Evergreen topic: all-season tires

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by dkvasnicka, Aug 10, 2016.

If you live in areas that get snow and ice, what tires do you use?

  1. Dedicated summer / winter

    29.2%
  2. All-season all year round

    41.7%
  3. AT/MT/some crazy offroad rubber all year round

    29.2%
  1. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    So I - together with the vast majority of people in central and northern Europe - have always mocked all-season tires, always kept 2 sets of tires for all my cars and basically considered all-season tire users irresponsible gamblers (no offense).

    However I've recently done some research (prompted by my low yearly mileage and milder and milder winters) on how far the all-season industry has progressed and was quite impressed.


    http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/Is-there-a-true-all-season-tyre-We-find-out.htm
    http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Goodyear/Vector-4-Seasons-Gen-2.htm

    Of course neither the CrossClimate nor the 4Seasons will ever be as good as a good winter rubber but I was amazed by how close the performance of the two tires was to the winter one. And people who run those tires say on forums they are surprised by how good they are. I currently have all season rubber but only use it as a summer tire and I always considered all-season tires "very good summer tires with some bonuses and very good marketing".

    So my question for those of you living in areas with "proper winters" and not having a set of wheels with dedicated winter tires would be: do you use high-end all-seasons (actually the 4Seasons are available with my dimensions, CrossClimates sadly aren't) or do you go with AT tires and not mind the road noise increase and MPG decrease? BFG ATs? Discoverers? General Grabber AT2s?

    I'm not saying I'm prepared to go all-season / AT right now, I'm just mapping the territory and doing research on rubber compound advances. So I'll understand if you feel like hating on me for wanting to go all-season :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. Matt

    Matt Silver Supporter

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    At the moment I voted all season, but when they wear out I'll be running A/T's.
     
  3. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    I have a set of all seasons on my truck. When it does snow I just take it easy. No need to be racing around. I'd rather slide some anyway since no one here knows how to drive. If I all of a sudden stop decently and the guy behind me has regular tires they'll be no back of my truck left since snow brings out people that think it's okay to still do 50 down a road with a foot or so of snow on it.... so they ride up your @$$.
     
  4. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    I learned a long time ago that winters are the only way to go. You can't stop with all seasons in any kind of snow or ice. Even if there is not that much snow, it's the one time you need to stop in snow that counts. Quebec deemed it such a safety concern that they made it mandatory to have winter tires during winter months.

    There are AT's that are winter rated but are too noisy and will look too much like truck tires on the Saab IMHO .

    Those Cross-Climates do look good. Is there another size close to 255/55R18? Maybe something a little wider or shorter sidewall will work.
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I've always run A/T on the Trailblazer (Firestone Destination AT), and now have even better A/T on the Silverado with the BFG KO2 - well, in theory. I haven't had them through a winter yet to say first hand, but all the reviews say the KO2 is better in the snow and ice, and they are snowflake rated unlike the Destination AT.

    *edit* neither tire is what I would consider noisy - the KO2 is slightly louder than the Destination, but not by much at all - but the KO2 is definitely very meaty looking and would look odd on a Saab. The Firestones wouldn't look as weird probably as they are tamer looking, but they aren't snowflake rated either.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  6. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    Well, the SUV variant of the CrossClimates is actually very new on the market. Here in CZ there is a single version available and that's 235/60 R18 107 W XL (another 3 will come in September). That would mean -0.2% speedo error, which is perfectly fine but I don't like the prospect of having 235s on my 8x18 stock rims.
    My current winter wheels are 235/65 R17 and I would not go with such a slim tire again. I feel like it doesn't support the truck properly in curves and it looks weird. 255s on 18s vs 235s on 17s in curves on dry road mean massive difference in confidence for me (wider is better). But maybe it's the combination of 7x17 rims and 235s, rather than the 235s per se...

    I would also have to have that tire dimension checked and written in my car papers by local bureaucrats for it to be legal (or at least to prevent me from having to fight with my insurance company in case of accident).
     
  7. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    For what it is worth, a 235 width tire is a stock size on the Trailblazer in later years. It supports fine, yes it is a bit skinny looking, but narrower is also technically better for snow driving (though worse for nice weather). Not sure if 235 would be too narrow on a 8" wide wheel though.

    Your insurance and all that is that particular about tire size? Wow... glad they aren't here, I don't run stock tire sizes on SUVs/trucks very long anymore lol.
     
