Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus

Tuesday, October 1, 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.

Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2

2001 Lexus GS430
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Miles driven on tires: 50
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 50 Miles on Tires
April 16, 2013

These tires will make you think you bought a new car! Difficult to compare to other tires...these tires are in a class all by themselves! They are so quiet as to be almost unbelievable! You will hear your cell phone now easily even at highway speeds. It has very good ratings too for dry AND wet traction. No...it is not a serious competitor for auto-cross competition as the sidewalls are not that stiff, but the ride is ever so sweet, and low rolling friction to boot! Yes it is definitely stable at highway speeds, requiring almost no steering corrections..it knows how to go down the road effortlessly!


What are the Best Tire Brands?

Thursday, September 19, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

With millions of vehicles sold in the United States last year ranging from FIAT 500s to Ford F-150s, drivers have a myriad of choices. Shouldn't they also be able to have their tires their way, too? In a perfect tire world, every tire manufacturer would engineer the optimal tire for every car and driver. However, the market is very large and competitive, and instead of a few brands dominating all segments, there are all-stars that excel in their niches.

Even though Michelin was the first tire company to commercialize the radial tire back in 1948, all major tire manufacturers have the same core technology, such as radial ply construction, steel belts, etc. They often use the same or similar materials with some noteworthy exceptions, for example polyamide. As you research tires, judge a tire by how well it's been engineered for your specific needs.

Taking a look at the hypothetical case of Maria from Burnsville, Minnesota, she drives 16,000 miles per year in her 2009 Honda Civic EX Sedan which came with the 205/55R16 Original Equipment size. Her daily commute consists of two miles of suburban roads before hopping on the interstate for 25 miles of highway driving to reach work. She normally drives about five miles above the posted speed limit and has never received a speeding ticket.

What does Maria need in her tires?

  1. Snow grip - It's Minnesota! Running dedicate winter / snow tires during the winter is the best choice for her during the colder months.
  2. Wet grip - Spring showers will cause her to need adequate wet grip to brake, corner and accelerate properly in the rain.
  3. Treadwear - Since Maria drives quite a bit, she's needs a tire that combines good treadwear and has enough grip to stop quickly.
  4. Low tread noise and a good ride -  She's in her car over one hour each day, she needs a tire with low tread noise and the ability to ride well over bumps. Tire noise is heavily dependent on vehicle design and ride compliance will inherently be challenged in short wheelbase cars.
  5. Relative efficiency - One reason she got the Civic was because of its fuel efficiency. It would be helpful to have a tire that's engineered for efficiency even though tire choice is only a partial factor of fuel economy with speed, air pressure and other things coming into play.  

What tire is best for Maria? Based on our summer and winter testing, I would recommend the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422. To find the tire that's best for you car, shop by vehicle.

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

Introducing the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3: Summer Tire Grip with All-Season Capability

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Michelin's Pilot Sport A/S 3 aims to set a new level of grip for an all-season tire. Usually when comparing an all-season and summer tire, it would be expected that you would sacrifice a certain amount of "summer time" grip to have a tire you can drive in all seasons. Michelin's new Pilot Sport A/S 3 is designed to provide grip you would expect from a dedicated summer tire, while also providing traction in colder weather.

The Pilot Sport A/S 3 replaces the highly successful Pilot Sport A/S Plus. During Michelin's internal testing, the Pilot Sport A/S 3 provided more grip on a dry autocross than the Continental ExtremeContact DW and Pirelli P Zero Nero (both are dedicated summer tires).

 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires feature Michelin’s Helio compound made with sunflower oil combined with their Extreme Silica Technology to increase traction at low temperatures and on wet roads. Molded into an aggressive asymmetric tread pattern inspired by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, its 4-, 5- or 6-rib designs are tuned to complement tire width and feature more rubber and rigid blocks on their outboard shoulders to provide high levels of lateral grip that offer as much dry cornering capability as some competitive summer performance tires. Wide circumferential grooves help resist hydroplaning and enhance wet traction. 3-D Variable Thickness Sipe Technology and unique biting edges in the tread grooves enhance cold weather snow mobility for all-season performance.

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is offered in two performance categories, Ultra High Performance All-Season and High Performance All-Season. If you're looking to enjoy the grip of a summer tire with the capabilities of an all-season tire, be sure to strongly consider the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3.

