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Buying new tires


lonerider
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Hi, I'm planning on replacing the tires on my Honda Civic and was wondering if anyone had suggestions of what/where to buy? Looking for a mid-priced Passenger All-Season models that are decent in wet/snow conditions (don't need to supplant chains) without being too noisy on dry roads. Also don't need super high performance or extended mileage tires (although not against them).

I was thinking about getting 2-tires and putting them on the front wheels. Does anyone recommend getting all four tires so I get better braking/handling?

So I checked out www.tirerack.com and the ones that looked good were the

Firestone Affinity LH300

Bridgestone Turanza LS-T

Goodyear Regatta 2 (Aquatead apparently doesn't come in 185/65R15).

Reading up, the Goodyear Regatta sounds like a good tire. I went to a local place that recommend the Dunlop A2, Kelly Charger HR, and Ultra HP4s. Any thoughts? I figured if I needed to replace my tires, I might as well get some ones that are better in the water/snow than my crappy OEM Firestone F690. I'm pretty used to putting on my chains though so it's not like it will be the end of me if the roads get covered. Thanks for all the help.

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are you sure you have the right size on your tires? Ive never heard of anyone going with a 185/65/15. i believe that honda civic tires are generally 185/60/14 in stock configuration. If you had 15's, ppl generally go with a 195/55/15, or a 195/50/50 to preserve the outside diameter.

With regards to the 2 vs 4 tire debate, 4 is generally the way to go. Yes, the front wheels on your civic require more traction b/c in addition to steering and braking, they need to acceleration. That being said, you shouldnt leave the tires that are shot on the rear b/c the balance of the car will be offset - your car will be more likely to oversteer (rear end swing around), which is alot more disconcerting than the mild understeer (front end pushing first) that your car is set up for now.

dont overlook kumho tires. for the money, they are one of the best tires available.

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The Charger HR and the HP4's will be better in the snow than the Dunlops(I've sold all of those brands) The only time I would say 4 tires is absolutely required is when purchasing studded snow tires. Last time I checked I think it was law in my state. With 2 studded on the front there is a real possibility of the front being passed by the rear going around an icy corner or under any moderate or harder braking. I have personally experienced the end swap, or at least the vehicle trying to, cornering,in traffic, coming off the mountain. The cure for this goes against your natural reaction, very light acceleration! I've had one very white-knuckled passenger(ex shifter cart racer) who should have known! BTW, this phenomenon is strictly a front wheel drive vehicle handling characteristic. Anyway, look for a tire with a fairly open tread pattern with good siping in the tread blocks and you should be fine.

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Ja Gute tyre! vus on mienen AMC 1985 4X4 Eagle Vagon!

Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q

Ett friktionsdäck för nordiska förhållanden

Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q håller utomordentligt väl också på de grovslitna nordiska vägarna. Greppet är utmärkt på olika vägunderlag och däcket fungerar i snö, is och slask. Däckets utmärkta egenskaper är ett resultat av det effektiva lamellskärningssystemet, kallat Spiral Sipe System.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q är ett odubbat vinterdäck, vars grepp på is har maximerats genom en unik konstruktion med spiralskurna lameller. Tack vare denna nya teknologi är också däckets komfort och slitstyrka i en klass för sig.

Den vattenfilm som bildas mellan däckets mönstrade yta och isen försvinner allt effektivare ju fler vattenuppsugande lameller däcket har. Ett konventionellt däcks lameller är rakskurna och böjer sig därför lätt, däckmönstrets yta blir lös och den slits snabbt. De spiralskurna lamellerna hos Hakkapeliitta Q ger varandra stöd och bildar inom varje mönsterklack speciella stödzoner.

