Kyle at the Tire Rack

My name is Kyle and I am a retail sales representative at the Tire Rack.  In my position with the Tire Rack, I participate in the many tire tests we perform on our test track using our BMW and Porsche test vehicles.  These tests allow us to experience a tire both on the street and in a performance setting.  In this blog I will try to share some of my experience and thoughts on the many products we offer.    

Continental ExtremeContact DW

Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Kyle Schirripa
Continental ExtremeContact DWThe Continental ExtremeContact DW (DW for dry and wet) is developed for drivers of sports cars, sports coupes and performance sedans, the tire provides serious performance on both dry and wet roads. The ExtremeContact DW is designed to deliver good ride quality but is not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice. Test results show this to be a very well rounded tire in the Max Performance Summer category that provides good road manners with exceptional dry and wet braking traction.

Features and benefits of the Continental ExtremeContact DW:
  • Wide circumferential grooves and open outboard lateral grooves to aid in hydroplaning resistance.
  • Continuous center ribs to reduce noise and provide constant rubber to road contact.
  • Tuned Performance Indicators - "DW" molded into the second rib. The W will begin to wear away as the wet traction diminishes with tread wear.
Shop by vehicle to see which tires work best for your vehicle.

Tire Storage

Thursday, January 20, 2011 by Kyle Schirripa
Tire Tote
With your winter tires properly installed on your vehicle, where have you been storing your summer tires? Spring will be here before we know it; what are you going to do with those winter tires?

Tire Storage RackStoring tires in an airtight bag and away from direct sunlight are just a couple of simple steps that should be taken. A cool and dry location, such as a basement, would be an ideal location. It is best to keep tires in an area that avoids extreme heat, cold and moisture. 

Visit our Tech Center for more details or click here to view products for storing and transporting your wheels and tires.

Michelin LTX Winter Tires

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 by Kyle Schirripa
LTX WinterMichelin has recently added the LTX Winter to their line of light truck/SUV Studless Ice and Snow tires.  The LTX Winter is offered in six popular E load (10 ply) sizes geared toward medium and heavy duty vans and pickups. 

Similar in looks to the popular all-season Michelin LTX MS2, the LTX Winter features Michelin's cold weather W/Max tread compound designed to offer better flexibilty and traction at colder temps. You can feel the difference in compound and  flexibility when comparing the two side-by-side. 

Due to the increased traction of the LTX Winter, the tire should be installed in all wheel postions to provide the best performance and most predicatable handling. Click here to check available sizes, pricing, and consumer reviews.

Continental ExtremeWinterContact Offered in LT (10-ply) Sizes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
ExtremeWinterContactThe Continental ExtremeWinterContact is a great winter option for 3/4- ton and 1-ton truck applications requiring the use of E Load Range tires. Continental currently offers seven LT sizes covering most popular applications.  

The winter compound maintains flexibility in colder temps while the high density siping provides multiple biting edges to enhance snow and ice traction. 

ExtremeWinterContact tires should only be installed in sets of four. Read more.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D

Friday, November 5, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3DThe Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D continues to be a top choice in the Performance Winter / Snow category of tires.  

It features Dunlop's reactive silica mixing process to help the tire remain flexible at colder temps for increased winter traction. The SP Winter Sport 3D also utilizes three types of high density siping to enhance snow/ice traction in addition to a directional pattern to assist with hydroplaning resistance. Read more.

I've received positive feedback from customers using this tire over the last several winter seasons. But you can read consumer reviews and surveys when choosing the right winter tire for you. 

General Altimax Arctic Winter Tires

Friday, October 22, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa

General AltiMAX ArcticThe General AltiMAX Arctic continues to be a solid leader in the Studdable Winter / Snow tire category. The tire offers exceptional winter traction at a reasonable price.

The AltiMAX Arctic uses a center stability rib to aid in straightline stability in addition to a directional tread design to aid in water and slush evacuation. Studs can also be added to enhance ice traction. 

This tire, like all winter tires, should be installed at all wheel positions due to its high levels of winter traction. Our testing has shown the tire to offer excellent ice and snow traction and customer feedback tends to agree. Read more on what this General has to offer.

Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Winter Tires

Thursday, October 7, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
X-Ice Xi2The Michelin X-Ice Xi2 proves to be a top choice in the Studless Ice and Snow winter category of tires.  

The tire features Michelin's FleX-Ice rubber compound that offers flexibility at colder temps for increased winter capabilities and firmness at higher temps to improve dry road handling and stability.  

Recent tests have shown its winter capablities are among the top in the category and itsroad manners are currently best in class. The Xi2 should be near the top of your list if looking for winter traction without sacrificing noise comfort and dry road stability. Read more.

General Truck Tires

Thursday, September 23, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
If you're in the market for new truck/SUV tires, chances are General Tire has you covered. The options below offer solid performance in addition to a reasonable price.      

General Grabber UHPGrabber UHP (Street/Sport Truck Summer)

This tire is M+S rated but not great in the snow. The main focus here is handling with an emphasis on wet and dry traction.

General Grabber HTSGrabber HTS (Highway All-Season)

The HTS tire offers a nice blend of comfort and treadlife, in addition to all-season capability and excellent wet traction.  

General Grabber AT2Grabber AT2 (On-/Off-Road All-Terrain)

The Grabber AT2 is aimed towards drivers dealing with a variety of terrain, both on- and off-road. Many sizes are branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol for severe snow service and the AT2 tires are able to accept studs for enhanced ice traction.

Click here to see options by size or vehicle.

Sumitomo Summer Performance Tires

Saturday, September 18, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa

Looking for summer performance at a reasonable price? Take a look at options currently available from Sumitomo.

Sumitomo HTR Z IIISumitomo HTR Z III  (Max Performance Summer)

The HTR Z III will be the higher performer of these two options aiming to offer the best blend of dry and wet traction for the street.  

Sumitomo HTR Z IISumitomo HTR Z II  (Ultra High Performance Summer)

Don't need max performance? The HTR Z II will take performance down a notch in exchange for a slightly better price. 

Click here to find options available by size or vehicle.

Get a Grip with the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Potenza RE-11The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 continues to be a strong contender in the Extreme Performance Summer category of tires. The Potenza offers plenty of dry grip for autocross or track events yet still enough road manners and wet traction to use as a daily driver.

I recently attended the Bridgestone Racing Academy just outside of Toronto. The Van Diemen formula cars are equipped with the RE-11 for both wet and dry conditions. I was impressed by the durability and grip of the tire after each car was put through roughly ten or so twenty minute sessions per day.

The Potenza is currently offered in over 30 sizes. Be sure to read consumer reviews and test data for help in finding the right tire for you.

PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blades

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Piaa Super Silcone Wiper Blades
Looking for wipers that last?

The PIAA Super Silicone Wiper is a great option. I installed a set of the PIAA blades on one of my vehicles in October of 2005 and I'm still using them today. Compared to several other brands I've tried in the past, I'd have to say the PIAA has been my favorite. 

Learn more about PIAA blades or click here to see if a set is available for your vehicle.

Continental ExtremeWinterContact: A Comfortable Ride with Plenty of Traction

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Continental ExtremeWinterContact This will be the second winter season Tire Rack is offering the ExtremeWinterContact from Continental. I've had several chances to drive on this tire and feel it offers the best ride and noise comfort of the Studless Ice and Snow category. The Continental is also more responsive in handling and doesn't feel as sluggish compared to other Studless Ice and Snow tires I've driven in the past. A nice blend of everything winter.

Be sure to compare Tire Rack test results and consumer reviews to decide which winter tire is for you.

A Couple Favorites for your SUV

Saturday, July 24, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Bridgestone Dueler H/L AlenzaGeneral Grabber HTS

Looking for new all-season tires for your SUV or light truck? Consider the General Grabber HTS (shown top right) or the Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza (shown top left). Both tires offer great wet traction and ride comfort and are considered top picks in the Highway All-Season category.

I've had good experience with both tires in the past and both consumer surveys and Tire Rack test results show postive results.