Great Grip at Great Pricing - Closeout Pricing on Hankook Ventus R-S3

Friday, August 9, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Although Extreme Performance Summer tires have stepped up their game, the old stalwarts of the category still provide great dry grip for your fun car. Like all Extreme Performance Summer tires, the Hankook R-S3 emphasizes dry grip and steering response at the expense of wear, ride compliance and tread noise. It's a great tire for spirited drivers. The R-S3 has always provided a great mix of dry performance and value. Now, closeout pricing in select sizes has made a great deal even better.

Do you have a PCA lapping day coming up for your 911? 285/35ZR18 tires have been marked down to $159*, 235/35ZR19s to $182 and 305/30ZR19s to $229*. Did you just pick up a Nissan 370Z? The 225/40ZR19 is currently available for $149* and the 245/40ZR19 for $159*.

You may also notice that some R-S3 tire specs show a 140 UTQG Treadwear rating, where others are now 200 rated. When the Ventus R-S3 was introduced in the spring of 2009, Hankook assigned the 140 rating to match the UTQG Treadwear rating required by existing competition rules. However, subsequent Hankook wear data revealed the tire line provided equivalent wear to its predecessor (Ventus R-S2) and earned the same 200 Treadwear rating. This has also been supported by Tire Rack survey results and customer feedback that indicate Ventus R-S3 tires provide equivalent wear to other tires already featuring similar UTQG Treadwear ratings. Where there was no change in compound or internal construction, some of the 140 rated tires are now discounted a little to help clear them out.

*Prices subject to change

How Good Are Kumho Ecsta Tires?

Thursday, August 1, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Many drivers have heard of Kumho tires since they've been sold in the United States for over ten years. If you have not considered Kumho tires in the past, you may want to take another look at them now. While Kumho does make some entry-level tires that compete on price, they also manufacture tires that compete with some of the top tires on the market.

Much like the name "Pilot" on a Michelin tire or "Eagle" on a Goodyear tire, the name "Ecsta" on a Kumho tire identifies it as one of their performance oriented tires. There is no one Kumho Ecsta tire, instead there's a family of tires that have the Ecsta name on them. Two of the best performance tires in the Kumho Ecsta line are the all-season Kumho Ecsta 4X and summer Ecsta LE Sport

If you aren't looking for an ultra high performance tire and instead want long treadlife and a quiet, soft ride, check out the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum. To see how this tire could work for you, read "Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum vs. Kumho Ecsta 4X."

 Kumho Ecsta LE Sport
Kumho Ecsta LE Sport
 Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum
Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum
 Kumho Ecsta 4X
Kumho Ecsta 4X

All three of these tires rate highly in their categories and performed competitively in our testing, all while still being reasonably priced. So, are Kumho Ecsta tires good? Absolutely! 

Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology Looks to Contend with Michelin's Primacy MXV4

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the last few years, Michelin's Primacy MXV4 had dominated the Grand Touring All-Season category, as well as our independent tests. The tire is known for offering a quiet and comfortable ride with some sporty handling. With over 16 million miles reported by our customers, the Primacy MXV4 has been far and away a best seller and the target that all other tire manufacturers are shooting for. A host of new models have been introduced to challenge the MXV4 and we took the new Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS, Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology and Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus to the street and track for evaluation. 

On our 6.6-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 types, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling at highways speeds. While the Michelin continued to impress our testers, the PureContact with EcoPlus Technology got the nod with slightly better and more responsive handling characteristics, while the Pirelli was just a little behind. The Potenza RE97AS was in a near tie with the Primacy MXV4 for best tread noise.

On our 1/3-mile test track course, we can replicate extreme maneuvers (in both wet and dry conditions) normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. While in dry conditions, all four tires proved to be very capable performers. The PureContact with EcoPlus Technology proved to be noticeably more responsive to steering input than the others, but the Primacy MXV4 was close behind.

The competition was tight, and while the Continental almost spoiled Michelin's party, the MXV4 was able to get the overall nod by a very small margin.

For a complete recap of our testing, read "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires with a Sporty Edge."