Spiralskärningen av lamellerna, Spiral Sipe System ger: bättre grepp, bättre slitstyrka och styrförmåga, låg ljudnivå

Utomordentliga egenskaper under vinterförhållanden och vid risk för vattenplaning i sörja, tack vare det nya pilformade däckmönstret

Tack vare den nykonstruerade däckstommen har däcket optimal kontakt med vägytan, däcket slits jämnt

Tack vare den täta lamelldelningen är Hakkapeliitta Q så bra som ett odubbat däck över huvud taget kan vara

Hakkapeliitta Q är ett odubbat vinterdäck som framför allt utvecklats för att bättre utnyttja fördelarna med ABS-bromsar

http://www.motor.no/pdf/DEKKTEST.pdf

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Nokian for winter travel, no exceptions! :D Nokian even has an "All Season" tire, the WR, which actually has an M+S rating, and a Severe Service rating (Mountain with snowflake symbol) that is a really good tire. I have them on my car, and they grip like a well-tuned snowboard carving through the snow. They have more grip and better characteristics in the snow than the Michelin Pilot Alpins I had last year, and the Dunlop snow tires a friend had on his Audi last year as well. Check them out at NokianTires

Based on the performance of the WR, I can't imagine how much grip the Hakka Q's have!

If the Nokians don't appeal to you, go for the Turanzas. They are fantastic. I installed them recently on a friends car, and they are smooth, quiet, and offer excellent traction in the rain for an all-season tire. Whatever you do, stay away from the RE-92's: Scary when wet, barely adequate when dry.

Ideally, everyone should have a set of summer tires, and a set of winter tires (If they drive in cold, snowy climates), as all season tires tend to be a compromize between the two seasons; jack of all trades, master of none.

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I just bought some Pirelli Winter 160 S and I like them very much. Good grip on snow and asphalt. And not expensive for Pirellis.

About 2 or 4 tires, 4 tires is imperative. 2 tires comes from the old days when cars were big and rear wheel drive. Now most cars and front wheel drive and this does not work. Anyway, would you put your security on the line for the price of 2 tires?

Derf

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You need 4 tires because you have to turn and stop, not just accelerate.

If you want a good winter tire that is not noisy on the road and fits the 15" Honda wheels (which is a 195-55-15 btw, or at least it is on our Acura 1.6 EL, a US civic EX in disguise), then try Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22. I've also heard good things about Michelin Arctic Alpin.

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I rode with Vin Q in his integra with Nokian Hakkapellitta 1's. THe thing ripped through snowbanks.

I went out and bought Nokian NRW's for my 1993 300E. they were awesome tires!- with far better snow traction than the old Pirrellis I used to buy. Shocking was that the dry weather handling on the NRW's was better than the stock mercedes Tires! Summer wear wasn't bad either.

So I went out and promptly bought the Nokian WR's for a 1994 Black E420 Mercedes.

(the Wr is the replacement for the NRW's- and it also is made for SUVs)

I felt the rear tires skid upon leaving Direct tire's lot. I thought- hmmm must be the mold release compound making the tires slick. Since then I have driven them over 500 miles. Unfortunately they still offer little traction and what I would consider very compromised handling.

In turns over 80mph I can feel the sidewalls squirming like crazy on dry pavement. The tires often screech under medium acceleration.

The snow traction is mediocre IMHO.

In wet snow they are useless- the tread clogs with snow and you don't see the clean track behind the car like you do with tires that work well in the snow. On ice with snow on top- the traction is also less than I would expect- however on glare ice they seem to be about the same as other snow tires. Powder snow traction is nothing great either.

I'm taking them back and replacing them with the New Hakkapellitta 2's and if they aren't an improvement I'll be forced to use Vredisteins- which also handle terribly, but it is the only other thing the dealer carries that will have any useable wear life that is reasonable. I get free exchange in 30 days- but no refunds.

Looking at the tread pattern- the WR doesn't look like a very far departure in negative vs positive spacing and tight siping from the NRW. I can only assume that the rubber compound may have changed for the worse. I am hoping this will not be the case with the Hakka 2's.

I do hear people sing praises of the WR's on other websites as well- I just can seem to find that tune.

For my car----due to cost contraints I'll be stuck with Michelin Alpins which I hear are mediocre- if I can deal I'll upgrade.....but to what? I'm not a fan of Blizzaks due to hte super fast wear.

In Europe the Goodyear Ultra Grip 500 is very highly rated- but I can't find them here.

I wish there were some decent tests to show lateral grip of the tires- I'm not as interested in forward traction as lateral grip. Most snow fatalities are caused bya a loss of lateral grip- and Nokian is one ofhte few snow Tire makers who enphasisze lateral grip over forward grip "No one ever got killed because they could not get out of their driveway, they get killed from sliding into an oncoming lane in a turn".

