The Doc is In!

My nickname is Doc, and I'm a sales specialist at Tire Rack. We are very fortunate to have our own test track and test cars from BMW and Porsche at our disposal. It's very exciting coming to work and knowing I get the chance to drive on just about every type of tire from twenty different manufacturers. Please keep an eye on my blog for my take on new tires, wheels and suspension components that you can use on your vehicle. Thank you!

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."

The New Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 is Coming and We're Ready!

Friday, July 5, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Building on the success of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus, we are excited to test Michelin's new Pilot Sport A/S 3 later this summer.

The Pilot Sport A/S 3 marks a shift away from the A/S Plus' directional tread pattern and toward an asymmetric (and arguably quieter) pattern inspired by the Pilot Super Sport. Michelin has also used other technology from the Pilot Super Sport to enhance the Pilot Sport A/S 3's dry and braking capabilities. 

We are receiving our first shipments of the tire and plan on doing a full evaluation and comparison test to see how it stacks up against other all-season options. Through our Real World Road Ride, we will experience ride, noise and light handling qualities across a variety of conditions. Driving on our test track will help predict what the Pilot Sport A/S 3 will do near the limit of its capabilities in both wet and dry conditions by judging steering response, handling, braking and cornering. 

Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires are available in W-, Y-, H- and V-speed rated options. The W- and Y-speed rated tires are part of the Ultra High Performance All-Season category, while the H- and V-speed rated tires are in the High Performance All-Season category.

To find the all-season option that's right for your car, shop by vehicle.

Do I Need Nitrogen in My Tires?

Thursday, June 13, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Tires are typically inflated with air that’s a combination of roughly 78% nitrogen (N2), 21% oxygen (O2) and 1% other gases along with a modest amount of moisture depending on relative humidity. Since all gases expand when heated and contract when cooled, tire inflation pressures rise and fall with changes in temperature by about one psi for every 10° Fahrenheit. In addition, the tire will flex during use (or even at rest) and allow air to escape through the rubber liner of your tire at the molecular level, losing as much as one additional psi of pressure each month. While that doesn't seem like much, if your tire pressure is ignored over a long period of time the result can be a dangerously underinflated tire.

In an effort to minimize these effects, many service centers and dealerships offer to fill tires with pure nitrogen, which has a different molecular structure that's less likely to escape through the rubber liner over time and has no ability to retain moisture. While your air pressure will still vary based on temperature, the changes are more consistent due to the absence of moisture. This would be most beneficial for drivers using their vehicles in a track environment where tire pressure needs to be very precise. 

We often get the question "Is nitrogen worth the money?" If you have the ability to fill your tires with nitrogen at no additional cost, and if the initial cost of the switch from air to nitrogen is minimal, we believe the benefits mentioned above are worth it. We have found that in most cases our customers find it difficult to find stations that allow you to top off your tires with nitrogen every time. Diluting the nitrogen with standard air over time will greatly diminish its benefits (and decrease the value of the service).

To gain a better understanding on this topic, take a look at "Clearing the Air About Nitrogen Tire Inflation."

Looking for a High Performance Tire with Some Track Capability? We Can Help!

Thursday, June 6, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For 2013, there's a great selection of new technology in the Extreme Performance Summer and Ultra High Performance Summer category. While we will be testing each newcomer this summer, we have already accumulated quite a bit of initial feedback and data indicates that this latest batch of tire offerings may turn out to be the best in some time!

BFGoodrich g-Force Rival and g-Force Sport COMP-2

With the g-Force Rival, BFGoodrich is setting a new performance standard for drivers that want ultimate grip at the track and a good blend of wet and dry traction on the street. Our introductory test provided an exciting taste of what we should see as summer progresses.

The g-Force Sport COMP 2 was released late last year and is positioned just one performance step below the Rival. It's aimed at drivers that'll take their car to the track and want that "racecar" feel. We have already tested this tire and it proved to be the class of the field. A combination of the g-Force Rival and g-Force Sport COMP-2 gives BFGoodrich a solid shot at being the hottest brand of the summer!

Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A

Building on the success of the Potenza RE-11, Bridgestone has added an exclusive tread compound to increase road contact and wear to the new Potenza RE-11A. While we have yet to test the Potenza RE-11A, its predecessor beat all contenders in our last test and we're expecting similar results from the new test.

Dunlop Direzza ZII

Like Bridgestone, Dunlop's had a real winner on their hands with the Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and we're looking to make a great tire even better. Introduced late last year, the Direzza ZII builds on the great reputation of the previous model by improving steering response and lateral grip. Read "Dunlop Direzza ZII Introductory Track Drive" to view our initial thoughts of the tire compared to the Z1 Star Spec.

What Does a Bubble in the Sidewall Mean?

Friday, May 31, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Both tire and auto manufacturers recommend frequently checking your tires for signs of irregular wear or any other damage that could cause a dangerous tire failure. While signs of shallow cracking on the sidewall rubber or minor irregular wear are of concern, the presence of a bubble in the tire sidewall is a major safety concern that needs to be addressed immediately. A bubble in the sidewall of the tire indicates that the inner liner has been damaged to the point that it's allowing air to escape. Also, only the thin (nylon or polyester) sidewall plies are keeping the tire from a blowout.

Bubbles or bulges in the sidewall are normally the result of the tire's inner liner being damaged from an impact that creates a small hole or tear and compromises the strength of the sidewall plies. In most cases, the impact that caused the damage was not severe enough to be noticed by the driver, yet it was strong enough to damage the tire. Impacts with curbs, potholes, railroad crossings or debris in the road are the most common culprits. On occasion, a sidewall bubble can be caused not by an impact, but a structural failure of the tire. In these limited occurrences, the tire can be replaced with a prorated discount or refunded by the tire manufacturer's warranty. Regardless of the cause of the damage, a bulge in the sidewall is a blowout waiting to happen at any moment and needs to be addressed. 

An authorized distributor of the tire can inspect the tire for possible damage that would be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. You can also call the tire manufacturer directly or contact us for assistance with your Tire Rack order. Our Recommended Installers are also able to assist with the evaluation of a tire.

For more information on tire damage, read "Sidewall Indentations, Undulations and Protrusions."

Our Customer Surveys and Reviews Help You Decide Which Tire is Best

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Doing your research before selecting the right tire can be a challenge at times. Here at Tire Rack, we make it simple by providing you helpful information when you're shopping for tires.

We provide expert, unbiased tire performance comparisons with our tire test results. Our Performance Test Track Drives and Real World Road Rides offer us the chance to experience the ride, noise and handling qualities of a tire across a variety of conditions that our customers will experience on a daily basis. Our team follows consistent procedures designed to minimize variables that could influence results. And because many of our customers live in the snowbelt region, we also test the wintertime traction of all-season and winter tires on the ice and in the snow.

In addition to our tire tests, we maintain independent consumer surveys to help drivers help each other by sharing their long term tire experiences. At the time of this post, we have information on 445 different tire models, as well as 2,783,445,686 miles reported on over 150,000 surveys. You can view tires based on their performance category and see how customers rank their tires in categories, such as hydroplaning resistance, cornering stability, dry traction, ride comfort and more.

Reviews are posted to give you insight into each responder's experience with the tire for better or worse. Just like movie reviews, different people have different opinions and reference points, so it's always important to read as many reviews as possible to gain a better perspective. You can look at reviews by vehicle or by tire brand. This is helpful because you can see what owners of your same vehicle are saying about tires!

