Talking truth about tires and wheels

My name is Gus Liszewski.  I am a tire and wheel specialist at The Tire Rack.  I have been in the automotive field nearly all my life, growing up with a family business in automotive repair.  I have been a speed and performance junkie from pretty much day one.  The added experience at The Tire Rack has given me the opportunity to attend multiple track events and high performance driving schools.  This has afforded me a greater understanding of many high performance vehicles in high performance, on the edge situations.  The continued education I receive at The Tire Rack keeps me up on current industry trends,and cutting  edge information of vehicle fitments.  Long story short...if it rolls on tires...I like it!    

Continental CrossContact LX

Friday, January 7, 2011 by Gus Liszewski
Continental CrossContact LXThe Continental CrossContact LX is not only a great fit for your SUV or crossover vehicle, but also for your half-ton pickup truck. With a 60k warranty, the Continental Cross Contact LX is a great value with good all-season performance. If you are looking for a quiet and comfortable ride on your next road trip or daily commute then the Continental CrossContact LX is the tire for you. It is offered in a wide range of sizes for many different wheel diameters.

O.Z. Racing Alleggerita

Friday, October 29, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
If you are looking for a lightweight, inexpensive wheel that is strong and can hold up to the challenge of the track, the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita is a great option. These wheels are half the cost of many other lightweight racing wheels and come with the O.Z. Racing quality and performance.

The wheels are offered in a variety of different colors to help give your vehicle a unique look. This O.Z. wheel also provides a large amount of brake clearance that allows these wheels to work on a variety of applications. If you are looking for a Tire & Wheel Package for the track, just add some Hoosier R6 or BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires and you will be ready to run with the best of them.

Alleggerita HLT Black PaintedAlleggerita HLT
Black Painted
Alleggerita HLT Blue PaintedAlleggerita HLT
Blue Painted


 
Alleggerita HLT Gold PaintedAlleggerita HLT
Gold Painted


 
Alleggerita HLT Matte Graphite SilverAlleggerita HLT
Matte Graphite Silver


 
Alleggerita HLT Orange PaintedAlleggerita HLT
Orange Painted


 
Alleggerita HLT Red PaintedAlleggerita HLT
Red Painted


 
Alleggerita HLT White PaintedAlleggerita HLT
White Painted
Head to Tire Rack.com and do some wheel shopping for your vehicle!

Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70The Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 is the newest update to the Bridgestone Studless Ice and Snow line-up. It was created to address a few of the common complaints with previous versions of the Blizzak WS series.  The speed rating was bumped up to a "T" with the intention of increasing the steering responsiveness and dry road handling characteristics.

They also added a more solid center rib to the tire that will create more stability as well. As for snow and ice traction levels, you can expect typical Bridgestone Blizzak excellence. If you are looking for a tire that will last you six winter seasons, the Bridgestone is not for you. If you want class-leading traction when the roads are at their worst...Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 it is! 

Michelin Latitude Tour

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Michelin Latitude TourThe Michelin Latitude Tour is not only a great fit for your SUV or crossover vehicle, but also for your half-ton pickup truck and offers a quiet and comfortable ride. With a 65k-mile warranty, the Latitude Tour is a great value with good all-season performance. It is offered in a wide range of sizes for many different wheel diameters.  

Smiles not Miles

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
While most people are starting to look at winter tires, some are lucky enough to run summer performance tires year round. If you are looking for some great summer performance with lots of smiles, the Extreme Performance Summer category is for you!

The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08Kumho Ecsta XS, and Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, (shown left to right below) will send you reeling through the turns with extreme grip and performance!

          Bridgestone Potenza RE-11     Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08      Kumho Ecsta XS      Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec

General Grabber HTS

Friday, September 17, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
General Grabber HTSThe General Grabber HTS is not only a great fit for your SUV or crossover vehicle, but also for your half-ton pickup truck. With a 60k warranty, the Grabber HTS is a great value with good all-season performance. If you are looking for a quiet and comfortable ride on your next road trip or daily commute then the General Grabber HTS is the tire for you. It is offered in a wide range of sizes for many different wheel diameters.  