No offense to Tommy who has had good experience on his car with WR's. But Mercedes rear wheel drive V8's need all teh winter traction they can get and the Wr's aren't delivering. It could be that performance is enhanced in dirrent tire sizes.

If you want traction in the snow- nothing beat an Audi Quattro with snow tires.

________

Nevada Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Originally posted by mikema

are you sure you have the right size on your tires? Ive never heard of anyone going with a 185/65/15. i believe that honda civic tires are generally 185/70/14 in stock configuration. If you had 15's, ppl generally go with a 195/55/15, or a 195/50/50 to preserve the outside diameter.

dont overlook kumho tires. for the money, they are one of the best tires available.

I'm 100% sure it's 185/65R15. It is definitely a weird size and has annoyed me because I've been trying to buy used spike spiders, but they are never the right size. Does anyone know if I can go up to a 195/55R15 with the same wheel rim?

I saw Kumho tires, but don't know much about them... what models do your suggest and do you have any comparison to the models I mentioned before

Firestone Affinity LH300

Bridgestone Turanza LS-T

Goodyear Regatta 2

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Originally posted by Jack Michaud

Pirelli P400 was rated tops in its class (mid-priced all-season radials) by Consumer Reports. www.consumerreports.org. And yes, 185/65 is a real size, my car uses 'em. I have the Pirellis and I've been happy. VIP sells and mounts them, but you can probably get them at any Pirelli dealer.

I don't subscribe to Consumer Reports, I would love to read their article about the benefits and drawbacks of plus sizing and probably their reviews. Maybe it's worth subscribing just for that... anythoughts?

The Charger HR and the HP4's will be better in the snow than the Dunlops(I've sold all of those brands) ... Anyway, look for a tire with a fairly open tread pattern with good siping in the tread blocks and you should be fine.

So would you recommend the Charger HR or Ultra HP4's over the others (Firestone Affinity LH300, Bridgestone Turanza LS-T, Goodyear Regatta 2). I live in Northern California, so most of the year is dry road, then in the winter there is heavy rain and snow. I'm not a performance freak, so decent handling for dry road, low noise, and good handling in rain and snow are my main needs.

Thanks again to everyone for all the advice.

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Guest Randy S.

Lonerider,

You can get snow tires here in CA, but it is a weird problem. With FWD, Caltrans is going to make you chain up even if you show them you have snow tires. I know that snow tires actually provide better performance and handling than chains, but that's their rule. I had them on my old minivan and finally resorted to buying letters for the side door that said "AWD". I would point to that at the chain check and they'd let me by. I had Blizzaks at the time on a Nissan Quest. That car kicked butt in the snow with those tires. If you decide to get snow tires, order them from tirerack mounted on steel rims. Then you can take them off in the spring when it warms up. They'll wear out really fast here in the summer.

If you don't get winter tires, then just find the ones with the greatest number of sipes in the tread (sipes are the little slits you see). More sipes=better snow/ice traction. Since Caltrans will make you chain up with your car, you might as well get all-season tires, IMO.

BTW, check Craigslist for spiders. You can find everything on there. Tirechains.com is another place to find tire chains if you don't find the spiders. One other tip. Go down to REI and buy a headlamp to keep in your car (a lamp you wear on your head, not a spare for your car). Also, a pair of leather gloves you can trash and something to kneel on. It is always wet and nasty when you have to put chains on. Either that or keep a few spare $20's in the chain box to pay the guys in the yellow suits to do it for you.

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Originally posted by Randy S.

Lonerider,

You can get snow tires here in CA, but it is a weird problem. With FWD, Caltrans is going to make you chain up even if you show them you have snow tires.

If you don't get winter tires, then just find the ones with the greatest number of sipes in the tread (sipes are the little slits you see). More sipes=better snow/ice traction. Since Caltrans will make you chain up with your car, you might as well get all-season tires, IMO.

BTW, check Craigslist for spiders. You can find everything on there. Tirechains.com is another place to find tire chains if you don't find the spiders. One other tip. Go down to REI and buy a headlamp to keep in your car (a lamp you wear on your head, not a spare for your car). Also, a pair of leather gloves you can trash and something to kneel on. It is always wet and nasty when you have to put chains on. Either that or keep a few spare $20's in the chain box to pay the guys in the yellow suits to do it for you.

