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Old 08-16-2010, 08:32 PM   #901
LGT+WRX
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^ my name is joe, like dougm12a, I'm also a long-time 3D user.

Your specific situation, though, joe, requires a bit of decision making on your part - it's not as cut-and-dry as I'd have liked for it to be.

Like doug, I also agree that they excel at clear-road handling. If you get the V-rated variant, they're the closest you'll come to an all-season, in terms of clear-road performance, as you can possibly come, when it comes to winter tires. No, they won't track as true as a true summer tire, nor will they have as crisp of a turn-in: that's virtually impossible, given just their tread design alone, but they're every bit as good as most price-comparable all-seasons will be, when it comes to that.

Nevertheless, know that the 3Ds no longer reign at the top of the charts. In many of last season's European winter tire tests (i.e. NAF, ADAC, and a comprehensive Swedish test), the new Continentals have surpassed the 3Ds, in terms of being the "autobahn" tire of-choice. Still, given their price, the 3Ds are pretty nice.

So for your highway stints and for your salted/plowed roads, they'll do great - but your situation doesn't just call for that: you've also got some unplowed situations.

Don't get me wrong - the 3Ds are decently capable in snow, particularly when moving forward. The only reason you won't be able to keep up with the municipal plow-trucks - or even, for that matter, salt-loaded F350s that serve as private plows - for a simple reason: your Scooby lacks the weight necessary to put down the power. But they're truly simply not designed for the deep fluff, and one look at their tread-pattern will confirm that. Particularly when going around corners/turns, slow-to-reasonable, or expect to drift wide.

Similarly, their compounding isn't optimized for either compacted snow or ice - despite their persistent ranking as among the top, in terms of ice traction, in the "Performance Winter" genre in virtually all recognized/reputable independent testing, as anyone who's driven the tire in icier situations can tell you, you'll still white-knuckle a bit. Again, this is simply a shortcoming of the "Performance Winter" genre, and not necessarily a fault of the 3Ds, alone.

Thus, for your unplowed treks, as well as ventures into the countryside for paintballing/snowboarding, you'll likely benefit more from tires in the "Studless Ice & Snow" sub-genre.

Of the currently available, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tops the charts in virtually all tests (why does the TireRack results favor the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60, then? - please go back a few pages, that was discussed thoroughly) - but it does concede a level of clear-roads civility to the newer Continental ContiExtremeWinterContact.

So, that's one decision for you to make - better highway manners and clear-road performance, or more capability when the going really gets rough? Or would a more "snow" oriented "Performance Winter," such as the Bridgestone LM60, be a better match for your needs?

Or, rather, is the ContiExtremeWinterContact a good compromise for you - one that would kill two birds with one stone? Are you willing to take a chance, given that there has, so far, been relatively few independent reviews of this tire?

Should you wait for the Blizzak WS70?

Those are all questions only you can answer.

----

As for wear, the "Studless Ice and Snow" sub-genre, as a generalization, typically wears faster than the "Performance Winter" sub-genre, particularly when compared to tires of the latter that are V-rated.

This is even more true when you look at tires such as the Bridgestone Blizzaks that are in the "Studless Ice & Snow" sub-genre - which traditionally use a proprietary top-layer that's damned near magical, when it comes to how it enhances traction, particularly on packed-snow or ice: this layer, typically resident only in the top "half" or so of Blizzaks of this sub-genre, not only requires a lower speed-rating, but also tend to wear faster (look at Michelin's claims of the Xi2 out-lasting the WS60 by more than 70%...that figure is jaw-droppingly shocking, yet Bridgestone has never counterclaimed against that assertion).

If wear is a concern, the dual-layered Bridgestone offerings in the "Studless Ice & Snow" sub-genre may not be right for you....

The 3Ds, in getting back to your original question, does wear very well. I currently have about 12,000 miles on my set, and they're at about the halfway point, approaching their winter-wear platforms. Why does my set seem to have worn faster than doug's above? Simple: I drive the snot out of them, when the roads are clear - and that's doubled when the weather is nice out, during the transitional seasons. Typically, the V-rated "Performance Winters" will have treadlife that rivals that of their all-season counterparts'.

