Managing tires for the upcoming ski season.

tball

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Indeed. It would be really interesting to see how the compound on a good all-season vs. all-weather vs. winter tire performs under different conditions.
Ask and you shall receive! This is a fantastic video comparing the various tire options for winter:


There are a bunch of other great videos on the Tyre Reviews channel that are worth watching too:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEvB1bmKjPWZ3V1wSdBnXPQ
 

Alexzn

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We run about 25-28 trips to Tahoe in winter from the Bay Area. We have two sets of wheels, one with summer tires, another with true snow tires and we swap each December and May. Storing a spare set is a pain in the ass, but the added grip of a true snow tire was worth it. I didn’t like how our car was sliding around on a set of all seasons. You only encounter truly bad weather a few times a season, and in all other times all season tires are just fine, but those few times make a difference and potential consequences are disproportionately significant.
 

Unpiste

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Ask and you shall receive! This is a fantastic video comparing the various tire options for winter:


There are a bunch of other great videos on the Tyre Reviews channel that are worth watching too:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEvB1bmKjPWZ3V1wSdBnXPQ
For people who prefer the data: https://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/Summer-All-Season-All-Weather-Winter-Nordic-and-Studded-Tyres.htm

The Nokian WR Snowproof (and WeatherProof, which oddly performed similarly or worse in every test) do look like good options for mixed weather use. You lose a lot in ice breaking compared to snow tires, but also gain a fair amount in wet handling. I can see an argument for swapping tires based on that data, but something like the WRG4 (which, unfortunately, seems to be a North American model and wasn't tested) also looks like a good medium, gaining on wet performance at the expense of handling on ice. (Snow handling should be similar to snow tires, based on this test.)
 

Alexzn

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Based on limited personal experience, deep snow traction is rarely an issue in Tahoe, the problem is almost always ice.

Granted, I had my car stuck in the snow at 2 am last winter trying to get into the driveway, but it basically bottomed out, so I do not think any amount of wheel traction would have helped in that situation. And my SUV had full snow tires. In Tahoe when it's deep, it's deep...
 
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murphysf

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Based on limited personal experience, deep snow traction is rarely an issue in Tahoe, the problem is almost always ice.

Granted, I had my car stuck in the snow at 2 am last winter trying to get into the driveway, but it basically bottomed out, so I do not think any amount of wheel traction would have helped in that situation. And my SUV had full snow tires. In Tahoe when it's deep, it's deep...
assuming your snow tires were winter tires how did they perform in the bay area when the temps were in the 60s and 70s?

I understand that winter tires perform poorly above 45F?
 

Unpiste

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My tires are snow tires at the moment due to a mixup at the tire place. (I ended up with Hakkapeliitta R3s after FedEx lost the WRG3s, for a decent enough price I didn't worry too much.)

They work well enough in higher temperatures, but do get noticeably squishy much above 45°F. Below that, they more or less feel like regular all season tires would in warmer weather.
 

UGASkiDawg

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Just took the stock Yokohama mud + snows off our cx9 and put on hakkas. It's a night and day difference. The hakkas are much better than blizzaks in all winter conditions, last longer but are slightly more expensive. I've had multiple sets of both as well the xice3. The Michelin is very close but not any cheaper that I could find. I live at 9000 feet so how tires perform in warm weather is irrelevant to me 9 months of the year.
 

trailtrimmer

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It's an old vehicle, just stick the new tires on the factory alloys and don't overthink it. You can easily spend $700-$800 on a steel wheel/winter tire setup and have the thing go belly up a week later.
 

Bruuuce

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On a side note, yesterday my Blizzak WS90's for my Audi were delivered and I took them out on the ice. I was interested in seeing whether they really were an improvement over the WS80. On ice they definitely are better than the 80 and the DM-V2's on my truck. We'll see how they do in snow.
 

tball

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Hello,

I am seeking advice for managing my tires this winter.

I live in the SF bay area and plan to make 10 round trips to Lake Tahoe (Incline Village, Nevada) this coming winter between the months of late December and late March.

My vehicle is a 2000 Lexus RX300 AWD, very similar to a Highlander. Tire size is 225/70-16.

My current tires are Cooper CS5 Grand Touring.

I just took a tread gauge and took 4 measurements per tire, one measurement per groove (grooves are the spaces between adjacent tread ribs). Measurements are listed from inside to outside. This is what I got.


Front Right

6/32 inside groove

8/32

8/32

7/32 outside groove

Left Front

7/32 inside groove

8/32

8/32

7.5/32 outside groove

Right Rear

7/32 inside groove

7.5/32

7.5/32

7/32 outside groove

Left Rear

7/32 inside groove

8/32

8/32

7/32 outside groove


I just purchased 4 new Kumho Crugen HT51 tires. They are All Season tires with the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. I have not mounted the tires yet.