Yea, as I mentioned before. I don't need them to supplant tire chains since my car is only FWD. So I'm looking for all-season, not dedicated snow tires. So decent wet/snow capabilities are what I would like... since I'll still be putting on chains when it gets bad. I plan on my next car to be a Subaru... one can dream...

I've been periodically scanning Craigslist for spiders and have seen a lot, but they are never the right size for my tires (seems like only Honda uses 185/65R15). I haven't looked recently though...

Yea, I have a Pricenton Aurora Headlamp (used to use the Petzel... micro? but this one has a tiltable light) that I keep in my driver side door space. I got it last year after being fed up with holding my flashlight in my mouth while I put on my chains last winter. I used to use a pair of old GMC motorcross leather gloves, but they were so thick that somtimes I'd resort to using my bare hands for the feel. Now I own a pair of sealskin gloves that worked great two weekends ago. They were thin, waterproof, and relatively warm (much better than wet, cold hands). I had on my chains in 5 minutes! I refuse to pay $20 for such a simple task (well you need to practice it a few times to get good at it). Still spike spiders would be nice because you could put them on and take them off in 30 secs... whereas with chains you usually leave them on longer than you need to becuase you don't want to have to put them on again.

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Originally posted by lonerider

I don't subscribe to Consumer Reports, I would love to read their article about the benefits and drawbacks of plus sizing and probably their reviews. Maybe it's worth subscribing just for that... anythoughts?

CR is a bit of a conundrum - it is an excellent resource for items you know little about and aren't super critical of - but it can be frustrating when reading about products that you are passionate about. And their objective data is more valuable than their subjective opinions. For instance, I've used CR to research buying things like tires, a blender, a dishwasher, computer, a point-n-shoot film camera (gift for my parents), a digital camcorder, and a few other things.

However, I find myself shaking my head when they review things I really care about, like speakers - you KNOW Cambridge Soundworks or Pioneer can't be better than NHT or B&W. They also seem to be biased against American cars, and sometimes they seem to judge cars for what they are not trying to be. I'm sure if they reviewed snowboards, their findings would be totally meaningless to us, compared to what we know about snowboards. They'd probably say something like the Burton Custom is a smooth ride, while the Donek Axis is harsh, unforgiving and too narrow.

Overall, it's a recommendable service. The online version is quite handy to quickly research a product you are considering, when you are considering it, instead of waiting for a magazine article to come out.

One recent review I thought was extremely valuable was one on ski helmets. Much to my delight they liked my Giro nine.9 the best, but I was shocked to see that they found a couple with dangerous flaws, like one that shattered on impact, and a couple others with flimsy buckles that can break, allowing your helmet to fly off.

It sounds like the Pirelli P400's would suit you nicely, and that the tire review in CR would be useful to you as a typical driver who needs reasonably priced all-purpose well rounded tires.

-Jack

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Hey John! No offence at all. :)

BTW: You are right: It could very much depend on tire size and vehicle. I have an 04 WRX with 205/55-16 V tires. A v8 Merc may very well have a lot of trouble in the snow. I've heard about a woman with an Audi A6 who was also underwhelmed by the performance of the WR's in the snow, but her tires were rather wide and low in profile.

The Michelin Pilot Alpins are fantastic too(2 sets in 4 winters!): They just don't seem to have the lateral grip in the snow/ice that the Nokian WRs have. They do have excellent accelerating/braking performance though. I was very happy with them, but I'm trying the Nokians in the hopes of getting a couple extra months of treadwear! If you are concerned about tread squirm and wear, stay away from Blizzaks.

Something important to consider with ALL tires is tire pressure. In my experience, the WRs work much better with less pressure. For instance; on my application, I usually have 37-38/34-35 psi front/rear. With the WRs, this resulted in tramlining, and a rather squirmy ride. This surprised me, and was a bit disappointing, but I was curious about the tire pressures, so I dropped them to 35 in front, and about 33-35 in the rear, and what a difference! (I haven't checked since the temp dropped, so I probably have about 33-34 all around in this cold weather) The car is a lot more stable at speed, doesn't tramline, and has better overall grip. With the Alpins, I was running about 36/34 psi.