I bought the 3Ds in a sizing that would allow me to have some good enjoyment, when the weather's nice and the roads are clear, and I also wanted nice and refined highway manners. I was willing to trade a bit of "wintering" capability for all that, and this is precisely the goals that the "Performance Winter" sub-genre seeks to fill, and the compromise it demands. Here in NE-Ohio, in the metro-near-east suburbs, our streets are quickly plowed. While we do see significant snowfall, truly blizzard-like conditions erupt perhaps only twice a year, and rarely does it hinder things for more than a few hours or a day. While it's not that the 3Ds can't handle such nasty conditions, especially with our AWD, it is far from optimized for such, and the potential buyer needs to understand this critical distinction (this is, actually, why I got the Xi2s for my wife's '09 FXT, our goals/needs for that vehicle is different from mine for my Legacy 2.5GT, and it was better suited to the compromises and strengths of the "Studless Ice & Snow" tires).

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Last edited by LGT+WRX; 08-16-2010 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:59 AM   #902
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year: 2010
make: Subaru
model: STI
location: Charleston, WV
tires only:


I have a set of 17" Wheels from a '07 STI Limited. I will most likely run 235/45/17 unless you recommend otherwise.

I live in town and our roads get plowed pretty regularely. I cannot say I will never drive through deep snow but it will be a rare event. Light snow, black ice, and slush are common as well as weeks of sub freezing temps. I have a short commute with most of my driving done in city.

I been considering the ExtremeWinterContacts or WinterSport 3D however I'm open to other ideas.

Thanks.

Winter Sport 3D's make more sense for your area ... you might also want to take a look at the Pirelli Sotto Zero

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:29 AM   #903
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year: 2004
make: Subaru
model: Impreza WRX STi
location: Eastern Washington
tires only or winter package: Tires only

The wheels I have now are 18" and im not sure of the offset and width but the tires on them now are 235/40/18's.
I commute to and from multiple ski area's from december to april. I'm looking for a set of tires that can get very good grip in heavy snow and ice while still providing good bare cement highway driving. I wan't to know if it's smarter to go with studded tires or just winter specific tires with my car model?

Top three choices in no specific order
Michelin X-Ice XI2
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Continental Extreme Winter Contact

any of these would work well for your given use. I prefer the Michelin's dry road manners over the other 2

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:05 AM   #904
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I am not an expert but studded and 'good bare cement highway driving' are hard to achive.

Krzys


Agreed

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:01 AM   #905
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Interested in hearing more about the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, especially in comparison to the Dunlop WS 3D.

The Dunlop is better in the dry and wet while the EWC is better in the snow and ice

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #906
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They belong to two different types:
3D - performance winter/snow: H and V rated
ExtremeWinterContact - studless ice and snow: Q and T rated

Krzys
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:05 PM   #907
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^ Like the man says, that's a fundamental difference you've got to make in your decision tree, mbakercad and JTraction.

You've gotta decide which side of the compromise you're more comfortable on:

Compromising a bit of highway tracking and clear road performance for better traction when the going gets tough? Then go with the "Studless Ice & Snow" tires.

You're pretty sure you won't face the toughest situations, but want a tire that's going to be more comfortable to drive at higher highway speeds and also perform better on clear roads and/or during the warming part of the transitional seasons? Then "Performance Winters" may be the better choice for you.

It's a fundamental decision you need to make, for yourself, based on your specific driving conditions and needs.

I'll again use myself as an example.

Here in NE-Ohio, depending on your specific location, true "Lake Effect" snowstorms can indeed bury you. Where I live and commute, specifically, luckily, this isn't that big of a factor, but yes, it can still happen.

So while many would say that in my area, "Studless Ice & Snows" are a good idea, due to the potential for such storms, what's missing from that picture is how the roads are, in and around metro-Cleveland, where I am, during the more typical winter season: and that's to say that main thoroughfares are well-plowed, and even secondary streets are often cleared readily.

So, in most cases, "Studless Ice & Snows" become overkill, and since snow can fall to the ground (and stick for more than a few days) any time from mid-October to early-May, the use of such aggressively winter-oriented tires also means that during those transitional seasons, you're left with tires that feel like you're rolling on sponges. Far from ideal.

As such, "Performance Winters" become a better compromise - sure, you'll have to exercise a bit more care in deeper slush and you won't have as good traction either when there's tons of fresh powder out or when there's hardpack/ice, but most of the time, you won't be white-knuckling it, either...and what you trade for is much better road-manners and performance, when the roadways are clear and/or during those transition months.

And that's the compromise that I made, for my car, for my driving profile.

