, I'd be OK with a snow-rated tire.  If I were driving snowy mountain roads, like the kind typically found near skiing, I'd get dedicated winter tires in a heartbeat.

 

I did the math.  The cost of the tires and rims was less than what a body shop would charge for a new bumper.

Yes, there can be a huge difference between a snow rated tire (M+S) and a dedicated winter tire.

 

In order to get a M+S rating, all you need to meet is a certrain void to tread threshold.  Traction is not a determining factor.

post #40 of 48

Back when I was studying Civil Engineering, the change in how roads were salted had just started.

 

Snow tires were on there way out, and all season on the way in (better all around grip year round).  Part of the reason for this was the that pre-salting had started as it allows for using less salt as the snow falls and melts  covering the slushy layer with a blanket further melting the snow.  This later changed to a brine solution as it used even less salt (of various compositions).  The second upside was that plows could be smaller as the blade now sliced through slush level and actually peeled the snow away.Down side was that it created a colder road surface and more importantly a greased road surface. This caused traction problems and so winter tires were developed to handle the lower temps and greased surfaces.

 

Dis-believe the slick surface, drop some slush on your tile entrance and step on it unsuspectingly,  when you regain conciseness think about what I just said.

 

Additional downsides are increased road repair costs as the road bed allows the brine solution to seep in and prevent it from freezing until you get a frost heave at really cold temps.  Your road breaks up and you got pot holes.

 

Back in the mid 80's I wrote a paper on this for one of my courses.

 

True snow tire are only good for deep snow, winter tires are designed for the slushy brine soaked roads and good all season can do both.  Ice....well studs or chains are best.

post #41 of 48
If you are talking about driving a steepish dirt road with icy hardpack, look for a very winter performance focused all terrain tire. What you get with the outer lugs is the kind of bite in that terrain that tightly packed tread designs, even dedicated winter, cannot provide. It's really not even close, which is why people will stud to try and make up some of that gap. You also get far superior deep snow capability. The only tradeoff is ice rink type ice performance, but we don't get ice rink type ice in our continental climate. NVH can be very low for this type of tire, more than fine for any AWD SUV.

This is your tire right here. You'll love it for any light mud or sand at home, will be a great companion for highway storms, and has the more aggressive capability for the icy pack dirt you may see.

Goodyear Duratrac. No brainer. And snowflake rated (by a long shot).

post #42 of 48

Dunno if it's been mentioned, but the Yokohama Geolander is a popular tire for all-round use, if you want to go that route.

 

http://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/detail/geolandar_a_t_s

post #43 of 48
Other strong winter performance oriented options if the Duratrac looks too scary wink.gif are:

Nitto Terra Grappler:



Toyo Open Country AT2:



And the Hankook Dynapro ATM is all over the place in CO. I need to find the article that said it had scored very high in ice tests:



The key is to get out of the limiting thought process that there are "all season" tires or "winter" tires and think about terrain. All kinds of very good options become available if you are willing to take on a little more tire weight and consider why some of these tires gain such widespread adoption.
post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 

Just when I thought we had a consensus! :dunno Or at least an absence of severe disagreement...

 

Naybreak, that Duratrac looks a wee bit aggressive for a man of my sophistication, but it would impress the car-park lads at the St Pete Yacht Club. Considering that I will still have 2100 miles to drive even if I "skin-up" in Nashville, I think a winter (snow) tire that will behave itself on the highway (or at least not drive me crazy before I get to Montana) is the call.

 

I think I've narrowed down my vehicle choice to either a Subaru Forester, Acura RDX or Honda Pilot. So it's either Cheap, Luxurious, or Big. This skiing fetish sure does drain the wallet pretty quick, no?

post #45 of 48
Get the Pilot with the Dynapros wink.gif
post #46 of 48
Thread Starter 

As keen observers of my automotive odyssey might have noticed (in other threads) I am now the proud owner of a 2015 Outback 2.5L Limited.

 

It really is a nice car - well behaved, more luxurious than I expected and not bad looking. A valet guy at a nice restaurant we went to on Christmas Eve was even impressed and I wasn't even fishing for compliments!

 

So thanks to the assistance of the Epic Ski Hive-Mind, I've decided to go with a set of winter rated tires and rims. The Brother In Law has been convinced of what an honor it would be to keep my special snow tires safe and sound at his house when I'm not using them. That solves my storage problem and knocks off 1400 miles of hot weather driving. (thanks Gary...)

 

I reread this thread and a few others to get warmed up, no need to think about studs, AWD vs 4WD or all season tires. The remaining question is WHICH snow/ice rated tire to get?  TireRack's suggested setup is this:

 

 

These are slightly taller tires on 1" undersized wheels which is OK by me. The price is right - I might be able to find used wheels somewhere a bit cheaper but TireRack will can ship all of this pre-mounted and balanced directly to Tennessee. It will be an easy switch out that we can do in the Brother in Law's garage. I will probably put about 5000 miles per season on these so they should last a while.

 

Seems like a reasonable way to go - am I missing anything?

post #47 of 48

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Latitude+X-Ice+Xi2&partnum=265TR7LXI2&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes

 

they are a good choice also, and they are Low Rolling Resistance to max out the fuel economy.

post #48 of 48
Thread Starter 

Just ordered Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV winter tires and decent looking wheels from Discount Tire Direct. Total price $935 which I thought was pretty good. Will do the switch out in TN on my Way to MT.

 

Will report back after I get stuck and unstuck in a few snow banks.

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