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Best Snow Tire When There's No Snow?
 
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robrecht
Real User
Real User
5 Points

USA US New Jersey
PostYou have posted in this forum: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:04 pm   Post subject:  Best Snow Tire When There's No Snow? Back to top 

We usually don't get very much snow here in central Jersey. Maybe it's global warming, but the last several years, anyway, I've probably only had to actually drive in snow maybe 3-4 times per winter at the most.

Maybe I don't really need a dedicated snow tire, but I do run high performance summer tires the rest of the year (Toyo T1Rs on 7-lb Volk Racing CE28N wheels!). The best "all-season" tire I've had so far has been the Bridgestone RE950s, but they are not very good at all in snow, considerably worse than cheapo all-seasons like Goodyear Aquatreads, which are crappy all year round.

So I'm looking for a decent, acceptable snow tire that excels in dry and wet traction and aquaplaning resistance.

Looks like two of the strongest contenders for my application are the Nokian WR and Dunlop Winter Sport M3s.

Neither Dunlop nor Nokian are able to refer me to any comparative data between the two tires, but I have found some objective comparative data on the German ADAC website.

Note that in the 205/65/15 size, the Dunlops M3s were better in snow and had better tread life (lower score is better):

205/65 R16HT Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3

205/65 R16HT Nokian WR

In some sizes there is also a Dunlop Winter Sport 3D, which seems to test considerably better than the Nokian WRs in the wet (traction and aquaplaning) and slightly better in the dry, while the WRs seem to last longer and test slightly better in snow and ice.

195/65 R15T Dunlop Winter Sport 3D

195/65 R15T Nokian WR

By the way, here's a "translation" of one of the links into Google English for anyone who speaks Google English.

Dunlop does not yet list the D3s on their US website but, according to this thread, the D3s are a newer model that has been manufactured since April 2005.

Here they are on the German Dunlop website.

They are available from TireRack here with the following blurb:

"The SP Winter Sport 3D utilizes Dunlop's new reactive silica mixing process to enable its tread compound to provide high elasticity at low temperatures resulting in dependable grip in winter driving conditions. This compound is molded into a directional tread design that reduces the chances of hydroplaning and helps maintain good traction on wet and slush-covered roads. Three different types of high-density sipes define three distinct traction zones in one tire. The central tread blocks features "pulling" sipes to provide traction while accelerating and braking, especially on ice and snow. The intermediate blocks use high-amplitude sipes to enhanced lateral stability and control in wet and slushy conditions. And finally, the 3D sipes in the shoulder blocks interlock to increase dry road stability and handling while continuing to offer the flexibility necessary to grip snow and ice. The SP Winter Sport 3D tire's structure includes twin steel belts reinforced by Dunlop's JointLess Band (JLB) of nylon to optimize the contact patch and minimize tire growth at high speed."

If anyone else has some other recommendations for high performance occasional snow tires, I would appreciate it. All advice welcome, but objective data preferred! Great webstie, BTW!

Thanks, Robrecht

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jwernerny
Site Admin
Site Admin
3123 Points

USA US New York
PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:40 am   Post subject:   Back to top 

The Vredesteing SnowTrac 2 is another tire well worth considering. It was one of the tires tested in this year's Real World Snow Tire Tests. I had a chance to log several hundred miles on dry roads and found it quite good. It also seemed to handled snow well. It lost a bit on the ice, but the other car I drove the most in the test had studs, so it's not qute a fair match there.

In terms of tread wear, it seems to be remarkably well.

If you think you are going to have ice problems, the Green Diamond Icelanders we tested did surprisingly well during the brief freezing rain we had. The tester actually noted something like "I did't realize just how good the tires were at first. I pulled in my drive and had no problems with traction. When I got out of the car, it was so slippery that I nearly fell on my face."

The Green Diamond's run an all-season compound with carbide in them to bite into the ice.

The other ice tire is the Nokian RSi, but I would wonder about its tread wear if the temperatures are usually above freezing. If they are below, then it is a good bet.

- John

_________________
John Werner - Driving Innovative, Out of the Box Solutions
Editor: The Snow Tire FAQ (http://www.snowtire.info)
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bluemax_1
Real User
Real User
73 Points

PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:16 am   Post subject:   Back to top 

jwernerny wrote (View Post): › The other ice tire is the Nokian RSi, but I would wonder about its tread wear if the temperatures are usually above freezing. If they are below, then it is a good bet.

