Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi2

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.27
 
 

2009 Subaru Forester 2.5 X
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Miles driven on tires: 12,000
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Driving Condition: Easy Going
 

Initial Review, 12,000 Miles on Tires
March 20, 2014

I have tried several types of winter tires (including Dunlop and the very good Bridgestone Blizzaks) but these Michelins are the best by far. When first mounted in the late fall while the roads were still clear, it was very obvious that the tires had a deeper and softer tread than all-season tires - in particular the tires felt much more compliant over pot holes and poor road surfaces. I actually checked and rechecked tire pressures thinking that the tires were all down a few psi but they were all right at 34. Turns out that the tires just have a very compliant sidewall and that contributes to their excellent performance in real winter conditions. Wide, high perfomance summer tires with stiff, low-profile sidewalls deliver sharp handling on warm, dry and smooth race tracks but they are a disaster when the road conditions are less than perfect. I belive that Michelin enginneered the x-ice sidewalls to provide a less punishing ride on rough ice covered roads, and in so doing, found that the tread maintains constant contact with the road for better traction. The x-ice tread pattern provides excellent grip with minimal road noise and the rubber compound seems much more durable than that of the competition. I expect to get at least one additional winter out of this set! I live at the top of a hill, half a mile up a 14% grade in a snow belt. Highly recommended for anyone that really needs snow tires.

Max Performance Summer Tires for 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Here in South Bend, Indiana we are nearly thawed out from a brutal winter and it is time to start considering what tires to run this summer. For enthusiasts with cars that are driven on the street as opposed to the track, this usually means selecting a tire from our Max Performance Summer category. Max Performance Summer tires feature advanced ultra low profile, high speed options that combine computer developed designs and unique materials with precision manufacturing techniques to provide an unsurpassed blend of dry and wet traction and handling.

If you're shopping for a set of tires from this performance category, here are your top picks:

King of the Hill: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

The Pilot Super Sport does everything well: wet traction, dry traction, steering response, braking and even treadlife is better than average for the category. This tire is designed to allow sports cars, sporty coupes, performance sedans and supercars to achieve their full potential in dry and wet conditions. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are competitively priced and usually cheaper than the previous generation Pilot Sport PS2.

Top Tier Value: Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position

The Bridgestone S-04 Pole Position is a leading member of the most recent generation of Max Performance Summer tires. While their raw grip is not quite equal to the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, they have excellent traction in wet and dry conditions, are extremely stable and provide confident handling. Bridgestone has been pricing them very aggressively, and in some sizes, you'd almost be crazy not to buy a tire this good at such a low price.

Lots of Grip, Not Yet Hyped: Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105

If you're the type of enthusiast who likes to do things a little differently from the rest, this may be the tire for you. The Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 has not yet made a big splash in the marketplace, but it has exceptional grip. I'm also a fan of the responsive handling that its stiff sidewalls provide. To see how the tire performed during our in-house test, read "New Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 Tested."

View all Max Performance Summer tires we offer and find the one that will make your summer driving a blast!

Introducing Continental's New Track Tire, the ContiForceContact

Monday, March 17, 2014 by Ben Rooney

Continental has brought their Streetable Track & Competition tire, the ContiForceContact, over from Europe. Developed at the world famous Nürburgring circuit, the ContiForceContact is built to deliver extremely high levels of dry traction along with precise steering response and predictable cornering behavior. It is designed to allow driving on the street, though caution should be taken when driving in heavy rain. While it is built to resist hydroplaning, the tire is not recommended for high-speed driving on extremely wet roads/tracks with standing water where there is the risk of hydroplaning.

The ContiForceContact competes with other Streetable Track & Competition tires such as the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and Pirelli P Zero Corsa System. It offers exceptional performance at the track while allowing drivers to drive to and from the track without changing their wheels and tires. With a treadwear rating of 80, the ContiForceContact isn't intended for long service on the road. The tire would work best on a set of wheels used for track days and performance driving events, or on a second car that is driven primarily for fun. 

ContiForceContact tires are molded with approximately 6/32" of tread depth in their grooves and are left unshaved for use on damp tracks. While the tires do not require shaving for dry track use, their durability and lap time performance will improve if shaved to approximately 4/32" deep tread to begin competitive road racing/track use in dry conditions, however this will sacrifice treadlife.

