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Snow Tires: Best Bang for the Buck - Page 4

post #91 of 116
I'm surprised to read people advocating the use of studded tyres for mixed conditions use. My experience is that they vastly improve traction/handling on ice and packed snow (not that much on soft snow), but that they absolutely suck on anything else. A studded tyre on dry pavement is borderline dangerous IMO. You're basicaly driving on steel, not rubber... If you don't drive 90% of the time on snow / ice, forget about it. If you do, they're the way to go.
Just my 0.02$
post #92 of 116
I got Blizzak WS-50 from Tirerack for my Subara 92-X last year. They worked great for me. Best I've found so far.
post #93 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR View Post
I'm surprised to read people advocating the use of studded tyres for mixed conditions use. My experience is that they vastly improve traction/handling on ice and packed snow (not that much on soft snow), but that they absolutely suck on anything else. A studded tyre on dry pavement is borderline dangerous IMO. You're basicaly driving on steel, not rubber... If you don't drive 90% of the time on snow / ice, forget about it. If you do, they're the way to go.
Just my 0.02$
Far from it. Sure, they're not as good on dry tarmac or a studless winter tire, but it's not security concern under normal driving - because on that surface you have alot more friction to 'sacrifice' (in lack of a better term). On ice you want every little bit of grip you can get.

Of course if you drive mainly on dry tarmac, salted roads etc and hardly ever then studless is the best choice, and conversely if you're only on white surface roads then studs is the way to go. But when you're in between there, and most people are, what you go with will be a compromise either way and you have to decide for yourself what to choose.
post #94 of 116
As it is not my personal experience and as my experience may be outdated (I haven't drive studded for years...), I've just dug this report
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/studt...l_Nov_2002.pdf
I didn't read it in depth, but it seems to indicate that there is not a big difference indeed on braking performance between regular winter tyres and studded on asphalt. But a big one on concrete (+40%).
: I may need to try a modern studded...
post #95 of 116
On dry roads, whether on tarmac or concrete, I have discerned no difference in stopping ability between (modern) studded snow tires and non-studded snow tires. Studded snow tires do produce more road noise on dry roads, however, as a result of the studs clicking against the road surface. I find studded snow tires ideal during Colorado winters for driving into the high country for skiing, where about half the drive is on dry roads along the Front Range. In bad weather or icy conditions nothing compares to the agility and safety that studded snow tires provide. I am led to believe that the effect produced by modern studded snow tires is much more pronounced than most people would think who have not used them.
post #96 of 116
PhillipeR: Thanks for posting the Washington State report on studded versus non-studded snow tires. My quick review of this report leads me to the conclusion that either the State of Alaska (circa 1995) is wrong, or the writers of the above-mentioned Finnish articles and reports are wrong. Both cannot be right. There is simply no way a vehicle equipped with studless Blizzak snow tires can stop on ice in as short a distance as modern studded snow tires. My own experience with both studded and non-studded snow tires, on 2WD and AWD vehicles, flatly contradicts such a conclusion. The writer of the Washington report based his conclusions on cherry-picked data, and did no field work of his own. The bias and tenor of this report become abudantly clear within reading only a few pages: he doesn't like studded snow tires, and has probably never driven on studded snow tires through a wintry mountain pass. This topic remains controversial, but primarily among those who have not used modern studded snw tires under harsh winter conditions. As I mentioned earlier, there is a reason why the further north you go anywhere in the world, the more cars you will see with studded snow tires: it's because they're better under harsh winter conditions (like those found in Colorado's high country during the winter).
post #97 of 116
Actually, the study shows that one of the BEST modern studless winter tire is better than the WORST studded tire you can find.

The study below (check table 2.1) actually gives the tires tested. I notice that the Blizzak really does outperform one or two of the 7 studded tires tested. All the other studded tires are better though. And the difference is very noticeable if you compare Goodyear ultragrip or Nokian with and without studs. Studs are better.

http://www.engr.uaa.alaska.edu/resea...22%20alaska%22
post #98 of 116
Excellent digging into the facts, Ghost. Below are reproduced some of the conclusions set forth in the Alaska report you cite:

The following conclusions where established, as the effect of studded tires on traffic safety was studied:
The consensus of the literature review is that studded tires do improve traffic safety in winter driving conditions.
Studies done in the early 1970s in North America showed increased safety from studded tires but pavement repair costs motivated bans in Minnesota and Ontario. Substantial improvements in tire and stud design and pavement design make the results of those studies
inapplicable today.
For studies and economic analyses performed more recently, accident costs are usually the overwhelming factor in the sum of economic effects. Pavement wear caused by studs is very expensive as well. However, when studded tires are prohibited the savings in pavement repair may be entirely offset by the increased costs of anti-icing of the road surfaces. This was true on Hokkaido where the cost of surface applications was greater than the cost of pavement repair. In the Nordic Countries, lightweight studs are now the norm and pavement wear has been reduced by almost half with no change in accident risk.