Continental's PureContact with EcoPlus Technology vs. ContiProContact

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by Gary Stanley

About ten years ago, Continental released the original ContiProContact. This tire competed well with the top Grand Touring All-Season tires of that day, including the Michelin MXV4 and Bridgestone's line of Turanza touring tires. These tires met the needs of drivers of a variety of vehicles from family sedans to crossovers. The Continental ContiProContact was also selected as Original Equipment on many luxury cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. 

Over the years, the ContiProContact began to fall behind newer tires with more advanced technology such as the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus and Michelin Primacy MXV4. For a comparison on these two newer designs, read "Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus Rises to the Top of the Grand Touring All-Season Tire Category." In response to the rapidly changing and competitive Grand Touring All-Season market, Continental introduced the PureContact with EcoPlus Technology.

ContiPro Contact
PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact
with EcoPlus Technology

The PureContact with EcoPlus Technology is quite a bit better than its predecessor. Advancements that Continental have made with this new design have paid off, as the tire is currently ranked number one in our customer survey results. It competes very well against the best tires in its category, while selling at a lower price in most sizes. This makes the tire a great value and outstanding choice for drivers looking for a blend of ride quality, all-season traction and long wear, while maintaining good levels of handling and steering response. 

Shop by vehicle to view pricing and selection on great tires for your application.

Introducing the new Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 by Steve Huffman

New for 2013 iMichelin Pilot Sport A/S 3s Michelin's highly anticipated all-season tire, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. With the popularity of the Pilot Super Sport, Michelin is sharing some technology found in that tire with their new all-season version.

Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires feature Michelin’s Helio compound made with sunflower oil combined with their Extreme Silica Technology to increase traction in lower temperatures and on wet roads. Molded into an aggressive asymmetric tread pattern inspired by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, its 4-, 5- or 6-rib designs are tuned to complement tire width and feature more rubber and rigid blocks on their outboard shoulders that provide high levels of lateral grip to provide as much dry cornering capability as some competitive summer performance tires. Wide circumferential grooves help resist hydroplaning, enhance wet traction and help generate some of the shortest wet braking distances in the High Performance All-Season category.

The tire will be replacing the popular Pilot Sport A/S Plus. We anticipate the new tire will have comparable responsiveness to the Super Sport, with equivalent all-season traction as the Sport A/S Plus. They are covered under a 45,000-mile treadlife warranty, with half mileage for the rear if different size than the front.

View all Michelin tires and find one that works best for how and where you drive.

The Potenza RE-11A is Bridgestone's Latest Tire for Enthusiasts

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Ben Rooney

The Extreme Performance Summer category is targeted specifically for driving enthusiasts who demand the ultimate in grip and handling. These drivers may take their cars to autocross races, lapping days and other amateur motorsports events. For any racing class that requires true street tires, this is the class of tire to use.

Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11 has been very successful in this category, posting fast lap times and gaining high marks for its everyday usability. While it is currently the highest rated tire in our customer survey data, Bridgestone is aware they can't be complacent in this competitive class of tires. With competitors like BFGoodrich and Dunlop launching new tires, customers will have a wide variety of excellent options.

For 2013, Bridgestone is introducing the Potenza RE-11A in select sizes. This tire is an evolution of the Potenza RE-11, with revisions to enhance its performance and keep it at the forefront of this hotly contested market segment. The tire features a slightly revised tread pattern and a compound that combines silica content with a new long-link carbon black.

RE-11 sizes that are not being replaced by the RE-11A will continue to be available. View the RE-11A sizes that will be available this year and see if one is a match for your vehicle.

Differences Between Bridgestone's Potenza RE-11 and RE-11A

Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Earlier this year, Bridgestone announced they would be releasing a revision to their popular Potenza RE-11 tire to make it more competitive in the dry among a stout group of competitors. The Potenza RE-11A will continue forward with the same exact tread pattern as the original Potenza RE-11 and will retain the same speed ratings as well. The main change in the design is a compound difference that allows for slightly higher grip limits. RE-11A tires will be released in ten sizes this summer and are branded with a UTQG rating of 200 - making them legal for most, if not all, street tire competition classes.

Like its predecessor, the Potenza RE-11A seems to be one of the most balanced Extreme Performance Summer tires, as well as one of the few that puts a high emphasis on good wet performance and hydroplaning resistance. Designed for serious sports car, sports coupe and performance sedan driving enthusiasts, the Potenza RE-11A enhances traction, handling and control while maintaining good noise and ride comfort. Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A tires are performance tuned for dry and wet conditions, but like all summer tires it is not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.

