All about me

Before I start talking about everything else, let me tell you a little about myself.  I have been working at Tire Rack since 2005. I first visited the South Bend headquarters in 2003 as a customer looking  to buy a set BMW wheels and tires.  I was impressed with the showroom and test track, and I thought it would be fun to work here.  That idea stayed with...  Read More

Wheel Spotlight: ALUTEC Pearl

The ALUTEC brand is one of the newer additions to our lineup. They are headquartered in Germany, with manufacturing facilities in several different countries. Coming from their Poland factory, the Pearl is, in my opinion, one of the nicest-looking wheels they offer. It features a seven-spoke design with a light grey painted finish. The edges of the spokes...  Read More

Are All Dunlop Direzza Tires Created Equal?

The Dunlop Direzza family of tires is focused on performance and handling. Models have included the Direzza Z1, Direzza ZII, Direzza DZ101 and Direzza DZ102. All of these featured summer compounds and directional tread patterns. Despite these similarities, there are some very distinct differences between them. There are two primary branches of the Direzza...  Read More

Autocross Tire Test Results

Test results are in for some of the top autocross tires for this season. The test featured the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S, Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R, the Hankook Ventus R-S3 Version 2 (some of my early picks for this year's top contenders), as well as the Kumho Ecsta V720, which was a late addition to the field of SCCA eligible competitors.  Some of my...  Read More

Go Play in the Dirt with Method Rally Series Wheels

When I attended the DirtFish rally school, I noticed that the wheels on the school's Subaru WRXs were from Method Racing. We carried Method at that time, but did not have those wheels available. Now, less than a year later, here they are. The Rally Series wheels were developed by Method in partnership with Subaru's rally team, combining wheel industry...  Read More

My First Car

That feeling when mom and dad no longer need to take you where you want to go and you drive yourself in your car. What a feeling! My #FirsCarMoment not technically with my car, however it was my parent's 1985 Volvo 240 DL. With its cutting edge shoebox inspired styling, finished in a particularly glamorous brown, and powered by a fearsome inline four making...  Read More

What to Buy When the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is Backordered

The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is an outstanding tire. It combines top-tier wet and dry traction with responsive handling, making it a benchmark in the Max Performance Summer category. Unfortunately, it has been out of stock in many sizes this summer. So what do you do if the Super Sport has an indefinite backorder in your size? It depends on why you wanted...  Read More

Michelin's Premier Family is Growing

Michelin's Premier A/S is one of the top-rated tires in the Grand Touring All-Season category. It combines the smooth, quiet ride and confident handling we expect from this category, while also offering unique technology that retains better performance as the tire wears down. Traditionally, as a tire wears down some elements of the tread pattern disappear....  Read More

New Website: Using the Installer Search

With the update to our website, the installer search now looks slightly different. In a previous post, we discussed how to select an installer, but there's a new update relevant to the redesigned site. The new installer search from the home page shows a map with installers. Installers with especially high customer survey ratings are highlighted with gold...  Read More

What Does 'XL' Stand For?

Customers are often curious about the 'XL' designation that they see next to the size of certain tires. Because XL is commonly used as an abbreviation for extra large, many of them think that the XL tire will be a different size. When talking about tires, XL really means extra load. These tires can use higher air pressure to support more weight than a...  Read More

Just Installed: PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow Fog Lights

I just finished installation of the PIAA Plasma Ion Yellow bulbs for the fog lights in my BMW. One of my fog lights had gone bad, so naturally it was time for an upgrade. While I enjoy the ultra-bright white of the PIAA Xtreme White Plus bulbs, the yellow-colored bulbs reflect less when used in fog, making them more practical. We do get some mornings with...  Read More

Kumho's Ecsta V720 is SCCA Eligible

SCCA rules require that tires used in stock classes be available in at least six sizes across four rim diameters by April 30th to be approved for competition. The Kumho Ecsta V720, which had very few sizes available when I wrote "Best Autocross Tires for 2015", made it just in time when Kumho delivered six sizes that span 15" through 18" rim diameters. Kumh...  Read More

Best Autocross Tires for 2015

We'll be running tests this summer as usual, but motorsport season is already getting underway. Here's a sneak peak at some of the best options available this year. BFGoodrich is introducing the g-Force Rival S, an autocross optimized version of the Rival. Though this tire is not yet widely available, it looks like a promising addition to the Extreme...  Read More

BFGoodrich Introduces g-Force COMP-2 A/S

In addition to the new g-Force Rival S, BFGoodrich is introducing a new Ultra High Performance All-Season tire, the g-Force COMP-2 A/S. Its directional tread pattern combines form and function, effectively evacuating summer rain and winter slush from the tread area, all while looking sportier than the average all-season tread pattern. The tread blocks wrap...  Read More

How to Tell if a Recommended Installer Does Road Force Balancing

For some vehicles, anything less than perfect balancing of wheels and tires can result in unpleasant vibration at certain speeds. One of the best tools for getting rid of this vibration is Road Force balancing. This advanced balancing spins the tire against a roller to account for any variation in stiffness of the tire's sidewall. It's common for there to be...  Read More

Preview: BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S

This spring, BFGoodrich is introducing the new g-Force Rival S. Building on the successful design of the original g-Force Rival, BFGoodrich is expanding the line to include the S version. The primary difference is a softer compound that will come up to operating temperature faster and yield higher maximum grip. This is ideal for autocross competitors, time...  Read More

You Can Get All-Terrain Tires for the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

It's notoriously difficult to find tires for the original Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. Staggered sizing and short sidewalls means very few choices, and none of those choices are intended for serious off-road use. And while most SRT8 owners don't plan to venture off the road, a Jeep is still a Jeep! There is always some temptation to head for adventure off the...  Read More

Coming Soon: Bridgestone RE-71R Extreme Performance Summer Tire

The Extreme Performance Summer tire category has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11 has been one of the most popular and well-reviewed tires, but they can't afford to rest on their laurels. The Potenza RE-11A provided a refresh in select sizes to enhance their competitiveness against their newest rivals. And while...  Read More

Staggered Tires: Why or Why Not

I had a question from a customer that surprised me the other day. After doing this for as many years as I have, I tend to think that I've heard it all. We were talking about an older BMW, and he asked me if the original tire sizes were staggered. I replied that they were not. His follow-up question was, "Well, why not? It's not like the car is all-wheel...  Read More

How to Calculate Your Installation Cost at a Recommended Installer

Our Recommended Installer's page is designed to help make installing the tires you get from us simple and convenient. To learn about choosing an installer, take a look at "Updates to Our Recommended Installer Page Help You Find Your Ideal Installer." All of our Recommended Installers take part in our Price Pledge program, meaning that they promise to...  Read More

Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set vs Sportline Spring Set: Which to Choose?

Eibach springs are one of our most popular suspension products. For most applications, Eibach offers both Pro-Kit and Sportline springs. Which one is best? The answer, as always, depends on what you are looking for. The Pro-Kit is an excellent blend of ride and handling. Moderate lowering, usually an inch to an inch and a half, gives a sportier appearance...  Read More