But for my wife, I instead opted to fit the "Studless Ice & Snow" tires. She doesn't look for performance/"fun" on her drives, and she rarely commutes on the highway - so the extra bit of security and safety when the snow gets deeper or when it gets icier out is worth the exchange.

I keep coming back to these two quotes from fellow members on LegacyGT.com:

Quote:
Originally Posted by outahere
This highlights a fundamental choice winter tire buyers need to make. Do you want a tire that will meet the challenges of the worst winter conditions you will encounter (e.g. deep snow or ice) or do you want a tire that will meet the "challenges" of the best winter conditions you will encounter (e.g cold dry pavement).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCloud
So it goes back to outahere's comment about what conditions you're preparing for: the worst, or the most common. If it's the latter, winter on the Front Range calls for all-seasons about 75% of the time. But that other 25% can be dicey.
The first thing you've got to do, mbakercad and JTraction, is to figure out which side of the "Performance Winter" versus "Studless Ice & Snow" equation you fall on.

After you've got that figured out, based on your driving preferences and needs, you can then figure out which specific tires you'd more like to look at.


---


And if you wanted to hedge you bets?

The Bridgestone Blizzak LM60 is sorta a hybrid - its tread-pattern suggests the snow-moving capabilities of the WS60 "Studless Ice & Snow," but its sub-structure, as its "LM"-designation implies, is more along the lines of the rest of its Bridgestone "Performance Winter" Blizzak LM-series sisters.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:50 PM   #908
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In areas that don't get a lot of deep snow, or where the roads get plowed quickly, you are probably better off getting studless ice tires rather than performace snow tires. Snowbanks can melt on sunny days, the melt-water runs across the road and then re-freeze at night as black ice. You are much more likely to have a crisis situation on ice than snow in most populated areas.

There are a few "performance" studless ice tires out there. The Toyo Garit KX is an H-rated tire that works great on ice, for example.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:50 PM   #909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl View Post
In areas that don't get a lot of deep snow, or where the roads get plowed quickly, you are probably better off getting studless ice tires rather than performace snow tires. Snowbanks can melt on sunny days, the melt-water runs across the road and then re-freeze at night as black ice. You are much more likely to have a crisis situation on ice than snow in most populated areas.
^ Framing it as a worst-case scenario, I would certainly agree: it's part of the reason why the wifey's daily-driver gets the "Studless Ice & Snow."

But in terms of wear, clear-roadway manners/performance, as well as transition-season performance, the balance tips in favor of the "Performance Winters."

And truthfully, without mechanical help - i.e. studs - "works great on ice" is still a very, very relative consideration that even the best of the "Performance Winter" genre, in this one specific context, makes me leery of recommending them for anyone who needs such considerations...and is also something that, personally, is what's driving me towards studded tires.

Your meltwater/black-ice scenario is precisely the "worst-case scenario" of what we see here in suburban NE-Ohio in the harsher winter months. Typically present at the intersections where secondary streets feeds into major ones, you can literally see the difference between the uninitiated drivers and those who've been driving here a while, both in how they approach such areas as well as the subsequent near-misses or low-speed collisions that results.

The new nano-level technologies do work really, really well, and treadwear as a consideration of compounding as well as other "unseens" has drastically improved since the days of my father . But still, there are compromises that each individual driver will have to come to grips with - no pun intended.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:07 PM   #910
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Studded tires are crap on dry pavement though. You ever walk across concrete with ice skates on?
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:31 PM   #911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl View Post
Studded tires are crap on dry pavement though. You ever walk across concrete with ice skates on?
^ Well, studded tires really aren't much like ice skates, are they?

Yes, I understand that your comment above was as much tongue-in-cheek as it is point out the specific weaknesses of studded tires, but in all seriousness that comment relates more to old technology as well as outdated thinking.

By NAF's 2009 testing, if you wanted to assert that premium studded tires are "dangerous" in terms of clear wet or dry pavement, you'll at the very least have to say the same of the non-studded premium "Studless Ice & Snow" tires as well.

Here's a post from outahere on LegacyGT.com, in which he replied to answer that same concern voiced in other posts there, when this very topic was debated in October of 2009:

Quote:
Originally Posted by outahere View Post
Dangerous? Slippery on pavement? That may have been true 20 years ago for studded tires, but it is no longer a valid generalization.

