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Old 11-03-2012, 06:27 AM   #31
jackd OP
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Originally Posted by Sunday Rider View Post
Here is a link to the Automobile Protection Assoc. with winter tire reviews:

A Canadian site
That is a very good link and probably has all the info that I need to make my choice. I gave it a cursory look and I was pleased to see that it gave Goodyear Nordics a place near the bottom. After having had the crap scared out of me by their rubber on this vehicle, I went for Michelin and discovered a safer, high wearing driving experience - I will never use their products again. I've had good experience with Toyo's as well.

Will someone clarify this: Is BF Goodrich a second tier brand owned by Michelin? There's a statement to that effect under their Winter Slalom listing. If that is the case, I might find myself springing for a set of Blizzaks or possibly Toyo Observes. Rocer10 - I think that you hit my driving conditions on the head with the 2 snowfall/high rainfall description. My return to the Island on Tuesday coincided with a rainfall warning and the forecast was right for once... The wipers were on high and there was lots of standing water on the highway - the Michelins came through with flying colours - I'd have hated to have seen what the Goodyears would have done.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:34 AM   #32
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I cannot praise my local Kal Tire high enough. Always fixed my flats for free, even on tires I did not buy there. Felt guilty a couple times and went next door to drop some beers on their counter.

Drove my minivan up/down all them big passes for 3 years on cheaper winter tires, Artic Claws??? were just fine for the first couple years, third year was getting scary. Not very good them when they are down to 50% thread.But still good as a summer tire altough I don't drive in the summer much.

My sister had one of them Caravans back east, where there is actually a winter. Having driven that vehicle there in the winter, found out that they do need good winter tires. Maybe something to do with the vehicle design, my GM seems to have way better traction and handling on winter roads. Dunno....only good thing about that GM anyway. May be different when the suspension wears out, getting there at not much mileage.

Back to my local Kal Tire, bought a set of Blizzaks from them last year.The price wasn't much more than "cheaper" brands such as "Artic Claw". Maybe overpaid a little but just last week free switchover, TPMS reset, and courtesy brake checks etc...etc. They even let me hang around and check the brakes with them. All good that, just replaced them brakes last year and they don't seem to rot as fast as the GM OEM parts.

Was a little too wet and too busy to do my own switchover, off to Kal Tire where I found out that was free.I did not even know that, should have read the paperwork. Now why did I do it myself last spring, the old bones don't like doing that anymore.

A couple years ago, woke up in Victoria with over 6" of snow on my van. Was all fine driving early, but once the traffic packed it in I couldn't go anywhere safely. Made it to work, parked the van for a month and bought Blizzaks not much later on.Very impressed by them.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:55 AM   #33
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jackd, just to further the point I was making (and thanks to Sunday Rider for the link to the APA reports) CR rated the Yokohama Geoland i/T G072 tire as better than average in both dry and wet road braking, much better than average in snow traction and average in ice braking. Compare that to the Michelin Latitude X-ice x12 tire rated at much better than average in snow traction and ice braking but worse than average in dry and wet braking. So in my case I would lean towards the Michelin but I suspect your application would be more the Yokohama as your are driving predominantly on wet as opposed to snow covered roads. Having said all that these two tires scored equally over all in the CR rating system as they had pros and cons in other categories which to me aren't as critical. For instance the Yoko's scored much worse than average while the Michel. scored much better than average in the rolling resistance category (I interpret that as taxing on mpg and premature wear) but I'm not a high mileage driver so those scores don't hold as much weight in my decision. You being a commuter may look at that differently.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #34
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I read the reviews on Canadian Tire for the Michelin X-ice x12 and the person wasn't impressed with them versus the older version of the same item. This is one person's opinion though. I had a look at them yesterday and they have a less aggressive tread pattern than my all seasons - which makes me wonder why I am even investing in a winter tire in the first place.... I'll have a look at the Yokohama as well.

It's these periodic snow dumps that happen on the coast that are what I am prepping for. You can get 6" of wet stuff in a very short time and the snow removal boys don't have their act together from what I can see. Watching snow plows roaring around with their blades down - with sparks flying - on nice bare Vancouver roads is a sight to see. The inverse is watching them roar past with their blades up in half a foot of crap has also been observed by me. To be polite, these drivers don't get much practice to hone their skills.

