Managing tires for the upcoming ski season.

oldschoolskier

Out on the slopes
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Dec 6, 2015
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Ontario Canada
No matter how you look at it your “All season” tires are at least 50% worn, while this may be good in warmer dryer weather, anything with a good new tread and a winter rate is going to be that much better.

Think of it this way, cheaper than body shop work, even for a simple bumper replacement.
 

Pequenita

Out on the slopes
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Aug 5, 2017
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I took my snows off mid-April two years ago and then promptly slid into a curb in the Squaw parking lot and broke (more or less) the front axle; no body damage. It was ridiculously slow-moving and a $500 deductible. And you have to fill out all that paperwork for the state when you have a "collision." The tires on the car were a Cooper touring something or other.

Anyway. I ran Nokain Nordmans for 3 seasons on my old vehicle, from November before Thanksgiving to mid-late April, although the year I broke my leg, I took them off in May or June. I felt invincible in them and once drove around 4 spinouts at the Sugarbowl exit on 80 with no problem. Like @Banzaibikes, I'm based in Sac. With my new car, I am running Nokian WRG3s full-time, which half the mechanics here call snow tires. At one point when I had the dedicated snows on, I had an incident on a local road where a car at a dead stop in the left turn lane pulled out in front of me as I was going ~50, and the extent to which I had to hit the brakes and not hit them scared the crap out of me. I left a lot of rubber on the road. There are other reasons I'm not doing the tire swap thing, but the stopping distance on dry pavement in temps > 45 degrees is a factor.

It took a bit of effort to find both sets of tires as no place local had them stocked. The WRG3s I ordered on my own, and I'm sort of surprised that everything worked out.
 
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OldJarhead

Putting on skis
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Dec 2, 2019
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44
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Albuquerque, NM
Over the years I have driven in all kinds of snow and icy road conditions throughout the US.

One of the worst experiences driving was on I80 when it first opened in the late 60s (I80 was completed in 1970 - that additional fact came as the result of my paying $5.35 to make sure Wikipedia survives)

The second was driving on the West Virginia Turnpike in a whiteout snowstorm when it was a 2 lane road that every so many miles became 3 lanes.

I almost forgot my 360 I did on black ice between Spokane and Kellogg.

Living in New Mexico has changed the way I drive in the winter.

I live near I25 that is downhill from my apartment. One morning as I drove west to get on the interstate that was a mess, with cars sliding everywhere. Very few people (to be honest almost NO ONE) in Albuquerque knows how to drive in ice and snow. Plus the city and state don’t invest a great amount of money clearing the roads.

They do some work on the interstates but other than that you see cars sliding down any road that has a grade.

Just hope and pray that no one who drives his car with “regular” tires slides into yours with its very expensive snow tires.

I quickly learned how to drive in the ice and snow in Albuquerque.

Wait till 10 AM and most of the snow will have melted.

Other ice and snow experiences will come in another addition of driving in the winter in New Mexico. Some involve the evil Texans.
 

Chickenmonkey

David T.
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Nov 12, 2015
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Our drive is from the peninsula to the west shore and I do the dedicated snow and summer deal with 2 sets of wheel. My daily commute is only 10 miles each way so I don’t get too many miles on the Ice-Xs. They are better than the General Artic Ice on the dry pavement but wet breaking was really bad when they had the softest rubber still.

I am now entering my 4th season on the winters and know I am basically running an aggressively siped all seasons by now. They were fine Thanksgiving weekend and I was sure to slooow down on the HWY80 ice rink Weds and Thursday.

Now I am thinking I’ll switch to AT and run them all year but haven’t decided yet. Anyone have experience taking that route from BA to Tahoe?
 

Alexzn

Ski Squaw
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Nov 13, 2015
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Bay Area and Truckee
I see. I suspect you will get noisier and harsher ride, especially compared with summer rubber, but better snow traction than the all-seasons. I do not have much experience will all-terrain, but on our car aggressively siped all-season tire was noticeably worse in snow than a real snow tire. If you do not need run-flats, your choices are much wider, we were quite limited to what compromise we could find and went with the 2-wheel setup.
 