The Potenza RE-11A's biggest competitors in 2013 look to be the BFGoodrich g-Force Rival and Dunlop Direzza ZII. Stay tuned for results as we will be testing these tires later this summer!

Michelin Once Again Dominates the One Lap of America in 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Tire Rack is proud to have continued our title sponsorship of this year's One Lap of America event. One Lap consists of 17 timed events over 8 days. In total, competitors traveled over 3,400 in just over a week. It is a true test of endurance and performance

For the third year in a row, the overall winner's vehicle was equipped with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. The Super Sport has been on the winning vehicle since it was introduced to the market in the spring of 2011. As the 30th running of this extreme challenge for driving enthusiasts, this year's competition featured many of America's fastest street-legal cars. View results for the 2013 event here.

If you're in the market for the best of the best in wet and dry traction performance, check out the Pilot Super Sport. It has proven its worth not only in the One Lap competition, but also in our testing and feedback from customers. The tire is the top-ranked option in the Max Performance Summer category. After reading a few of our customers' comments, you'll understand why:

"Quite honestly the BEST tire I have ever had on my cars." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX.

"These tires have oooogles of mega grip, even wet. I am going to need a new seat with harness just to stay in the seat." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Also, when you buy a set of four Michelin Pilot Super Sports before June 18, 2013, you can receive a $70 MasterCard Reward Card.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Wednesday, May 15, 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.

Michelin Pilot Super Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9

2005 Honda S2000
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Miles driven on tires: 3,500
Location: Gainesville, FL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,500 Miles on Tires
April 20, 2013

Have 215/45/17 Michelin Pilot Super Sports on front of my '05 Honda S2000 and 245/40/17 PSS on the rear with about 3,500 miles on tires since new. Ordinary highway driving yields low noise levels with firm, but not quite punishing, ride in what is a firm riding car.

Tires respond immediately to steering inputs and have very tight "on-center" feel. Wet performance (Florida thunderstorms) is very good and wet and dry braking are among best I've experienced in almost 60 years of driving. Kuhmhos that were on car when I bought it were more comfortable but absolutely not the tire for hard driving in comparison to Michelin PSSs.

Just drove the "Tail OF THE DRAGON" in North Carolina (318 curves in 11 miles!) for 3 days in company of over 100 Honda S2000s during annual meeting of S2000 group S2KI. Very spirited and competitive driving - 20++ MPH over posted speeds in corners posted at 10-20 MPH. PSSs exhibited phenomenal grip on damp surface 1st day and dry the remainder. Early braking for corners followed by strong acceleration produced sensations of rear tires grabbing pavement and powering car out of corner under heavy throttle, closing gap with car ahead. Eyeball-crossing "G" sensations with no howling or indications of being anywhere near limits of this tire at 40 in 20 MPH curves. 50 MPH in 20 MPH curves would produce plenty of warning through slight slip angles with excellent steering control feel and sensations of "hooking up again" part way through corner while applying strong acceleration.

Conclusions: 1)I'll never drive the S2000 as fast as this tire allows, 2) Pilot Super Sports deserve #1 ranking, and, 3) worth the premium price if you drive hard, want a tire with no nasty surprise traits during hard driving, and want better than average tire life (for max performance type tires) nonetheless.


Goodyear vs. Michelin Performance Tires

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Gary Stanley

There are many rivalries in today's competitive world: Chevy versus Ford, Coke versus Pepsi and Burger King versus McDonald's may come to mind when thinking of two prominent companies within an industry. When it comes to tires, Goodyear and Michelin is one of the most common rivalries.

In some categories, such as the Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season, the Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Season ranks just a bit higher than Michelin's competing tire, the Latitude Tour. In other categories that include performance tires, Michelin's tires often rank higher. For example, in the Max Performance Summer category, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport is on top. I was so impressed by this particular tire that I bought a set for my own car. My experiences with the tire can be found by reading, "Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires Installed on My Car." The Pilot Super Sport also picked up a win against Goodyear's Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 last summer during our testing. You can see how well the Michelin tire performed by taking a look at "Testing Max Performance Summer Tires."

Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport
 Goodyear F1Asymmetric 2
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2

So, who really has the better tires? When it comes to performance tires, Michelin is tough to beat right now. However, the tire market is fast paced and new technology is constantly pushing the performance envelope further. When changes are made, you can always count on us to provide you with the best tire options for your vehicle.

Hoosier A6 vs. R6: Which to Choose?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Ben Rooney

The Hoosier A6 and R6 are two of the most successful DOT-legal racing tires in recent years. A6 and R6 tires look identical, but are designed for different types of competition. How do you know which is best for your vehicle?

The Hoosier A6 was developed with autocross competition in mind. It uses a softer compound for maximum grip and comes up to temperature more quickly to reach optimal grip between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A6 tires deliver more traction, but give up longevity to do so. In autocross, where runs are extremely short, this lack of longevity is not a problem and allows a set of A6 tires to last for multiple events. Though the tires are generally ready to run when brand new, a light scuff-in can be beneficial.

Hoosier R6 tires are designed for roadrace competition. They have a more durable compound that's better able to hold up to multiple lapping sessions, higher speeds and larger race courses. The R6 should be heat cycled before competition use for the most consistent performance. Tire Rack offers heat cycling service for competition tires. With this service, the tires arrive ready to use.

Hoosier A6

Hoosier R6

Some drivers will also use the A6 on road courses for sprint races or qualifying sessions where a few fast laps are of the utmost importance. Used in this way, the A6 will often be used up in one session. Using the A6 in a roadrace setting is only recommended for experienced drivers who know exactly what they need and are willing to go through a set of tires in one event. Lightweight vehicles with moderate horsepower may also use the A6 in cooler weather when they're not able to get the R6 up to the optimal temperature range of 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit .

Drivers preparing to run Hoosier tires on the track should also read Hoosier's care and feeding document.

Best Tires for Roadrace and Autocross Events

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Colin .

With spring here, many drivers are getting ready to purchase tires for roadrace or autocross use.  

For those who want tires they'll use mostly on the street, but want to do some racing, the Extreme Performance Summer category offers some good options. Tires in this performance category won't give you the fastest lap times compared to competition tires, however they are a good choice for the less serious racer. If this sounds like what you're looking for, consider the following options:

For the more serious race enthusiast, take a look at our selection of Track & Competition DOT tires. These are options that shouldn't be driven on the street and are for the track only. If you are looking for a tire for your roadrace event, consider the Hoosier R6. If autocross is your event, take a look at the A6 from Hoosier.

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival

Hoosier R6

Hankook Ventus Z214

Hoosier's set-up process to maximize treadwear and handling is more involved than other tires, however their tires are hard to beat! For those that want a good competition tire at a lower price point, the Hankook Ventus Z214 is available in both a roadrace and autocross compound. 

Will your new set of tires need to be saved? If so, how far should they be shaved? Read "Shaving Tires for Autocross / Track Use / Competition" to see how this service can help you maximize your tire's performance capabilities early in their life.

Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus Rises to the Top of the Grand Touring All-Season Tire Category

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 by Gary Stanley

What's all the buzz about the new Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus?

For years, Bridgestone had a top-rated tire with its line of luxury touring tires, the Turanza Serenity. When we last tested one of these tires, it resulted in a virtual tie with the Michelin Primacy MXV4. If this particular Michelin tire is one you're considering, read "Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires Installed on My Crossover" for more information.

In today's fast paced competitive tire market, products are constantly being improved. Enter the new "Plus" version of the tire, simply called the  Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus. This new version features improved wear, ride and grip levels which have contributed to its rise to the top of our Tire Survey Results in the Grand Touring All-Season category.

This category of tire is perfect for drivers looking for a blend of dry and wet grip, light snow traction, long wear and a very quiet ride. In these areas, the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus really delivers, especially considering it comes with a treadwear warranty of 50,000-80,000 miles depending on the speed rating. The tires also mold a silica percentage reinforced, Long Link Carbon Black tread compound into an asymmetric design featuring Resonance Noise Attenuated (RENOA) silencer grooves designed to reduce acoustic tones.

To see if the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus is a fit for you application, shop by vehicle.

