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Subject:  John's Personal Picks!
Since the Forum is easier to update, I have moved my recommendations page here.

Recommendations From 2003 and Earlier

I only personally recommend tires I am familiar and have experience driving on. I can provided information on other choices, but I can't recommend them. I have broken down the list by tire brand.

    Blizzak WS-15 (The original) Still a good bet, but watch the tread wear. Once the special rubber is worn off, they are an average performer.

    Hakkapeliitta NR-09 (80 series) Narrow and outclassed by Nokian's newer tires. Still, they offer some hard to find narrow sizes. Check the Nokain Tires website for availability!

    Hakkapeliitta NR-10 Good snow traction. Great ice traction when studded. Not as precise as the newer Hakkapeliitta 1.

    Hakkapeliitta 1 A step above the NR-10 in always. This tire has a firmer sidewall than the NR-10, and thus has better turn-in when cornering.

    Hakkapeliita NRW A True All-Season Tire that works well both in the snow and the dry. This tire is being replaced by the WR.

    WR Light Truck The first Light Truck / SUV tire The Snow Tire FAQ has tested. To put simply, it's everything you have grown to expect from a snow capable tire from the Finish manufacturer, Nokian.

    Graspic DS-1 - Very good ice traction for acceleration and braking. Watch out for hard cornering, though. A good choice if you don't corner on two wheels.

    SnowTrac - A very good all round snow tire from a company I really like. (They still make tires that fit my '65 Volvo 122.)

Last edited by jwernerny on Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:  December 2004 Adendum
2004 Update

Here are my December 2004 Picks. All of these have met the Severe Winter Service Traction Standard.

    WR AWP2 - Yet another winner from Nokian. The WR is a fantastic high speed snow tire. It have very good dry road characteristics, and snow characteristics. It is a great all round tire for areas where snow is an occassional problem.

    Hakkapeliita-2 - This is my favorite snow tire. While not living up to the dry road characteristics of the WR, it excells in the snow. It is very predictable with a very smooth break-away. The tire wears very well. It is studdable.

    KW11 Izen-stud - If you are looking for an inexpensive snow tire that has good snow characteristics and good dry characteristics, then this is it. It is another very predictable snow tire. It is studdable.

    Blizzak WS-50 - Yet another good tire. I recommend this with one reservation: cornering ability is not as good as starting/stopping capability, and there seems to be less warning that you are going to slide then with some other tires.

Green Diamond
    Inari - The Inari is a good deep snow tire. The embedded carbide crystals do a great job at helping ice traction. While it is not as good as a studded snow tire, it is better on the ice then the other friction (studless) tires.

    Observe S0-2 - Toyo's Observe uses crushed walnuts in the tire compound to get better ice grip. That seems to work reasonably well, but not as good as the carbide crystals.

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Subject:  2006 Update
2006 Update - Part 1

Another Real World Snow Tire Test has been completed, so now I have some additional tires to recommend. I have also added a bit more detail as to what the tires are best used for.

    Hakkapeliitta 4 (Studded) - Without any reservations, I would say this is the best gripping studded snow tire I have ever driven. The grip on ice is incredible. Snow grip is similarly good. On the down side, they are noisy. The very warm winter and aggressive (read rally) driving of the 200 bhp, RWD test car managed to clean off over 50% of the rear studs and almost 75% of the tread.

    SnowTrac 2 - I really like these tires. They are designed for snow and dry performance. This test year, they were definitely a great choice. On the few days where it was snowy, they were very well mannered. On the dry, you almost forgot they were snow tires. They even survived the 90 degree heat of May (it was also a very, very hot spring) without any problems.

That's it for now, there will be some more updates coming this year.

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Subject:  Re: John's Personal Picks!
2006 Update - 2
Here is another tire to add to the recommended list.

Green Diamond
    Icelander - Green Diamond uses carbide crystals to get better traction on ice. The green crystals are embedded in the tread as part of the manufacturing processes. The Icelanders are designed to be a year round tire. They have good traction on clean ice and good traction in the snow.

    These tires are currently under test in the Real World Snow Tire Tests. As of this post, the current set has approximately 20,000 miles on it, including summer usage. The tread has survived remarkably well, and it looks like it will easily go another winter without problems.

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