As for the commuter side of things, I'm not a high mileage guy. The van has 52K on it and its a 2007. I'd rather ride my bike in the good season - except in Vancouver that is.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #35
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We put a set of the Yokohama Geolander I/T GO72s on my wife's 02 Pathfinder last year, just had them re-mounted for this winter, they are very nice. She has run Blizzaks in the past the Yoko's run quieter, handle better on dry and wet roads, and in my estimation are better in the snow too. We made a run over the Coq. late last January that was probably the worst ever in terms of road conditions, it seemed like there were more cars in the ditches than on the road, we were glad to have the Yoko's on that day!
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #36
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I would never buy Nokian products again. I have spent almost $2K on summer and winter Nokians, when my winter Rsi's started to delaminate at 50% tread life, they did nothing for me except say, you need to buy new tires these ones are no good. The summers I bought wore out in less than 50K kms on our 2006 Malibu. All in all I am very dissatisfied with Nokian, my dealer told me there was nothing he could do as Nokian would not cover the delamination problem. BTW it was two of the four that delaminated.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #37
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Just thought of one more thing, but maybe you already are aware, make sure the date code on the tire wall is current. I think anything older than a year means it has been sitting around the shelf/warehouse.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:03 AM   #38
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[QUOTE=jackd;19960248]Will someone clarify this: Is BF Goodrich a second tier brand owned by Michelin? There's a statement to that effect under their Winter Slalom listing.QUOTE]

To answer my own question - Michelin bought out BF Goodrich tires and Uniroyal back in the late '80's. I've been looking at the Blizzaks online and I see that they no longer have an aggressive tread pattern. It is very obvious by looking at all the different brands that the technology has really changed over the last several years. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #39
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I've had luck with Craigslist in Vancouver, maybe not for everyone, but for me it has been pretty good, just saw these on there:
Whatever you do, stay away from Dunlop RV-XT tires. I bought some new, and I do not know how they got the severe snowflake symbol, but I almost didn't make it out of Nelson last year when it snowed. They are the worst of both worlds; they wear fast like a snow tire, and grip like a racing slick (except it's not that funny when you are sliding backwards down a hill towards Baker street!)
I agree the technology sure has changed with rubber compounds.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #40
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Check Crappy Tire, they're getting more and more competitive with US pricing. I just bought a set of Pirelli winter tires for the Golf and they were within $10 of US.

Costco also does well on price. 1010 tires in Vancouver (used to be Volco) is also pretty good on a lot of tires.

This time of year you can also find rebates on a set of four from most places.

For rims, just go to a junkyard and get proper sized and centered rims to fit your vehicle, used to be $100 for 4 at Ralphs a few years ago. No worries about fitment that way.

Winter tires usually are either biased towards performance on ice, or in snow. Your best bet (if you can handle the extra noise) is a snow biased tire with studs for ice. Or just pick one or the other. They're all miles ahead in cold tempertures than all seasons anyway......

Stick with the name brands, you usually get what you pay for. Michelins, Bridgestones, Nokian, Continental, Yokohama, Toyo, etc.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:27 AM   #41
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Hi there Commuter Boy! I wondered if you'd chime in here - you usually do after awhile when I ask one of these questions. It used to be easier when I just used to come over to your place in my slippers..... There's nothing like old neighbours.

What species of Pirelli did you buy? I checked out 1010 online and didn't see steel rims online - they pushed you toward alloys. I'll probably head down to Ralph's in South Burnaby - they're around 10 minutes from where I live when I'm in town. By the way, I'm looking for another airhead to keep my GS company over here....
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #42
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SHMBO got a new BMW X-drive (AWD) last year and this is what we went with (Studded General Altimax Arctic in 205/55-16 instead of the 225/45-17 that the OE sized summer's were). By the time everything was said and done the package was ~$400 cheaper to my door from the Tire Rack than local pricing.

Some of the testing I have read showed studs improve ice traction by ~25-35% (compared to the same tires without studs), but can give up ~5% traction on dry and wet roads. I am much more concerned about getting the most amount of traction in icy conditions compared to a minor degradation in traction during dry or merely wet conditions so I am a studded tyre kind of guy.

BC and especially the lower mainland seems to be much more strict in regards to studded tyres than Alberta though.

I noticed the screw when I took the picture as well
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:44 PM   #43
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The screw was the first thing I noticed. Maybe it's because I just pulled a bloody nail out of my bike tire today, that might have been why I was focused on it...

I once ran studs on some very tall snow tires on an old Coronet that I drove many years ago and that thing would climb up the side of a barn with no trouble at all. As you say, they frown on these things around Vancouver and I really don't blame them. I'll probably check out the wreckers for some rims soon and then spring for some of these new age winter tires soon. Enjoy your winter over in Alberta - you've already had a few good dumps of snow from what I've been hearing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #44
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Winter Carvings for the Golf. A step up from the General Altimax's I had, which are a knockoff of a previous gen Gisvald (sp?) tire.

I had the prior gen Michelins Arctic Alpins as well, and have a set of the Toyos on the Mazda3 now, which work pretty well.

Every new generation of tires seems to be a step up from the previous one, it never ceases to amaze me. If I found a better deal on them I would have tried the Continentals, I was really happy with their summer tires.
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