From the 2009 test referenced earlier, the Michelin Xi2 required 37.2m to come to a stop on wet pavement from 80 km/hr whereas the studded Hakka7 required 37.4m

In that test, 13 of the studded tires outbraked 6 of the non-studded tires on wet pavement.


The shortest wet braking distance went to the Michelin Primacy Alpin, at 27.8m, but it had the longest braking distance on ice of all the tires tested at 75.5m.
Red highlight added, as it is most pertinent to our current conversation (though outahere's comments highlight wet braking, the same trend of quantitative data is seen both for the wet critical maneuvering as well as dry critical maneuvering tests) - but at the same time, the last bit of the Michelin Primacy Alpin also is pertinent to the last few posts, demonstrating again that the right tire has to be selected, for the right purpose.

With current technology, the thinking that studded tires are somehow "unsafe" for clear pavement - wet or dry - is simply no longer valid. And if one wanted to press such assertions, one would have to extend that same claim to many tires in both the "Studless Ice & Snow" and even "Performance Winter" sub-genres, too. [To support the case of this compromise, it's worth pointing out that although most vested-interest sources would recommend switch-over to "winter tires" at approx. 45 deg. F., last year's Car & Driver comparison of 4 popular Michelin tires spanning the UHPAS, AS, "Performance Winter" and "Studless Ice & Snow" genres, the AS actually performed commendably in cold-wet and cold-dry conditions, beating-out even the "Performance Winter's" performance by a noticeable margin. Want to say that studded or "Studless Ice & Snow" tires are unsafe in the clear? you better switch out to some winter-oriented all-season tires as soon as those roads clear!]

Again, *ALL* tires are a compromise, and the performance/safety envelope for clear as well as wet pavement, especially as temperatures start to trend towards warming, means that *ALL* winter tires will be compromised, in that respect.

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Old 08-29-2010, 09:39 PM   #912
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year: 2002
make: subaru
model: wrx sedan
location: springfield, IL (toss up of being mild winter or insane winter)
tires only

I've got some type of 16" Fox Sports wheels on there now (from the previous owner) and I'm feeling that I'll need to replace my tires fairly soon. Figure since winter is coming up I should get a decent set of winter tires or all seasons (not sure if I'll be able to afford to switch em come spring). I'm not looking for the best, something affordable on a college budget.

Thanks
Austin

college kid budget in Springfield ... check out the General Alitmax Arctic

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:33 AM   #913
mbakercad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LGT+WRX View Post
As such, "Performance Winters" become a better compromise - sure, you'll have to exercise a bit more care in deeper slush and you won't have as good traction either when there's tons of fresh powder out or when there's hardpack/ice, but most of the time, you won't be white-knuckling it, either...and what you trade for is much better road-manners and performance, when the roadways are clear and/or during those transition months.

Since it won't be uncommon for us to see a 50 degree day here and there during the heart of winter, I suppose a Performance Winter tire would be the best bet. We can see sub zero temps, and black ice as Howl mentioned, but we see a fair share of decent days too. Since I have yet to find the money tree, I would like a tire with a decent treadwear too which I believe the performance winter does better than the other categories.

Based upon this do you have a recommendation?

the Pirelli Sotto Zero would fit nicely into your desired needs and budget constraints

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:13 AM   #914
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Anyone with thoughts about Pirelli Sottozero 240 serie II? From the little I've found, I think these are my tires.

year: 2010
make: Subaru
model: WRX 5-door
location: Seattle, WA - Lots of cold rain, some city snow, and plans to drive up the snowy but well tended passes at least once a month.

I do like the Sotto Zero for the conditions you have described

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:38 AM   #915
Howl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LGT+WRX View Post
^ Well, studded tires really aren't much like ice skates, are they?

Yes, I understand that your comment above was as much tongue-in-cheek as it is point out the specific weaknesses of studded tires, but in all seriousness that comment relates more to old technology as well as outdated thinking.

By NAF's 2009 testing, if you wanted to assert that premium studded tires are "dangerous" in terms of clear wet or dry pavement, you'll at the very least have to say the same of the non-studded premium "Studless Ice & Snow" tires as well.

Here's a post from outahere on LegacyGT.com, in which he replied to answer that same concern voiced in other posts there, when this very topic was debated in October of 2009:



Red highlight added, as it is most pertinent to our current conversation (though outahere's comments highlight wet braking, the same trend of quantitative data is seen both for the wet critical maneuvering as well as dry critical maneuvering tests) - but at the same time, the last bit of the Michelin Primacy Alpin also is pertinent to the last few posts, demonstrating again that the right tire has to be selected, for the right purpose.