  8. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    The whole bureaucracy concerning wheels and tires is control-freak-crazy here. You have papers for your car that say what dimensions of rims and tires you can run. If you want to run something different you need to buy rims that have been stress-tested by european authorities, provide a "type sheet", have them mounted on the car and checked by a MOT station and then you can go to your local DMV with a paper that says that they can add that particular combination of tires and rims to the list in your papers.
    Here police have the right to stop you anytime they want to check your car's technical state. If you drive "wild" and have rims/tires that are not "approved" they can take your car's "tech ID" and order you to drive it home ONLY and then fix the problems, thou I think this happens very rarely just purely because of tires... usually this happens when people drive with totally shot tires, brakes, shocks.
    When it comes to insurance every ins. company tries to avoid paying so what they do is they check the car after the accident and if it has non-standard tires and/or rims they try to cut on the payment and say that your car wasn't in correct condition. You can then sue them and force them to technically prove that the non-standard tires contributed to the damage. They usually fail at that and have to pay but it's a PITA to deal with all that...

    Long story short, we are (not-really-)post-socialist Controlfreakistan when it comes to cars.
     
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  9. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    Well, check it out:
    2015-French-All-Season-Tyre-Test-snow-braking.png
    4Seasons 40 cm worse than Nokians and those are absolutely top of the line winter tires. In other words on snow they seem to stop better than a lot of cheaper "winter" tires.

    It's mandatory here too, but it's inexplicably benevolent (compared to how the authorities here are freaking out over other things). The only thing that matters here is the "M+S" marking (and at least 4 mm of tread depth). Even my all-season/summer Hankooks have that and I would never risk riding on them in winter (regardless of how good they are in summer and wet, which they are).
     
  10. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    Coming from the China specials that took 300 feet to come to a stop in snow, the tires I have now are good for the 3 or so times it snows here... or once like last year. If I lived where we would regularly get snow I probably would have a set being you can't use studded tires pretty much anywhere.
     
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  11. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    It's not just the snow and ice. The cold will also affect tires on dry asphalt. I have seen all seasons basically turn to hard as rocks in cold weather. So much so that they would have definite flat spots from where it was parked. Winters have a much softer compound. The Cross-Climates might not even be good here because we get brutally cold winters (>-20c) and scorching summers (<30c) . If they're more towards winters, they will wear fast in summer due to the softer compound. If they're more towards summer, the compound will be too hard. They are probably suited to European winters, which is why we haven't seen them here.
     
  12. DocBrown

    DocBrown Well-Known Member

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    The need for having two sets of tires in the US is really about where you live. Some do, most don't. Where I live, yes, we get "proper" winters, but the local municipalities and county plows/salters generally get the snow removed or reduced to the point that dedicated winter tires are a waste of money.

    For the most part, in 37 years of driving I have only seen a few storms that were so bad to need dedicated snow tires, and no one should have been out in those anyway. In two instances they declared local emergencies and make it an offense to be out and about.

    I just put Yokohama Geolander AT/S tires on my Sierra. Otherwise I have always had All Season tires. The additional noise has been minimal, and only noticeable when the windows are open. And mileage is the same.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I agree. The Silverado came with Destination LE2 which are all season, but they turned hard as a rock in the cold and even dry traction was terrible. Huge difference from the Destination AT that didn't get near so hard in even colder temperatures than I had the LE2 in.
     
  14. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    We only get deep freeze occasionally. Last winter there was just one night with temps attacking -20C. The winter before the temps weren't even close to such numbers. Snow... well, last winter I think there were only two or three snowfalls that left the roads covered in continuous layer of snow and that only lasted a few days (in places without road salt).
    Another contender is the Nokian Weatherproof. I actually paid for a PDF with the test from the German magazine AutoBild (screenshot below) and it seems that the Goodyear won the test just because it was relatively good all around. That Nokian was not exactly stellar on dry surface and loses tread a bit quicker than the GY but excels on snow and actually won a test in UK where it outperformed dedicated winter Continentals in some tests...
    Go figure.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 21.41.53.jpg
     
  15. Eric04

    Eric04 Silver Supporter

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    My Trailblazer had General Grabber HTS all seasons on it when I bought it and there was a lot of tread so I left them on despite some skepticism. Although they have performed reasonably well through two Michigan winters, I plan to purchase a set of A/T's this fall. I know several who have owned Hankook Dynapro ATMs and have run them year round with glowing reviews so I'm leaning towards them.
     