- John

Actually, I can testify that for a snow tire, the Nokian RSi has pretty darn good treadwear in temperatures as high as 80f. Why the heck was I driving on snow tires in 80f? 2 of my summer tires need replacing so until I bought them, I swapped on my winter wheels and tires and drove on those for a few weeks. I also drove on the Hakka RSi 5 days a week from last winter all the way into the 1st week of June this year (the car is my daily driver and only car now that my 'spare' had to be scrapped due to being vandalized beyond repair). When I finally took them off in June after getting my summer tires and wheels on, they still had 10/32nds of tread left. This is of course with no burnouts, slamming on the brakes and skidding to a stop etc.

The RSi's while nowhere close to the performance of my summer tires (265/35/18 Yokohama Neova AD07) on dry pavement, actually do pretty decent. I can corner as hard or harder on them (my RSi's are 245/40/18 ) than most folks do on all-season or non-snow tires although I can feel tread squirm and sidewall roll.

My car BTW is a modded '94 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 all-wheel-drive twin turbo. Absolute blast in the snow with the Hakka RSi. It can accelerate faster and harder on snow with the RSi's than most normal cars do on dry pavement.


Max

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Pradeep
Real User
Real User
4 Points

PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:49 pm   Post subject:  Re: Best Snow Tire When There's No Snow? Back to top 

In a bout of laziness (combined with my wife's car being stolen/recovered), I left the RSis on both our cars, during this entire past summer. This was a pretty hot summer, plenty of 90 degree days. On those days, you could actually smell the tires, as the car sits in the parking lot.

My wife drives much harder than I do, and her fronts were worn pretty badly. Still some tread depth left. I got her two new RSis for the front, the back tires seem to be fine, plenty of tread left. This was just in time for the snow last week. I'll have to do the same for my car, performance in slow speed turns through slush seems to be diminished due to the low depth of tread, however highway speeds on the Thruway were no problem, including lane changes over fresh snow.

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robrecht
Real User
Real User
5 Points

USA US New Jersey
PostYou have posted in this forum: Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:23 am   Post subject:   Back to top 

bluemax_1 wrote (View Post): › Actually, I can testify that for a snow tire, the Nokian RSi has pretty darn good treadwear in temperatures as high as 80f. ... The RSi's while nowhere close to the performance of my summer tires (265/35/18 Yokohama Neova AD07) on dry pavement, actually do pretty decent. I can corner as hard or harder on them (my RSi's are 245/40/18 ) than most folks do on all-season or non-snow tires although I can feel tread squirm and sidewall roll. ...
Hi, Max.

I'm assuming you still wouldn't recommend the RSi over the WR for this dry application, right?

Thanks, Robrecht

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Garandman
Real User
Real User
2 Points

USA US Massachusetts
PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Jan 14, 2007 2:31 am   Post subject:  Re: Best Snow Tire When There's No Snow? Back to top 

Like most dedicated snows, Dunlop M3's don't have a UTQG treadwear rating - or treadwear warranty. The WR has a 50,000 mile treadwear warranty.

I bought RSI's for my 2006 Subaru, and still have them, but recently mounted Nokian WR's on another set of rims after great experience with them on our Mazda MPV, where they are used year-round. If a BIG storm is forecast I'll put the RSI's back on but lots of folks are using them as dedicated snows.

A lot of Subaru owners in New England are going to the WR because we're just not getting that much snow to warrant the RSI's, unless you live at a ski area! These tires have become really popular at our office in Manchester, NH and folks driving two other Subarus and a Chrysler Pacifica are also using them year-round.

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robrecht
Real User
Real User
5 Points

USA US New Jersey
PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:32 pm   Post subject:  Re: Best Snow Tire When There's No Snow? Back to top 

Garandman wrote (View Post): › Like most dedicated snows, Dunlop M3's don't have a UTQG treadwear rating - or treadwear warranty. The WR has a 50,000 mile treadwear warranty.

I bought RSI's for my 2006 Subaru, and still have them, but recently mounted Nokian WR's on another set of rims after great experience with them on our Mazda MPV, where they are used year-round. If a BIG storm is forecast I'll put the RSI's back on but lots of folks are using them as dedicated snows.

A lot of Subaru owners in New England are going to the WR because we're just not getting that much snow to warrant the RSI's, unless you live at a ski area! These tires have become really popular at our office in Manchester, NH and folks driving two other Subarus and a Chrysler Pacifica are also using them year-round.

I once had a cheap set of Goodyear Aquatreads with 80k treadlife warranty IIRC, but I've since learned that the other measures of tire performance (eg, dry and wet traction) are frequently in an inverse relation to treadwear warranties.

For example, based on the limited available data provided here, the Dunlop 3Ds seem to test considerably better than the Nokian WRs in the wet (traction and aquaplaning) and slightly better in the dry, while the WRs do seem to last longer and test slightly better in snow and ice.

Note, however, that the Dunlop M3s tested better in snow and had better tread life than the Nokian WRs.

Of course these data are limited but they are all I've seen so far.

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