FWIW I have about 1500 miles on my WRs. I also spend most of my time cruising the interstates, with the occasional spirited romp through the back-roads of Vermont and Connecticut.

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your Civic doesn't have a lot of fender room. By the time you upsize and put on any chains you will have an interference somewhere. I would recomend the HR or the HP4 over the others for snow performance. The Dunlop is a better highway tire and about equal to the others in the rain. You might look at the alpine style quick chain for a speedy fit alternative. The ones I've put on average about 2 minutes for both and they are a lot smoother than standard chains. If money is no object get a set of the Nokian's for winter use. These guys are right, they rock in the snow! BTW, true plus sizing involves a rim change. A 185/65R15 roughly equates to a 195/55R16, with all the advantages and drawbacks involved.

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Originally posted by Jon Dahl

your Civic doesn't have a lot of fender room. By the time you upsize and put on any chains you will have an interference somewhere. I would recomend the HR or the HP4 over the others for snow performance. The Dunlop is a better highway tire and about equal to the others in the rain. You might look at the alpine style quick chain for a speedy fit alternative. The ones I've put on average about 2 minutes for both and they are a lot smoother than standard chains. If money is no object get a set of the Nokian's for winter use. These guys are right, they rock in the snow! BTW, true plus sizing involves a rim change. A 185/65R15 roughly equates to a 195/55R16, with all the advantages and drawbacks involved.

I don't know the advantages/drawbacks involved in going a plus size, but it sounds like it isn't a good idea due to my limited wheel clearance. Plus you say I have to buy new rims, so yea... no go on that.

What are alpine style chains? I have a pair of link tire chains with like this nice like hook system that you kind of slip the link through this lever arm, which swings back and hooks into another link (tightens that last 1-2 inches really easily).

I don't mind spending a little more for better tires, but like $70-80 per tire is probably my limit. So you suggest I go with like 4 Kelly Chargers HRs or 4 Ultra HP4's over brand names like Goodyear or Firestone... ok. I'll look up the prices and plan on that I guess. Thats for the advice Jon!

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im not sure why you are so caught up on getting 185/65/15's.... the rims you have can accomodate the much more popular 195/55/15 without any problems - the lower aspect ratio compensates for the wider section width...

obviously, this would open you up to alot more tire choices.

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Originally posted by mikema

im not sure why you are so caught up on getting 185/65/15's.... the rims you have can accomodate the much more popular 195/55/15 without any problems - the lower aspect ratio compensates for the wider section width...

obviously, this would open you up to alot more tire choices.

I thought I only had the option of going "Plus" sizing (new to tire buying in general)... will I have any clearance issues for my tire chains with 195/55/15 for Honda Civics? None of the people I've spoken with have suggested that I would be able to go with a different tire size for my Honda Civic without changing the rims.

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185/65R15's are not that hard to find but are still a low demand item. Going to 195/55R15's will possibly involve new chains, with a possibility of a clearance issue with chains on. Buyer beware!(test fit before purchase or don't buy) The alpine chain has a coated cable that fastens behind the tire, then you pull the chains evenly around the tire and hook it all together w/o moving the car. They usually have a diamond shaped chain pattern that rolls very smoothly, with the side benefit of a little more speed w/o tire or chain damage. Also known as a european design.

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Originally posted by Jon Dahl

The cure for this goes against your natural reaction, very light acceleration! I've had one very white-knuckled passenger(ex shifter cart racer) who should have known! BTW, this phenomenon is strictly a front wheel drive vehicle handling characteristic.

You should put in uppercase that:

"THIS PHENOMENON IS STRICTLY A FRONT WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLE HANDLING CHARACTERISTIC."

I already see drivers spun and slamming on highway rail when doing this in BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac or even their contractor business van (I actually saw such driver several days ago).

Regular US drivers frequently do not realize how big difference is in driving front wheel drive and rear wheel drive. They must think it does not matter and the only solution is go four-wheel drive (which I counted on my way home on New York Thruway during last Sunday snow storm and it appeared that 4x4 drivers may be overconfident while slamming in rails most frequently!).