With current technology, the thinking that studded tires are somehow "unsafe" for clear pavement - wet or dry - is simply no longer valid. And if one wanted to press such assertions, one would have to extend that same claim to many tires in both the "Studless Ice & Snow" and even "Performance Winter" sub-genres, too. [To support the case of this compromise, it's worth pointing out that although most vested-interest sources would recommend switch-over to "winter tires" at approx. 45 deg. F., last year's Car & Driver comparison of 4 popular Michelin tires spanning the UHPAS, AS, "Performance Winter" and "Studless Ice & Snow" genres, the AS actually performed commendably in cold-wet and cold-dry conditions, beating-out even the "Performance Winter's" performance by a noticeable margin. Want to say that studded or "Studless Ice & Snow" tires are unsafe in the clear? you better switch out to some winter-oriented all-season tires as soon as those roads clear!]

Again, *ALL* tires are a compromise, and the performance/safety envelope for clear as well as wet pavement, especially as temperatures start to trend towards warming, means that *ALL* winter tires will be compromised, in that respect.
I think your blowing it all outta proportion.

When I say they are crap I mean crap like RE92's. They may "safe" but they are not good. Studded tires are noisy, they loose studs at high speeds, and they reduce your grip on hard surfaces when compared to the same model tire without studs (i.e. Hakka5 with studs vs. Hakka5 without studs). If you live in the back country, where roads are never plowed or sanded, then studs by all means, get studs.

Meanwhile the technology for Studless Ice & Snow tires has come a long way over the last five to ten years. If you look beyond what Tirerack carries you will find a number of tires using technology that elevates Studless Ice & Snow tires into the realm of Performance Winter tires on snow and dry pavement, while getting very close to studded tires on ice. Yes they are a compromise, but technology keeps making those compromises smaller.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:45 AM   #916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl View Post
I think your blowing it all outta proportion.


How am I "blowing it all outta proportion?"

You're the one who said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl View Post
Studded tires are crap on dry pavement though. You ever walk across concrete with ice skates on?
^ And that, by the quantitative data detailed in the NAF testing, simply isn't true, and is a completely inaccurate analogy.

Quote:
When I say they are crap I mean crap like RE92's. They may "safe" but they are not good.
Did you actually review the NAF data?

Because that's not what the data shows, at all - and if you wanted to say that studded tires are "unsafe," you'll need to say the very same of the "Studless Ice & Snow" tires that you seem to think are so magical.

Once again, look at their quantitative data: ABS braking wet, ABS braking dry, critical maneuvering wet, and critical maneuvering dry.

Quote:
Studded tires are noisy,
This is undeniable, but it also is not a part of quantitative performance. Any driver using studded tires should already realize that this NVH compromise will be present, compared to non-studded tires.

Quote:
they loose studs at high speeds
Again, drivers who choose studded tires should know this fact. Stud-loss due to extreme tire spin/rotation is indeed a fact, but it again is not a factor of quantitative performance: nor is it a specific danger, as an early 70s paper by the NTSB proved.

Quote:
and they reduce your grip on hard surfaces when compared to the same model tire without studs (i.e. Hakka5 with studs vs. Hakka5 without studs).
But does this equate to the "skates on concrete" analogy you brought up earlier?

Yes, the quantitative data typically does show a gap between such performance factors between studded and non-studded variants of otherwise the same exact tire, but this difference can be overcome if one were more careful in their choice of specific tire selection. Again, go back to the NAF testing data. Look at how many studded tires were able to outperform "Studless Ice & Snows" in terms of the clear-road, wet or dry, performance parameters.

As with anything else, every specific tire will have its own strengths and weaknesses - and one's failure should not be the cause of a blanket statement which encompasses the entire category/sub-genre.

Quote:
Meanwhile the technology for Studless Ice & Snow tires has come a long way over the last five to ten years. If you look beyond what Tirerack carries you will find a number of tires using technology that elevates Studless Ice & Snow tires into the realm of Performance Winter tires on snow and dry pavement, while getting very close to studded tires on ice. Yes they are a compromise, but technology keeps making those compromises smaller.
Er.....

