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Old 10-27-2014, 07:49 PM
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:31 PM
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Best snow tires?

I need snow.tires that are good in deep snow and won't fall apart if I drive long distances. Duratracs good on excursions? Should I switch to a 17 inch rim to eliminate.some wandering?
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:34 PM
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Just throw a dart at a list of snow tires, they are pretty much the same.. Get some that have a lot of sipling grooves, narrow, aggressive tread, and studs if you can run them there.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:01 AM
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I can't disagree enough with the above poster. I had a job the last few years that involved a lot of travel. I averaged 44,000 miles a year on my SUV during that time, and most of it was over I-68 in West Virginia and Maryland. I-68 goes through several mountain passes that include a town called Frostburg (aptly named), has several ski resorts located within 20 miles north and south, and is one of the few places around that people actually keep snowmobiles. When I wasn't on I-68 I was on backroads in WV that are not regularly cleared. I routinely had to be in court by 8 or 9 am, which was 3 hours from my house, so I was out before the plows and on a lot of days, making first tracks. With that kinda miles, I wore a set of snow tires out between november and april every year, so I've had the chance to try lots of different ones out, and the newer "studless" ones like the Blizzak are so much better than the old style "studdable" ones that its not even funny. If you want to run studs, they do very well on packed snow and ice that is deep enough for the studs to dig into. However, they are very very noisy, add a lot of vibration, and they have very little traction on dry pavement to the extent that I consider them dangerous. I ran the Firestone Winterforce last year, and while they are studdable they also have a high silica tread compound. They tested very well and are a reasonable price compared to the Blizzaks, which I think lead the category in performance. The blizzaks have been tested to get better traction in a hockey rink than even studded traditional tire, and they grip much better on dry pavement. I would buy the winterforce again, though I'm not buying snow tires this year since I don't have that job anymore and I'm living closer to DC, where we get much less snow, and I won't need to drive in it as much. I always keep tire chains in the back, though, just in case things get out of hand. You can get both the Blizzak and the Winterforce in lre. You always want to go with the narrowest tire possible for snow tires, so I'd stick with 245/75/16's. This is what I'd order: Firestone Winterforce LT
And if you have the extra cash, I'd expect these to be as good as the other blizzaks I've used have been, though this is a new tread pattern I haven't used: Bridgestone Blizzak W965

If you do decide to run studded, I have heard that the Nokian Hakkapalitas are hands down the best, and I saw a ton of people running them in Colorado when I was there. I've heard studded Hakkapalitas will outperform any other snow tire on the market in snow and ice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8MnCH-Z0QY
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:03 AM
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everyone up here runs snow tires 6 months out of the year. most of them run studs. studs do not cause any vibrations alittle but of a hum at highway speeds but not even close to what good mud tire sounds like.

i run cooper discover M+S studded on my excursion and explorer (also on my dads explorer) on my expedition i have firestone winterforce studded. both are awesome times and the firestones are dirt cheap. coopers not so much lol but both are like glue on ice/snow which is all our roads are in the winter.

i have to try pretty good to get the excursion to break loose. stopping is great! which is the whole reason we do snow tires.

heres my summer tires on the left(cooper discover ATR) and my snow tires on the right (cooper discover M+S studded)
Click the image to open in full size.
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heres my studded winterforce's for my expedition
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now we also have blizzaks. on a '06 Chrysler 300c AWD and a '04 f-150 4x4 super crew. we have run them on other cars/trucks in the past also. i LOVE them they are wonderful tires. i would say they are right on par with studs even in the worst conditions.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by hasteranger View Post
I can't disagree enough with the above poster. I had a job the last few years that involved a lot of travel. I averaged 44,000 miles a year on my SUV during that time, and most of it was over I-68 in West Virginia and Maryland. I-68 goes through several mountain passes that include a town called Frostburg (aptly named), has several ski resorts located within 20 miles north and south, and is one of the few places around that people actually keep snowmobiles. When I wasn't on I-68 I was on backroads in WV that are not regularly cleared. I routinely had to be in court by 8 or 9 am, which was 3 hours from my house, so I was out before the plows and on a lot of days, making first tracks. With that kinda miles, I wore a set of snow tires out between november and april every year, so I've had the chance to try lots of different ones out, and the newer "studless" ones like the Blizzak are so much better than the old style "studdable" ones that its not even funny. If you want to run studs, they do very well on packed snow and ice that is deep enough for the studs to dig into. However, they are very very noisy, add a lot of vibration, and they have very little traction on dry pavement to the extent that I consider them dangerous. I ran the Firestone Winterforce last year, and while they are studdable they also have a high silica tread compound. They tested very well and are a reasonable price compared to the Blizzaks, which I think lead the category in performance. The blizzaks have been tested to get better traction in a hockey rink than even studded traditional tire, and they grip much better on dry pavement. I would buy the winterforce again, though I'm not buying snow tires this year since I don't have that job anymore and I'm living closer to DC, where we get much less snow, and I won't need to drive in it as much. I always keep tire chains in the back, though, just in case things get out of hand. You can get both the Blizzak and the Winterforce in lre. You always want to go with the narrowest tire possible for snow tires, so I'd stick with 245/75/16's. This is what I'd order: Firestone Winterforce LT
And if you have the extra cash, I'd expect these to be as good as the other blizzaks I've used have been, though this is a new tread pattern I haven't used: Bridgestone Blizzak W965

If you do decide to run studded, I have heard that the Nokian Hakkapalitas are hands down the best, and I saw a ton of people running them in Colorado when I was there. I've heard studded Hakkapalitas will outperform any other snow tire on the market in snow and ice.

