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Thread: Let's talk WINTER tires 2015/16

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    Default Let's talk WINTER tires 2015/16

    It seems strange to post this on a sunny 28C September day but we all know that the white stuff will be here sooner than most of us would like! By this time last year we'd already been through the nasty snow storm that destroyed so many nice trees but that also kicked most of us into gear for getting the winter tire swap done early. By pure luck I was already running Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4s when the storm struck so getting around would have been easy if there were so many slow moving vehicles on the roads

    Since I have a strange attraction to winter tires I usually start trying to find out what new tires will be available before the Canada Day long weekend but this year the research didn't take very long. So many of the major tire manufacturers were on a steep product R&D curve for the last few years but this year I haven't seen any earth-shattering product releases. Here is a snapshot of how I see some of the major players for this coming season…in no particular order.

    Toyo - The GSi5 is a great winter tire for most standard vehicles and SUV at a nice price point. Their new G3-ICE is a very aggressive winter tire for people that want max snow and ice traction at the expense of dry road handling. Toyo really needs a new high-performance winter because the Garit GX is getting really old, plus it is expensive.

    Bridgestone - The Blizzak WS80 will no doubt be a huge seller for us, partly because it is a good tire but mostly because BS pumps so much money into marketing it! They have a new SUV tire called the DM-V2 with is an evolutionary improvement on the older DM-V1 - same story here. In the fall we rarely go a day without installing at least one set of their high-performance LM-32 and it works well for people that want a compromise of dry and slippery road traction with decent tread wear.

    Pirelli - The W210 and W240 Sottozero series is old but still offers surprisingly good all-around performance and is well suited to the Calgary climate, particularly on more powerful and sportier vehicles. We sell lots of them to Porsche 911 owners and vehicles that use Run Flats. The newer Sottozero 3 is a more modern take on a high-speed, high-performance winter tire but it wouldn't be my first choice on -30 blizzard days. Their new ICE ZERO looks interesting and should compete head-to-head with the Toyo G3-ICE in smaller sizes; aggressive tread and a low(ish) price point.

    Yokohama - I am a huge fan of their iceGUARD iG51v for passenger car and SUV application. So much ice/snow grip, great price and it looks cool Their ADVAN Winter is a good tire but it is so expensive that we usually only sell a handful each year so Yoko is really missing out on this part of the market.

    Nokian - We get lots of calls and emails for this cult brand and while many of their tires are excellent I still think most are overrated, and if you ask our installers they will tell you that the construction quality lags behind some of the bigger brands. That said, if you want a tire with lots of ice and snow grip and don't mind faster wear rates and lower top-speed ratings this company has some great tires. We use a lot of R2 and R2 SUVs and the Hakka 8 sold well for us last year. It is just too bad that most of the Hakka 8 sizes are only imported with studs because I think the studless version makes more sense for our climate.

    Continental - Often a bit off most consumers radar, the TS810 and TS830 are definitely worth considering for luxury and sporty application. They work really well in our climate and last longer than lots of the competitors. We also sell a lot of their Run Flat winter tires, mostly to BMW owners.

    Michelin - Another famous brand with not much new to mention for 15/16. Their X-Ice Xi3 will be a top seller for us (Michelin Man marketing at work!) but it is genuinely a good all-around winter tire. The Pilot Alpin PA4 is a great high-performance option and after driving on a set for seven months last year I give it two thumbs up. It disappoints a bit on the nastiest winter days but it pays you back with all-season-like dynamics (that is a compliment) on warm chinook days. Their new Latitude Alpin LA2 is a great SUV tire but the sizes are limited and targeted mostly at Porsche vehicles.


    That's it for now. I will continue with my $0.02 on other brands later.

    Let's get a discussion started - post your thoughts, feedback and questions

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    Reserved for more winter tire rambling.

    Hankook - Their new W320 I*cept evo2 came as a surprise because the previous W310 was a great value and was already a newer design than some of the high-performance offerings for the bigger brand names. We don't have any road miles on these yet but I expect them to be the best price-point speed-rate winter tire this season. The Hankook i*pike W409, W419 and RW11 are our go-to aggressive winter tires when value is the main consideration. All three of these models work well in a variety of winter driving conditions, last well and tend to balance easily.

    This thread is a bit dull with no photos so I am going to add a few vehicles that we did during the 2014/15 winter season.

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    Last edited by Tuner1; 09-14-2015 at 03:25 PM.

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    .
    Last edited by know1edge; 08-16-2018 at 10:03 PM.

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    When is everyone planning to throw on the winter tires on their cars? I was thinking perhaps next weekend but now I am thinking that it might be too early.
    Last edited by shakalaka; 09-12-2015 at 12:22 AM.

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    Originally posted by shakalaka
    When I everyone planning to throw on the winter tires on their cars? I was thinking perhaps next weekend but now I am thinking that it might be too early.
    spikerS got you beat...


    He didn't take them off
    Originally posted by rage2 in 2002
    Shit, there's only 49 users here, I doubt we'll even break 100.