Chickenmonkey

David T.
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Nov 12, 2015
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177
No need for run flats and my snow rims are 17“ so I have a lot of options. Summers are 19“ and pretty limited for snows and all terrain.
 
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murphysf

Getting on the lift
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Aug 5, 2017
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289
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SF Bay Area
I have a friend who lives in Reno and works at Berkeley (stays in Berkeley 4 nights a weeks), he drives down every Monday and goes back every Friday. He has tried lots of different tires over the years and now swears by AT all terrain tires.

He likes the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S and the Falken Wildpeak

For the drive on 80 from the bay area getting over Donner Summit is the biggest challenge on a storm day. However it typically snows a good bit and the stops and the roads are kept clear by Caltrans. Its the ICE you need to be aware of.
 

sparty

Getting on the lift
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Joined
Feb 15, 2018
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I have a friend who lives in Reno and works at Berkeley (stays in Berkeley 4 nights a weeks), he drives down every Monday and goes back every Friday. He has tried lots of different tires over the years and now swears by AT all terrain tires.

He likes the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S and the Falken Wildpeak

For the drive on 80 from the bay area getting over Donner Summit is the biggest challenge on a storm day. However it typically snows a good bit and the stops and the roads are kept clear by Caltrans. Its the ICE you need to be aware of.
My personal experience with 3PMSF-rated AT tires led me to dropping the coin on Nokians for the winter and dealing with the associated storage and swapping PITA. While I have no doubt that a better-known name brand AT tire could outperform mine (I have Radar Renegade AT/5s), there's a lot of room for better performance than the Renegades on packed snow and ice while still not being as good as the Nokians. In deeper or softer snow, I didn't have any complaints about the Renegades, and I'm not sure that the Nokians are substantially better, but driving snow-covered, packed roads—and even more so, partially snow-covered, with a dusting on top to hide where the pavement is or isn't—is terrifying on the Renegades and no problem at all with the Nokians.

YMMV, of course, especially if your driving conditions or tolerance for difficult-to-feel traction limits differ.
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Dec 2, 2015
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9,275
Picked these up from Tire Rack yesterday and put them on today.
Continental Viking Contact 7

Great in snow and ice. Their weakness may be dry and wet braking. We’ll see. Lots of sipes that apparently go all the way through.
Seems like good on ice means not so good with wet surface. They’re all a compromise and you pick which ones to skew the tire to. I went with snow and ice.

Modern snow tires actually want yo hold the snow in the tread for traction I guess. You don’t see big open spaces and aggressive chunks.

So far, they’re actually much quieter than the Nokian WRG3 all weather I took off. Those have 42k on them, still life left, but not for snow. I will put back on in spring. Been bery happy with them. Haven’t had the Vikings on the highway yet.

Temp is cold today, around 10F. Tires are floatier than the Wrg3. Less road feel dry. More road feel on snow than the Wrg3. Much better traction accelerating on snow and taking a couple turns. Damn plow guy put sand on the nice packed powder with an inch of fresh road.

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johnnyvw

Getting on the lift
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Dec 20, 2016
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NEPA
If you have a driveway to change the tires in, get a floor jack and an electric impact gun. I can change all 4 wheels in about 20 minutes. If I lived in the SF Bay area and had that capability, I would get dedicated snows and change them when I am heading to the mountains.
Here in PA, we don't get a ton of snow, but most of the times it's "mixed precip". Over the years I have gotten the best results from Bridgestones. I have a set of 90's that are going on the car next week. They are replacing Contis, which I was not impressed with.
The piece of mind with the better traction is worth expense of time and money. You don't always get to pick and choose when road conditions may deteriorate within seconds....check out the fatal pile-up that happened on Rt.80 this past week as an example.
 
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