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus

Friday, September 10, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S PlusThe Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus is an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire offered in the Michelin tire line-up, and is very competent in many areas. This tire has nice on-center steering feel and predictable handling characteristics. Wet and dry traction are strong for an all-season tire, and the tire has strong cornering stability. As a typical performance-oriented tire it is not the quietest or most comfortable tire in production, but that is not why you should be buying an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire. Winter traction on the A/S Plus is above average, and the directional tread pattern helps with moving slush and with high-speed hydroplaning resistance.

When it comes to a "performing" performance tire, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus should be one at the top of your list!

Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110

Saturday, September 4, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110The Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110 is a Max Performance Summer tire and a nice improvement as the second generation in the evo line. This tire has strong cornering stability and steering responsiveness, respectable wet traction, and average wear characteristics. At this price point, the tire is a great value when compared to many of the other tires that it is competing with in the category.

Can you buy a better tire? Absolutely; but you can't do it for the same value that you get from this tire. If you are looking for a summer performance tire on a budget, the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo K110 is for you!

Sumitomo HTR Z III

Friday, August 27, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Sumitomo HTR Z IIIThe Sumitomo HTR Z III is a Max Performance Summer tire and a nice improvement as the third generation in the HTR Z line. This tire has strong cornering stability and steering responsiveness, respectable wet traction, and average wear characteristics. At this price point, the tire is a great value when compared to many of the other tires that it is competing with in the category.

Can you buy a better tire? Absolutely, but you can't do it for the same value that you get from this tire. If you are looking for a summer performance tire on a budget, the Sumitomo HTR Z III is for you!

Soon it's going to snow!

Monday, August 16, 2010 by Gus Liszewski

Most of us don't want to think about it or admit it, but the winter season and all that it brings will soon be upon us. Now is a good time to start looking at winter tires or winter tire and wheel packages. Most of our winter stock should be available within the next month or so, and by acting early you can ensure that you will be able to get the specific winter products you want.

BriBridgestone Blizzak WS70Continental ExtremeWinterContactdgestone has released the new Blizzak WS70 (shown far left) and Continental has the ExtremeWinterContact, (shown left) which is proving to be a strong winter option.

Don't worry if your vehicle has a TPMS system; Tire Rack has the proper factory sensors for your vehicle in stock. We will mount and balance them in your winter tire and wheel package before we ship.

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred

Saturday, August 14, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Goodyear Assurance TripleTredThe Goodyear Assurance featuring TripleTred Technology is a great option offered in the Passenger All-Season category. This tire is available in a large range of sizes for a range of different vehicles. 

Goodyear has three different seasonal rubber compounds in this tire to maximize the wet/dry and snow/ice traction of this tire. It carries an 80,000 mile warranty and has been reviewed very highly by Tire Rack customers. While it is not the quietest tire on the market, it performs exactly as it is designed.

If you live in a light snow area, and are looking to increase your traction level in the winter, this would be a great choice for you. 

Bridgestone Potenza RE960 A/S Pole Position

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole PositionThe Bridgestone Potenza RE960 A/S Pole Position is an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire offered in the Bridgestone tire line up, and is very competent in many areas. This tire has nice on-center steering feel and predictable handling characteristics. Wet and dry traction are strong for an all-season tire, and the tire has strong cornering stability. As a typical performance-oriented tire it is not the quietest or most comfortable tire in production, but that is not why you should be buying an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire. Winter traction on the RE960 is above average, and the directional tread pattern helps with moving slush and with high-speed hydroplaning resistance. When it comes to a "performing" performance tire, the Bridgestone RE960 A/S should be one at the top of your list!

The Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza

Thursday, July 29, 2010 by Gus Liszewski

Bridgestone Dueler H/L AlenzaThe Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza is not only a great fit for your SUV or crossover vehicle, but also for your half-ton pickup truck and want a quiet and comfortable ride. With a 65k warranty, the Alenza is a great value with good all-season performance. It all depends on what you want, but if you are looking for a quiet and comfortable ride on you next road trip, or daily commute then the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza is the tire for you. It is offered in a wide range of sizes for many different wheel diameters.  
 


More Power!

Saturday, July 24, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
HypertechNew to the Tire Rack line-up is the engine tuner from Hypertech. Offered for a large selection of domestic vehicles and an ever-increasing number of import vehicles, the team at Hypertech reverse engineers the engine mapping to increase horsepower and torque. They have also mapped the vehicle ECU to help with timing advancement, throttle response, shift points, and electronic vehicle speed limiters.  If you have a big diesel truck...no problem, they have answers for you, too!  Many of their programs will provide an increase of as much as 100 hp and 100 ft. lbs. of torque.  