With the help of our tire test results, tire survey results and tire reviews, you have the information you need to find the tire that's right for your vehicle and the way you drive it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Pressure Sensors

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Starting with 2008 model year cars and light trucks, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) has been required for all new vehicles sold in the United States. While some vehicles (Audi and BMW most recently) use the ABS system (or indirect system) to keep watch for a deflating tire, most use a battery powered sensor (based in the base of the valve stem assembly) to give the most accurate read of your tire pressure. When replacing tires or wheels and tires as a complete package, the presence of these remote sensors can require a few extra steps in the purchase and/or installation process.

Why does my installer charge a "TPMS" service fee for installing new tires?

Many of our Recommended Installers will charge a TPMS service fee as part of new tire installation. When the old tire is being removed from your existing wheel, it's best to remove the TPMS sensor (and the attached valve stem). This avoids any damage caused by breaking the tire bead loose from the wheel as well as seating the new tire onto the wheel. Once the sensor has been removed, it will require a new "O" ring and/or compression ring to seal the sensor properly.

What happens if I do not add new TPMS sensors to my Tire & Wheel Package?

When we sell a set of wheel and tires, we're happy to mount and Road Force balance the tires to the wheels at no cost prior to shipment. Given the TPMS sensors are located inside the wheel (opposite the valve stem hole), the sensors (if requested) need to go in the wheel before the tires are installed. Without the sensors installed, most vehicles will display a warning light and chime upon engine start up (the light will continue to blink as long as the engine is running). Some vehicles may also limit your ability to turn off traction control if you need to "rock" out of a snow drift in winter or even limit engine output. In many states, an active TPMS system is required as part of the state's safety inspection, and any illuminated warning lights may cause the vehicle to fail its annual safety inspection. With your purchase, you can elect to add the correct sensor (at an additional cost) or choose to have your existing sensors removed from your old wheels and installed on the new wheel. If run-flat tires are being purchased with new wheels, new sensors are required.

If I purchase new sensors as part of my Tire & Wheel Package, what else needs to be done before use?

Many vehicles require new TPMS sensors be activated or initialized at an authorized repair facility or dealership. This process normally involves connecting the vehicle to a service computer (via the ODB port under your dashboard) and having a technician load the new sensor's ID codes into the car's computer. Most cars will need to have this activation service performed each time wheels and tires are changed out (like when changing from dedicated winter wheels and tires back to your summer/all-season set). As always, consult your owner's manual or contact your dealer for more information. 

Hoosier Race Tires - Do I Need the A6 or R6 Compound?

Thursday, May 2, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Here at Tire Rack, we are lucky to be within a short distance of one of the best race tire manufacturers in the country: Hoosier Racing Tire. It all began in the early 1950s when Robert Newton raced on small asphalt tracks around northern Indiana. Bob, was not satisfied with driving on street tires, so he decided to produce tires specifically designed for racing. Of the wide variety of tires that Hoosier offers, we have committed to stocking their two most popular models aimed at the needs of our customers who either autocross or roadrace: the A6 and R6.

Hoosier A6 tires are intended to be used at autocross events, as the tire has a lower operating temperature for maximum traction. Many autocross events are too short on time or distance to get a race tire up to its optimal temperature. This is why the A6 is perfect for these situations. The softer rubber compound that the A6 uses doesn't have enough durability to endure long run times (like in a track environment), so they should be used for shorter runs only.

R6 tires feature a more durable rubber compound that needs a little more time to come up to an ideal temperature range to be effective. This type of rubber compound makes the R6 better suited for longer runs with little cool down between sessions. For best results, Hoosier recommends a heat cycle of the compound at least 24 hours prior to use to maximize durability. Heat cycling is available for our customers when shipping from our Indiana or Nevada distribution centers for only $15 per tire.

Hoosier A6

Hoosier R6

Bear in mind, both the A6 and R6 radials are not intended to be driven in colder (below 40º F) temperatures, through snow or on ice. For best results, the tires also need to be stored indoors at temperatures maintained above 32º F. For more information on properly maintaining your Hoosier tires, read "Care and Feeding of the Hoosier A6/R6."

