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Old 09-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
Sideways
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Default NWIC. Tell me about your winter tire/wheel setup.

This really only applies to those who spend most of the winter in the cities and don't drive up to the mountains regularly. Obviously we only see maybe 1-2 days of snow in a average winter, a week in a heavy winter so I am trying to decide for a winter tire setup for our unique climate.

I've been debating getting a winter tire/wheel setup, but I'll be trading the 2011 for something new at the end of next year so a dedicated winter setup might not be worth it. I'm looking at a set of DWSs, but I don't think I'd want be caught out with these in freezing rain. I have a nice hill to get up to get home. I've heard some amazing experiences about the DWSs in snow, but there is always the saying a great all season still doesn't match a dedicated winter setup.

What are your plans for a winter tire setup?
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Last edited by Sideways; 09-17-2011 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
Cartmans 03_Wagon
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Personally I rock steelies with Blizzak WS70s since I snowboard but that was not the question you asked.

Yes, the DWSs receive fantastic reviews from nearly everyone. They are certainly not something I would trust on ice or deep snow, but in a couple inches of fresh snow they should be fine.

Obviously, no matter how nice or expensive of a all season you get it will not match a dedicated winter setup in the snow/ice. The other aspect to consider is the handling of all season or summer tires is greatly compromised when it gets under freezing no matter if there is precipitation or not due to the differences in materials used.

There is a dedicated thread in the tire and wheel forum where a guy from Tirerack is a moderator. He can help you out much more than I can. I think this topic has also been discussed in another thread made by someone in the NW in tire and wheel as well.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:14 PM   #3
PurpleDoors
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When I still had my GF wagon, I ran Firestone Winterforces on a set of 15" steelies (I still have them but I won't sure if they'll clear the front brakes on my new car). They were AWESOME in the snow. They had crazy traction. I never once had problems with them, and to get to my house I had to go up two BIG hills that even trucks were getting stuck on. I could just drive right past them with a big grin on my face.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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I just run my Hankook ipike (studless) in my BBS's
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
This really only applies to those who spend most of the winter in the cities and don't drive up to the mountains regularly. Obviously we only see maybe 1-2 days of snow in a average winter, a week in a heavy winter so I am trying to decide for a winter tire setup for our unique climate.
Don't be a *****, drive like a normal person and you'll be fine.

No need to spend money if you live in the city.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
02CWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelo_caz View Post
I just run my Hankook ipike (studless) in my BBS's
This. Its perfect IMO, and affordable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB FAN View Post
Don't be a *****, drive like a normal person and you'll be fine.

No need to spend money if you live in the city.
Typical "you have AWD" response. I disagree because it depends on your "summer" tires. The stock RE070s wont get you anywhere, and driving on them in snow/winter weather is purely reckless and ignorant IMO.

Winter tires are cheap, I bought my iPikes for about $400 brand new and have used them for 2 winters now. Personally I think its worth it. Winter tires arent just for snow, they perform better in cold weather regardless of snow or not. Seeing as I switch back and forth between RE070s and iPikes, the difference in traction during cold temperatures is easily discerned.

You shouldn't drive around on bald ass summer tires for safety. Its the same reason you shouldn't drive around on "max performance" summer tires in the winter.

That said, a decent All Season tire should do you fine as long as you understand the concepts of driving (IE - his comment of driving like a normal person). I prefer the comfort of having a dedicated winter tire on a car with enhanced braking, handling, and acceleration capabilities should I need to use them in an emergency situation on the road. In my experience the dedicated winters perform better than all-seasons when comparing my Legacy with all seasons to my WRX with Hankook winter iPikes. The all seasons on my Legacy work well for what it is, but as I said, I prefer the dedicated winters for the WRX for what it is.

~T.J.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
AllWheelsDriven
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I have studded i-pikes but then went out and got an 89 toyota 4x4 so will probably plod around in that instead.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #8
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I have DWS's and they are the best all seasons I've owned so far. They are fantastic in the rain on they freeway. I haven't used them in the snow. That's all I will use this winter. Just don't be the dick driving around with studs on in March.

Last edited by hillsboro; 09-17-2011 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:58 PM   #9
luciferMotorCade
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Firestone winter force. 16 /55/205 studless. Best tire for snow imho.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:07 PM   #10
GDB FAN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02CWRX View Post
Typical "you have AWD" response. I disagree because it depends on your "summer" tires. The stock RE070s wont get you anywhere, and driving on them in snow/winter weather is purely reckless and ignorant IMO.
OP drives a 2011 wrx. I thought wrx's came with all seasons?

