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Snow Tires (again) Does Less Expensive Mean Bad?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
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.

Even though these tires can be studded, I will not be doing that.

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 #2 of 20
I have heard that the Winterforce is a very good tire. The more expensive tires, such as the Blizzak, often don't last very long because of the soft rubber compound. You'll probably get more miles out of the Winterforce.
I personally don't like studs. They are useful on ice, but they are noisy and they don't handle as well on dry pavement as snows w/out studs.
post #3 of 20
For a CRV they should be fine.

Remember most of us who spend big $$$ in snow tires are looking for maximum performance. My snow's cost $176 ea.

You don't need to spend that kind of money.

In reality the CRV should be fine with the OEM tires.

Last season was the first time I had snow tires on a car since the mid 70's. The last 10 years or so I have skied over 65 day a season. You realy don't need snow tires. Just slow down and know your limits.
post #4 of 20
Max Capacity, where do you live?

As a Vermont local and as an avid skier I can tell you that a good set of snow tires is the difference between ending up in a ditch and skiing wonderful pow.

In fact, during poor road conditions a front or rear wheel drive car with snow tires will outperform an AWD vehicle with all-season tires.

Living in Vermont means that I'm constantly stuck behind a Massachusetts SUV with all-seasons trying to struggle up a hill or avoid sliding off the road. As a former ski area employee I remember seeing many of these vehicles stuck in a guardrail.

Snow tires DO make a huge difference and are a necessity for anyone doing winter driving in the mountains.

RichNY, those snow tires should do great. I've bought a variety of snow tires over the years (including ones much more "economical" than yours). All of them performed well in adverse driving conditions, the biggest difference is how well said snow tires performed on dry pavement. In my experience the cheaper snow tires had a softer and deeper tread so they were a bit more unstable on dry highway.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
appreciate the input...the CRV stock tires don't do much in the snow...so that is why I'll be putting them on.
post #6 of 20
Spending less money doesn't mean you need to get "off brand" tires. Buy them in the spring/summer and get 50% off. I know that doesn't do you any good now but it pays to think ahead. I'm shopping for summer tires right now and will be buying new snows next spring.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypeakskier View Post
Max Capacity, where do you live?

As a Vermont local and as an avid skier I can tell you that a good set of snow tires is the difference between ending up in a ditch and skiing wonderful pow.

In fact, during poor road conditions a front or rear wheel drive car with snow tires will outperform an AWD vehicle with all-season tires.

Living in Vermont means that I'm constantly stuck behind a Massachusetts SUV with all-seasons trying to struggle up a hill or avoid sliding off the road. As a former ski area employee I remember seeing many of these vehicles stuck in a guardrail.

Snow tires DO make a huge difference and are a necessity for anyone doing winter driving in the mountains.

RichNY, those snow tires should do great. I've bought a variety of snow tires over the years (including ones much more "economical" than yours). All of them performed well in adverse driving conditions, the biggest difference is how well said snow tires performed on dry pavement. In my experience the cheaper snow tires had a softer and deeper tread so they were a bit more unstable on dry highway.

The year we went to Jay in my 2000 Subaru Legacy GT with all season tires was on March 23 when Jay just had a 4 ft dump. I have the T shirt somewhere. We got there friday evening had no trouble diving in the snow.

When my son started racing I had a 92 Honda Civic never had snow tires never miss a race. Even when he broke his leg at States at Sugarbush I backed my Subby with all season tires up to the first aid door on the South Mt in 53 degree weather that March weekend. That's about 120 ft of backing up on 3 to 4 feet of packed warm snow. Did it two times. Not a problem.

Pico snowed all day, they were pushing Ford SUV's in the parking lot, I just drove around them in my Subby with all season tires.

I have so many stories about Winter driving I can't tell them all here.
post #8 of 20
jaypeakskier, I live in CT and have been driving to VT every Winter weekend for over 10 years. I ski over 65 days a season and have a full time job I drive over 27,000 miles a year most of them in Winter.

I left Ludlow VT to return a friend to Burke Mt Academy and returned in the same evening driving all the way in a snow storm. That's about 230 miles up and back with my subby and all season tires. Even stopped just south of exit 21 to help a jeep that had slid off the road. I didn't bother stopping for the minivan on its roof, the cops were already there.

I've driven to Sunday River from Ludlow VT in a snow storm in the old Civic. Took a long time but I made it with no problems.

Its more about knowing how to drive and knowing your limits with or with out snow tires.
post #9 of 20
Of course few actually need snow tires. People don't really need fat skis for skiing powder either. But without a doubt, they certainly work better than the all-season or all-terrain variants. I drove for years through countless storms on all-season tires with a FWD car. Shitty all-season tires at that. I never had any major issues. I've been running snow tires on the same vehicle for the past few seasons. Do I absolutely need to run snow tires? Of course not. But when the snow starts dumping while I'm alone driving home from the middle of nowhere at 2am, I'm certainly glad that I do.
post #10 of 20
well said Voltron.
post #11 of 20
I have a set of Winterforce tires, which I had installed on my Acura Integra last season and putting them on my Jetta this year. They're in fact manufactured by Firestone, IIRC. Great tire in the snow, avg on ice (well, compared to my dad's Yokohama IG10 and mom's Nokian Hakka RSi) for a reasonable price. Even after a year or two, it's deffinitely better than any all-season tire.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
how this went from me asking for comments on winterforce tires (which incidentially I received 2 comments on the original question) to a pissing contest on all season vs. snow tires...I am not sure.

