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Old 07-19-2005, 05:15 PM   #1
DubSlick
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Question All seasons for Bay Area "winter": Falken Ziex-512 or Nokian WR?

So I have a set of Hankook RS2's for summer, and I'm looking for a decent all season to use in the winter. I'll probably go up to Tahoe once or twice a month during winter, and the rest would be Northern California Bay Area driving. Because of the lack of snow down here, I've ruled out pure snow/winter tires, and have narrowed my choices down to these 2.

I can get the 205/55-16 Nokian WR's for $130 each, shipped

I can get the Falken Ziex-512 for $68 each, shipped at the same size.

From what I understand, the nokian's are the only severe service rated all-season tires, but they cost almost twice as much. Will I lose that much control with the 512's driving in snow? Any thoughts?
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:06 PM   #2
Newest
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i never tried the nokians but i like the 512s. they are def. worth every penny for all season tires.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:04 PM   #3
sajohnson
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Newest:

I was ready to buy the 512's but then my co-worker said he talked to a sales guy at our local Sears who said that they've had trouble with them. Apparently, a lot of people (including non-'enthusiasts') were bringing them back after 10 or 15k miles because the outside shoulders were worn out -- often down to the threads.

Of course, this could have been BS -- maybe the Sears guy makes more money on other tires or something.

How many miles do you have on yours, and are they wearing ok? What is your typpical driving style?

Thanks.

Last edited by sajohnson; 07-19-2005 at 10:50 PM. Reason: correct spelling
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:24 PM   #4
WrexT
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WR's are the best year-round tire made.

In fact, I am using them this year as my winter tires in Toronto.
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Old 07-20-2005, 12:48 AM   #5
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i know a coworker that had the 512 and she said one tire ripped off (shred) while on the freeway, not sure how many miles on them but she is no enthusiast driver.

i was a bit scared but i still drove on them. I am a granny driver. My brother gave the tires to me used, not sure how many miles he rode on them but they lasted me 1yr with about 13k miles. When i got them i would say the tread was pretty bad but i still used them because i couldnt afford tires at the time.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:03 AM   #6
WrexT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newest
i know a coworker that had the 512 and she said one tire ripped off (shred) while on the freeway, not sure how many miles on them but she is no enthusiast driver.
This may have not been the fault of the tire. Most likely she hit a piece of steel that shredded the tire.
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
Howl
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Nokian WRs are great winter-biased all-seasons, but if you rarely drive in snow or really cold weather then they are probably overkill. A summer-biased all-season like Pirelli Pzero Nero M+S or Toyo Proxes 4 would probably be better. Just slow down if you do get caught in the snow.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:47 PM   #8
Uncle Scotty
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512 have a very soft sidewall......one reason that I wouldn't use them
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:11 PM   #9
Matt
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sajohnson,

I've been using the 512s since December 13, 2004 without incident for about 23,000 miles now and I must say that I really like them. I had them on the car for the entire winter and was quite impressed with their snow traction. I am over the mountain from you in Hagerstown and use I-70 for my daily commute to the DC area. The tires aren't as responsive as some of the summer only tires I've had in the past, but the fact that they are four season tires compensates for any misgivings I may have.

I usually run between 35-40psi depending on the weather and route that I take to work. A few extra pounds seems to change their handling characteristics dramatically, especially for wet roads. The Falkens went to the Dragon in NC/TN, numerous dirt roads, and the I70/270 commute without complaints.

I just purchased a second set for our '02 OBS and I'm reminded of how quiet they are and why I bought them in the first place. They are a good tire with very good performance characteristics, and well, when I bought them for $268 shipped from Discount Tire, how could I argue with that.

As for comparison, here's what I've used on both of our cars in the last few years:

2004 TS

RE92s
Kumho Ecsta 711
Falken Ziex 512

2002 OBS
RE92s
Continental ContiExtreme Contact
Falken Ziex 512
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:07 PM   #10
sajohnson
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Thanks Matt!
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:29 PM   #11
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Sure.

My friend Gray (also on the board) has the Nokian WR on his wife's OBS and I know of a few other Mid-A people that have them. Honestly, I can't spend that much on a set of tires that may not last a year for me (due to mileage, not driving habits). I find the Falkens to be a happy medium at a bargain price.
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:35 PM   #12
dragone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty
512 have a very soft sidewall......one reason that I wouldn't use them
would this be the H or V rated version? Is this based on personal expirence? And is this compared to summer tires, or other all seasons?
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:43 PM   #13
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Sure.

My friend Gray (also on the board) has the Nokian WR on his wife's OBS and I know of a few other Mid-A people that have them. Honestly, I can't spend that much on a set of tires that may not last a year for me (due to mileage, not driving habits). I find the Falkens to be a happy medium at a bargain price.
Sounds reasonable to me.

This all started (for me) when a co-worker asked for my advice regarding which all-season tires to buy for his daughter's car. I hesitate to bring it up, because invariably someone makes some sort of smarta$$ comment, but I usually check Consumer Reports (CR) before I buy anything, including automotive equipment. Obviously they aren't the last word on anything (who is?) but they've never let me down. As it happens, their top-rated "Ultra-high-performance" tire, the Goodyear Eagle GS-D3 is also the favorite among the Tire Rack's customers. Anyway, the 512's are their top-rated "Performance all-season" tire. In fact, out of the 18 tires they tested they are the clear choice.

That said, I don't think CR does any long-term testing, so the experiences of people who have had them are important to help get a complete idea of how they will perform over time. The problem of course is that people have a wide range of driving habits, different vehicles, different conditions, and different expectations of a tire. A driver who is used to a summer tire might say the 512's are soft and unresponsive, while a person replacing the stock RE92's might think they're great. Reading thru the customer reviews of just about any tire on the Tire Rack's site you will find reviews from one end of the spectrum to the other -- one person's 'perfect' tire is junk to the next guy.

Anyway, thanks again for your input. Based on what you said, I will recommend that he buy the Falkens, and I will probably get a set for my wife's RAV4 as well.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:48 AM   #14
dragone
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The V rated 512 is almost 2lb's heavier then the H (225/60/16). I would think that a good portion of that made it's way to sidewall support. So when I hear about them having a soft sidewall, I wonder if thats for the H or V.

Also, there doesn't appear to be any middle ground when discussing the sidewall of a tire. If it aint hard, it's soft.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:53 AM   #15
gusto
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ive got over 20K on my 512s in new england summer/fall/winter/spring and now summer again and i cant speak highly enough regarding these tires.

theyre decent performance for autox if youre not a pro and just go out to have fun. soft sidewalls are the complaint heard most.

i love them and plan to buy another set. the priceerformance ratio is impossible to beat.

discount tire has free shipping on all tires right now so they can be had in 17" for like 360? or so
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