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  1. #1
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    Default Winter Tire Reviews

    Nice guy as I am, I translated the latest, yearly mega-comparision of winter tires from Swedish into English. I take it you don't get all that many good reviews over in USA and Canada. You can see some graphs in the review that compare the tires, braking distance, time around a track, driving in circle, all sorts of surfaces. Blue is studded, and red is studless. You better be able to read Swedish for that though.

    http://www.aftonbladet.se/bil/0310/18/dacktest.pdf



    Nokian "Hakkapeliitta 4" (studded)
    5/5 Stars


    The new Hakka-tire has a stable foundation, excellent thread pattern for all surfaces, and the new unique, squared studs give a superior bite on ice. On the winter road the tire is secure. It is also excellent in slush and stable on pavement.

    + Innovative and best on all winter roads.
    - Nothing



    Michelin "Ivalo" (studded)
    3/5 Stars


    Good reputation, high reliability and long lasting lets Michelin stay in the top sales. The tires grip has a long way to go to reach up with the best tires. When it starts skidding it is hard to regain the grip. Fortunately, the tires tell you before it happens and sometimes smoothes over the drivers mistakes.

    + Snowgrip
    - Easily loses grip on slush



    Continental "Winter Viking 1" (studded)
    4/5 Stars


    The Swedish tire-monger Allan Ostrowskis Winter Viking tops the tire tests year after year. It is a well balanced tire for both winter roads and bare-pavement. Perhaps the grip on snow could be a bit better, but the basic-security is still large.

    + Ice-grip and stability on pavement.
    - Nothing



    Kumho "KW 11 Izen Stud" (studded)
    Disqualified


    A lousy tire in which the grip suddenly disappears, and not even the most skilled test drivers managed to stop the skids before the cars hit the snow barriers. This judgement unfortunately applies to both ice, snow and pavement! Disqualified from the test.

    + Noise levels
    - Grip and performance on all surfaces



    Goodyear "UG500" (studded)
    4/5 Stars


    Very optimized for winter driving at the cost of stability on direct pavement. The extreme ability on slippery surfaces makes it a bit nervous on tracked pavement (you know, where there are two depressions in the ground from so many cars driving in the same place).

    Best used on snow and ice.

    + Grip when slippery
    - Nervous and somewhat unstable on pavement



    Pirelli "Winter Carving" (Studded)
    4/5


    A completely fresh tire from Pirelli. But does anyone recognize the thread pattern? Right! It's an exact copy of Gislaved Nord Frost 3. Brilliant on snow, excellent on ice. A safe choice on any surface.

    + Top tire in most situations
    - Somewhat slow reacting



    Uniroyal "MS Plus Nordic" (studded)
    4/5 Stars


    Another "Allan-Ostrowskis-Tire", the design being a couple of years old, but still in the top. Safe but slightly too long, yet easily controlled, skids on winter roads. Quiet and very stable on pavement.

    + No weaknesses, low noise.
    - Nothing



    Gislaved "Nord Frost 3" (studded)
    4/5 Stars


    Has no particular weakness, the ability to find grip in snow-slush is, for example, still top-rated, but on snow the skids can become a bit long. The tire is no longer manufactured by Gislaved which causes its popularity to drop.

    + Grip on ice and slush
    - Nothing



    Bridgestone "Noranza" (studded)
    3/5 Stars


    Bridgestone creates a brand-image through F1 tires, but nordic winter roads demand more than image. The winter tire is a clear disappointment. It is vague and in certain situations dangerously oversteering (the rear end comes sliding) on ice. On bare-pavement it is uncomfortably unstable.

    + Grip on ice (despite the occational oversteering)
    - Snowgrip



    Michelin "260" (7 years old but unused - studded)
    Disqualified


    Many only drive a little in the winter and hardly wear down their tires at all. They drive on year after year and think they have a good grip. Our brand new 7-year old Michelin 260 prove the opposite. It skidded wildly and fell behind in almost all tests.

    + Grip in slush
    - Ice and snow grip



    Michelin "Maxi Ice" (non-studded)
    1/5 Stars


    The dense thread is an exciting attempt to make a good stud-less tire while not sacrificing stability on pavement. It almost succeeds. The pavement performance is brilliant. On snow and ice it barely keeps up.