As I originally stated, these are for my wifes CRV. She is a nurse that works nights and I want her to be safe going through the hills and valleys where we live. All season tires just don't cut it where she will travel and she does not have a choice...she HAS to make it to work...blizzard or no blizzard.

Now...I personally have driven her CRV in heavy snow. I can tell you right now I don't care how good a driver you think you are, the CRV is a handful. The way the 4 wheel drive is set up, you actually need to begin slipping before it will kick in...very intimidating. I believe having a bit more bite from snow tires will help...I can't see how it would hurt. And yes I too have driven for years with all season through some terrible weather..but I gotta tell you I would have loved to have snow tires for a great number of the storms I have been through. We've all seen our share of careless drivers and the chaos they cause to themselves and others...I don't consider me or my wife to be aggressive drivers what so ever and the extra insurance of having snow tires is comforting.

p.s....last year I saw two of those pretty little WRX's blast past me on two seperate moderate snow storms ( around 6 -12" ) and guess where both ended up a few miles down the road. One was lucky enough to be backwards in a ditch...the other not as lucky on his roof. I think a little over confidence in 4wd can also get you in some trouble...just my 2 cents.
Flame on
post #13 of 20
I don't know but it seems to me you answered your own question. You need snow tires, any snow tire is better than a all season tire, in the conditions the snow tire was designed for.

She'll be fine. Like I said, you need to know your limits. I'm sure you'll have her go to a empty parking lot during the first snow storm and practice with the CRV and tires. See where the limits of grip are.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypeakskier View Post
Max Capacity, where do you live?

As a Vermont local and as an avid skier I can tell you that a good set of snow tires is the difference between ending up in a ditch and skiing wonderful pow.

In fact, during poor road conditions a front or rear wheel drive car with snow tires will outperform an AWD vehicle with all-season tires.

Living in Vermont means that I'm constantly stuck behind a Massachusetts SUV with all-seasons trying to struggle up a hill or avoid sliding off the road. As a former ski area employee I remember seeing many of these vehicles stuck in a guardrail.

Snow tires DO make a huge difference and are a necessity for anyone doing winter driving in the mountains.

.
I agree. I live at 4000 feet in the Sierras. My house is surrounded by snow most of the time from late December through March. We own two Subarus and two sets of wheels for both. Come December the snow tired wheels go on the cars. And the chains go in the trunk. We've never been stuck. (and we've never used the chains, but the law states you must carry chains in the Sierras.)
I've seen too many AWD vehicles slide on turns or during braking due to "All (3) season" tires. The point of snow tires is to have control. When you are braking or turning what matters is your tires.
post #15 of 20
While it probably isn't up to the top standards, it is made by Firestone, who do make some decent tires so I think you should be allright. Probably a lot better than all-seasons.

I have in the past squeaked by on all-seasons for one winter when they were new and had sharp edges. I didn't get stuck in some pretty deep snow, but when I put the snows on the following year there was a big improvement, and the snows were cheap ones!


BTW the same tire with studs is better than that tire without studs. If I were allowed to have studs and expected to see ice, I would shell out for them.
post #16 of 20
I bought a Jetta TDI for work and to use as a ski vehicle. it had new all season tires when I purchased it. The car was basically undriveable in snow/ice. I bought 4 cheap snows off the tire rack (sorry but I don't remember the brand). The car was transformed. Snow/ice is my friend.

The wind up is I got 2 seasons out of them and replaced them with Blizzaks (sp). They were really great but wore to nothing in one season.

Back to Tire Rack bargain shoes I go.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoweguy View Post
I bought a Jetta TDI for work and to use as a ski vehicle. it had new all season tires when I purchased it. The car was basically undriveable in snow/ice. I bought 4 cheap snows off the tire rack (sorry but I don't remember the brand). The car was transformed. Snow/ice is my friend.

The wind up is I got 2 seasons out of them and replaced them with Blizzaks (sp). They were really great but wore to nothing in one season.

Back to Tire Rack bargain shoes I go.
Which Blizzaks? WhenI used to live in CT and drove on dry roads a lot, I would wear out the WS-50s realy fast too. A tire like the LM-22 would last a lot longer. Up here in VT, I am on dirt (read ice) roads all winter and I get 3-4 seasons from the WS-50s.
post #18 of 20
I got 4 good seasons and 1 not quite so good season out of my Michelin Arctic Alpins.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Which Blizzaks? WhenI used to live in CT and drove on dry roads a lot, I would wear out the WS-50s realy fast too. A tire like the LM-22 would last a lot longer. Up here in VT, I am on dirt (read ice) roads all winter and I get 3-4 seasons from the WS-50s.
I wish I remembered. There might still be one lurking in the back of my shed.I'll have a look.
post #20 of 20
Part of the problem with the Blizzaks is they are made for cold weather, the rubber wears out quickly when the pavement get warm.

The Nokians or Michelins are a better longer lasting tire. But you don't want to run them to long in the Spring time.
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