Living in the northwest I don't know why you wouldn't. For someone driving in the city and on main roads, I've never need a dedicated snow tire.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
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honestly, for our area, I feel a pure winter set up is overkill. I'm only hovering around 290hp/325tq, so I don't really 'need' summer tires to enjoy the drive. I prefer performance all season tires year round, that focus mainly on dry/wet with a tiny bit of attention to snow. this lets me scoot around town just fine, to and from work, up the pass etc. a lot of it comes back to how you drive vs having great snow tires.

I will say though, good snow tires makes driving in the snow a lot of fun. it's downright scary and somewhat reckless on summer tires (but doable if careful enough), and just passable on all seasons.

if I was to buy a 2nd set I'd get some blizzaks that weren't too wide.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:19 PM   #12
Sideways
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB FAN View Post
OP drives a 2011 wrx. I thought wrx's came with all seasons?

Living in the northwest I don't know why you wouldn't. For someone driving in the city and on main roads, I've never need a dedicated snow tire.
At least since 09s, WRXes come with Dunlop SP01s.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:17 AM   #13
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I run a full winter set; stock wheels with blizzaks (LM25's I think). They do great in cold rainy conditions as well. I usually run them from Dec-late Feb. Personally I think they are worth their weight in gold, but I enjoy spirited winter driving when we do get those few inches of snow
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:24 AM   #14
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Good post! I'm currently looking for 5x100 bbs's and probably ws70 blizzaks.

I need a good winter setup that will clear my 6/4 pot wilwood's. I'm hoping the 5/100 bbs will clear them so if anyone local is looking to sell or at least let me test fit a set that would be sweet! I cant wait to see more opinions because I need two sets of winters soon.

One for the 05 FXT 5x100 16"

The other for the type RA with the wilwoods. 5x100 17x7 or whatever I can find that fit.

I cant believe how expensive the 17" snow tires are. they are almost twice as much as 16"

Chime in PNW'ers
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:34 AM   #15
AlpineE30M52
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205/55/16 WS60 Blizzaks are what I had on my stock Bugeye WRX wheels. Loved that set up. I was literally unstoppable. I'm going to miss that setup when winter rolls around this year.

I completely agree with T.J. I feel 100% safer knowing I have the correct setup for any sketchy situations I find myself in. (I also snowboard, so I use my snow tires)
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:27 AM   #16
MrMorninwood
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http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/...y.jsp?ttid=135

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/survey...sp?type=W&VT=C

I have all seasons on the Subaru, but on my focus, I use the X-Ice. They are excellent.

Last edited by MrMorninwood; 09-18-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #17
DrnknZag
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I run Blizzak WS60s all winter long, mainly because I am in the mountains every weekend to snowboard. You can easily get away with running a set of decent all seasons if you don't spend a lot of time driving up to the mountains.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #18
JasonLHall
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I do a couple things for winter:

1. change sways from stiffest setting to lowest setting
2. put on rally armor flaps
3. remove front lip
4. put on Blizzak ws60 215/55/17
5. remove stock mats & put in all weather mats
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:06 PM   #19
Sideways
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Anyone want to sell a set of stockies for dirt cheap?
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:30 PM   #20
STI Dy
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In the past I ran with Dulop SP Wintersport 3D on my stockers, by far the best winter tire I have owned on any of my cars.

Just few weeks ago I put a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus on my old black O.Z. Ultraleggeras and will throw them on the car soon. Now that we have the Outback I won't be going across the pass with the STi so I just decided to go with a good set of all seasons and skip a straight Winter set.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:21 PM   #21
Chainsaw_Willie
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I went the cheap route: 16x7 steelies and 205/55 General Altimax Arctic from Tirerack.

Handling goes down the toilet with this setup but it's unstoppable in the snow. I spend a lot of time in the mountains all year 'round and these wheels are on the car from November - April.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #22
mattGT
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I run 205/50-17 General Altimax sans studs on my oem wheels. They get plenty of action in Bend and in the mountains.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:40 PM   #23
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Agree with TJ. Had my summer tires (great for general rain) on all of last winter but they were useless and actually dangerous whenever the temps got around freezing which for me was most mornings when heading into work.

Going dedicated winter set up this year.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #24
edrach
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I'm a firm believer in separate summer tires and a set of winter tires (studless) mounted on their own rims for ease of swapping over.

Currently I'm running the DWS tires from Continental. In November, I'll change over to a set of Hankook studless iPike tires. In April or May (if we have a long rainy spring) I'll switch back to the DWS tires.

My preference for winter tires would be a set of studless Hakkiipollitta tires, but the high cost of the Hakkis forced me into the iPikes.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:05 PM   #25
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On the FXT I have 17" 225/60 Toyo Observes that are reasonably amazing on some old enkei mm2's. I went from snow tires to strictly all seasons when I bought the forester last year. All seasons aren't terrible, but once you go snow tires...there is no going back, so I had to get some more.
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