Minnesota banned the use of studded tires in 1971. At the time, studded tire usage was about 40% and the Minnesota Department of Highways (MNDOH) projected usage to increase to 60% by 1973. Primary motivation for prohibiting studded tires was pavement wear. MNDOH (1970) prepared its findings for the Minnesota state legislature. Their conclusions regarding traffic safety included the following:
Accidents are twice as likely to occur on icy or snowy roads, but are generally less severe when compared to those that occur on all road conditions.
Fatal accident rates on icy or snowy roads are less than for all road conditions.
Vehicle performance on ice is significantly improved by studded tires, but does not approach the performance on bare pavement.
Vehicle performance with studded tires is most improved on warm, clean glare ice. There is less improvement on other types of surfaces.
There is, as yet, no evidence of consistent reduction in accident occurrence on snowy or icy roads attributable to the increased use of studded tires in Minnesota. Data from current studies are insufficient.
Perchonok (1971) also determined that studded tires reduced the likelihood of a driver being involved in an accident. Other conclusions reached in this study are:
The likelihood of precipitating an accident due to sliding on icy or snowy roads was least for studded tires.
In accidents attributed to sliding, loss of directional control was the most frequent problem.
For driver injury, studded tire vehicles had an apparent advantage.

post #99 of 116
Hello. I was looking at Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSi tire. However, in the size that I need, it only comes in an R speed rating (106 mph/170km). The load rating is not an issue.

My question is, what is the minimum/recommended speed rating for winter tires? I have a Passat Wagon.

TIA
post #100 of 116
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=35

My Michelin X-ice only come in Q (99 mph), so R should be ok.

The test simulates straight driving for 1/2 an hour without cooking the tire.
As you probably know you can toast your tires without ever going over 70 on a twisty mountain road. Just bear that in mind when you go out playing.
post #101 of 116

Does less Expensive Mean Bad Tires??

I just bought 4 Winterforce Snow tires for my wife's 2005 CRV on Tire Rack. I did a lot of reading on reviews of all the major brands and did price comparison's of each tire. I read consumer (hopefully real world) reviews of the winterforce and they sounded impressive. I see postings here that talk about not using less expensive tires, but quite frankly I need to carefully budget my money.(I paid $64 each for the snow tires) I bought an OEM set of steel wheels for her car over the summer off e-bay and will mount the snows on these.

So...does anyone here have any experience specifically with the Winterforce tires? Please don't flame because they are cheaper than other brands. I really want to know how they handle in snowy conditions. I live in downstate NY,Mid-Hudson valley area...and we do get a fair share of storms...but nothing extraordinary.
Thanks all
post #102 of 116
Having designed and built the suspension on Formula-style racecar and dealt with tire loading at 1.6 lateral g’s, slip angles, and so on… please hear me out.

1 - Contact patch size vs tire width. There is absolutely no correlation between the two and comes down to tire edge design. I’ll take my dad’s car as an example, a 1997 Jetta with 195/60-14 tires in both summer and winter. However, his winter tires have a wider contact patch. Confused, yet? Tire width is dependent on the underlying structure of the tire and measured approximately where the tread meets the sidewall, so yes, that is standardized. Edge block shape then determines the contact patch size. My dad runs on Continental all-season tires due to his relatively high annual mileage that have a significantly rounded edge to the tire. His winter Yokohama Ice Guard have square edges on the tread. Patch size does change longitudinally a bit with pressure, but laterally, no. If anything you change the pressure distribution along the entire surface of the contact patch and may screw up tire wear (bad alignment will also do this).

2 – Edge shape vs tire style. This almost wholly comes down to performance criteria. Most performance tires will have a square shape to them to maximize the contact patch, and consequently the max grip. The same applies with winter tires and specific requirements for them… the sharper edge is to provide ‘bite’ and improve cornering grip, while a rounded edge almost acts like a ball bearing and just floats in slippery conditions.

3 – Rubber compounds differ from tire to tire. From hardest to softest, all-season/performance summer/winter tire. As it gets colder, tires become harder and will not be able to conform to road surfaces as easily, therefore less grip. Also, venturing in the chemical side of things, winter tire compounds are built on the multi-cell concept where the tire absorbs water(snow) on a microscopic level to allow more rubber to contact solid ground.

