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Question On Wheel And Tire Size for Winter Driving On A Front Wheel Drive Car - Page 5

post #121 of 128

Not all studded tires are created equal. 

Just because you put studs in it doesn't mean it will be the equivalent of a Hakapallita 7 (or 8 now).

Just say'n.

post #122 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

A couple counterpoints:  

 

1) Studless ice tires are going to do much better on ice than all seasons.

2) The dry-road performance of studless ice tires is significantly better (safer) than traditional snow tires with studs especially, but even without studs.

3) Slush and snow performance will be less important than ice performance for folks who stick mostly to well plowed roads.

 

Maximizing safety for winter driving is a complex equation that needs to take into account all the driving that will be done throughout the winter.     I use traditional studded snow tires on one vehicle, studless ice tires on another, and still trying to figure out what to put on my third vehicle this winter.   

 

One key point I want to make is people worry way too much about getting stuck.  You are not going to get seriously injured or killed by getting stuck, rather by not being able to stop or turn.   For the winter driving I do (mostly on I-70), I worry most about being able to stop and control my vehicle at highway speeds on ice and packed snow.  


 

Agreed.

 

Each solution provide certain plus and minus no matter how you look at it.

 

It really comes down to drive with in the limits of your equipment and the current conditions regardless of what tires you have and you will be as safe as you can be.

post #123 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

1) Studless ice tires are going to do much better on ice than all seasons.

The flaw in this argument is using the term all season to describe all tires that aren't marketed as winter tires. There are tires out there with the durometer of winter tires (or softer) that people simply accept wearing down more in the summer.

However, sticking just to car winter tires, I don't like the ice tire trend because it is packing the lugs so tightly together that 3D conditions suffers. If those tires didn't slide downhill, and didn't lose basic traction going uphill, that would be one thing. But they do, and sliding 50 feet vs. 60 feet is still an accident most of the time. Just my own personal experience as I live in a hilly wooded area with some spots that are probe to icing...studs are night and day difference.
Quote:
2) The dry-road performance of studless ice tires is significantly better (safer) than traditional snow tires with studs especially, but even without studs.

And that is what they are for. Very large directional lugs with micro bite compounds and siping allows for improved wear and handling. That gets people to overcome fears of these poor handling winter tires. I think that's mostly FUD, though. I have a traditional snow tire with studs on my minivan and have had zero issues with dry road handling. Are we racing smile.gif? What I see with ice tires is people getting way overconfident and driving too fast for conditions. So while conceptually safer on dry pavement, which is a safe condition to begin with, adding speed in winter conditions is not a safety factor.
Quote:
3) Slush and snow performance will be less important than ice performance for folks who stick mostly to well plowed roads.

Agreed. These are follow the plow designs and that makes sense for most people. But as I think you know, studs will handle ice so that tire tread can handle snow and slush. The stampede to ice tires is really based on dry road performance and dry roads have plenty of traction.

I pulled a guy out of a pull off on Berthoud last winter who was shoveling his way out of 8-10" of snowplow debris. He was in a 4x4 XTerra with Blizzaks IIRC and was in about 8" with some fresh on top. Those pulls offs slope a little bit downhill and all it could do was smear and continue downhill. No traction to turn uphill and get out.

That's because of the total lack of being able to clear the tread - that soapy snow just packs all the micro tread and it is done. I think that is awful performance for a winter tire. I just backed in to the exact same conditions and pulled him out. I didn't even spin a tire with the weight of his truck on the other end.

That is the difference between lug bite/clearing and compounds/siping optimized for 2D. Lug bite works on cold continental hardpack as well or better than micro bite, and both fail in the same conditions: ice with higher surface water content in the shoulder seasons. CDOT converting perfectly good hardpack to ice via mag chloride is changing the balance of conditions equation and making CO winter driving more variable and dangerous, unfortunately. I fully admit to being less secure in my chosen compromises because of this.
Quote:
One key point I want to make is people worry way too much about getting stuck.  You are not going to get seriously injured or killed by getting stuck, rather by not being able to stop or turn.   For the winter driving I do (mostly on I-70), I worry most about being able to stop and control my vehicle at highway speeds on ice and packed snow.  

Agreed, failing to get uphill is not typically as dangerous as losing control downhill. However, the "but it turns and brakes better" argument has become a defacto defense against mediocre uphill traction where supposedly far lesser tires walk right on by, usually those that can generate lug bite instead of only siping/compound bite.

I am curious - what features make a tire have best in class grip uphill yet stop poorly and lack lateral traction?
post #124 of 128

^^^^  I generally agree, adding on:

 

Yes, some all-season tires do great in the snow, others are downright dangerous.  There is a huge range of winter performance of all-season tires.   Most folks have no clue and think their car is good or bad in the snow.  It's not, its the tires that are good or bad in the snow.

 

I really think studded vs. stud-less snow tires just depends on the type of driving you do.  I have both.  My 4x4 with studs is my "powder" vehicle that I will drive into any storm, any time, regardless of conditions.  It also sees as little dry pavement as possible when the studs are mounted, as it's a third vehicle.   Our AWD with studless snows spends the huge majority of time driving around the front range on dry roads, with less than 10 winter trips/year into the mountains.