To learn more about tire shaving as an effective means of permitting more of a tire's performance capability, read "Shaving Tires for Autocross / Track Use / Competition."

Getting the Most From Your Competition Tires

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

You want your competition tires to last as long as possible and perform their best when in use. How can you maximize the amount of wear and increase response/handling at the same time? Luckily, Tire Rack offers competition tire heat cycling and shaving for these exact needs.

Any tread design that breaks up the contact patch into smaller elements or adds additional tread depth (required to enhance wet traction) will increase tread block squirm and reduce dry performance. Tire shaving is an effective means of permitting more of a tire's performance capability to be realized early in its life. And in many cases, shaved tires used in competition actually have a longer useful life than tires that enter competition at full tread depth. Full tread depth tires tend to squirm more, which can build up heat that can overwork the tire causing irregular wear or damage. Shaving a tire also reduces weight and provides slightly more footprint on the ground by increasing its contact patch. We shave tires by removing tread rubber from a new tire on a specialized machine that operates as a tire lathe. This service can also be performed on street tires used for competition use. Our tire shaving service ranges between $25 and $35 per tire.

Like many high performance parts, high performance tires will last longer if properly broken in. The first time Track & Competition DOT tires go into service is very important. All tires deflect under load and their tread rubber compounds repeatedly stretch and relax as they roll into and out of contact with the road. This stretching breaks some of the weaker bonds between the tread rubber molecules, generating heat. If a new Track & Competition DOT tire is initially run too aggressively, too hot or too long, some of the stronger bonds will also be broken which reduces its grip and wear. Cycling a tire through an easy heat cycle and letting it cool over a 24-hour period will allow the stronger molecules to bond back together in a more uniform manner than they were originally manufactured. Heat cycling actually makes Track & Competition DOT tread compounds more consistent in strength and more resistant to losing their strength the next time they're used.

Our heat cycling service begins by mounting the tire on an appropriate-width wheel and inflating it to the desired pressure. It's then placed in our heat cycling machine which has three rollers positioned at the corners of a triangle. The tread flexes where it comes into contact with each of the rollers, stretching the rubber compound enough to progressively bring it up to temperature all the way around the tire and across the tread. There is no artificial heat added by an oven, forced air or heat lamp. Tread temperature is monitored with a pyrometer to confirm when the tire has reached the desired 170-180° F temperature. The tire is then dismounted and stamped as Tire Rack heat cycled. Since the minimum 24-hour waiting period typically occurs while the tires are in transit, the tires are ready to use when they arrive! The only thing our heat cycling service doesn’t do is scuff in the tires. Heat cycling service costs $15 per tire.

To learn more about this process, read "Competition Tire Heat Cycling Service."

What Makes Your Track Car Stop?

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Race season is near and you've bought a fresh set of competition tires, lightweight wheels and sport suspension, but what about your braking system? Hawk Performance offers a wide selection of performance friction material for your autocross or road race car. Take a look at the following options from Hawk and see if one is right for your vehicle. 

HP Plus Plus Race Brake Pads

Hawk Performance's HP Plus disc brake pads are designed for sports cars, coupes and sedans for driving in autocross, Solo II and many “track day” applications. Also, the Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Black Track Only Pads

Black Track Only Pads feature an all-purpose competition compound for use on lower temp and torque applications. They're commonly used on the rear axle of vehicles when using Blue 9012 compounds on the front axle. These pads are also recommended for dirt circle track and driving school/lapping days.

Blue 9012 Track Only Pads

Hawk's most popular Motorsport Compound offers excellent modulation and braking power for a wide variety of applications. A strong initial bite combines with exceptional pedal feel to give drivers confidence during road racing and stage rally events. Blue 9012 Track Only Pads are popular with experienced lapping day and driving school participants.

HT-10 Track Only Pads

This pad is for road racing or pavement circle track use that requires more torque than the Blue 9012.

HT-14 Track Only Pads

HT-14 Track Only Pads are designed for vehicles that achieve high top speeds and require repeated high deceleration rates during road race competition. Drivers of Sports Car/GT and higher horsepower, open wheel applications will consider this pad.


