Which snowtires give the most grip?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by georgekessel, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    I am considering purchasing a set of snowtires for the Prius. I would mount them on additional rims and just put them on when necessary.

    The question is which snowtires would give the absolute most grip in the snow/ice/slush but they must be studless.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    On my Prius I've had Dunlop DS/2 and Yokohama Ice Guard 10 studless tires. The Dunlop's tracked nicely on the highway, the Ice Guard were a bit better on ice. Both were the same on snow; that is, very good.

    Previous cars I've had Bridgestone Blizzak. They work ok but are a poor value as only half the tread depth is a winter tire. The remainder is all-season.

    I've heard good things about the Toyo Observe winter tires, they have walnut shells embedded in the tread for extra ice grip.

    You prefer studless, but I really am happy with the Goodyear Nordic studded tires I got from Canadian Tire. My traction on polished ice is amazing.

    http://eu.goodyear.com/home_en/tires/repos...p?page=benefits
     
  3. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    I know that studded is always better for real snow/ice. However the weather here varies so much that I will end up driving from the snow/ice mountains to the dry warm basin - so much of the drive will be on dry roads with 2-5C temps.
     
  4. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    You wouldn't like the Goodyear Nordic in those temps. They make a howl/whine sound, like an old bias ply truck tire. It's the only real knock I have against the tire. Not that I would trade the traction ....
     
  5. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    I get that same howl (but not so loud) from my German Hanhook Icebears on my Smart. I had the Canadian ones on her before with no sound, but I got a great deal on a set of brand new Icebears mounted on rims while I was in Germany. I installed them and surprisingly they howl at mid-range speeds.

    I think maybe the specs for the German Autobahn are different then our "slower" roads. The Icebears grip like a banshee but are not made in the size I need for my Prius.

    I plan on doing fronts only for the Prius, to save cost and effort.
     
  6. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ecojosh @ Jan 7 2007, 10:37 PM) [snapback]372314[/snapback]</div>
    Please don't do that, it would create very dangerous handling characteristics. The rear of the car could weave on slippery surfaces, causing you to lose control and crash. The ICBC - Insurance Corporation of British Columbia - has this primer about winter tires:

    http://www.icbc.com/road_safety/pdf/Road_S...ires_PI222A.pdf

    You're not allowed to run studded tires on just the front wheels of a car in BC. Nothing said about studless tires on only the front wheels, but again common sense should tell us that the safest bet is snow tires on ALL four wheels.
     
  7. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    Thanks Jayman!
     
  8. c4

    c4 Active Member

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    Hankooks are Korean (in fact, the name actually means 'Korea"), not German, and IMO, a rather poor tire manufacturer.. Had bad experiences with poor quality tires from them in the past and when tire safety is involved, in my books, you don't get a second chance, so they are off the list permanently as far as I'm concerned... I also agree with Jayman about the Blizzaks (in fact, I was the one that kept raising this concern if I recall)- only half the tread is made of the soft microporous ice-gripping rubber, the rest of the tread is all-season compound, and besides the obvious folly of paying a premium price for what amounts to only half a tire, the other issue is again, safety.. There's such a dramatic difference between the grip of the special winter ice compound and a standard compound that one day your grip could be fine, and the next, you've worn down the the regular compound and your tires are a deathtrap on ice- there's no way to tell that this has occured during driving either, you have to be consciencious enough to very carefully inspect the tires before driving to see how much tread you have left until it gets to the ice compound end markers.. The standard argument that is given that snow tires are "done" when the tread is half worn is also BS as I've used snow tires worn nearly down to the botton and they are still night and day vs. brand new, top-end all-season tires.. There's simply no excuse besides enhancing profit to offer tires without full-depth compound (note that Bridgestone is not the only one to do this, the Dunlop Graspics are also only half-tread tires, and I beleive there are a few other brands that are also doing the same, so check carefully before purchase).

    As for temperature range, I wouldn't worry about 2-5 degree temperatures- this is cool enough that you're not going to experience abnormal wear on the softer rubber.. If you're concerned about noise, I can tell you that I'm exceptionally pleased with my Michelin X-Ice tires.. They're comparable to the Toyo Observes I used to drive: better wet and dry traction, comparable to slightly better packed snow traction, and comparable to slightly worse ice traction (the Toyos had the edge here due to their microbit compound), but where the X-Ice really excel is in the quietness and comfort of the ride- far superior to the Hydroedge I use in the summer despite the more aggressive tread..
     
  9. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

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    Thank you for the well written post.

    I have been told that the Hanhooks for Germany are different then the ones for Canada (different specs) which is why my German ones make more noise.

    I'm sad to hear that you guys dislike the Hanhooks. I do like the X-Ice - I had them on a different car and was very pleased with them.

    I am considering them for the Prius. Note that my rim size is a bit different (17") which changes the styles available - but X-Ice is avail and maybe I should choose that one.

    Here in Vancouver it does hover around 2-5 but some days it's 6-8 which makes snow tires get quickly destroyed before it drops to negative temps.
     
  10. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Hey, Ecojosh, another Vancouver Prius!

    I find the weather here isn't cold enough for long enough to warrant snow tires. We get the very occasional snowfall, but I have the luxury of parking for the duration and putting snow boots on my feet instead of the car.
     
  11. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(c4 @ Jan 9 2007, 01:51 PM) [snapback]373151[/snapback]</div>
    I was not aware of that, good advice. I only had the Graspic's one season, the next summer they were damaged in a vandalism incident at my condo. I got new tires out of it, the Yokohama Ice Guard 10's.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(c4 @ Jan 9 2007, 01:51 PM) [snapback]373151[/snapback]</div>
    Can you run studded tires yet in all of Ontario, or just in NW Ontario? I put up with the noise to get the supreme ice traction.
     
  12. kdxzknight

    kdxzknight New Member

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    I am using Michelin Ice studless tires on all four with aftermarket rims. I now have 3000 miles on them and am very pleased with the handling and slush/snow/rain traction. The tires are reasonably quiet and I did not take any real hit on fuel mileage. I would recomend these tires to anyone.
     
  13. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ecojosh @ Jan 9 2007, 01:55 PM) [snapback]373155[/snapback]</div>
    The stock tire size for the Prius is P185 65 15. It's the OD and the revolutions per mile that determine how close your speedometer will be.

    If you've "plus sized" to 17 inch, assuming you didn't modify anything else, go back to 15 inch rims for winter. For my Prius the correct rim is 15 x 6.00 JJ

    A 17 inch snow tire will be far more expensive than a 15 inch one.