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Old 01-26-2004, 10:01 AM   #1
no_rex_yet
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Default 225 width snow tires = bad idea?

I purchased a very slightly used set of Dunlop Graspic DS-1, 225/50/16, mounted on 00 RS rims. I realized when I purchased them that wider is not better for snow, but I figured with such a serious snow tire, it wouldn't make too much of a difference -- plus, they were a GREAT price, mounted on the rims.

However, I've noticed in the snow, they really don't cut through the snow that well. They start and stop great, but I feel like I'm sliding all over the place in turns, even at low speeds. They also aren't that stable in a straight line either, when driving through snow. I had a set of 195/60/15 Blizzak WS-50's on my old Accord, and that car felt much more stable than my all-wheel drive Subaru. All the reviews on Tire Rack state that these are pretty darn good in the snow, so I'm thinking it's the extra width that's problematic.

Has anyone else had the same experience with wider snow tires?
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
bluestone
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i have 225/50/16 contiextremes and when i went playing out on frozen over pavement i really had to try to break them free at low speeds. of course at high speed it really doesn't have a chance. driving through the last storm they were fine, i'll have another chance in today's. they are at least 5x better than the 195/60/14 all seasons on my other car (integra).
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:44 AM   #3
cem
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I had 185/65-15 Blizzaks on my 1999 "L" impreza.
I thought these felt much, much better in the snow
than my current set up on my WRX (205/55-16 Blizzaks)
Though dry roads feel much better on the 205/55-16.
Narrow is always better in the snow (see rally of Sweden)

cm
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Old 01-26-2004, 01:25 PM   #4
Jon Bogert
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You live in Philly, not Vermont. How many days of the year are you driving, at speed, through fresh snow deeper than 2"? Compare that to how many days you're driving on plowed, packed, or icy roads.

The ONLY place that narrower tires will help is in deep snow. On packed snow or ice, assuming you aren't using studs, wider winter tires handle better than narrow.

The number one mistake people make is running dry-road air pressures. Drop your winter tires to 28psi all around and you'll be amazed how well you stick on packed snow and ice.
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Old 01-26-2004, 03:40 PM   #5
bull3964
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Keep in mind that there are other factors at play between your accord and WRX.

WRX has a much shorter wheelbase. The suspension on the WRX is also much stiffer than the accord. Both these things tend to make a car a little more unstable in the snow.

AWD will not make a car rock solid stable in the snow, it will only allow you to go where some 2wd cars cannot. There have been times in the past 3 winters I've had the car where I've wished for my FWD Protege back due to the softer suspension and longer wheelbase.
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Old 01-26-2004, 03:51 PM   #6
no_rex_yet
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Good points on the longer wheelbase and tire pressures. I will try to lower my pressures a bit. Thanks guys!
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:52 PM   #7
rexxer
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Don't assume that you should lower your pressures on any winter tire. Nokian states that you should run higher than recommended pressures with their tires... it's all tire design.

Without studs... wider is better on ice (more contact patch)... narrower in deeper snow just to cut through.
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Old 01-26-2004, 10:37 PM   #8
ten80
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but doesn't a narrower tire have more edge pressure on the knobs? on ice, I'd prefer ice skates with thin blades rather than 2" fat ones... It seems to the knobs on a tire with a smaller footprint will dig in deeper and harder than a really wide tire.

I run 185/65/15's Nokians and they bite HARD on ice and packed snow, I'm really impressed.
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:44 AM   #9
rubberman
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The key to tires designed for ice tends toward increasing the surface area and number of biting edges. Especially the number of biting edges.

Hence many ice tires being covered / "eaten-up" with sipes.
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:47 AM   #10
Jon Bogert
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Quote:
on ice, I'd prefer ice skates with thin blades rather than 2" fat ones
I think that metaphor isn't an accurate representation of how tires interact with a hard surface. I think the best way to look at it is dozens of little squeegees (sipes) on the contact patch, which wipe the thin layer of water off the ice and let the tiny sub-blocks of rubber stick to the ice itself.

In shallow or packed snow, the individual tread blocks do an adequate job of moving the snow aside so the squeegees can get to work on the surface below. Again, a really narrow tire is not needed.

The ice skate metaphor works great with a deformable surface. In pure snow, you don't even need sipes. A narrow tire profile cuts deep and knobby tread blocks do the rest.
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Old 01-27-2004, 09:55 AM   #11
ten80
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that makes sense, thanks for the correction!
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