I also have 4 full size steel wheels for the vehicle sitting in my garage.

For next season late Dec – late March should I:

  1. Leave the current tires on the vehicle assuming the amount of tread listed above will safely get me through the winter.
  2. Mount the new Kumho Crugen HT51 tires on the alloy wheels that are currently on the car and dispose the Cooper CS5s.
  3. Mount the new Kumho Crugen HT51 on the 4 steel wheels and put them on the vehicle for the Dec through March months, and put them in storage in the off season?
  4. Other?
Thanks!
I'd do #2 but rather than dispose of the old Cooper's, sell them for a few bucks on CL. They are worth something to somebody with that amount of tread.

If selling them is too much trouble, maybe find a tire shop that sells used tires and have them mount the new ones for free in exchange for your old tires. If that's too much trouble, give your old tires away for free on CL. Somebody needs those tires. They are probably better than half the tires on the road.
 

Alexzn

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assuming your snow tires were winter tires how did they perform in the bay area when the temps were in the 60s and 70s?

I understand that winter tires perform poorly above 45F?
They did fine, even when the temperatures got a bit higher closer to the end of the season. Them bing run-flats probably helped with the squishiness. The drawbacks are increased noise (not too much) higher wear (alas) and maybe some increased braking distance. Our true summer tire setup for the truck is much more performance feeling, but that's expected.
 

François Pugh

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Our snow tires were fine in the hot weather.
It really depends on what the tire model is. A company I used to work for decided that as a safety issue all their vehicles had to be equipped with winter tires during the winter, so they put Michelin light truck (LT) winter tires on one of their pick up trucks. The tires worked pretty well in snow and ice, but somehow buying a new set of 4 tires the following spring didn't make it to through budget cuts. The tires were done in one summer (and no I wasn't drifting around every corner). The location was Sudbury Ontario Canada, not a particularly hot climate.
 

Alexzn

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It really depends on what the tire model is. A company I used to work for decided that as a safety issue all their vehicles had to be equipped with winter tires during the winter, so they put Michelin light truck (LT) winter tires on one of their pick up trucks. The tires worked pretty well in snow and ice, but somehow buying a new set of 4 tires the following spring didn't make it to through budget cuts. The tires were done in one summer (and no I wasn't drifting around every corner). The location was Sudbury Ontario Canada, not a particularly hot climate.
Right...being fine in hot weather does not mean that they are also resistant to wear... :)
 

David Chaus

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Just got a call from the tire dealer, my Cooper Discovery True North tires and wheels arrived, I’ll have them put on my Subie Forester on Monday.

As a sea level dwelling member of society who drives many miles before reaching snow zones the last 10 miles on my way to the mountains, I wanted something that was relatively quiet with decent road handling and rolling resistance (for a snow tire). Hakka’s might be a little better in snow, but not as well suited to dry roads. The dealer recommended these, and I did a bit of research. I almost went with Michelins again; I previously had X-Ice I3’s on my old Forester but I felt they were noisier and a little squishy in road feel. Getting new wheels with the tires is new for me, so it’ll be easier to swap the tires out as needed.
 

Steve

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On a side note, yesterday my Blizzak WS90's for my Audi were delivered and I took them out on the ice. I was interested in seeing whether they really were an improvement over the WS80. On ice they definitely are better than the 80 and the DM-V2's on my truck. We'll see how they do in snow.
I have WS90's coming next week on nice black alloy wheels for my Outback. For now no TPMS, but will probably install cloned sensors at some point.
 
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murphysf

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It's an old vehicle, just stick the new tires on the factory alloys and don't overthink it. You can easily spend $700-$800 on a steel wheel/winter tire setup and have the thing go belly up a week later.
I already have the stock full size steel wheels just sitting around, so there is no additional cost. Tires were purchased a couple of months ago and are also sitting around.

I was going to wait as long as possible and have the new tires mounted just before the first trip with nasty weather, that might not be until Feb? If I put them on the steel wheels the plan will be to bring the rims and tires to the tire shop and have them mount and install them and put the current wheels with tires in my trunk. And then swap them out it late March. So I will only have to swap them once at the end of the season as the first swap will be by the tires shop when the new tires get mounted.
 

Banzaibikes

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Stopping distance is usually 50% less with the snow tires. I live in Sac but put Snow tires on each season. Cost 700$. I get 2-3 seasons out of a set. My insurance deductible is 1000$. My wife and kids...priceless. My running cost for my winter tires is 2-300$ annually. Simple choice for me.
 
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murphysf

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Stopping distance is usually 50% less with the snow tires. I live in Sac but put Snow tires on each season. Cost 700$. I get 2-3 seasons out of a set. My insurance deductible is 1000$. My wife and kids...priceless. My running cost for my winter tires is 2-300$ annually. Simple choice for me.
what snow tire are you running? Also what months do you run them for?
 
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