Tire Shaving Available at Tire Rack

Friday, April 12, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

Tire Rack offers a tire shaving service that has been primarily used for preparing tires for competition use. This same service is used to remove tread rubber from new pairs or street tires to allow them to match the remaining tread depth of the other partially worn tires that will remain on the vehicle. In addition to providing equivalent tread depth to eliminate driveline stress, shaved tires will better match the traction and handling qualities of the remaining worn tires. This service can be performed on a tire with a starting tread depth higher than 4/32".

While the cost of our street tire shaving service ranges between $25 and $35 for each tire, it is significantly less than the cost of unnecessarily replacing the remaining two or three good tires with lots of mileage still available from them. We can't accept tires at one of our locations to be shaved, they must be purchased from us and we'll ship the tire after shaving to you.

When it comes to tires for autocross and track use, the reason they're so effective is because they feature shallow tread depths and their contact patch acts as a single unit. Any tread design that breaks up the contact patch into smaller elements or adds more tread depth will increase the tread block squirm and reduce dry performance. Tires typically provide their worst wet traction and best dry performance just before they wear out. The heat generated every time a tire is driven activates bonding agents in the rubber. As this process repeats throughout the tire's life, its rubber compounds gradually harden and lose flexibility reducing the tire's grip. Therefore, a shaved new tire will provide more traction than a tire worn to the exact same tread depth after being driven for thousands of miles on the road.

Tire shaving is an effective means of permitting more of a tire's performance capability to be realized early in its life. In many cases, shaved tires used in competition actually have a longer useful life than tires that enter competition at full tread depth. A shaved tires's tread profile will usually result in a little more increase in the width of the tire's contact patch, putting a little more rubber on the road. The resulting shallower tread depths reduce the slip angle, increasing its responsiveness and cornering power by minimizing tread block squirm.

To gain a better insight into tire shaving, read "Shaving Tire for Autocross / Track Use / Competition."

Differences Between BFGoodrich's g-Force R1 and g-Force R1 S

Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

As the spring season gets underway and customers begin to shop for race tires, I have taken a few calls concerning the differences between BFGoodrich's Dry Racetrack & Autocross Only offerings, the g-Force R1 and g-Force R1 S.

The BFGoodrich g-Force R1 is the tire most suited for extended road course use. It features a more durable compound designed for longer life and consistency. Like all competition products, life will be considerably shorter than any street tire. However, several weekends of fun in competition events are possible if the tire is properly driven!

In contrast, BFGoodrich's g-Force R1 S is designed for light bursts, most commonly associated with autocross. The "S" designation implies the tire is intended for sprint use. Featuring a softer compound, this tire comes up to temperature quickly, but exchanges life to do so. It's best suited for autocross use or for individuals looking to set competitive qualifying laps.

BFGoodrich g-Force R1

BFGoodrich g-Force R1 S

Both tires are not appropriate for highway use. They aren't recommended for driving in wet conditions where standing water is present and there's the risk of hydroplaning; drivers should drive cautiously at reduced speeds if they encounter these conditions. It's also essential these tires be stored indoors at temperatures maintained above 32 degrees F.

The relationship between these two tires is very similar to that of the Hoosier R6 and A6, which are also meant for track and autocross use.

Get your racing season off to a good start by shopping by vehicle and finding the tire best suited for your driving style!

Search Race Tires by Size Quickly and Easily

Thursday, March 28, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Depending on where you live, race season will soon be upon us or is now in full swing for many SCCA racers and other racing organizations. We carry a variety of street legal race tires from Hoosier, BFGoodrich, Michelin, Kumho, Hankook and Toyo. If you know Hoosier is the brand for you, take a look at "Hoosier A6 and R6 Race Tires."

While Tire Rack offers an easy-to-use shop by vehicle feature, many racers use wider, non-standard sizes in order to maximize track performance. Since racecars often have more flexibility in sizes that can be used, it's often helpful to see a list of sizes that a given tire is available in. Therefore, shopping by size is a more efficient way to find the race tire you're looking for. 

However, if you already know which specific race tire you want and would simply like to know what sizes are available and how that tire compares to its competitors, follow these steps: 

  1. Visit our Tire Survey Results
  2. Select the tire that interests you
  3. Click on the 'Sizes" tab

Now that you've found your tires, it may be a good idea to have them heat cycled. 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. For more information, read "Competition Tire Heat Cycling Service."