Need the Quietest Tire for Your SUV or Light Truck? Consider the Michelin LTX M/S2

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Very few of the pickup trucks and SUVs on the road today will venture off-road. However, many vehicles are still designed with tough off-road suspensions and come equipped with knobby tread tires. If you want to give your truck better on-road manners, consider a set of Michelin LTX M/S2 tires.

Michelin has built a reputation for providing quiet and comfortable tires for passenger cars, as well as durable tires for commercial vehicles. They have used this experience to combine both attributes into their light truck tires, including their newest Highway All-Season tire, the LTX M/S2.

The LTX M/S2 features a symmetric tread design and a long wearing, silica-enhanced, all-season compound to provide a smooth, quiet ride with year-round traction in dry, wet and light snow conditions. With over seven million miles of reported use by our customers, the M/S2 has received high marks for ride and noise comfort. Currently, the tire is ranked second in our Tire Survey Results.

Take a look at what some of our customers are saying about their experience with the Michelin LTX M/S2:

"Best tires ever purchased. On my third set and would buy again whenever possible." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 GMC Yukon Denali

"As I write this review, I am in the process of ordering a second set of the Michelin LTX M/S2, P275/65R-18 for my Tundra Crewmax. I have 56,000 miles on my old set and probably have another 5,000 or more on the tires (I drive a great deal of highway miles for work). Proper tire rotation has left me with very even wear. They are getting down there, so I want to stage the next set for replacement. Highly recommended tire!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2008 Toyota Tundra

"This is the best set of tires we have ever owned. These Michelins are on my wife's Honda Pilot and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed. They effortlessly handle our winter and the treadlife is outstanding. After witnessing the performance of these tires, I switched the tires on my Toyota to Michelins as well." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2004 Honda Pilot EX

For the quietest and most durable light truck tire on the market, it's tough to beat Michelin's LTX M/S2. Shop by vehicle to see if the LTX M/S2 is available for your application.

How Old Are My Tires? We Can Help You Find Out!

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Doc Horvath

If you need to find out how old your current tires are, start by reading its Tire Identification Number (often referred to as the tire’s serial number). Unlike vehicle identification numbers (VINs), Tire Identification Numbers are actually production codes that identify the week and year the tire was manufactured. 

Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number. The first two digits being used to identify the week, while the last two digits tell the year.

Example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the current Tire Identification Number format:

Tire Identification Numbers for tires produced prior to 2000 were based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years. While they were required to provide the same information as today’s tires, the week and year the tire was produced was contained in the last three digits. The first two digits were used to identify the week a tire was manufactured, immediately followed by a single digit to identify the year.

While a tire might look like it has quite a bit of life left in it based on a visual inspection of the sidewalls and tread depth, it's important to keep the age of the tire in mind when considering the best time to replace your tires. For help on determining when the right time is to start shopping for new tires, read "When Should I Replace My Tires?"

Can't Get Enough Tire Rack? Check Out Our Video Center!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 by Doc Horvath

When you head over to our site to search for your favorite products, don't miss out on all the exciting video content we have! Through our Video Center and YouTube channel, enthusiasts can get a behind the scenes look at our tire tests from our home track in Indiana to more exotic locations like northern Sweden.

We also have detailed video demonstrations that help explain the benefits and use of a wide range of products from AIRRAID filters to Hypertech Power Programmers to KW coilovers and more. Take a look:

After watching one of our tire's test reports, you can link back to the Tire Test Results to read a complete recap with data to help you choose the best tire for how and where you drive. Visit our Video Center to view a test report or product overview to better help you make the best purchase for your vehicle.

Warmer Weather is Coming - Time for a New Ultra High Performance All-Season Tire

Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Doc Horvath

With the snow melting in most of the country, driving enthusiasts are looking forward to a spring and summer of high performance driving fun. For those on a budget, there's a great selection of Ultra High Performance All-Season tires, including the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season. The tire is currently ranked sixth in our Tire Survey Results.

