Snow Tires!!!

Lawrence C Leung l.leung at
Thu Dec 21 19:34:04 EST 2000

Well, it depends on the type of snow (and how often you get it). 

When I lived in Binghamton NY, which was part of the "snow belt" we
regularly got real snow, rarely got ice. There I've been rather satisfied
with the Pacemark High Traction snow tire, made by Kelly Springfield.
Drives decently in the dry, respectably in the wet (be sure to leave a
little extra stopping room, and that tends to apply to ALL snow tires, as
they are somewhat less effective than regular tires when gripping in the
wet) and works VERY well in fresh fallen and packed snow. This is typical
of more populated regions in a snow heavy area, there is either snow
cover, chopped snow due to cars cutting through, or no snow b/c the snow
removal crews have been through. They work moderately well on hard packed
snow like you'd find on rural roads where there is a lot of snowfall
which hasn't been cleared as often. They are a little noisy compared to
summer tires, but IMHO, not objectionable. Also mentioned by others (I
have never owned some of the following, so no direct knowledge unless
noted) Nokian Hakka 1's and 10s, Dunlop Graspics, Michelin Alpins (IMHO,
not a great snow tire, more like a better snow capable All Season tire.
Doesn't really work as well on real snow), Pirelli Winter whatevers.
Other's I've owned that don't seem to be carried by anyone anymore,
Vredestein Snow+ and Snowstar (good, but not as good as the Pacemarks),
Continental Contact TS740 (about the same as the Vredestein, but a better
dry tire).  

If you live where there is more likely to be sleet and freezing rain, as
well as more constant snow, you may wish to consider some of the more
agressive "studless" snows, such as the Nokian Hakka Q,  Bridgestone
Blizzak WS-50 and Yokohama Guardex 600. These tires tend to give up some
dry weather stability and durability to become more effective on icy
surfaces. I have had limited experience with the Yokohamas, I felt they
were squirrly and numb in the dry, but gripped well on icy, hard packed
snow surfaces. This is the trade-off. You lose dry handling precision for
better snow and ice grip. 

Finally, if it doesn't snow too often, then you could go with the "high
performance" snows like the Nokian Hakka NRW (which is sometimes called
an All-Season tire), the Pirelli Winter Assymetrico's and other "H" speed
rated snows. They give up the least dry/wet weather performance, but will
grip acceptably if the going gets slick, though it would be advisable not
to push it as much. However, no BTDT, as I've always voted for real snow
performance. IMHO, I have found the tires labelled as All-Season (except,
perhaps the NRW) really are more 3 season tires. I did a back to back
test with my 4KQ a few years back, comparing it's "3-Season" tires to my
Pacemarks on snow one day. The snows will go easily from rest, you have
to nurse the 3-seasons. Surprizingly they stop similarly, but in
cornering, I spun on the 3-seasons, where before, on the snows, I simply
drove through. Basically you give up snow control, which is risky since I
think too many others that surround you in those situations are also at
their limits of control.

That's my $0.02, okay $0.05!


On Wed, 20 Dec 2000 19:31:54 -0800 (PST) StampinNance
<njstamper at> writes:
>Well, if Chicago is going to be having lots of snowstorms this winter, 
>thinking I might just pop for some snow tires for my 1988 90 Quattro!  
>haven't had snow tires since I owned it - haven't really had many 
>winters to warrant putting on separate snow tires!  I might as well 
>have fun
>driving in this stuff!  Can anyone recommend some good snow tires?  
>email me!  
>IL license plate "QUATTRO" - you may have seen me on the roads around 
>Send a cool gift with your E-Card

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