Tire-rack carries the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, which is recognized as one of the best - if not the best - "Studless Ice & Snow" tires that's out there, coming in first place in its category in virtually *every* recognized winter tire testing.

Just as technology has advanced for the "Studless Ice & Snow" sub-genre, it has also done so for every other sub-genre of "winter tires," and that includes those of the studded variety.

And just as there are compromises to be made - a performance gap - between the "Studless Ice & Snow" tires versus "Performance Winters," there is the same kind of gap between friction tires and studded.

To somehow think that modern premium studded tires are going to be like "crap" is to use the same kind of old thinking that have many who have never tried modern winter tires to say that they are "crap" as well - they're hung-up on what their parents or grandparents may have experienced as "winter tires."

Technology has come a long way - and it applies to all tires, and the hard data shows this.

And the data is what it is.

I'm a huge fan of "Studless Ice & Snows," for what they can do - and my choice of equipping my wife's vehicle with such tires speaks to my faith in them.

But if one were to make one's decision based on the data for/of such tires, then one cannot selectively choose to disregard the data, when speaking of another subset.

Are studded tires a compromise in terms of NVH? Certainly.

But are they "crap?"

That's not what the data says.


-----


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbakercad View Post
Since it won't be uncommon for us to see a 50 degree day here and there during the heart of winter, I suppose a Performance Winter tire would be the best bet. We can see sub zero temps, and black ice as Howl mentioned, but we see a fair share of decent days too. Since I have yet to find the money tree, I would like a tire with a decent treadwear too which I believe the performance winter does better than the other categories.

Based upon this do you have a recommendation?
The Dunlop SP WinterSport 3D, while no longer a front-runner in its category/sub-genre, is still a solid performer, if you look at the breakdown of last year's (and the year before) ADAC data, and it still ranks highly in tests of other national origin, in still retaining a "highly recommended" (or the like) ranking (i.e. 2009 Swedish testing).

One interesting thing is that despite a slide back down the scale, in terms of other performance factors, when compared with newer offerings, the 3Ds still maintain extremely high (if not highest) rankings in terms of ice traction. Nevertheless, as a direct user of these tires, I'll caution you - don't take such test rankings for-granted: yes, it may be best in its category, but it's no "Studless Ice & Snow," so on glare ice, you're still much more left to the mercy of physics and mother nature than not, and you *WILL* want to exercise the utmost care, when faced with the potential for such conditions. Compared against a leading "Studless Ice & Snow" like the Michelin Xi2, I can tell you from direct personal experience (as my wife's '09 FXT is shod with Xi2s) that when it's icy out, the two cars/tires present completely different driving experiences.

Based on input from other hobbyists/enthusiasts in my area, the Bridgestone LM-line of Blizzak tires as well as the Hankook Icebear W300 are worth looking into, too. The latter typically tends to place in the bottom half of quantitative comparisons, so I would cross-shop them with the Nokian WR or WRG2 - but as you can see, that will often highlight the nice price-point at which the Hankooks can be obtained.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:46 PM   #917
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Hey Luke I've seen the regular winter tire testing reports, but what about testing performance winter tires? It doesn't look like the Rack has done that one yet. I would love to see a comparison of these:

1) Dunlop WS 3D
2) Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
3) Pirelli Sottozero serie II
4) Hankook i*cept Evo.

I believe we will be doing a performance winter test next month

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 PM   #918
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^ The 2009 ADAC and Swedish tests should give you a good starting point.
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 PM   #919
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTraction View Post
Hey Luke I've seen the regular winter tire testing reports, but what about testing performance winter tires? It doesn't look like the Rack has done that one yet. I would love to see a comparison of these:

1) Dunlop WS 3D
2) Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
3) Pirelli Sottozero serie II
4) Hankook i*cept Evo.
you can't do a winter tire test without a set of Nokian that's against the tire bible
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:52 AM   #920
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I wish, tirerack cant sell nokians
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Old 09-04-2010, 03:02 AM   #921
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Originally Posted by left footed whooten View Post
I wish, tirerack cant sell nokians
hands down best winter tire i've ever run. Heck even their All Season (the WR) is a beast in the snow. My Outback was a tank in in even nasty stuff. Never, ever, had a problem.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:19 AM   #922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left footed whooten View Post
I wish, tirerack cant sell nokians
DTD does, now....I wonder (hope) if that'll pressure Tire Rack into doing the same?
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:43 PM   #923
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Hey LGT+WRX. I appreciated your help with the radar detector, and looks like you're helping me buy winter treads too.