Our extensive Real World Road Ride and test track have always separated the contenders from the pretenders. A couple years ago we tested the Pirelli against the Dunlop SP Sport Signature, Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Yokohama AVID ENVigor with the P Zero Nero All Season delivering the quickest and most direct-feeling steering of the group. The Yokohama AVID ENVigor and Dunlop SP Sport Signature followed, with Sumitomo's HTR A/S P01 right behind. All three options exhibited an excellent direct steering feel. Overall noise levels for all four tires were similar, with all producing some amount of tread pattern hum. The AVID ENVigor generated a small ringing tone when it encountered sharp impacts on the highway, and the HTR A/S P01 produced a little more tread noise than the rest.

On the track in dry conditions, the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season had the quickest overall lap time with its very quick steering response and good overall grip. Dunlop's SP Sport Signature followed with plenty of cornering traction and similar predictable handling. The Yokohama and Sumitomo repeated their standings as before. In the wet, the SP Sport Signature was fastest, thanks to its responsive steering and good ultimate grip, especially under braking.

If you're in the market for new Ultra High Performance All-Season tires, read "Finding the 'Ultra' in Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires" before making your selection.

Upgrade Your Brakes with G2's Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Doc Horvath

As your vehicle piles on the miles, normal wear and tear can cause your car to look a little tired. For many, a brand new set of aftermarket wheels is the way to give your car a fresh appearance. However, what if a new set of wheels isn't in your budget? To spruce things up, consider the G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set as an easy weekend project. A fresh coat of paint can give a new appearance to any vehicle's brake calipers and drums, while even helping protect them from potentially harmful oils, chemicals and rust.

The PaintSystem Sets are available in nine high-gloss, wear-resistant colors that can be selected to complement or contrast a vehicle's primary and/or accent colors. Available colors include: red, yellow, blue, silver, gold, black, purple, green, white, pink and orange.

G2 PaintSystem Sets provide enough materials to paint four brake calipers or two brake calipers and two brake drums. However, vehicles with large brake calipers on the front axle and large brake drums on the rear axle may require two complete PaintSystem Sets to get the job done. The finish is heat resistant to 950º F and best yet, the two-part system does not require caliper removal.

G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Sets Include:

  • Detailed instructions
  • (14 oz.) aerosol can G2 BRAKE Cleaner Spray (1)
  • (4 oz.) metal can Brake Caliper Paint (1)
  • (1 oz.) glass jar PaintSystem Reactor (1)
  • Stir stick
  • Application brush (1)
  • Color decal (1)

Order a G2 Brake Caliper PaintSystem Set today!

Tire Rack Now Offers Stud Conversion Kits for Your BMW

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by Doc Horvath

For the enthusiast who takes his/her BMW to the track on a regular basis, using the Original Equipment lug bolts can prove to be cumbersome when removing or replacing wheels frequently. In an effort to support our friends that autocross or race their cars at any level, Tire Rack is proud to offer stud conversion kits for your BMW using 14x1.25 thread pitch studs. The standard kit comes with 20 studs, 20 black lug nuts and a heavy-duty thin wall socket (19mm). The premium kit substitutes the black nuts for a more unique polar light finish. All studs are zinc coated for durability. The 14x1.25 thread pitch reduces the chances of cross threading the lugs over repeated use.

BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Black Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Black
Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Polar Light Lug Nuts
BMW Stud Kit with 14x1.25 Studs and Polar
Light Lug Nuts

Stud kits aren't just for enthusiasts. They are also used by BMW owners that want to make changing their wheels and tires easier. For the ultimate addition, consider picking up Tire Rack's Cordless Impact Wrench Kit. Whether you're track side or in your garage, this heavy-duty tool generates nearly 206 ft. lb. of torque (enough to break free most bolts or stubborn lug nuts).

Look at the tools we carry to find one that'll be a great addition to your garage!

