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Steamboat Tire Comparo - BX vs 210's (long)
Well, some assessment of the Blizzacks was my next Steamboat evaluation....
I drove 3 cars with them: a 4 dr escort, a probe, an Explorer, and a 90q v6
4dr. Rode in 2 4kq's with them, 1 urq. Here's the lowdown folks.
Brigstone hypes these tires to the frenzy, lots of B* words when at the
school (sponsorship an all), but the bottom line is that they might be too
good in some respects at a great expense to others......
First, the comparos are a little strange in the video you watch, they only
compare to an all season tire in their tests, no comparos at all presented vs
any specific SNOW.... The difference seemed significant vs the all seasons,
but when shopping for a snow tire, this comparo is kind of an apples to
oranges thing, but hey, whatever sells the goods.....
The BX (that's what I will call them here) looked more like an all season,
but closer inspection proved that this was the least they were.... A
thumbnail into the tread would sink a good 3/8 inch, whereas my 210's for
example, you couldn't stick a bread knife in... Soft these are, however,
that softness has compromises to handling.... Mounting my 210's on 7inch
rims was to maximize the effectiveness of the tread pattern and sidewall
stiffness on my 5ktq. The more "exact" the tread is, esp in hard driving,
more of it in the
proper "design" (vs convoluted tread pattern under stress). My car has
little wander on the road, and a more exactness in turns and driver inputs.
To drive the BX's like that, yeilded the shortcoming of the tire design
philosophy, that is they tended to wander a bit on the tread, or squirm, to
be more specific. More pronounced on the Explorer than say the probe, but it
was there on every car I drove. And a common assessment by others at the
I will say that the weather could have negated any true evaluation of these
tires, cuz the snow was very dry, and neither tire slipped all that much in
this stuff..... What was more pronounced on the BX was when you were sliding
sideways on the ice, then hit "traction", the BX had an easily identifiable
"grip" character, the 210's much more subtle..... However, neither tire was
anything but goofy on ice, the BX prolly had more grip, but significant would
be an exageration. Even Scott Davis (Haltec/Garrett 20v turbo urq) tended to
"walk" his car over the icey spots, find the snow, then punch the gas.....
So the key to the track and the tires was to ease over the ice, then smoke
em once traction was available. I figgrd this technique pretty quickly, and
when in the snow, neither tire really had a "traction" advantage..... The
cars got tail happy under power, and speed gains were about the same.
On straight ice, my education tells me that the super-hydrophylic BX should
be better than anything. Was it? Can't say for sure, my thinking is that in
the real world driving on city streets maybe, but in a highperformance
environment, my supposition is, that the BX tended to convolute their
intended footprint shape, so the gains were not readily apparent. Lots of
ex-210 owners at the track said WOQ that I will have wished for the BX by the
end of the weekend, and I'm here to report that, it just didn't happen for
me...... On the track, drivers skill and chassis dynamics could easily make
the BX differential, and on the street, I'm not convinced that this isn't
The Summary: Maybe the zero degree temps and more snow than normal on the
track didn't favour the BX to their best abilities.... Are the BX good? You
bet. Are Lawson's Gislavs good? Sure. Are Vreds, or Hokas, or 210's good?
Me thinks so..... Are the BX a "far" better snow? Not convinced.... Are
they a far better ice tire? Maybe, but I refer to driver skill again, and
for that, I would encourage the braking and chassis handling techniques
before considering the BX a "superior" tire....... Are there compromises to
the BX? More than I would have expected. Was I ready to buy a set? Yes for
my wife's car at the beginning of the weekend, but after driving them, no....
I'll prolly get some Hokas for the serious snows on our MI travels......
And definitely stick with the P210's on my car and work harder on
practicing on slippery stuff.... A couple more Steamboats should do the
trick...... Buy your favorite snow, and drive them to Steamboat, go thru the
school, most of the traction available is in your feet, your hands and your
head.... And for that, this track/school demands the best of all these
abilities to drive quickly in the slick......