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Old 01-10-2006, 04:17 AM   #1
Evan
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Default Performance Winter Tires for primarily Dry use

I'm considering getting a set of performance winter tires for snowboarding trips. Having grown up in sunny southern California, I know nothing about snow tires other than what I've read in the last couple days...

Are there any drawbacks to using the popular performance winter tires primarily in the dry? Obviously, their dry performance is generally worse than all-seasons and summer tires, but will I see anything unusual such as rapid wear or poor gas mileage?

Would it be unreasonable to get 20,000 (mostly highway) miles out of them? I go to Lake Tahoe and Mammoth which are 500 and 350 miles each way, respectively.

Cables/chains can be such a PITA to put on, especially with my car lowered, and even worse if the weather is bad. Of course the ride quality sucks too.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:40 AM   #2
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I'd say it isn't worth running a set of winter tires if most of driving is going to be in southern california. I'd recommend using the Nokian WR , since that is an 'all-season' tire that is rated for snow. However, I'd really wouldn't drive around them on a daily basis. I'd only mount them up if I was planning on driving up for the ski trip.
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:49 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, I should have stated that I will be using them only for trips.

I've seen that a lot of people like the Nokians, but I haven't found a price on them. I want to keep the price as low as possible (what a suprise )

I found a couple inexpensive tires recommended here in the tire forum on www.tiresavings.com:

$111 each for Hankook W300
$102 each for Viking SnowTech

I'm looking at 225/45/17.

The Dunlop SP Winter Sports sound great and the Blizzak LM22 or 25 look good, but they're all a bit more than I want to pay.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:34 AM   #4
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the best dry performance tire when it comes to winter tires is the W240 Snow Sport from Pirelli
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Old 01-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #5
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I've been pleased with my Dunlop WinterSport M3's...ever since I put-em on not a flake of snow has fallen...

Bill
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:20 PM   #6
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I doubt the nokians are going to be as cheap as those others. Off the top of my head I'd guess $30-40 more per tire. They are pretty good though.

They're cheaper in 16", and even cheaper in 15". 17" is just too damn expensive.
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:35 PM   #7
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If you want to save money, Nokian's a bad idea. Fantastic products, but not cheap.

But I'd definitely recommend them if you have the extra to pony up for the WR. As for mileage, I suspect you could easily get 20K on them. Hell I got 40K or so out of my old Nokian Hakka. 1 tires, and they're full-blown winters. On mostly dry roads and highway miles.

=S2=
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siper2
If you want to save money, Nokian's a bad idea. Fantastic products, but not cheap.

But I'd definitely recommend them if you have the extra to pony up for the WR. As for mileage, I suspect you could easily get 20K on them. Hell I got 40K or so out of my old Nokian Hakka. 1 tires, and they're full-blown winters. On mostly dry roads and highway miles.

=S2=
+1
My NRW's (previous version of the WR) have ~25K miles on them and they still show all their sipes. This is with 90% or more of my driving done in the Bay Area during the winter...I wore shorts most weekends in December.

However, if you are going to change your wheel/tire combo each time you go on a trip, I'd definitely recommend something cheaper. I have no experience with Green Diamond tires, but the price is right and they look good on paper!
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Old 01-10-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke@tirerack
the best dry performance tire when it comes to winter tires is the W240 Snow Sport from Pirelli
Hmm....something tells me this guy might know what he's talking about.


I have Dunlop Wintersport M2s and I love them in the wet or the dry.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:33 PM   #10
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I'm currently running the W300's for winter. In the dry they feel like an all-season tire. They are better in the dry than normal winter tires, by far. As far as wear, they don't wear very much even when driven hard... highway miles won't be bad for them. The problem with any "high-performance" winter tire is that they aren't as good on ice and snow as a "normal" winter tire... i.e. less siping, stiffer sidewall, slightly harder compound.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgb113
I've been pleased with my Dunlop WinterSport M3's...ever since I put-em on not a flake of snow has fallen...

Bill
Same here, my M3s are great but haven't seen a bit of snow or ice since I got them put on in mid-December. That is pretty freakish considering where I live. Good ol' climate change

The M3s seem to be just as dry-capable as the stock Potenzas were, if not more so.

Evan, you might want to consider some steelies or ubercheap rims to pair with cheap-but-good winter tires to swap on, and try to make the dry pavement issue moot.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:17 PM   #12
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I think I'll probably go with 17" Hankook W300's, unless I come across something cheaper in that size. I'm not too concerned with degraded dry performance, although I want something decent since I'll be doing mountain driving on them.

My main concern was if there was something inherent to most/all winter tires that isn't usually mentioned such as lots of noise, rapid wear, poor fuel economy, or something else I couldn't think of...

I don't have my stock wheels anymore and have a spare set of 17x7.5 Rota Subzero's that I don't want to get rid of, hence the more expensive 17" tires.

You guys have been a big help, thanks a bunch. Keep it coming if anyone has something to add. I'm gonna try to find prices on Nokian's out of curiousity as well as read up on those Green Diamond tires.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:00 PM   #13
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Wintersport m3's are sweet in the dry and snow and rain
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:57 AM   #14
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Due to the lack of snow and an increase in temperatures around Cincinnati I can safely say that the M3s rock in dry conditions. In fact that is why I purchased them. One day cold/rainy/snowy, the next warm and dry, next rain/snow mixed, etc. They are perfect for these conditions.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:01 AM   #15
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I've got my M3's on my stock wheels and they're as good if not better than brand new RE92's in dry/wet conditions.

I've pushed them on some backroads and have yet to hear them squeal.