  16. stickypoop

    stickypoop Well-Known Member

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  17. DocBrown

    DocBrown Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. I put Destination LE2s on my TB about 18 months before I sold it. That was one of the best set of SUV all season tires I ever had. I never had the hardness issue. I thought they were great in snow.
     
  18. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    Maybe it is also the platform, the pickup is light in the back.
     
  19. DocBrown

    DocBrown Well-Known Member

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    They were on my old Trailblazer. My Sierra had Kuhmos on when I bought it. Those got hard! Were terrible in snow. I have high hopes for the Yokos I put on.
     
  20. HARDTRAILZ

    HARDTRAILZ Moderator

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    I think i will actually run some winter tires on the Trans Am. I did not on my last one at all and was fine, but since I got spare wheels....I prolly should at least get a pair if not a set.
     
  21. littleblazer

    littleblazer Gold Supporter

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    We had a set of Firestones on the sierra. The transforce series and it was by far the worst tire I've ever had the privilege of driving on. It was the proper 10 ply load rated tire for commercial service but the sidewall on it was so soft its not even funny. And they were slippery in the rain even with the utility box. I really wonder if it was the highway tread... the only good thing about it is it was the only commercial rated tire available with white lettering. They lasted about 40k. I haven't had any issue with the highway tread version of the hankooks.
     
  22. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    That poor car is gonna see winter and rust? Boo :frown:

    If I had a full set of spare wheels I'd do a full set of winter tires for best results!
     
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  23. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    :iagree:
     
  24. HARDTRAILZ

    HARDTRAILZ Moderator

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    I dont buy seasonal cars. Shit deserves to be driven. In two winters of commuting with my last Trans Am there were only 4 or 5 days it was not fine to drive. I do have the truck, so I bet this one sits a bit more, but it will get year round use like everything else.
     
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  25. C-ya

    C-ya Well-Known Member

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    Eric, where in MI are you? I'm in the SW corner, Berrien County. My truck came with fairly fresh General Grabber HTSs. I really liked them the first winter as they stopped great. The second winter, I started sliding a little more so the third winter I got a spare set of stock wheels and put General Altimax Artics on. Wow, what a tire in the ice and snow! I started with the snow tires on my wife's car the winter before I put snows on my truck. She had good AS tires, but they got too hard in the winter and I didn't think they were safe enough.

    We are both due for "summer tires" in the spring so I'm thinking about these for my truck: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...05&autoModel=TrailBlazer EXT 4wd&autoModClar= These are winter rated, so I may try them the first winter to see how they do. I'll probably get the same tires for the wife's Impala as she has now - Sumitomo Touring LS T. They get a bad rap in the wet, but the set we have on the car now stuck like crap on fur for the first 3 years. They are about 5 years old now and starting to get a little slippy in the wet, same as my Grabbers.
     
  26. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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  27. C-ya

    C-ya Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'll put them on the list to look at next spring.
     
  28. Chickenhawk

    Chickenhawk Well-Known Member

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    A lot depends on where you live and what kind of roads you need to drive on. I can potentially work 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the film industry, and often drive for an hour or more on a cold, slippery highway. For most of us in urban areas in Canada, they are not "snow" tires, because we rarely need to drive on fresh or deep snow. They are "winter" tires, which means they are WAY better on the packed snow, packed ice and slippery highways in winter.

    Anyone who thinks they are not worth the money for four winter tires and four rims has never tried them. Everyone who has used winter tires, will never go back.

    Also, keep in mind that they don't cost anything. Aside from the cost of the rims and the few hours of labour every year to swap them - which is a perfect time to rotate tires, inspect your chassis and brakes and do some simple maintenance, which one should be doing anyway - the tires are free.

    Well, obviously not free ... but when you run winters for 4 months a year (5 up where I live) you extend the life of your summer tires by that amount of mileage anyway. So ultimately, you run your summer tires much longer and defer the cost of new tires for a few years. You just pay up front (for the winter tires) and defer paying for new tires later.

    The one downside is that your summer tires might last TOO long now. I have replaced two sets of great Michelin LTX M/S, not because they were worn out but because they were too old. After 10 to 12 years, they start cracking with age, and it is time for new tires anyway.
     