All of the Hypertech systems allow for the ECU to be flashed back to stock settings and will not void factory warranties on the vehicle. Made and engineered in the USA, this is a product that every driver should consider!

Light up the night!

Friday, July 16, 2010 by Gus Liszewski

Tire
Rack offers more than just tires and wheels. We also offer lighting accessories by Hella and PIAA. Looking to brighten up the night and spread the light out just a bit further? Check out a set of driving lights driving lights to add to your vehicle's factory configuration.

If you are not looking to add additional lighting, but just want to sharpen up what you currently see, check out the factory replacement bulbs offered by PIAA, The Intense White Bulbs and Extreme White Bulbs will cause a noticeable change in visibility!

If you have an HID setup and need to make a replacement, these great companies have a product for you.
 
Whether it is tires, wheels, brakes, suspension or lighting, Tire Rack is your place for high-quality replacement accessories!

Eco-Tire Road Ride Results

Thursday, July 8, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
I recently finished a Real World Road Ride on the ecologically oriented Passenger All-Season tires and I was shocked at the results! The test included the new Kumho eco Solus HM KR22, Continental ProContact EP, Michelin HydroEdge with Green X and Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max. The test was conducted on a very hot, dry day.
Kumho eco Solus HM KR22
My ride started with the Kumho eco Solus HM KR22. The tire was surprisingly quiet and comfortable throughout the entire road ride. It seemed to have better than average steering feel, but did not compromise ride quality. This tire is designed to have a long treadlife, and to be quiet and comfortable. All in all, a very impressive tire.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max
Next, I tested the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max. This tire was quiet and comfortable, but did not absorb impacts as easily as the Kumho. It had decent steering feel and handling characteristics, but I would say this tire was second to the Kumho. Just off the mark.


Continental ContiEcoContact EP
The third tire I tested was the Continental ProContact EP. This tire was quiet and comfortable, but did not absorb impacts as easily as the Kumho. It had decent steering feel and handling characteristics, but I would say this tire was second to the Kumho. Just off the mark.


Michelin HydroEdge with Green X
Finally, I drove the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X. I was very disappointed. The tire was extremely noisy and felt very harsh on the impacts. It had good steering responsiveness, but that came at the expense of ride quality. I could not believe the high road noise that the tire created on normal asphalt and on concrete it was horrible. I am surprised by how highly ranked the HydroEdge is in the consumer survey. I was VERY disappointed.

There will be more to come! Stay tuned to Tire Rack for the complete test results.

Street/Sport Truck All-Season Road Ride

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
I just finished a road ride on performance-oriented all-season SUV tires and tested the Firestone Destination ST, the Kumho Ecsta STX, and the Pirelli Scorpion Zero. Here’s the good and the bad on each.

Firestone Destination STI started my test with the Firestone Destination ST. The tire was noisy and had a very firm ride.  It allowed you to feel every bump and expansion joint that you came across.  However, it did have nice steering responsiveness and strong cornering stability.  It truly is a performance oriented tire, there is NO focus on ride quality or road manners.


Kumho Ecsta STX KL12The next tire I tested was the Kumho Ecsta STX. This tire was probably the closest to the "middle ground" if there is one. It was quieter, more comfortable, and had a better ride quality than the Firestone, but was not as responsive and lacked the cornering stability. It is a value-priced tire, and is just that. . .a pretty good value.


Pirelli Scorpion ZeroThe third tire I tested was the Pirelli Scorpion Zero. It had a nice ride quality and road manners, but lacked the performance part. It had poor cornering stability and was not very responsive. I felt that on the first off ramp the tire could not settle into the turn; it was all over the place. It did NOT inspire confidence in the turns. On the road it was the best mannered of the three tires in the test.

There will be more to come! Stay tuned to tirerack.com for all the test results.

Ultra High Performance Road Ride

Thursday, June 3, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
I just finished the road ride on some Ultra High Performance Summer tires. We tested the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500, the Yokohama s.Drive, and the Kumho Ecsta SPT

Kumho Ecsta SPTThe Kumho Ecsta SPT has nice on-center steering feel, an acceptable level of dry grip, and good cornering stability. It did not, however, have the most civilized road manners of the group, creating just a bit more noise than the other tires and not absorbing the road impacts as well as the other tires tested.