Hawk HP Plus Race

Hawk Black Track Only Pads

Hawk DTC-60 Track Only Pads


DTC-60 Track Only Pads

Hawk's latest formulation for excellent torque control and modulation for wheel-to-wheel competition. DTC-60 pads can be combined with the DTC-70 when less torque is desired on the rear axle. Road race and asphalt circle track cars will benefit from using these pads from Hawk.

DTC-70 Track Only Pads

A higher torque version of the DTC-60, this compound is designed for vehicles with high top speeds that require repeated high deceleration rates. It can be used on the front or rear axle or combined with the DTC-60 if split friction between the front and rear axles is desired.

Search by vehicle to see all brake options available for your application.

New Dunlop Winter Maxx Tires Installed on My Car

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by Gary Stanley

After three years of faithful service, my Michelin X-Ice Xi2 winter / snow tires have finally worn to the point where they needed to be replaced. While they were not bald, the tread depth had worn to about 4/32nds of an inch, which is more shallow than recommended for effective snow traction. Tires at low tread depths can only "nibble" into snow instead of biting through it to find grip. And with this brutal winter season still in full swing, I decided that it was time to be safe rather than sorry. Check out more information about how tread depth can affect snow traction by reading, "Do My Winter / Snow Tires Have Another Year in Them?

Dunlop has been producing studless winter tires for well over a decade beginning with the original Graspic DS-1. Subsequent generations of DS-2 and DS-3 models were well received and popular value-priced Studless Ice & Snow tires. These tires were known for their great deep snow and slush traction, but in general, fell a bit short in packed snow and ice traction compared to the competition from Bridgestone and Michelin. This gap in packed snow and ice traction seemed to be all but closed until Dunlop's introduction of the Winter Maxx.  

The roads were still covered with snow on the day I installed the tires on my 2009 Infiniti G37x Coupe. With a good mix of packed snow and ice, as well as loose snow and fresh powder on some roads, I was able to put the Winter Maxx tires through their paces. I can say with confidence that the tires are at least as good as my old Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires. If you're considering buying a great set of dedicated winter / snow tires for your vehicle at a great value, be sure to take a look at the Dunlop Winter Maxx

Hoosier Tires Made in Indiana!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by Gary Stanley

If you're looking for race-winning performance in an autocross or road race tire, look no further than Hoosier Racing tires! Not only are Hoosier tires of outstanding quality, they're made right here in Indiana.

 Hoosier A6
Hoosier A6
 Hoosier R6
Hoosier R6


Manufactured in Plymouth, Indiana, Hoosier's tires are popular for competition use in:

  • Autocross
  • Road Racing
  • High Performance Driving Events
  • Miata Racing
  • Time Attack Racing

While the Hoosier A6 and R6 may look the same, they have different tread compounds. Which Hoosier tire is for you? If you are chasing cones in an autocross event or are a very light road racer, choose the Hoosier A6. This tire heats up very quickly for the short runs that are typical at most autocrossing events.

For heavier cars and most track driving applications, choose the Hoosier R6. It requires more of a gradual warm-up time and provides consistency lap after lap. Two factors that will help steer you to victory!

While Hoosier tires are DOT-legal, they are not intended for highway use. Due to their low tread depth and ultra sticky rubber compound, we recommend that these tires be used on the track only.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Coming Into Stock for the 2014 Season

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

It seems hard to believe, but sooner or later the cold that has gripped most of the country this winter will soon lift and the snow will clear. When this occurs, competition events will be in full swing.

One of last year's hottest and best-selling performers, the Dunlop Direzza ZII, is filtering back into stock, and in many sizes is ready for shipment. This Extreme Performance Summer tire was one of our favorites in an internal test and has achieved much popularity within the ranks of our consumer surveys.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Dunlop Direzza ZII.

"The tires have well exceeded what I expected. I am more confident with these tires than I was with the Original Equipment. The wet traction is something Dunlop should be proud of. I will purchase them again!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door STI Limited

"I am a hardcore amateur racer and I've used the ZIIs on my Cayman and they are incredible. In my opinion, this is the best street tire there is." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Porsche Cayman

The Direzza ZII features a treadwear rating of 200, making it legal for most classes of SCCA and NASA competition. With 26 sizes offered, the ZII offers good market coverage of many popular sizes.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Grabber HTS

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.


