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Old 10-30-2004, 08:11 AM   #1
Luke@tirerack
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Default with all of the new players in the winter tire field here's a quick review

I know it's not mid-October but, it is still October so, while not exactly on time I am close enough .....

so, here goes

High Performance winter tires

These tires are designed to meet the needs of winter driving on Performance vehicles and are available in the low profile sizes used as Original Equipment on cars and light trucks. They trade a little ice and snow traction for enhanced handling and high speed capability. Due to their unique tread compounds and handling capabilities these tires must be used in sets of four.

snow and ice traction
Blizzak LM22
Blizzak LM25
Dunlop Winter Sport M3
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2
Pirelli Sotto Zero
Yokohama AVS Winter
Pirelli W210 Snow Sport
Pirelli W240 Snow Sport
Winter Contact TS790

dry/wet traction and steering response
Pirelli W240 Snow Sport
Pirelli W210 Snow Sport
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2
Blizzak LM25
Pirelli Sotto Zero
Dunlop Winter Sport M3
Yokohama AVS Winter
Blizzak LM22
Winter Contact TS790

Best blend of winter traction/dry grip and ride quality
Dunlop Winter Sport M3
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2
Blizzak LM25
Pirelli W240 Snow Sport
Pirelli W210 Snow Sport
Blizzak LM22
Pirelli Sotto Zero
Yokohama AVS Winter
Winter Contact TS790

Studless Winter tires
These tires feature the latest in tread design and compound technology to provide winter traction for cars and light trucks without the inconvenience of using metal tire studs. They trade a little handling and high speed capability for excellent ice and snow traction. Due to their unique tread compounds and handling capabilities these tires must be used in sets of four.

snow and ice grip
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50
Dunlop Graspic DS-2
Michelin X-Ice
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice

dry and wet traction
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice
Michelin X-Ice
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50
Dunlop Graspic DS-2

blend of traction and ride quality
Michelin X-Ice
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50
Dunlop Graspic DS-2



with all of that said there are a couple of additional notes

#1.) DO NOT USE THE BLIZZAK WS50 ON A MERCEDES BENZ VEHICLE WITH TRACTION CONTROL

#2.) same goes for the Dunlop Graspic DS2


#3.) we can team up any wheel to any tire to make a specific winter package to meet your needs

use this link to order on line or call me directly

that is all
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Old 10-30-2004, 08:47 AM   #2
robmarch
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oh, man. now you have my curiosity peaked.
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Old 10-30-2004, 03:54 PM   #3
gtguy
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Not to quibble, but it should be "here's a quick review, among the tires that we carry." I think that a lot of people want to know how Nokians stack up against the better-known brands, as regards snow and ice traction. It seems that people who switch to Nokian, for example, never go back.

I've been a Blizzak devotee for years. I tried Nokian WRs last year, and wasn't that thrilled with their snow performance overall, particularly compared to the WS Blizzaks. Conversely, when the WS Blizzaks started to wear, they were just a pretty good all-season tire that you couldn't drive all seasons, because they were only Q rated. This was fine, because I ran summer/winter setups, but trying to run a squishy all season tire in the snow wasn't all that hot.

Hopefully, someone will square off the Nokians vs the Blizzaks and other winter rubber, rather than NASIOC members switching, and doing their own "unofficial" testing.

Kevin
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Old 10-31-2004, 05:51 AM   #4
AK_2002_WRX
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i really liked the nokians traction, but hated the stud noise (had hakka1s).

i'm interested in the blizzak WS-50s or the dunlop graspic ds-2s since they are pretty affordable. how do the 2 compare with each other luke? i plan on making my BBS rims my winter rims/tires.

thanks a lot!
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:17 AM   #5
moremaga
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Question Nokians

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, how are the Nokians compared to these choices.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:15 AM   #6
hph
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Luke, of course, can only lobby his management to start carrying Nokians (just as we can only lobby Luke). Maybe there are solid reasons why they can't (availability; some exclusivity deal; something else).

