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Old 11-13-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
NatCh
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Default Snow/ice tires v. performance winter tires

If a performance winter tire has the "snowflake-on-mountain" severe conditions emblem just as a full-on snow/ice tire has (e.g., Yokohama W*Drive v. Blizzak), wouldn't it have to have pretty decent snow/ice traction?

I understand that a full-on snow/ice tire will have better traction on snow and ice, but in order to earn the right to wear that emblem, doesn't a performance winter tire have to meet a certain minimum level of snow/ice performance?

Nat
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Last edited by NatCh; 11-13-2007 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
Big-E
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The answer is yes. A tire that has the snowflake/mountain symbol has been tested and is rated for snow. Generally speaking any high performance tire that has this symbol is true 4-season tire and is rated for "light snow".

With respect to ice, and no insult, but the laws of physics still apply.

As an example, I do not off-road/rally the car nor do I track/tarmac the car. It is a general daily drive that I like to do some spirited driving with.

I have another car, a Focus, that I put a set of the Goodyear Assuance TripleTred on. My B.I.L. has the same tires on his Taurus and my parents also have the same tires on their Grand Caravan. I also wanted a similar tire for the Subie, but until now, none were available.

Now Goodyear makes, and I just purchased, a set of the Eagle F1 All Season tires. To me, they're simply the performance version of the TripleTred. Probably not that simple, but in general.

Now it hasn't snowed yet, but it's been raining a bit. I took it out today and the difference is apparant. No more sliding or that loose feeling in the wet and it cuts through water (as do the TripleTred's) as if the water is not there.

Why did I choose the F1 A/S, other than the fact it's a daily driver? Because I wanted, and only need, the light snow aspect during the winter and because the roads are generally plowed sufficiently to get around.

I also did not want another full blown set of tires, snow tires, that I'll be stocking for 8 or so months of the year.

Happy Motoring!
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:53 AM   #3
leecea
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Here is my understanding of the situation...

M+S tires have a tread pattern that allows for slightly better traction in light snow. Snowflake symbol tires have passed a more stringent test for snow traction.

However, beyond that are a whole lot of differences. For example, advances in ice traction (studless snow tires) are not reflected in the basic snowflake symbol testing.

The real challenge is for people who travel in mixed conditions. In my area we have very few days of driving on snow or slush. Mostly it is cold and dry or cold and wet. If I buy a tire that gives me a better margin of safety in snow/ice but has much longer stopping distances on a dry or wet road, I have not done myself any favors. Not to mention the cost of replacing them if they wear out very quickly.

I think performance winters try to fill that gap. They are a bit better on snow and ice, and try to be as good or only slightly worse in normal conditions. Plus they have decent life on dry roads.

That is what I learned from some recent research... this will be my first year trying to put it into practice. I have 2 set of new Wintersport M3s waiting in the garage
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
Here is my understanding of the situation...

M+S tires have a tread pattern that allows for slightly better traction in light snow. Snowflake symbol tires have passed a more stringent test for snow traction.

However, beyond that are a whole lot of differences. For example, advances in ice traction (studless snow tires) are not reflected in the basic snowflake symbol testing.

The real challenge is for people who travel in mixed conditions. In my area we have very few days of driving on snow or slush. Mostly it is cold and dry or cold and wet. If I buy a tire that gives me a better margin of safety in snow/ice but has much longer stopping distances on a dry or wet road, I have not done myself any favors. Not to mention the cost of replacing them if they wear out very quickly.

I think performance winters try to fill that gap. They are a bit better on snow and ice, and try to be as good or only slightly worse in normal conditions. Plus they have decent life on dry roads.

That is what I learned from some recent research... this will be my first year trying to put it into practice. I have 2 set of new Wintersport M3s waiting in the garage
You're spot on.
I'm just finishing a set of M2's that will be serving me a 4th winter. They are a great tire for what I need them for. Winter driving for me is mostly done on plowed and salted roads with ocassional snow coverage for few days when they do struggle to plow. This tire has great characteristics for the dry and wet/salty roads and also is way better on the snow than any "all season" tire. However if you want to participate in winter autox/Rallyx and expect to do good, you will need a true dedicated snow tire (Nokian RSi or simmilar), but on the other hand true snow tire is worse on dry when it comes to handling and braking than regular "all season".
It will always be a trade off, since no tire can do everyghing that you would want it to. You just need to decide what you will use it for the most.
I also have Revo1 on wife's forester for the first winter and will have to see how they perform since this is more of a snow than performance winter tire.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:08 PM   #5
NatCh
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I'm hoping I bought the right tire (Yokohama W*Drive). I won't really know until we get deep into winter.

Most of my driving will be on hard-packed snow, occasional ice, slush, gravel, and wet road. I do however plan to go snowboarding 2-3 days per week, which is a 40 mile round trip, occasionally in deep powder snow (hopefully). We'll see.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
jimaco
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Default How did the M3's work out for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
Here is my understanding of the situation...

M+S tires have a tread pattern that allows for slightly better traction in light snow. Snowflake symbol tires have passed a more stringent test for snow traction.

However, beyond that are a whole lot of differences. For example, advances in ice traction (studless snow tires) are not reflected in the basic snowflake symbol testing.

The real challenge is for people who travel in mixed conditions. In my area we have very few days of driving on snow or slush. Mostly it is cold and dry or cold and wet. If I buy a tire that gives me a better margin of safety in snow/ice but has much longer stopping distances on a dry or wet road, I have not done myself any favors. Not to mention the cost of replacing them if they wear out very quickly.

I think performance winters try to fill that gap. They are a bit better on snow and ice, and try to be as good or only slightly worse in normal conditions. Plus they have decent life on dry roads.

That is what I learned from some recent research... this will be my first year trying to put it into practice. I have 2 set of new Wintersport M3s waiting in the garage
Hey there leecee,

I'm torn between trying to get an all-season that leans toward better snow and ice performance or a performance winter tire. I only want a single set of tires. I'm curious how the M3's worked out for you and whether you ran them all year.

Thanks,

Jimaco
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimaco View Post
Hey there leecee,

I'm torn between trying to get an all-season that leans toward better snow and ice performance or a performance winter tire. I only want a single set of tires. I'm curious how the M3's worked out for you and whether you ran them all year.

Thanks,

Jimaco
Where do you live?
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:17 PM   #8
mosc
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See, it's all about temperature. What everyone else is said here is true but don't discount that all seasons have to handle extreme heat as well as winter conditions. This means they have compounds that try to minimize that greasy feel we all hate in the summer. What does that mean in the winter? They are hard as bricks, wear quickly, and suck. Flat out. This concept that a 40 degrees you're better off with an all season than a winter performance tire on a DRY road is total bull****.

Simply put, you want a winter tire anytime it's cold out. Dry road it'll do better as temperature drops and it'll really kick the all season's ass in the light snow. It'll also hold up better. All seasons get shredded in the winter again due to their compound.

Particularly some of the UHP A/S tires people talk about here are just not up to par as temperatures drop. You're also wasting expensive rubber using a tire like that when it's cold IMHO. Snow aside.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme - best of both worlds. On a cold, dry road it grips like crazy (with some noise) and in the snow it's amazing. I'm going to wait a bit to put mine back on, since it's wicked hard to do snow donuts with them on.
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