General Grabber HTSReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.67

2001 Ford Escape 4wd
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 46,000
Location: Phoenixville, PA
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 46,000 Miles on Tires
December 26, 2013

I bought four of these tires in November 2010. At the time, I didn't know how many more times our Escape would be able to pass inspection. I'd had great results with Michelin Cross Terrains, but didn't want to spend the extra money that Michelins would cost.
The Generals worked very well for us. We drive on the "spirited" side, with a pretty even mix of interstates, back roads and city streets, and occasional gravel roads and farm fields. Traction, steering, handling, braking, noise, everything has always been excellent. The tires always responded predictably, with no significant decrease in performance as they aged.
Three years later, the Generals are almost done, but they still have some useful life left, maybe another 5,000 miles. I had them out twice recently in significant snowstorms, and felt safer and more secure with them than with the newer all-seasons on my rental car. Part of that is the nature of the two vehicles (Escape 4WD vs. Toyota Camry FWD), but even with traction control and the other 2012 technology the Camry has, the Escape (and its older tires) still felt safer.
I would probably buy another set if we were keeping the Escape. For the money, I don't know of a comparable tire that would work better for this vehicle than the Generals. If money were no object, I might consider the Michelin LTX M/S 2. I had an older generation of this tire on my pickup years ago; they were tremendous, and I understand the newer generation is even better. But they are pricey, about $180 each for the Michelins in the Escape size, vs. $100 or so for the Generals.
Tire Rack is my number one source for tire information, and my number one choice when it's time to buy. Their prices are competitive, I love their test reports, and the surveys and reviews are the most comprehensive I've ever seen. When I have questions, their representatives always come through. I don't even consider any other online tire suppliers, there's no need when Tire Rack does such a nice job.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.62
 
 

2006 BMW M3 Coupe Competition Package
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 9,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 9,500 Miles on Tires
November 26, 2013

Use these as my street tires, in 255/35R19 front and 275/30R19 rear, mounted on a set of Volk TE37SL wheels (19x9.5" & 19x11") on my extensively modified M3. For reference, track tires are usually PS Cups, or Nitto/Hoosier R-comps.

First off, these are the ONLY Street Tires I have run on this car that aren't immediately overpowered by the brakes, which are StopTech Trophy 6P/4P 380mm/355mm 2pc that I use for competition. Braking distance is better with these than anything else that is daily driveable, and in the wet I have more traction than I would have ever thought possible especially from these widths!

With a quite stiff race suspension, these tires have improved ride quality and decreased noise, with no perceptible change in NVH since new.

Control is phenomenal, with very good feedback and they are very communicative as to their limits, while allowing throttle on oversteer but being perfectly easy to reign back in.

Since going with these for my M3, I have also swapped to them on my GT3 RS and they're every bit as good there.

Another benefit is that they weigh in at about 2.5lbs less than other comparable tires, and in my pursuit of decreasing drivetrain loss as much as absolutely possible, the extra 10lbs of unsprung weight combined with the 28lb from the wheels is immense.

11/10.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

1991 Pontiac Trans Am
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location: Portland, OR
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
January 19, 2014

I purchased a set of these tires for my Trans Am to use for regular driving and some autocross. They are a great tire for both wet and dry driving, I am continually surprised by how much traction they have in wet weather. They have worn down more slowly than I initially expected. Plenty of grip for any street driving, although not high enough dry grip levels to be a "true autocross tire." The tires still performed well in competition, although long hot days would cause the tire to get somewhat greasy. (At an autocross)

I have driven on these tires in colder temps, and they still do okay. Being a summer tire, I have not tried them in snow.

These tires feel very confidence inspiring. They let you know when you are approaching the limits of adhesion, and I have gained a great deal of confidence in the handling of my vehicle.

I would definitely buy these tires again.

 

Does Tire Rack Offer Road Hazard Protection?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Zig Ziegler

It's the time of year when the weather is as unpredictable as the roads you drive on -- with the constant freezing and thawing of the roadways, potholes are everywhere. If you purchased Tire Rack's Tire Road Hazard Program it could make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major out-of-pocket expense.

Tire Rack supports the tire manufacturers' warranties for all the tire brands we sell. Those warranties apply to tires that become unusable for any reason within the tire manufacturer's control, typically covering materials and workmanship. However, these warranties do not apply to causes and conditions beyond the tire manufacturer's control, such as road hazards.