This is funny as it seems that automatic transmission and pushing one of two pedals randomly is freqently the only skill in driving car. Well... perhaps not randomly as most think that accelerating is always the best to go forward and hard braking is the only way to stop (unfortuntelly in automatic transmission cars there is not much more that can be done as that damn torque converter and electronics will try to think against us on slippery roads).

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Originally posted by Jack Michaud

CR

However, I find myself shaking my head when they review things I really care about, like speakers - you KNOW Cambridge Soundworks or Pioneer can't be better than NHT or B&W. They also seem to be biased against American cars, and sometimes they seem to judge cars for what they are not trying to be.

This is because the only good information from Consumer Reports is popularity of a car. I have never relied on mainstream opinion. This works like concluding that hard winter is coming from the fact that Indians gather more firewood.

Actually, Consumer Reports is indirectly driven by a hype and popular belief rather than real technical review from independent pros who tested merchandise.

The best example? Sorry if I offend someone, but Toyota Camry being still best sold car in the USA. Yes, that ugly wrong balanced (50/50 but along total lenght of car and not along wheelbase) pancake with too small wheels and tall profile. That's just personal opinion but I think that previous models of Camry were better. Even Ford Taurus looks better today.

Other than that I still see trend of people hyped with horsepower thinking that its main factor that gives good acceleration.

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Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill

You need 4 tires because you have to turn and stop, not just accelerate.

I

What??? You really live outside the USA. You don't know what's needed;)

Acceleration only. That's the key to drive a car even on slippery road's. When "occasionally" skidding on icy pavement hit the brake hard so you will stop quickly

:)

I think that drivers who catch snow on a shoulder while driving without focus and attention just about any car, do not care how many tires they need. They may change spare and that would be almost the same result.

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Guest Pre School Rider

A 185/65-15 has better ride feel,and the lesser width does cut through slush,mud,and other wet surface impediments better than the wider 195. Also,if chains are needed(and they might be if an "all season" tire is used),the lesser width is better in fitting into the rather small fenderwells of a Honda.Moreover,tire pressure for Really Icy conditions can be affected over a larger range,and that coupled with chains can get you through some really dicey stuff. The tire of choice in my mind for durability,smoothness,water performance,snow/slush grip, good dry-weather handling and wear is the Nokia NRW.If you drive on a lesser tire,well,it's your choice.Myself,I work on a ski-hill,so I have to get there,and working in this business,I can't afford "summer" tires come springtime,all the while putting 25K+ on the car yearly.I buy my Nokias every October,and run 'em until September.

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Originally posted by Pre School Rider

The tire of choice in my mind for durability,smoothness,water performance,snow/slush grip, good dry-weather handling and wear is the Nokia NRW.If you drive on a lesser tire,well,it's your choice.Myself,I work on a ski-hill,so I have to get there,and working in this business,I can't afford "summer" tires come springtime,all the while putting 25K+ on the car yearly.I buy my

Nokias every October,and run 'em until September.

What roads are you taking up in Vermont (are you commuting from NYC/Boston?) where you can encounter chain-controlled roads. We used to drive to Stratton, Killington or Sunday River every weekend from Boston (roughly 5k a year, just never on my own car) and the roads never seemed to get that bad since they salt them (unlike in Tahoe :p).

I'm also a little skeptical about your math... you say that you "save" money by spending $400+ for tires that are suppose to last 50k after driving them ~30k every single year and then switching them out. Wouldn't it make more sense to pay $400 for the snow tires, and $200 for the summer tires which last 75k. Assuming equal driving usage over the months... the Nokian would then last 2 years, where as the summer tires would probably last 4 years.... meaning that after 4 years... you would have spent $800 (two sets of Nokians) plus $200 (one set of regular summer tires) for a total of $1000. Compared to buying four sets of Nokians for $1600. Oh, forgot the cost of the rims - $150 more... that's still $450 cheaper, and I'm being really conservative with how much you are using the summer tires... you probably could get 6 years out of them (and 3 years out of the Nokians).

Nokians sound great, but pricey... but there aren't any dealers near me in Northern California (I'll try calling the regional distributors tomorrow). Since I don't have AWD and need chains anyway... I'm probably leaning towards the Kelly Charger HRs or Ultra Hp4 Jon Dahl [\B] recommended (still surprised he recommended them over all the name brands). However I'm still seeing what everyone suggests

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