I live in north WV and see some snow / ice / slush. I assume that I won't be able to go out in the deep snow anymore like I was able to with my Outback. But I'm looking for some tires that will be able to go well in not-well-plowed back roads but still go ok down the interstate.

Based upon above reading, I'm kinda between the Bridgestone Blizzak LM 60 and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D.

The current summer tires on the WRX are 235/45R17. Would you recommend the same?

I likely will be getting a second set of rims too for winter use. Would you recommend sticking with 8 inch rims or go with skinnier 7 in?

The Blizzak LM60 is a great blend between snow/ice traction and dry road performance

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:41 PM   #924
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefner413 View Post
Hey LGT+WRX. I appreciated your help with the radar detector, and looks like you're helping me buy winter treads too.
Just two hobbies of mine that happen to be very useful, where I live.

I'd love to weigh-in with my advice, but please be aware, I'm far from an expert!

Quote:
I live in north WV and see some snow / ice / slush. I assume that I won't be able to go out in the deep snow anymore like I was able to with my Outback. But I'm looking for some tires that will be able to go well in not-well-plowed back roads but still go ok down the interstate.

Based upon above reading, I'm kinda between the Bridgestone Blizzak LM 60 and the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D.

The current summer tires on the WRX are 235/45R17. Would you recommend the same?

I likely will be getting a second set of rims too for winter use. Would you recommend sticking with 8 inch rims or go with skinnier 7 in?
I'd definitely go narrower - it'll help you "cut through" better.

If you can step down to 215s, I think you'll be able to notice a difference - if you stay with 225s, it'll be a toss-up.

Given your compromises, I'd say that it would be worth it to go narrower, as it seems that you do have some true potentially-severe weathering concerns. Certainly, you'll give up some clear-road fun (my own choice in staying with a 225, for my Legacy, is simply because I valued the transitional-season "fun factor," in my particular decision-tree), but you're hinting with the above post that things can sometimes get deep or rough in your area. Your old outback was blessed with higher ground clearance, which your '11 WRX won't have...that's the same problem I face in my slightly dropped (about 1" all around) BL - snow too high, and she becomes a plow, and while that's OK if I'm, say, traversing a short side-street in-between two main, plowed (or, alternatively, just "somewhat better plowed," so less deep), thoroughfares, anything longer is rather painful. And definitely, getting high-centered is a worry, and that's going to remain a worry, even if you're using studs/chains.

And with skinnier tires, you'll want skinnier wheels - for rim protection, if nothing else. My summer setup is a set of 225s on 8" wide Prodrives. It's a good width "225," so it doesn't look stretched, but damn if it has, like, no rim protection at all, and that's compounded by the fact that my PFF7s have a somewhat "convex" face.

Going back to the tires, in going with "Performance Winters," you'll have good clear highway road-behavior.

Have there been any truly in-depth or comparative reviews of the LM60? That's what I'd want to dig up, given your unplowed side-streets/clear highway dual-concern, as the LM60 truly seems to be a hybrid between the two sub-genres.

And I guess the other thing to ask yourself would be just what you're expecting of the tires, in terms of highway duty.

With modern premium "Studless Ice & Snow" tires, it isn't like you're going to feel so floaty that you'll need to slow to the legal minimum, on clear or rainy highways. Certainly, their taller tread blocks (as well as sidewalls, since you're going to be going narrower/taller) doesn't help with that feeling of "disconnect," but honestly, you could do worse, with some all-seasons, in this respect.

So, the upshot is that you're not going to want to cruise all day, at, like, 90-95 MPH with the "Studless Ice & Snows" , but cruising at 75-80 ain't gonna make you get indigestion, either...and cruising at 65? honestly, I don't even notice a difference, until I start changing lanes.

If that's OK by you, then perhaps the extra bit of "suffering" on the highway may be well worth the trade-off for added secondary-road capabilities, in your case.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:58 AM   #925
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Just a quick question. I have a set of 06 bbs for my 2010 sti and I'm just getting ready to buy some new winter tires. I have read a lot about size ect.. some say 225 50 17 some go with 235 45 17.

Could I run a 245 45 17? and will it really make that much of a difference either way?

I like the look of a wider tire.


235/45-17 would be the size to choose for your STi

Last edited by Luke@tirerack; 09-17-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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