 Tire Rack's Road Hazard Program
Tire Rack's Tire Road Hazard Program
 Tire Rack's Road Hazard Program
Tire Rack's Tire Road Hazard Program


Road hazard damage is damage that occurs when a tire fails as a result of a puncture, bruise or break incurred during the course of normal driving on a maintained road. Nails, glass and potholes are the most common examples of road hazards. Because of this, many drivers desire the additional security and peace of mind that a Tire Road Hazard Service Program provides.

  • Tires are covered for 36 months from the date of purchase or until 2/32" or less of tread remains, whichever occurs first.
  • Repairs are reimbursed up to $25 per tire per occurrence.
  • During the first 12 months, you will be reimbursed for 100% of the original cost of the tire covered by the Tire Road Hazard Service Program, subject to the limitations set forth in the Program Certificate. Beyond the first 12 months, the reimbursable amount is calculated by a proration of elapsed time, not to exceed 36 months.
  • The following tires are not eligible for the Tire Road Hazard Service Program:
    • Competition tires
    • LT Metric sized tires
    • LT Flotation sized tires
    • Trailer tires
  • The following vehicles are not eligible for the Tire Road Hazard Service Program:
    • Any emergency service vehicle.
    • Any vehicle used for hire, commercial, towing, construction or postal service.
    • Any vehicle used for farm, ranch, agriculture or off-road use.
    • Program is only available to customers living in the 48 contiguous States. Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, APO/FPO, Canada and Mexico are excluded.
  • Additional exclusions and limitations are described in the Program Certificate.

Be sure to consider adding the Road Hazard Protection to your tire purchase to protect yourself from future road hazard damage expenses.

Which Competition Tires Suit Your Needs Best?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Many are already thinking about the 2014 track season and some of those that live in warm climates are still racing. Wherever you may reside, choosing a competition tire can be overwhelming, especially for the beginner.

Racetrack & Autocross Only

Majority of tires in this class feature a slick type design that offers the top in dry traction, steering response, braking and acceleration. These tires are delicate and are not intended to be driven on the street or exposed to cold temperatures. Their life can be extended by using our in-house heat cycling service. A few of the top performers include:

Wet Racetrack & Autocross Only

These tires feature a more aggressive directional tread design and deep tread depths to provide excellent wet traction on the track. Tires in this performance category are delicate and not intended to be street driven or exposed to cold temperatures. If this sounds like something you're looking for out of a tire, Hoosier offers a great option.

Drag Racing Radials

Specifically designed for straight line racing, this class gives the driver drag strip performance from tires that are streetable. Due to their soft sidewalls, meant to help the tire deflect under straight line acceleration, they can feel softer than normal around corners in street conditions. These tires are delicate and not intended to be driven in wet conditions or exposed to cold temperatures. Top performers in the category include:


BFGoodrich g-Force R1

Hoosier Radial Wet H20

Toyo Proxes TQ


No matter what your level of expertise on the track, Tire Rack has the tires you need!

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 10
 
 

2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 6,500
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 6,500 Miles on Tires
November 16, 2013

WOW!, What a set of tires, the best I have had. Responsive, quite ad wet/dry control all roll up in one very competitively priced tire. You could spend more with Michelin and other names, but these are quarantee to overwhelm you. 6,500 miles, they just keep getting better.

 

Dunlop Launches Impressive New Winter Maxx

Monday, November 11, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Among the new winter / snow tires available this season is Dunlop's Winter Maxx. Positioned in the popular Studless Ice & Snow category, the Winter Maxx has been very competitive in our testing against the current leaders in the category, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3.

On the road, they were more stable and responsive than the Graspic DS-3 that they replaced, and on the ice rink they were some of the best in this year's testing. Test results will be published later this month, so stay tuned.

At the left you can see a photograph of the Winter Maxx's tread pattern. Typical elements like angled tread blocks, plenty of void area and horizontal biting edges are present.

In addition, Dunlop has made extensive use of siping for the Winter Maxx. Note how nearly the entire face of the tire is covered with tiny serrated-looking lines. Those small cuts in the treads are called sipes.