Can I Pick-Up My Tires at Tire Rack? You Sure Can!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Doc Horvath

In most cases, Tire Rack can ship your order within the continental United States via UPS or FedEx with arrival within one to two business days. While this is the option many of customers use, what happens if you live near one of our distribution centers? If one of the following locations is close to your home, we can arrange for you to pick-up your order:

  1. Windsor, Connecticut
  2. Midway, Georgia
  3. South Bend, Indiana
  4. Shreveport, Louisiana
  5. McCarran, Nevada

Customer pick-up is available at these locations only on orders placed via telephone. When picking up your order, also consider the following information:

  • The credit card will be charged at time of pick-up.
  • Credit card holders must be present and show the credit card used to pay for the order at time of pick-up.
  • Additional photo ID is also required.

Our Indiana location is the only distribution center where installation is available. We recommend calling in advance for an appointment.

Find the tire that's right for your vehicle and give us a call to schedule your pick-up today!



Hotchkis Introduces New Line of Wheels for Modern Muscle Cars

Friday, February 22, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Hotchkis has been well known as a manufacturer of performance-oriented suspension products for a variety of vehicles for many years. Building on their knowledge and quality reputation, Hotchkis is proud to offer a new line of performance wheels available in 20" sizes to fit modern Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers and more.

The H-Sport model features a unique multi-spoke design in both a black and silver painted finish that's available in staggered widths to give you the option of a wider rear tire for that classic muscle car look. All Hotchkis wheels are machined to accept the factory tire pressure sensors. We also offer new sensors for sale if your vehicle requires.

S-Sport wheels have a more traditional five-spoke design meant to show off your brake calipers. They also feature a brushed aluminum face with either a silver or black accent for the barrel and center sections of the wheel. All Hotchkis wheels have multiple layers of clearcoat paint to protect the brushed aluminum from pitting under their one-year limited warranty.

Hotchkis' Y-Sport has the more modern split-spoke look associated with European sport sedans and coupes. The wheel is available in a matte graphite silver finish with or without the brushed aluminum face. Like the other models, the Y-Sport comes complete with all new lug nuts and center caps at no charge for a complete and hassle-free install. 

Hotchkis H-Sport
Hotchkis H-Sport
Hotchkis S-Sport
Hotchkis S-Sport
Hotchkis Y-Sport
Hotchkis Y-Sport

Take a look at all the Hotchkis wheels available and find one that's right for your vehicle.

Do You Love the Folks at Tire Rack? Why Not Dress Like Them?

Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Doc Horvath

With over thirty years in the business, Tire Rack has been the best source for tires, suspension and brake components for everything from track cars to daily drivers. Along the way, we've made a lot of friends and gained some fans like those that follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you're looking to show your support at an entire differeny level, be sure to check out our line of apparel! Going beyond the traditional hat and t-shirt, we offer a great selection of polos, pullovers, cycling jerseys and more.

Our cycling and running jerseys are from 100% polyester and wick away moisture to help keep you dry, cool and comfortable. Available in different colors, choose the option that's right for you.

Tire Rack's Sport-Tek 1/4-Zip Sweatshirts feature a cotton/polyester blend that'll keep you warm for those chilly mornings at the track. It features rib knit cuffs and waistband for comfort and durability. Our logo is embroidered and the material is designed to minimize shrinking after repeated washings. 

Take a look at our full line of apparel.

Hankook's Ventus R-S3 Brings Competition Tire Grip to the Street

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Hankook's Ventus R-S3 provides an affordable street tire that best mimics the grip of a racing slick intended for the track. The R-S3 entered a very competitive group of Extreme Performance Summer tires dominated by the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 and the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, both of which are considered excellent dual purpose tires for performance street and occasional track / autocross use. We had the opportunity to compare the Hankook against both these tires, as well as the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 and Kumho Ecsta XS on our test track. Results were published in the August 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. During this test, the R-S3 shaved nearly a full second off the Dunlop's lap time and came in quicker than the Bridgestone, too! Our tester remarked: "The tire inspires confidence from the first turn of the steering wheel, making it easy to attack the course's elements."