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    Originally posted by shakalaka
    When I everyone planning to throw on the winter tires on their cars? I was thinking perhaps next weekend but now I am thinking that it might be too early.
    E92 M3? Sooner rather than later 'cause you don't want to get caught in the snow with that car and summer tires! Plus the winter tires are easier to drift with in the dry….on a track of course.

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    I bought the WS80s last winter and I love them. They suck on dry and feel wobbly. Oh well.

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    I bought a Nissan Frontier Pro 4x in February so didn't really have a chance to throw some winters on, what would be recommended as this is my first winter in a 4x4 truck ever as I've always had a FWD car with Nokian's.

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    On my rwd FJ I love the hakka 7 studs. Feels way better than my wife's car with awd and the xi3
    Submaker.Illest.

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    So Tuner1, between the GSi5 and the Hakka R2 which would you get? I've read the promo material for the GSi5 and it looks pretty good, however I have a set of the Hakka R2's for my Corolla and they've been absolutely amazing in both snow and ice. I thought dry performance was pretty good for a winter, but they were noisy though. This winter I need to get tires for my WRX so I'm looking between those two options.

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    How about them Federal Himalayas. Had numerous customers rave about how well they perform and surprised as these are dirt cheap.
    Originally posted by GTS Jeff
    You know those bored stay at home moms who's entire lives revolve around driving their kids to soccer, various cleaning accessories, and worrying about neighbourhood rapists? The kind of people that watch the View and go "uh huh..." Those unfulfilled people who try to fill the void in their empty lives by writing whiny letters to the editor complaining about shit that no one really cares about?

    Well imagine if instead of writing that letter to the editor, she just posts on a car forum for car enthusiasts. That's Kritafo.

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    Originally posted by dj_rice
    How about them Federal Himalayas. Had numerous customers rave about how well they perform and surprised as these are dirt cheap.
    Best bang for your buck
    I was skeptical but I've rocked them 2 years now and I'm a believer. I won't look at any other winter tire now. So cheap too

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    I've had Dunlop winter sports and I'm not impressed with the handling in snow or ice. Coming from x ice 2's I'd go with them again, but i was thinking I'd try the Bridgestone this year. Just have to find a good place in town since tire rack is off limits at this exchange rate.

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    Originally posted by Asian_defender


    Best bang for your buck
    I was skeptical but I've rocked them 2 years now and I'm a believer. I won't look at any other winter tire now. So cheap too
    Ran a set on my Civic a few winters ago, great tires for the pricing.

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    Really happy with my PA4s. Good high performance option in Calgary. Handle well in bad weather but, aside from the winter tire rumble noise, you would think you had mid-range all seasons when it's dry. Got me through a major winter storm 2 years ago driving back from Edmonton but have never lost traction or skidded when driven hard on warm dry roads. Would buy again.

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    Originally posted by cyra1ax
    So Tuner1, between the GSi5 and the Hakka R2 which would you get? I've read the promo material for the GSi5 and it looks pretty good, however I have a set of the Hakka R2's for my Corolla and they've been absolutely amazing in both snow and ice. I thought dry performance was pretty good for a winter, but they were noisy though. This winter I need to get tires for my WRX so I'm looking between those two options.
    I think the Hakka 2 is a better match for a WRX, especially if we are talking 2008+ with 17" or 18" wheels. That said, the WRX is inherently so capable in the winter than you can get away with tires that are better in the dry than the R2, something like a Mich PA4, Hankook W320 i*cept evo2, Pirelli Sottozero, etc. I ran Hakka Rs on my 450hp STI but they came off after two days because I hated how soft and mushy the were on dry pavement.

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    Originally posted by know1edge
    I thought Kaltire had Nokian exclusively?
    If anyone wants Nokians we can help

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    Originally posted by Bladeh
    I bought a Nissan Frontier Pro 4x in February so didn't really have a chance to throw some winters on, what would be recommended as this is my first winter in a 4x4 truck ever as I've always had a FWD car with Nokian's.
    Like That.Guy.S30 posted the Nokian Hakka 7 studded is an amazing tire if you want to be King of the Road on nasty days and don't mind some extra noise on dry roads…..plus the price! If you tell me what size tires your Frontier has I'd be happy to offer some suggestions.

    Hey That.Guy.S30, RWD FJ?? That must be a rare beast around here.

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    Tuner1, misunderstanding with my post. All automatic slush box FJ are rwd with 4x4 shift on the fly (but I just call it rwd). The manuals are full time 4x4. But with the Nokian hakka 7 studs I never put it into 4x4 unless I am super stuck.
    Submaker.Illest.

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    Originally posted by dj_rice
    How about them Federal Himalayas. Had numerous customers rave about how well they perform and surprised as these are dirt cheap.
    DO NOT put these on anything even remotely performance oriented. I had these on my 135i and it was barely drivable because the tread blocks were so soft it would trigger traction control immediately anytime you even tickled the throttle.

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