By using interlocking zig-zag sipes, Dunlop is able to pack in a very high density of siping without unduly compromising the tread-block stability required for stable, consistent road handling. Each sipe provides additional edges when the tire is trying to 'bite' into the snow to provide traction. But when subjected to cornering loads, the sipes interlock, acting like a solid tread block and providing a more stable feel when cornering than a tire with such heavy siping would usually offer.

The sipes work in combination with the rest of the tread design and the specialized winter compound to create a top-notch winter performer. For more detailed information about the Winter Maxx, and to shop for available sizes, view here.

Comparing the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 and Blizzak LM-32

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Earlier this year, Bridgestone announced the replacement of its popular Performance Winter / Snow tire, the Blizzak LM-60. While the Bridgestone Blizzak line has always been known for its top-of-the-class winter traction, it has given up ground recently to some models that offer competitive levels of grip, but tend to handle better on dry or wet plowed roads.

The new Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 aims to pick up where the LM-60 left off while increasing steering response and dry road handling. Offered in numerous sizes and featuring speed ratings as high as W (168 mph), the new LM-32 should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a tire that can handle most anything winter throws at it, while still being pleasurable to drive on when conditions aren't as nasty.

Higher speed ratings traditionally correlate directly with on-center feel, lane change responsiveness and sidewall rigidity. The higher the speed rating, the better the tire typically performs under such criteria. With that said, apart from a higher terminal top speed (LM-60 is H-speed rated for 130 mph), the new LM-32 looks to be a better handling tire than its predecessor, but still retains the aggressive directional pattern the Blizzak line is known for.

To learn more about the Blizzak line from Bridgestone, read "Bridgestone Blizzak FAQs."

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 vs. Blizzak LM-60

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Whether you've been purchasing winter / snow tires for years or are new to the market, odds are that you've heard of Bridgestone's Blizzak line of winter tires. Since the 1990s, Bridgestone Blizzaks have all but dominated the snow tire market with their superior ice and snow traction. While they're best known for their studless compound, maximum snow traction WS series, like the Blizzak WS70, Bridgestone also makes more performance oriented Blizzaks for those looking for better dry handling and steering response from their winter tires. The new Blizzak LM-32 is their latest example of such a tire. 

A few years ago, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 replaced the Blizzak LM-25 in most sizes. In the past, the older Blizzak LM-25 and popular Dunlop Winter Sport 3D tires were considered direct competitors with similar snow traction and dry road handling/cornering. The then-newly redesigned LM-60 moved the balance closer to the snow traction side of the equation by using a more aggressive tread pattern, but with a compound and construction of a high performance snow tire. The end result was improved snow and ice traction over competing high performance winter tires, but with a sacrifice in steering response and dry cornering. Read "New LM-60 Bridgestone Blizzak Snow Tires" for more information on how Bridgestone's improvements changed with the LM-60.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32


While the LM-60 did indeed have better ice and snow traction, many drivers of higher performance vehicles did miss the better handling and faster steering response that the LM-25 provided. Those drivers now have an excellent choice with the new Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32. The Blizzak LM-32 moves that balance back towards the handling and dry grip side, putting it back in competition with the newest generation of high performance winter / snow tires.

Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on these and other great winter / snow tires for your application!

Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf
Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application. - See more at: http://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-driving-fun#sthash.Yt4VobNx.dpuf

Hankook's Ventus S1 noble2 Will Impress You

Thursday, September 12, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Our most recent test of value-priced Ultra High Performance All-Season tires pitted the well established Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval AS and General G-MAX AS-03 against the new Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season and Hankook Ventus S1 noble2. Both Goodyear and Hankook had strong performers in the category, but have recently updated and improved their products to get a jump on the competition. 

In order to evaluate each tire's high performance capability and every day manners, we subjected all four to both our Performance Test Track Drives and Real World Road Rides. On our 4.1-mile loop of expressways, state highways and county roads, we're able to get a sense for how each tire will perform in real world conditions, like those most of our customers experience on their daily commute. The variety of pavement, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling characteristics. General's G-MAX AS-03 proved to have the most responsive feel on the highway with the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 a very close second. Goodyear's Eagle Sport All-Season and the Firestone tire were not that much behind the others, but neither were quite as crisp compared to the General. Beyond handling, the Hankook led the way for the best comfort and least amount of road noise in the group. 