Our extensive Tire Survey Results put the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 just slightly ahead of the Hankook in cornering stability and hydroplaning resistance. With that said, customers really like this tire and have spoken with high praise for this Hankook and say they would buy this tire again!

"I love this tire. I bought it mostly for autocross use. However, I have driven quite a few highway miles now and have had no problems. I'd say this is one of the best performance tires you can buy, especially for the price. Needless to say, I'll be buying another set when the time comes." -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2002 Honda S2000

"I purchased this tire for mainly track use and it did not disappoint. The traction was great when accelerating, cornering and braking. I have just purchased another set for my TT. Excellent value!" -- Tire Rack Consumer Review, 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe

Do you want to see if the Hankook Ventus RS-3 is available for sports car, sports coupe or performance sedan? Then shop by vehicle!

Winter Driving Tips from the Experts at Bridgestone

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Recently, I returned from a two-day training session at Bridgestone's Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Having grown up in the Midwest and driven through many winters, I thought I knew pretty much all I needed to know in terms of safe winter driving habits. Like anything else, there's always more to learn! Using several purpose-built tracks that have a variety of elevation changes and turns, the expert instructors put me through a variety of exercises in both front-wheel (using Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 tires) and all-wheel-drive vehicles (using Blizzak DM-V1 winter tires). 

The Blizzak WS70 features Bridgestone's most aggressive Tube Multicell compound to offer the drivers of coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles the best ice traction. This fourth generation of Bridgestone WinterBiter tire is designed to deliver wintertime traction and control that inspires driver confidence. They were installed on the school's fleet of Lexus ES 350 sedans and proved to make the most of the car's front-wheel-drive system and lighter weight.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 tires use a Multicell Z compound that features microscopic bubbles and tubes to absorb the thin film of water that forms as tires run over packed snow and ice. Designed for pickups, crossovers and sport utility vehicles, the tire focuses on ice traction and braking, as well as wet road handling and hydroplaning resistance to provide winter tire driving competence. Installed on a Lexus GX 460, the Blizzak DM-V1 provided a real solid feel in cornering despite the vehicle's high center of gravity.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

The intent was not only to highlight the enhanced traction that winter / snow tires provide, but also show us some basic, and often overlooked tools to make us better drivers in winter conditions. Of the multitude of exercises we performed, the key lesson I took away from the school was to always pay constant attention to availability of grip and modify your driving to utilize what grip you have to maximize braking and modulate speed. Too much of either can spell disaster when the grip disappears.

For more information on the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, read "Winter Driving Tips."

Designed for Your Light-Duty or Heavy-Duty Truck, WORX Wheels Impress!

Friday, January 25, 2013 by Doc Horvath

Whether you own a standard Ford F-150 for running errands or a Chevy 3500 Dually for heavy hauling, the new line of wheels from WORX has something to offer. With choices available in finishes such as black with spot milling, chrome plated and bright PVD, WORX provides different options for light trucks and SUVs. Guaranteed fitments ranging between 18" and 20" diameters with some models available in 16" and 17" diameters offers drivers multiple sizing options. 

A few models, such as the Havoc, feature an innovative spot milling manufacturing technique that allows the wheel to show small windows or accent areas that are machined to reveal the bright aluminum hidden under the black paint. After the process, the wheel gets a layer of clearcoat paint for protection. 

The most impressive wheel to me in the lineup is the Triad. It's available to fit many popular applications on the road today. There's even a model that's perfectly designed for dually trucks. A unique three-spoke design provides the same load capacity as a conventional wheel, therefore strength will never be a concern. All WORX wheels are covered by a lifetime structural warranty.

It's a safe bet that you won't see wheels similar to these any time soon! Check out the full line of WORX wheels to see which one is the right fit for your vehicle.