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  29. Eric04

    Eric04 Silver Supporter

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    I am in NE Allegan county, so not terribly far away. I had an almost identical experience with the HTSs; as they got beyond half-tread they were less desirable in snow but still okay. I have looked at those Altimaxs and if going pure winter tire it'd be a slam dunk on the TB. So many of the guys I work with run the Hankooks on their trucks that it has me nearly sold on them. On a side note, I put Mastercraft Glacier Grips on the wife's van last year and holy stopping power, Batman.
     
  30. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    So I managed to find a buyer for my rims (the 17s), a TB owner here in CZ (invited him to join us :wink: ). That means that my plan to try running all-season / allseasonish AT tires is underway, like it or not! :satan:

    I will most likely go with the Weatherproofs from Nokian or the 4Seasons. However I'm also thinking about trying the new Europe-specific (kinda-)all-terrain tire from BFGoodrich, the BFG Urban Terrain T/A. The reason is that it seems to have significantly higher tread life while actually costing a bit less than the Nokian. On the other hand the disadvantage will most likely be winter braking and handling, which are actually the most important aspects... :wink: But the important thing is that unlike the rest of the A/T tires it actually has the 3PMSF rating (which actually means someone tested it in winter, as opposed to "M+S"), so it should do well.
    If Cooper were selling the Discoverer A/TW in Europe (and in 255/55/18, which they don't) I would also include it on the list. Reviews are pretty positive on it.

    :goodevil:

    I'll update this thread, even though the outcome probably won't be that relevant to you guys in Northern America... but who knows, I think Nokian would be stupid not to offer the Weatherproof in NA, eventually.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  31. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    Hey @C-ya I found a guy in Maine who is actually using those summery-allseasonish Hankooks I told you about in winter:

    I'm still refusing to call them anything more than "very good 3-out-of-4-seasons" tires but the hill climb is pretty impressive. I would have expected him to call it a day quite soon, given the circumstances, regardless of the AWD. (Braking distance will be horrible I'd say)

    Then there is the question of tire rotation. The problem is that the GYs and Nokians have directional pattern and wouldn't allow me to rotate tires using the X-pattern, as specified in the owner's manual. I could only move them back and front. Is this a downside, an argument against? I tend to view it as such because being able to switch the sides seems quite essential for even tread wear to me... how much do you guys live by the X-pattern rule?
     
  32. Mooseman

    Mooseman Moderator

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    Neither. Unless you have uneven wear due to worn parts/bad alignment, same side rotation is fine. I generally rotate on same side even on non-directional tires.
     
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  33. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I've only ever rotated same side, and have always gotten good treadwear.

    Main reason for my same-side rotations was because I only had 1 jack and 2 stands, so I would just jack up one side of the vehicle at a time. I got 65k out of 50k rated tires so it can't be all bad.

    My Camaro has directional tires so those have to stay on the same side regardless.
     
  34. C-ya

    C-ya Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, having lived in ME for 13 months, I saw all the ice they get in winter. I bought a set of winter tires while there as I had a 2WD Isuzu Hombre (aka S-10). Saved my bacon several times as I was fresh up from FL and had only driven in snow a time or 3 in Norfolk, VA. Stopping distance is what sold me on the true winter tires. Sliding through intersections is not fun! My HTSs are getting so hard now I can break them loose when turning or coming off of a stop with not much throttle. I may have to switch to my winters a bit early.

    I mark my winters when I take them off as to where they came from so I'll know where to put them on the next time. Same side rotation hasn't been bad, but I'm only 2 seasons in with both of our winter sets. So far, so good, but I keep the alignment good on both vehicles (I say as my TB needs one now!). I rotate our all-seasons by the X-pattern using jack stands.
     
  35. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    Alea iacta est. In the end I opted for the new "light AT" severe snow service rated tire that BFG currently only sells in Europe and Russia (where people already had the opportunity to test it in freezing temps on packed snow), the Urban Terrain T/A.

    I think it looks cool on the 9-7X. Things like the KO2s would look weird but these look kinda beefier but not too much. They are of course noisier than the Hankooks (less noisy than winter tires though) and MPG will probably go down a bit. Handling on dry pavement is almost on par with the Hankooks and I'll probably have many oportunitites for testing them in proper winter soon -- Europe is currently being swept over by a chill wave that will bring January-level weather over the weekend. Fun :smile:

    Oh and I saw the Hunter Roadforce balancing machine for the first time and had them use it to balance my wheels. They charge extra for it because it's quite rare here, I understand. But it's a cool machine and the wheels don't vibrate a single bit.