But I'm betting that if TireRack carried Nokians, they sell zillions of 'em. That's where I'd buy mine. HPH
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:15 AM   #7
bsbg
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Am I the only one who thinks 205/50-17 is a much better winter size for an STi?
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:30 AM   #8
gtguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hph
if TireRack carried Nokians, they sell zillions of 'em. That's where I'd buy mine. HPH
Ditto.

Kevin
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:34 AM   #9
gtguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsbg
Am I the only one who thinks 205/50-17 is a much better winter size for an STi?
It can be, yes. But given the rather small width difference between the stock STi size and the 205, tread compound and design matters a lot more than tire size. A pure snow tire in 225 would be better in the white stuff than a more compromised 205. All things being equal, however, snow tire to snow tire, there probably wouldn't be much difference. I just don't think the difference in width, when you look at tire manufacturers websites, is significant enough.

I had the debate when I settled on my Nokian RSis. That debate was helped by the fact that the 205-50-17s weren't even in Finland yet, never mind the States, but there was only .4 of an inch difference in measured tread width.

The other interesting thing is that the RSi is a narrow 225. It's barely as wide as my 215 stock RE-92 (off my Leggy GT). I think that had the 205s been available, I would have gotten them, and not even thought about it.

Kevin
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:46 AM   #10
bcblues
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I have personal experience with the Green Diamond Alpin, WS-50, Nokian NRW, and Hakka 1’s. The Hakka 1 was a terrific tire on ice and snow. But sucked royally on wet roads. They were downright scary. Plus, the stud noise can really grate on your nerves on a dry highway road trip. The WS-50 is a great winter tire, really good on ice (nowhere near the grip of studded, like the Hakka 1, though), and almost as good as the Hakka 1 in snow. Pretty good all-around tire, as it is fairly well-mannered on dry road conditions. Just never make the mistake that this is a performance tire, which it most assuredly is not. The main downside is the lack of dry performance (which is forgivable in a winter-specific tire), and the quick wear. The Nokian NRW is my current winter tire on my 04 Sti. These are capable all-season tires, but I have been a bit disappointed in their ice and snow capabilities. They do, however, work pretty well in the dry road winter conditions, and are a good “middle-of-the-road” choice for all around winter performance. These would be great tires for “regular folks” living in the snow belt who are looking for all-season tires. The NRWs seem to be wearing exceedingly well. The tires that I have been most impressed with are the Green Diamond Alpins. I ran these one winter on my WRX (unfortunately, they are not available in Sti fitment). These tires performed very well in dry road conditions, not ultra-performance by any means, but they do have some sidewall integrity. They handle wet roads very well, and are pretty good in snow conditions (as good as the WS-50). They excel on ice, being just behind the Hakka 1’s in ice performance, well ahead of the WS-50. The downside is that they, too wear pretty quickly, although not nearly as quickly as the WS-50s. These, too would make a good choice for snow-belt people looking for a single tire for all year use.

Just my own, personal experience, nothing scientific. For reference, I live in North Dakota (America’s Outback), so I do have extensive “winter driving” experience to draw on.
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:48 AM   #11
Houston Silv WRX
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Hey Luke...what about a quick summer review for those of us that don't have a winter?
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Old 10-31-2004, 12:55 PM   #12
robmarch
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Quote:
DO NOT USE THE BLIZZAK WS50 ON A MERCEDES BENZ VEHICLE WITH TRACTION CONTROL
I'm curious as to why? I'm assuming the tires mess around with the ABS based traction control somehow, but how? is the tread squirm the problem?
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:42 AM   #13
jester5
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Dunlop Winter Sport M3's went on today !

Thanx to Apollo Tire in Denville for the great help .


Stock RE92's with about 18,680 miles are for sale (PM if interested!)

-Jeff
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmarch
I'm curious as to why? I'm assuming the tires mess around with the ABS based traction control somehow, but how? is the tread squirm the problem?
No answer?
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:26 AM   #15
Luke@tirerack
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the soft compound combined with the tread squirm you mentioned causes the Mercedes traction control system to think the tires are spinning and so, it applies the rear brakes
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