BFGoodrich g-Force SportDriving on the BFGoodrich g-Force Sport, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The tire had nice on-center steering feel, good grip, and predictable cornering stability. One of the quieter tires in the test, it did a very nice job of absorbing the impacts of the road. The tire had a heavy feel to the steering, but it was heavy in a good way, by making you feel connected to the road.




Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500The new Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 is a nice all-around summer performance tire. Firestone did a good job combining a little bit of everything. It is not the quietest, or the most comfortable, but I would call it acceptable from that standpoint when looking at a performance-oriented tire. It has nice steering feel and responsiveness, and gave a nice connected feeling to the road.  



Yokohama S.driveThe Yokohama s.Drive has it all...but of course, like most of the Yokohama tires, it creates a harmonic that I hear and find a bit offensive. From a ride and performance aspect it does a great job of creating nice road manners and and predictable performance characteristics. As an all-around option, one of the best as long as you can get past the harmonic. It is not "noise" it is a very specific pitch, probably something that not everyone will hear.



There will be more to come! Stay tuned to tirerack.com for all the test results.

    

Yokohama AVID ENVigor

Friday, May 21, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
I just finished my road test on the Yokohama AVID ENVigor, the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01, and the Firestone Precision Sport. Get ready because here comes my two cents!

Yokohama AVID ENVigor (H&V)I started the test with the Yokohama AVID ENVigor. I must say that I was more than pleasantly surprised with this tire. It was comfortable, quiet, and felt very centered and stable. The steering feel was heavy, but not too heavy, very precise. In the past the Yokohama product has always seemed to create a specific pitch that I found offensive, but the AVID ENVigor did not have this problem at all. As for the overall road manners, I think this might have been the best tire in the test!


Firestone Precision SportNext I went to the Firestone Precision Sport. Not sure what Firestone's goal was when they made this tire, but it was alright. Nothing that I would rant or rave about, nothing really good or bad. If I could make a change to the tire I would make it quieter on the road and give it a heavier feeling to the steering. It would make it feel much more centered on the road. Ranking the tires we tested, I would say that this would finish 3rd in the test, but not far ahead of the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01.


Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H&V)The third tire I tested was the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01. Nice tire for the money. Not the quietest or most comfortable, but I would classify this as a nice value tire. It has better steering feel than the Firestone, but creates at least as much noise if not more. It also does not provide the ride quality to absorb bumps and impacts like the other options. But, for the money, this would be a nice all-season performance-oriented tire, with an emphasis on performance.


Michelin Pilot Exalto A/SThe final tire in the test for me was the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. I felt that the Pilot was much more performance-oriented than the Yokohama, and did not do as well at handling and absorbing the bumps and impacts in our Indiana roads. It was very responsive and had nice on-center steering feel, but in the BMWs it was not the most comfortable on the road ride. The Michelin did not create much road noise and was very nice when on very smooth asphalt with minimal expansion joints or impacts. It did, however, make the impacts on the road more noticeable than the Yokohama.

Just my two cents, but I have to say I was very impressed with the Yokohama AVID ENVigor and its daily driving road manners. There will be more to come!  Stay tuned to tirerack.com for all the test results.    

O.Z Tuner System Wheels

Friday, May 14, 2010 by Gus Liszewski
O.Z. Italy is one of the world's best wheel manufacturers. The product consistency and quality are hard for any company to compete with. The products included in the O.Z. Tuner System line are a great example of this quality.

O.Z Tuner System wheels are true three-piece wheels that are not built until ordered; so each set of wheels is actually custom built for your vehicle. The wheels are assembled to very specific O.Z specs and regulations here at our Indiana distribution center. Each wheel is then inspected for run-out and all of those specs are sent with the wheels.

When you purchase a three-piece wheel, not only do you get great quality, but you also have a wheel with a forged center disc, and inner and outer parts that can be replaced if the wheels get damaged. Not to mention they look amazing! 


Like any other wheel purchase, if you want to add tires and or tire pressure monitors to the order, we will include any needed hardware and mount and balance the tires of your choice on the wheels at no extra charge if you prefer.  Mounting Tire and Wheel Packages like this on your cars leaves no doubt when you roll into the parking lot that you care about you car, and you like quality! With wheels like these you can't go wrong. Pair these up with a Winter Tire and Wheel Package and you have a winning combination.