On our 1/3-mile test track, we can replicate extreme maneuvers in both wet and dry conditions normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. When driven to the limit of our test cars' capability (and our driver's ability), the Hankook continued to lead the field in dry conditions, with the General and Hankook very similar in wet conditions. In a departure from our expectations, the Goodyear and most notably the Firestone struggled to find grip and provide great handling on our well soaked track.

With all the scores tallied, the Ventus S1 noble2 edged out the veteran General G-MAX AS-03 for the win. For a full recap of our test, read "Testing Value-Priced Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires."

Dunlop SP Sport Signature Still a Top Choice in the High Performance All-Season Category

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Gary Stanley

With tire technology advancing quickly these days, it's rare to find a model of tire that stands the test of time and remains competitive in its category year after year. First introduced over six years ago, the Dunlop SP Sport Signature is one of those tires. Even after this many years, it continues to hold its own against newer tires in the High Performance All-Season category. If you're looking for a great all-season performance tire at a good price, the Dunlop SP Sport Signature is for you!

With over 2.6 million miles reported, the tire is currently ranked third in our survey results. This is a higher ranking than other popular tires including the Yokohama AVID ENVigor, Goodyear Eagle GT and BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S. The SP Sport Signature is often praised for its good road feel, quick steering response and great combination of wet and dry traction. 

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Dunlop SP Sport Signature:

"These have been such fantastic tires that I am now on my third set. Great dry weather traction and awesome treadwear. I have been very pleased with these tires." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2003 Infiniti G35 Sedan

"These tires handle great. I have almost no road noise and they handle great on wet pavement. Even with my aggressive driving habits they wore perfectly. They were a great buy for the money." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2001 Lexus ES300

"The Dunlops have transformed my car. I've gone from such noise to such quiet and smooth riding and handling. For a car with 280,000 miles on it, the difference is astounding. I'm very happy with the purchase of these tires." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 1998 Honda Accord Coupe EX V6

For more information on this tire, read "The Dunlop SP Sport Signature Continues to Impress." 

Best Tires for a Honda Odyssey

Friday, August 23, 2013 by Colin .

Many Honda Odyssey owners want a tire that has long treadlife, good traction and a quiet ride. When looking for tires that work best for your Odyssey, it's important to remember that different trim levels and model years use different tire sizes, therefore you'll want to verify what size your vehicle uses first. Consider the following options when it comes time for new tires on your Honda Odyssey. 

Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology - This Standard Touring All-Season tire is offered with an 80,000-mile treadlife warranty. It's designed to enhance driving pleasure, save fuel and provide very good all-season traction. Continental's PROactive Edge Technology brings more active edges into the contact patch to promote foul-weather traction while allowing the pattern elements to transfer smoothly from edge to edge to minimize road noise.

Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus - Designed to provide Bridgestone's ultimate in luxury, elegance and comfort, the Turanza Serenity Plus blends long wear with dry, wet and wintertime traction, even in light snow. The tire is one of the highest rated options in the Grand Touring All-Season category.

Michelin Primacy MXV4 - Like the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus, the Primacy MXV4 also rates very well in the Grand Touring All-Season category. It's offered with a 60,000-mile treadlife warranty and excels in ride quietness and smoothness. To see how this tire performed during our testing, watch "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires with a Sporty Edge."


Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology

Bridgestone Turanza Serenity
Plus

Michelin Primacy
MXV4


Firestone Precision Touring - Available with a 70,000-mile treadlife warranty, this tire provides year-round capability and comfort. In our testing the tire was a little noisier compared to its competition, but is ranked very highly in its category. It receives high marks in the following areas:  

  • Treadwear
  • Hydroplaning resistance
  • Wet traction
  • Cornering stability
  • Dry traction
  • Steering response

General AltiMAX RT and HP - These value-priced options are strongly worth considering. The RT model comes with a 70,000-mile treadlife warranty, while the HP H-speed rated version has a 55,000-mile warranty and the V-speed rated version offers a 40,000-mile treadlife warranty. Both models combine reliability, comfort and treadlife and are a good choice for your Honda Odyssey.  

View our Tire Decision Guide to help you determine the best tires for how and where you drive your Honda Odyssey.