Tire Rack Tire Testing - Ice Traction: Studded vs. Studless - YouTube
I have seen tests that studded tires stop faster than heavily sipled tires with soft rubber compound. The noise doesn't bother me and I kind of like it and when the black ice shows up, give me the studs any time. Also, people get wrapped up on certain brands but other that softness of the compound, sipling (slices in the tread), aggressiveness of tread, narrowness and depth of tread, and maybe tread pattern, what else is there? I run studs every winter and trust them, especially with lateral forces (corners). The Blizzaks depend on the thousands of lateral cuts and the soft compound to "**** up" when the brakes are applied and the thousands of corners produced by the bending of the rubber sections dig in but that is only in a straight line since the cuts are lateral and 90 degrees to the pavement. Studs work well on corners and keep you on the road.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:42 AM
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I run Nokian Vatiiva all terrain tires on my X and my old F250 all year round. While they are not a dedicated snow tire, they are very good in snow (Lake Erie snow belt here) and on wet pavement as well as dry. They are an E range tire and they wear quite well. I can only imagine how well the Nokian winter spec tired perform.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:49 AM
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I second the Nokian's. They are an all season tire, but perform as well as many winter tires I've driven. Here is an example of how much traction they have:

My wife left a friend's farm near the tail end of a storm. There was about 20-24" of snow. It was blowing and drifting on the 1/4" mile driveway which includes a pretty good hill in the middle. My wife forgot to put the Excursion in 4wd but made it fine. After she left they called her and wanted to tell her they'd never seen anyone drive though snow like she had. They said she was pushing snow the entire way, it was up to the middle of the grille! And she was in 2wd.

So, yeah, you could find better snow tires I'm sure. But I'd say the Nokian Vativa A/T's are great and since they are A/S they'll last much longer. I've driven Michelin/Cooper/Goodyear/BFgoody and non compare.(non snow tires)

The only downside is they are expensive, but i gues you get what you pay for. The shop I get my tires from told me F250s are getting about 60k out of the tires so at least that is decent.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:24 AM
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Blizzacks get their grip from their siping and from their high silica tread compound. How each tire will perform will depend on the roads that you drive on and how they are maintained. For the roads around here, (curvy, hill 2 lanes, that are often unplowed for a day or two after a storm), the blizzaks perform better. I think the blizzacks do best on loose or packed snow where their siping can really work its magic. You can't drive fast on any winter surface with any winter tire... so if your argument is that you can corner faster with studs, I'd counter that by saying that momentum is momentum, and esp in an 8500 lb vehicle you will be in the ditch quickly no matter what your tire choice if you don't slow to the conditions. I think that the performance of studs on dry pavement is awful, though I've only used them once. And the noise is different than mud tires, and I'm sure it gets transmitted into the cabin of the car differently depending on the car, but its annoying. And the studs get jerked out if you lock them or spin them... I think studs are a good choice for winter tires, especially if you live somewhere that requires driving on frozen roads that aren't salted often, and especially if you don't have to drive on pavement at all during the winter months. I would not choose them for conditions around here.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:31 AM
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those nokian vatiiva's do look like a nice all season, but the cheapest I see them is around $215 per tire. Whatever tire you go with, make sure you get the load range E's. I know some tire shops will put passenger car snow tires on light trucks and SUV's if thats what they have in stock.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:54 AM
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I tow a 7000 lb equipment trailer all year round and have great luck with the Nokians. My father (life long snow belt dweller) was amazed when I pulled my trailer out of a snow bank and proceeded to back it uphill around a corner in 6" of wet snow (in 4x4). He is not easily impressed. They are not too loud of a tire on pavement either.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:56 AM
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by hasteranger View Post
Blizzacks get their grip from their siping and from their high silica tread compound. How each tire will perform will depend on the roads that you drive on and how they are maintained. For the roads around here, (curvy, hill 2 lanes, that are often unplowed for a day or two after a storm), the blizzaks perform better. I think the blizzacks do best on loose or packed snow where their siping can really work its magic. You can't drive fast on any winter surface with any winter tire... so if your argument is that you can corner faster with studs, I'd counter that by saying that momentum is momentum, and esp in an 8500 lb vehicle you will be in the ditch quickly no matter what your tire choice if you don't slow to the conditions. I think that the performance of studs on dry pavement is awful, though I've only used them once. And the noise is different than mud tires, and I'm sure it gets transmitted into the cabin of the car differently depending on the car, but its annoying. And the studs get jerked out if you lock them or spin them... I think studs are a good choice for winter tires, especially if you live somewhere that requires driving on frozen roads that aren't salted often, and especially if you don't have to drive on pavement at all during the winter months. I would not choose them for conditions around here.
It only takes one icy curve to slide off the road and crash so your varying conditions mean nothing. I would rather run around an icy corner with track spiked shoes on the rubber soles, it's a no brainer and a tall skinny tire with an aggressive tread will outperform anything in loose snow. Momentum is momentum but it doesn't end there. Blizzaks give studs a run for their money on a locked up stopping contest but it doesn't end there either.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:32 AM
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The blizzaks are the winner i can get a set mounted on new set of steel rims otd for 1250.
The tread design didn't look to be good in deep snow. i guess thats my atv mentality.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:15 PM
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The blizzaks are the winner i can get a set mounted on new set of steel rims otd for 1250.
The tread design didn't look to be good in deep snow. i guess thats my atv mentality.
They aren't good in deep snow, and many tests say they won't hold a candle to studs on a locked up stop test.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EXCURSIONATOR1 View Post
The blizzaks are the winner i can get a set mounted on new set of steel rims otd for 1250.
The tread design didn't look to be good in deep snow. i guess thats my atv mentality.
I'd go with Alaskan Ex's Coopers .....the dude knows snow .....he's a close personal friend of it
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