Bill
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan
I think I'll probably go with 17" Hankook W300's, unless I come across something cheaper in that size. I'm not too concerned with degraded dry performance, although I want something decent since I'll be doing mountain driving on them.

My main concern was if there was something inherent to most/all winter tires that isn't usually mentioned such as lots of noise, rapid wear, poor fuel economy, or something else I couldn't think of...

I don't have my stock wheels anymore and have a spare set of 17x7.5 Rota Subzero's that I don't want to get rid of, hence the more expensive 17" tires.

You guys have been a big help, thanks a bunch. Keep it coming if anyone has something to add. I'm gonna try to find prices on Nokian's out of curiousity as well as read up on those Green Diamond tires.
I'm using 205/55/16 Hankook W300's and I have been happy with them so far. The sidewalls are reasonably stiff and the dry grip has been much better than I expected (definitely better than RE92's). I have only gotten a couple of very light snowfalls since I have gotten them, and they did fine in light snow. I can't say how they will do in deeper snow. They do tend to hum at speeds around 55mph but that seems to go away beyond 60mph. They are quieter than my MX's. Overall, I am pleased with the tires.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:21 PM   #17
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Put some Nokian WRs and Rota Boosts on for winter...





I'm VERY pleased with the wet performance of these tires. I've only had them in a little slushy snow once and they did VERY well (I'm praying for more snow). It is my understanding that people get 50K miles on these tires driving them year around (they have a 400 treadwear rating). I will put my RE070s back on in the summer because I like the stiffer sidewall, but these are V acceptable all season tires... IMHO...
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:24 PM   #18
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Any suggested sources for Nokians?

Edit: Nevermind, I found 225/45/17 on ebay for $675 shipped. Look good, but outta my price range.

Last edited by Evan; 01-11-2006 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 01-13-2006, 03:28 AM   #19
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I've got the Nokian WRs on my Forester and my bro has Dunlop M3s on his Protege5. (Dad's got Michelin Ice-X and a friend has Bridgestone WS-50, no clue on the Ice-Xs and WS-50s are brand new as of a couple days ago) Both(WR and M3) do very well on dry without much loss of grip or comfort. For actual winter use, I'd give the edge to the M3s. They seem to bite harder than my WRs.

However, my WRs use an all-season compound(treadwear rating 420) and are rated for 50k miles. The M3s run a softer compound and will naturally be better during true winter performance. For longevity, the WRs win.

Dry grip is good on both, standard all-season levels or better. Quiet and comfort is good on both with a comfortable ride feel and non-intrusive tread noise. Wet grip is excellent on both, what water?!

For pure winter performance, M3 bites better with its softer tread. Both feel relatively predictable and not too upset by varying surfaces. Ice is always a limiting factor. The M3 again bites better. I can't say much about the M3's transition between slip and grip. The WRs have a very comfortable and predictable transition. You can slide the car on ice or asphalt, and it's easy to control/predict. The WR is well mannered and predictable. The M3 feels grippy, but I have no clue how it behaves at/past its limits.

In the end, it comes down to what you're looking for.

The M3 is a good winter tire that can take dry roads and more summer-like conditions like a champ. I can't say anything about actual warm temp behavior(how soft compound gets). With its performance tire sidewalls and high speed rating, it rides as sure as a sport tire, minus some tread flex feel. I'm not sure about longevity. Apparently, some people have left theirs on all years as they just seemed to work so well. If the compound isn't too soft or you're at least not very hard on the tires, they may last a while. The compound doesn't feel tremendously soft to the touch.

The WR is an all-season tire in winter tire's clothing. It's an all-season compound(silica based like Michellin) but with a tread pattern like a winter tire. The carcass is also more like a winter tire than an all-season tire, squishy and flexable. Movement is unnoticable at higher pressures, but it's not a performance tire, despite available high speed ratings, V and even W(I run 205/55/VR16). It feels very capable and very well mannered, even when pushed on asphalt. It's forgiving and comfortable to boot. The WR will give you decent winter performance and all-season performance better than most all-season tires during warmer times. And, it'll do it for 50k miles.

It's kind of an all-out performance versus longevity debate. I run my WRs as my only tires. They stay on all year and run on all surfaces. My bro's M3s are his winter only set. He has some Yokohama V4Ss for all-season use. You would chose based off a similar setup.

Edit:
Oh, Nokian lists dealers on their site. I'm not sure if you'll find one in your area specifically, but quite a few places can ship anywhere. I called quite a few of the more commonly listed sites/stores on this forum. I actaully found a somewhat local dealer to be the cheapest. Most places in the midwest/east seem to get it through Grear(sp?), but you can't order directly from them. Mine at cost from Grear was $117. I paid $140 locally. You go through a couple middlemen, both making a bit of profit. Nokian - $$$ - Grear - $$$ - local Dealer - $$$ - You

Last edited by Back Road Runner; 01-13-2006 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 01-13-2006, 06:28 PM   #20
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Ok, it snowed since my last comment! The M3s got their test after being driven on dry pavement in unusually warm weather for almost a month.

The short version of the story is that the bit of snow and ice that accumlated overnight before getting attacked by our snow clearing teams (FYI, I live in a fairly large Canadian city, so we're prepared for snow) wasn't even a slight challenge for the M3s. I couldn't actually tell that the roads weren't dry pavement, they were that good. I didn't get a chance to test their limits before it started to warm up again later in the week.

I'd buy the M3s again, predicated on living in a city that has a mix of snow, ice, and warm periods wit dry pavement throughout the winter months. I have no doubt that they'd be great for snowboarding trips outside of an urban area. The Kumho KW17s are also pretty well regarded, from what I understand.
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