4 – Tread design and the misnomer of M+S tires. Yes, M+S is complete B+S… my high-perf summer tires are rated M+S. This a rating based on the % of rubber surface area vs contact patch surface area at the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure and NOT rubber compounds. Most winter tires will have more tread blocks with sharper edges, again for more ‘bite’. Wider spacing of the blocks allow the snow and ice to be thrown out more easily.

5 – Tire width vs ice/snow. Same concept as skiing… wider floats, but in this case it is bad. Narrower is better in snow as it cuts through the softer snow on top, so that it can reach the hard pack below where there is more grip. Wider tires are better for ice use as there is less pressure and more rubber to grip it. On a microscopic level, more pressure results in ice melting and creating a film of water between rubber and ice, making it even more slippery. As a result, tire companies have created the multi-cell compounds to absorb this water. Don’t bring WRC winter tires into this… they are ultra narrow to cut through the snow in order to reach their high-grip surface – ice. Yes, ice. What you don’t see in that pic are the 200+ (on each tire) quarter-inch long metal studs that actually dig into the ice below and chew it up. Rally Sweden is considered as the Rally with the most grip… go figure.

What does this mean for the original poster? Minus-sizing is fine for winter use. I had 185/65-14 Winterforces on my Integra and plan on using the same set on my Jetta. Cheap, good in the snow, ok on ice and As long as it’s a true winter tire, you’re better off (and safer) than before. Also, with a light Japanese car, throw in a 30-50lb sandbag to prevent the rear from floating due to lack of weight.
post #103 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by verdugan View Post
Hello. I was looking at Nokian Hakkapeliitta RSi tire. However, in the size that I need, it only comes in an R speed rating (106 mph/170km). The load rating is not an issue.

My question is, what is the minimum/recommended speed rating for winter tires? I have a Passat Wagon.

TIA
Speed rating varies from tire to tire. R is fine... my mom has those tires on her 2000 Jetta. Absolutely incredible tires, snow and ice grip is phenominal. After last winter, she vowed never to buy another brand ever again. I know a few guys who use them for winter rally racing at the national championship level.
post #104 of 116
Okay, so i posted earlier and i stopped by Tire Source in Boulder and they recommended eaither Mastercraft Glacier Grip II (with studs, s rated) or Hankook w300 (studless, v-rated). The guy there recommded them because tires for my subaru 225-55 - 17 are pretty exepnsive (x-ice) $165, these run about $110 each. Any thoughts on either of these tires or care to debated the merits of studded vs studless tires in colorado.
Also will I see a difference of the speed rating driving on I-70? I drive up about every weekend to go skiing. Is the sound of studs going to drive mad? Do you think I-70 gets icy enough to justify studs? I haven't seen many reviews on the Glacier-grip except for Consumer reports, but they didn't even test the studded version. The hankook has gotten pretty good reviews. I'd love your guys (and gals) thoughts! thanks
post #105 of 116

Dunlop M3's

Just ordered another set for my Audi. Great in snow with a great ride when it is dry. The thing I really like is the life of them. Got 3 seasons out of the tires. Nokians are also a great snow tire that alot of people have out here in CO.
post #106 of 116
I would get the studs and turn up the tunes. You shouldn't find much need to drive for over 1/2 an hour at 112 mph. BTW what radar detector do you have?
post #107 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I would get the studs and turn up the tunes. You shouldn't find much need to drive for over 1/2 an hour at 112 mph. BTW what radar detector do you have?