 

I wouldn't want traditional snows with or without studs on our AWD that tools around Denver because of the decreased dry performance.  No, it's not for racing, it's for the extra safety on the dry pavement this vehicle sees 95% of the time in winter.  I don't want to give up the 10 feet breaking (or whatever it is) on dry pavement for the snow/slush benefits.   That's why I think studless snows are a great option for the way this vehicle is driven.   BTW, this vehicle has also done really well in snow and ice with all-seasons that have a good tread pattern and compound for snow (Michelin Cross Terrain), at least while they were fairly new.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post
 
I am curious - what features make a tire have best in class grip uphill yet stop poorly and lack lateral traction?

 

Hmmm.... trick question?  I don't think any feature does in snow?   A really well engineered traditional snow tire with studs is going to be best in all winter conditions, yes?

 

But, that same traditional snow tire is going to perform worse on dry pavement, so it is best used on a vehicle that sees a lot of snow, or one that regularly has to drive roads that are extremely difficult in winter conditions.  Sounds like your neighborhood is the latter.

post #125 of 128

that's why companies like Nokian offer both their studded tires and studless tires, to suit different customer demands.

post #126 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I do want to offer a different perspective to the thread readers, however.

The narrow tire argument for general use is one of those old conventional wisdoms that doesn't stand up to much scrutiny across any and all tire designs. If contact patch PSI makes enough difference to change rims to narrow the tire by all of 1cm, why aren't people running high lug void tires of old instead of these tightly packed dry road performance designs?


So yes, sizing down the rims and changing tire aspect ratio to retain the same rolling radius so you don't alter your gearing ratio does work. I don't like the studless ice tire premise because they still fail on ice, I don't care about a tiny amount of NVH, and I want lug void spacing for slush and snow. So I put snow tires on my 2WD instead of ice tires, had them studded for ice performance, left tire size stock, and performance went way up.

It's still perfuming the 2WD pig, but my wife will at least agree to drive the damn thing now because it is reliable enough to handle our neighborhood, which is steep and has brief periods of icing up in the shoulder months.

I do think the whole rim/tire bit is teaching a new dog old tricks, but it won't hurt anything other than maybe making your car look more plain in the winter months and costing some up front coin you get back in remount cost savings over time.

 

I haven't thought about all that.   I've been using tall studless tires on rims.   I can get a little more ground clearance, there's less chance of wheel damage on busted up roads, and in the past small size steel rims were usually cheap.  One downside was that it made the steering to light, which I don't like on dry roads.  I'm way more concerned about ice.  If the snow is deep enough to stop me, chances are the roads are blocked by AWD vehicles anyway.  If I had a high clearance 4WD I might use something different.

Maybe next time I'll use regular size studless. 

 

BK

post #127 of 128

Contact patch PSI isn't the reason to go to a narrower width tire, it has to do with the size and shape of the contact patch.

 

A wide tire with a lower profile causes a wider patch, but narrower.. which is good for cornering but not so good for acceleration or braking, alternatively a skinny tire with a higher profile will cause a patch that isn't as wide laterally but is longer, providing better acceleration and braking, but at a loss of cornering grip.

 

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=10

 

Alternatively you could get some http://trucktracks.com/en/ and get a massively increased contact patch and open your own uber chairlift, with heat and tunes and seat warmers.. until you get kicked out for driving up the mountain.

post #128 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

I've just installed the Continental PureContact V rate version (for a few dollars more I'll get the higher rating) of the tire which is listed as a Grand Touring All Season.  I had the chance to drive them in light snow fall conditions (snow did not stay on ground) and found them to hold very well considering that they are not winter tires.    Considering they are an all season tire, tire rack gives them a relatively high rating for Ice and Snow.

 

So far I've had the Conti ProContact (came with the 09 Jetta Sportwagen), The Conti ExtremeContact DWS, a set of Toyo Winters (wasn't impress in the winter,no better than the Conti's) and now the above mentioned.  Feel wise, the PureContact  are on par with the DWS's.    I'll report back later.

 

Area of travel.....primarily Windsor to Ottawa to Minden to Toronto and some Northern New York.

 

BTW for my wife's 06 Caravan I just ordered the X-ice Xi3's as she doesn't drive the same as I do (I enjoy driving, she drives because she has to even though she's a good driver).  Interested to see how they handle on the van which I must say is a bit of a pig in winter conditions.


Here's the follow up to these two tires.

 

Both have had some mileage put on them 700 to 1400km's including some in the snow and slush in and around Toronto.

 

09 Jetta Sportwagen the PureContact's are not bad in the snow and slushy conditions and seem to feel that they have a lower roll resistance (mileage so seems to confirm the difference of about 5 to 10% improvement).  In comparasion to the snow slush feel to the X-ice 3's there is a bit less grip.  Is it enough to purchase X-ice 3's for my car still not decided at this point.

 

On the 06 Caravan, the X-Ice 3's made a definite feel difference.  Actually better than the All Seasons even in the warmer temps (+13C).  As it got colder well no comparison.  The handling and control along with the braking and confidence just amazing.  The most surprising difference was the lower road noise of the tire.  The only worry is that we don't over appreciate the tire and drive beyond the limits of the tire because of the confidence they inspire.  This was definitely a wise and long over due choice for this vehicle.

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