Michelin LTX M/S 2: A Great Addition to Highway All-Season Tires

Friday, July 9, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Michelin Michelin LTX  M/S2 has recently replaced most sizes of the original LTX M/S with the LTX M/S2. The original version has been a solid performer over the years and the LTX M/S2 is proving to be a nice replacement. The newer tire continues to offer a smooth and quiet ride with decent all-season performance for the category. The tire is now available in 39 sizes for a wide range of applications.

Pontiac Grand Prix GXP: All-Season Tire Options

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Tire options for the GXP have been limited to the Original Equipment sizes due to the unique wider front tire set-up. Many drive the vehicle in winter conditions and need a better option than the factory Max Performance Summer tires. I'd recommend taking a look at these three all-season options currently offered in the Original Equipment sizes:
Potenza Re960 AS Pole Position

Bridgestone Potenza RE960 AS Pole Position

Yokohama Avid Envigor

Yokohama AVID ENVigor (W)

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum

Read test comparisons and consumer reviews and see pricing information to help in choosing which tire will work best for you.

BFGoodrich Truck Tires

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Smooth roads, rough roads or no roads at all: Tire Rack and BFGoodrich have your light truck and SUV needs covered. Compare the tires below to see which one is right for you.
BFG Long Trail TA Tour

Long Trail T/A Tour

BFG All-Terrain TA KO

All-Terrain T/A KO

                                                        BFG Mud Terrain TA KM2

Top Performers in Extreme Performance Summer Tires

Thursday, June 17, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star SpecYokohama Advan Neova AD08If you want the most dry traction in a tire that you can live with on the street, Extreme Performance Summer tires may be your best bet. You will sacrifice a little noise comfort and wet traction, but in exchange you will have dry handling that can't be beat. Here are a few options: Bridgestone Potenza RE-11, Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, Yokohama Advan Neova AD08, and Kumho Ecsta XS.

Bridgestone Potenza RE11Kumho Ecsta XSBased on performance, ride comfort, and price my two favorite tires are the Bridgestone and the Dunlop; however, the Kumho and Yokohama are also worthy of a second look.  Be sure to read up on our reviews, test results, and consumer surveys to help you select which tire is right for you.

Time to rotate your tires!

Saturday, June 12, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
One of the most important things that can be done to extend tire life is proper and frequent rotation. Tires that wear evenly will perform better and help keep noise at a minimum as the tire ages.  
rotation charts

This chart will be adequate for most vehicles on the road. 

There are, of course, a few exceptions. Performance tires and performance vehicles may or may not always allow for rotation. 

Front and rear tires different sizes?

Recommended intervals for rotation are about 3,000-5,000 miles. More frequent rotation is important early in the tire's life as a new tire will wear more rapidly than one that has been in service for several years. I recommend staying closer to the 3,000 range for the first 10-15k and aiming towards the 5,000 mile range from that point on. Frequent rotation will help ensure you get the most out of your tires and help protect your investment. Read more tire tech info.

Installing your new tire and wheel package?

Friday, June 4, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
wheel packageInstallation of your new package can be fast and easy, and better yet, can be done right at home. You will receive a copy of our installation guide also shown at the instructions link below. A few simple tools, in addition to a few simple instructions, and installation will be a breeze. 

Torque Wrench 

A lug wrench, torque wrench, and a sturdy jack and set of stands should cover it. 

jack/standsBe sure to torque the wheels to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. You'll also want to check the torque again after the first 50-100 miles of driving. New wheels may compress a bit when first put into use so a second check will be required.  Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors can be purchased.

Our website will show notes regarding these sensors or your Tire Rack sales specialist can give you details about your vehicle's TPMS

Firestone Destination Truck/SUV Tires

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Kyle Schirripa
From the highway to the roughest of terrain, the current family of Firestone Destination tires offers a choice for any truck or SUV driver.  

Destination LE

Destination LE: A good blend of handling, comfort, and performance for on-road/highway conditions. 

Destination A/T

Destination A/T:  A more rugged design for on- and off-road (all-terrain) conditions. The A/T is a nice option between the LE and MT tires.

Destination M/T

Destination M/T
: The M/T is Firestone's off-road max traction tire geared towards mud and the roughest of terrain. 

Destination ST

Destination ST: The Destination ST adds some sport and style to the design. The street/sport ST is geared towards the lower profile sizes of larger wheel fitments.