    + Pavement
    - Mobility and braking on ice (very crappy), and poor grip on slush



    Bridgestone "Blizzak WS-50" (non-studded)
    Disqualified


    Dangerous! Blizzak is so dangerous on pavement that it is disqualified from the test. The skids during an avoidance manuever are so difficult to stop that it is an outright traffic danger. Blizzak has been one of the big sellers for many years. The winter-abilities (snow, ice and slush) are mediocre at best.

    + Grip on Snow and Ice (for a studless tire)
    - Pavement



    Bridgestone "Blizzak MZ-01" (7 years old but unused. non-studded)
    Disqualified


    Blizzak had a very good grip on ice when it was introduced at the end of the 1980's and became an instant big seller. Since then the tire has been developed in cycles. Our seven year old tire is hard to drive on winter-roads. The skids on ice are hopeless, and snow grip is nervous.

    + Nothing
    - Poor grip on all surfaces



    Pirelli "Icesport" (non-studded)
    1/5 Stars


    Maybe it is time to copy the northern tire-makers to get a reasonable stud-less tire? Icesport is engineered for middle Europe and is a tire you don't want to have on our winter roads. Ice grip is non-existant, and on pavement you can get treacherous skids.

    + Nothing
    - Grip on snow and ice



    Continental "Conti Viking Contact 3" (non-studded)
    2/5 Stars


    Allan Ostrowskis had time to construct two studless winners for Continential before he resigned. On snow the tire goes as if on rails, on ice it is reasonable and the skids, that can come quite unexpectedly, are after all something one can handle.

    + Snowgrip and noise
    - Nothing



    Gislaved "Soft Frost 2" (non-studded)
    2/5 Stars


    Better than Viking Contact on snow and ice. Risk of getting treacherous skids on pavement. On snow the skids are easy to control. On ice, the tire can oversteer but is still easy to control. The best studless tire for those who drive mostly on pavement.

    + Grip and performance on snow and ice.
    - Easy skidding on pavement



    Nokian "Hakkapeliitta Q" (non-studded)
    2/5 Stars


    The ice grip is excellent for a studless tire. On snow the grip is calm and nice, and the skids almost correct themselves. It is very slippery on wet pavement and skids wildly on dry pavement.

    + Grip on winter surfaces, performance on snow and ice.
    - Grip and performance on pavement.
    Last edited by Mikko; 11-03-2003 at 07:23 AM.

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    thanks for taking the time to post... good stuff man.
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    Too bad most of those tires aren't available here .
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    I heard you can get Gislaved and some others through Volvo/Saab dealers. Might be worth checking out.

    "Fountain Tire", Phone #: 2522228, will sell you, fit (on rims you bring) and balance, then mount 4 x "Goodyear UG500" for $544. The size for that price is 185 / 60 / 15.

    OK Tires - 255-5592 - sells Pirelli's. But I am unsure of the price.

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    I just picked up a set of used (1 month last year) Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q's last night from a buddy in town here. I am pretty sure he said he purchased them from KalTire.

    I have done quite a few searches on them and they are either always #1 or #2 in European studless tests.

    If I recall correctly not many places in Canada actually allow studded tires so most of that list doesn't even matter to us.

    Anyone know the laws regarding studded tires in Alberta/Saskatchewan?

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    From consumer reports.
    note the graphics have been removed and the number on the left is the price per tire in US dollars. Some info is conflicting with the above reports, personally I trust CR.




    _____________________________
    Consumer Reports
    November 2002
    Ratings Winter tires

    THE TESTS BEHIND THE RATINGS


    Overall score is based on 14 tests, with braking, emergency handling, hydroplaning, and winter performance weighted most heavily. Snow traction reflects how far the test vehicle had to travel to accelerate from 5 to 20 mph on flat, moderately packed snow. Ice braking is done from 10 mph on an ice rink. Dry braking is done from 60 mph, and wet braking, from 40 mph. Most braking scores shown are with the antilock brake system (ABS) engaged (ABS was disengaged for touring-performance ice braking); instances where turning ABS off significantly affected the score are noted above. Handling includes how well tires did in an avoidance maneuver that involved a swerve to the left, right, then left again, as well as wet and dry cornering performance and steering feel. Hydroplaning reflects the speed tires reached before they began to skim over water on our course. We also judged tire noise and ride comfort on the road, and measured rolling resistance for touring-performance tires with a dynamometer. Price is approximate retail for sizes tested. Most winter tires are Q- and H-rated; others are noted below.