Oh i'm not going to go that fast, but several of the tire places i went to said that the speed really matters in corner and that i would notice a big difference white cornering, that's why the advised against something like x-ice which is q rated. thoughts?
post #108 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehigh View Post
Okay, so i posted earlier and i stopped by Tire Source in Boulder and they recommended eaither Mastercraft Glacier Grip II (with studs, s rated) or Hankook w300 (studless, v-rated). The guy there recommded them because tires for my subaru 225-55 - 17 are pretty exepnsive (x-ice) $165, these run about $110 each. Any thoughts on either of these tires or care to debated the merits of studded vs studless tires in colorado.
Also will I see a difference of the speed rating driving on I-70? I drive up about every weekend to go skiing. Is the sound of studs going to drive mad? Do you think I-70 gets icy enough to justify studs? I haven't seen many reviews on the Glacier-grip except for Consumer reports, but they didn't even test the studded version. The hankook has gotten pretty good reviews. I'd love your guys (and gals) thoughts! thanks
With that tire size, I'm assuming you're running these on you're regular wheels. For snow tires, I would suggest a separate set of steel wheels to make tire changes a bit easier when the seasons change. I'm not aware of any Subaru that needs 17" wheels so you could probably go with 16" wheels. Tires will cheaper also. As far as studs go, I-70 is obviously a major highway. IMO, studs are more appropriate on smaller roads where you aren't going to see regular plow and salt duty.
post #109 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehigh View Post
Oh i'm not going to go that fast, but several of the tire places i went to said that the speed really matters in corner and that i would notice a big difference white cornering, that's why the advised against something like x-ice which is q rated. thoughts?
Yep. You will notice a big difference. The lower rated tires do not have as stiff sidewalls. Response is much delayed. I can hardly wait for spring to put the sticky rubber back on. Typically the grippy summer rubber also comes only in the pricier V-rated tires too. However when it comes to traction on ice, you have to just set your priorities straight. The studded tires will most likely get you around that icy corner faster than the v-rated rubber. You will have to slow down even when it's not icy or snowy. The first couple of corners, I always get the wife to scream at me a little bit as the car goes sideways if I forget the PV-41s or Pilots aren't on there.
post #110 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltron View Post
With that tire size, I'm assuming you're running these on you're regular wheels. For snow tires, I would suggest a separate set of steel wheels to make tire changes a bit easier when the seasons change. I'm not aware of any Subaru that needs 17" wheels so you could probably go with 16" wheels. Tires will cheaper also.
What he said. And maybe 205s would do as well, you don't need to match the dimensions from your summer tire (the important thing is that the rolling diameter is the same).
post #111 of 116
The Semperit Speed Grip (which I believe you can get that side of the pond) has just come top in an Austrian Automobile Assosiation test for the size 205/55 R16 H.

(link in German - scroll down to see ratings)
http://www.oeamtc.at/tests/reifen/

(English link about the Semperits)
http://www.tuninglinx.com/html/sempe...spdgrip-1.html

The Goodyears were very good but according to the test the Semperits are far better in winter conditions while being not quite as good in the dry.
post #112 of 116
i didn't read the whole thread but i just wanted to give my vote to Nokian (i've seen a lot of people talking about there here). although i did not buy the hakas, i went with the WR tires which are the "all season" tires but they are technically snow tires as well. i think that for most people these would be more than adequate. i have a set on my audi and i had them when i lived in utah and they got me through the worst snow storms i've ever seen in utah, wyoming, idaho and montana (i did a lot of driving for work/skiing/family visits). they were brilliant. and unless you live somewhere where there is constant snow or ice on the ground in winter i think you would be fine. they do fine in dry as well as i never got around to switching them out to summer tires in the summer and they drove very well. pretty quiet. and a 50,000 mile warranty to boot.
post #113 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by //V View Post
i didn't read the whole thread but i just wanted to give my vote to Nokian (i've seen a lot of people talking about there here). although i did not buy the hakas, i went with the WR tires which are the "all season" tires but they are technically snow tires as well. i think that for most people these would be more than adequate. i have a set on my audi and i had them when i lived in utah and they got me through the worst snow storms i've ever seen in utah, wyoming, idaho and montana (i did a lot of driving for work/skiing/family visits). they were brilliant. and unless you live somewhere where there is constant snow or ice on the ground in winter i think you would be fine. they do fine in dry as well as i never got around to switching them out to summer tires in the summer and they drove very well. pretty quiet. and a 50,000 mile warranty to boot.
I ended up buying the Hakkepalitas Rsi's, but maybe the WR's would've sufficed. I live in Sacramento so there's no snow at all, but drive up to Lake Tahoe all the time. Oh well. I'm really looking fwd to driving the Rsi's in the snow.
post #114 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehigh View Post
Okay, so i posted earlier and i stopped by Tire Source in Boulder and they recommended eaither Mastercraft Glacier Grip II (with studs, s rated) or Hankook w300 (studless, v-rated).
go see the guys at barnsley in boulder. greatest tire store that i have ever dealt with.
post #115 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post
go see the guys at barnsley in boulder. greatest tire store that i have ever dealt with.
Hey, i called Sam today at Barnsley, really great guy, patient, informative. He advocated the use of studless tires that have a good speed rating...think i'm going with Hankook Ice Bears, for $106 a tire compared to $154 a tire for blizzaks (225-55-17). thanks for the suggestion.
post #116 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnitSuperEgo View Post
Modern, high quality snows are impregnated with silica, to add traction on ice. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber that is designed to defrom and act like a suction cup on the slickest roads. Studs generally slow you down a lot, and tear up roads.

Kevin
The silica is mainly in tires for wet weather performance. I can leave the line at 6 grand and hook up like it's my job in my 350z with potenza tires with silica in them. The silica actually has nothing to do for traction in the winter. It keeps the tire a hair softer in freezing conditions.
The tread type is all about the snow control.
I live in the high peaks region of the adirondacks. Studded tires do wonders for you around here. But they are loud, kill gas mileage, and have to be taken off before may 1st.
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