    Photo 10-11-2016, 14 43 11.jpg Photo 10-11-2016, 14 43 25.jpg Photo 10-11-2016, 14 43 57.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  36. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    I also had the opportunity to see the two new all-weathers I mentioner earlier in person and it's funny how different they are, even though they both perform very well in tests where they are compared to winter tires.

    The GoodYear 4Seasons looks and feels like a winter tire. You wouldn't guess it to be an all-season at all. I'd be really interested to see it handle well on dry and in summer... yet it does get reasonable numbers in these areas. The Michelin CrossClimate is the exact opposite. The rubber feels like a 100% summer compound (and Michelin insists that people call it "summer tire that you can run in winter") and I couldn't imagine it to handle well on snow and ice, regardless of the deep "arrowy" tread pattern. And yet it also gets good test results. So etiher the pattern does the magic or the compound is some kind of black magic :wink:
     
  37. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    So for the past few weeks I've had a few opportunities to test these tires. One of the nastiest Novembers I can remember. It didn't snow too much. Temps oscilated around 0C, with occasional extremes, and heavens sent all kinds of combinations of snow and rain and everything in between -- but never enough to create a continuous cover of snow. All this is perfect for the worst things you can encounter on road: black ice, ice, unexpected patches of zero-grip nastiness.

    The tires have been amazing so far. I can feel the truck being a bit "restless" on icy roads but I could feel similar behaviour with winter tires too. It's not like winter tires make your car handle like summer tires on dry pavement, right... the important metric for me is predictability and these tires have not let me down even in a few scenarios where I felt like "shit, I'm going to fly now". I also tried emergency braking on a deserted icy road at night and the truck stopped pretty well, with no travels to the side or anything... A bit of ABS pulsating and stopped.
    Traction is harder to measure because it seems like my Dorman encoder motor hasn't died yet :wink: and I have AWD, unlike last year. I've driven uphill on a very icy road (you could see the sun reflecting on the ice) and while I felt wheel slip the truck never stopped moving, no tail wiggling or anything - it just went. Last year when I had brand new winter tires and RWD only I had one occasion when the truck would struggle for traction pretty hard on this hill (back then it was continuous cover of snow glazed with ice) and what was worse my tail started to go left... fortunately no one was driving the other direction at that moment. I got moving eventually (LSD?) and I hope not to repeat that this year :smile:

    Anyway, based on what I know now I'm very excited for some proper snow layer because it seems to me these tires will be very good on snow they can bite into. I'll probably take out the TCCM fuse at some point and will go have some tail-wiggling fun, at least to compare the tires to those winters.

    MPG: I need a bit more of my standard driving to evaluate this properly but so far it seems like I lost around 1 MPG. But that's including winter conditions (which cause MPG drop regardless of tires). I think highway drop on dry tarmac will be a lot less than 1 MPG.
     
  38. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    OK, some updates regarding MPG. Did my typical long distance route with these tires. 19.1 MPG roundtrip, 19.4 on my way there. Quite a difference, compared to my record breaking trip in June.
    However, that June trip was in summer and at night with almost no traffic. Too bad I don't remember the numbers for my winter trips I did with winter tires.
     
  39. Torker

    Torker Member

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    I thought I would report on my choice. Although no snow at all here yet. I got Bridgestone Blizzak dm-v2 @Tirerack My truck came with 20s and it had Kuhmo summer only tires. It handled great but I could tell they were hard as a rock. My truck is 2wd and I commute 30 mi. one way. Here in Ks. it "can" get nasty. Not yet this yr. I did have to pump these to 40 psi. These are super soft and deep tread. I was not impressed with the handling at all but at 40 they do ok. They are rated up to 50

    I do want to get another set for the summer as these will wear quick in the summer pretty sure. I just wish I had the winter tires in a set of 18s and 20s for all out handling. Damn sure can't afford another set of rims but it may happen..

    If we get some snow/ice I will report back
     
  40. dkvasnicka

    dkvasnicka Silver Supporter

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    Blizzaks are very highly rated in tests and on forums so I'm sure you'll be safe if you get some proper winter at your place.
    So you'll be changing tires only, with one set of rims? I'm afraid that might give your tires quite a beating, especially the bead... You could go as low as 17" with winter tires, aren't those available for reasonable prices in the US, since it was the default size on GMT360s? Pick-a-parts and stuff?
     

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