    Winter tires
    By type, in performance order




    H-RATED WINTER TIRES Designed for speeds of up to 130 mph--and better performance at lower speeds.
    Click to see photos
    Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW-2
    $132
    An excellent all-around choice. Best dry and wet braking among H-rated tires. Best ice braking without ABS.

    Dunlop SP Winter Sport M2
    126
    An excellent all-around choice, with responsive handling.

    Pirelli Winter 210 SnowSport
    155
    An excellent all-around choice, but pricey. Best dry cornering.

    Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22
    130
    An excellent all-around choice. Best emergency handling.

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta NRW
    157
    A fine choice for snow, though not ideal for wet weather. Least capable in wet cornering.

    Michelin Pilot Alpin
    116
    Best suited to areas where snow is less severe. Quiet ride.

    Q-RATED WINTER TIRES Designed for speeds of up to 99 mph; test group includes tires rated S (112 mph) and T (118 mph).
    Click to see photos
    Kumho I'zen Stud KW-11
    50
    An excellent choice where snow is less severe. Best dry and wet braking among this group. Studdable. T-rated in size tested.

    Michelin Arctic Alpin
    85
    An excellent choice where snow is less severe. Excellent cornering.

    Dunlop Graspic
    DS-1
    55
    A top winter performer, although only fair emergency handling.

    Gislaved NordFrost II
    75
    A very good choice where snow is less severe. Studdable.

    Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q
    85
    A very good all-around tire.

    BFGoodrich Winter Slalom
    60
    A very good all-around tire, though slightly less capable than the Nokian in winter driving. Studdable.

    Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice
    77
    A fine choice for snow and wet weather, but only fair handling.

    Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50
    72
    A very good all-around tire, though less capable in emergency handling than top-rated models. Stiff ride.

    Yokohama Guardex F720
    75
    Most susceptible to hydroplaning.

    Firestone Winterfire
    53
    Unimpressive ice braking compromises an otherwise fine, economical choice. Studdable.
    S-rated in size tested.

    Cooper Weather-Master XGR
    52
    Long dry stops and only fair emergency handling.

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    Well answering my own question, I guess I was wrong.


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    the dangerous part about the blizzaks ws-50s is BS! i had them going 210 when i went skiing once, the limit is like 160. and i'm still here arent i???
    2002 VW Golf GT TDI
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    I'm not sure I believe the results on the Blizzaks......I've had great experiences with those tires

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    The Swedish traffic magazine (Biggest motor show here) did their own test on Nokian Q's, studless. Unfortunately, it finished last out of all the non-studded tires.

    In the other comparision here, it recieved 2/5 stars.

    Keep in mind that central and western Europe gets far less severe snow and ice conditions than Scandinavia, and thus tires are judged differently there.

    Calgary is about the same as general Scandinavia when it comes to climate.

    the dangerous part about the blizzaks ws-50s is BS! i had them going 210 when i went skiing once, the limit is like 160.
    I don't think they said anything about how fast it is rated to travel. They said that it has lousy lateral grip during avoidance maneuvers and is generally blah on pavement. You could probably take up any tires to 210 if you want, they just roll.


    From consumer reports.
    note the graphics have been removed and the number on the left is the price per tire in US dollars. Some info is conflicting with the above reports, personally I trust CR.
    The test I posted had several more tests, and very very extensive testing with several skilled test drivers.

    When I saw the Traffic magazine test drivers (not this test I posted) drive on the iced lake, on a circuit they made, they were powersliding and other things, everything to measure how quickly one could possibly get around a circuit using a certain tire.

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    Blizzak's rock, never have a problem with them, and never have they been "dangerous" on dry pavement. Total bullshit.

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    Full ABS braking on smooth ice. From 50km/h to stop.

    1st place - Goodyear UG500
    Distance - 38,5 meters.

    16th place - Blizzak WS-50
    Distance - 61 meters.


    Acceleration on smooth ice. From 5-30km/h, full throttle, letting the traction control deal with the slippage.

    1st place - Nokian Hakka 4.
    Time - 8,9 seconds.

    15th place - Blizzak WS-50.
    Time - 13,5 seconds.


    A circle with 60 meters in diameter, with rough ice, driving as fast as one can (like a skidpad).

    1st place - Goodyear UG500
    Laptime - 20,1 seconds.

    15th place - Blizzak WS-50
    Laptime - 23,4 seconds.



    Ice-circuit, different turns and straights, going as fast as the tires allow.

    1st place - Nokian Hakka 4.
    Laptime - 80,1 seconds.

    13th place - Blizzak WS-50.
    Laptime - 91,5 seconds.



    ABS-braking on snow. Unspecified.

    1st - Pirelli UG500.
    Distance - 49,5 meters.

    6th place - Blizzak WS-50.
    Distance - 53,5 meters.


    ABS-braking from 60km/h on wet pavement.

    1st place - Michelin 240 (the old one!)
    Distance - 21,5 meters.

    12t place - Blizzak WS-50
    Distance - 23,5 meters.


    Acceleration on snow. 5-30km/h.

    1st place - Pirelli Icesport.
    Time - 4,1 seconds.

    8th place - Blizzak WS-50.
    Time - 4,4 seconds.



    Snow-circuit, with compact snow.

    1st place - Gislaved Soft Frost 2.
    Time - 84,5 seconds.

    9th place - Blizzak WS-50.
    Time - 86,2 seconds.


    Slushplanning. Paved road covered with slush. Measures speed when it starts to slushplan.

    1st place - Gislaved Nord Frost 3.
    Speed - 50km/h

    12th place - Blizzak WS-50
    Speed - 48km/h


    In the point scoring, Blizzak fell most short on ice and scored the entire tests worst score on "Stability on pavement" - the elk test, with a 4/10. The test winner Nokian Hakka 4, scored 7 in the elk test.

    The difference is that the Blizzaks don't seem to have much stability and lateral grip on pavement compared to any new or old tire. Even the 7 year old blizzaks performed better - with a 5/10, on the elk test.
    Last edited by Mikko; 10-30-2003 at 03:26 PM.

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    the blizzaks seem ok because you are used to them. there are better tires out there for bad conditions. Mikko's tests seem to prove this.

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    If you read the consumer reports page they were not too happy with the blizzak's lateral performance either.

    The tire that shows the most disparity between the tests was the Kumho. One set of test show exceptional braking although it had mediocre performance in the snow the Kumho still performed well enough to take top spot in the class, while the other test disqualified the tire for poor braking performance.

    What I find shameful is that there is no 'Canadian' (country) tire performance comparison. Canadian Tire (store) does have it's own brand of tires and I would like to see their two snow tires (built by BF goodrich to canadian tire specs) stacked up against the rest.
    Last edited by alloroc; 11-01-2003 at 06:11 PM.

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    Are Arctic Apline's any good?


    Originally posted by rage2
    Can someone who speaks brown please translate this for me please?


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    The studded Kumho tire Izen recieved:

    58 meters in braking on ICE (38.5 being the best tire)
    12,3 seconds acceleration on ice (8.9 being best)
    59,5 meters braking on snow (49,5 being best)
    24 meters braking on wet pavement (best being 21,5)

    It rated among the worst 7 tires, out of 18, in most testing, and being a studded tire, that is a disaster.

    To get these results, they tried every tire, and every test, around 50 times, without the test drivers knowing what tire they are using to avoid bias.

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    I just put the Kumhos on my car, love them. I rarely trust some review by a magazine, I listen to real people that I know, respect and can appreciate.


    Thanks E36S50B32, You should feel good that I value what you say over some magazine trash.
    Travel

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    Whoever says the Kumhos suck, is wrong.
    Travel

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    Suck is subjective, isn't it? Either way, Kumho love you longh time har har

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    Originally posted by Mikko
    Suck is subjective, isn't it? Either way, Kumho love you longh time har har
    haha, well I was giving them a trial tonight on some rather tricky terrain and they performed very well to my standards and expectations.
    Travel

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