Testing Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires on a Wet Track

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Today I tested the Kumho Solus KL21, the Michelin Latitude Tour HP and the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires.

I pushed the tires to their limits on our test track which is always interesting when the sprinkler system is on and you slide through some of the turns.

For handling in the corners and braking, I found the Kumho and Pirelli dead even, but the Michelin handled better in both cornering and braking under wet conditions and gave me more confidence as a driver. 

Watch for complete test results online.

Michelin HydroEdge, Year Two of My Story

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by Chad Hocker
The Michelin HydroEdge has worked well on my Impala. I have had them for two years now and have put 50,000 miles on my car in that time. I use the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 winter tires seasonally, so the Michelin HydroEdge has seen about 14,500 miles and they still look very good.

My daily driving has changed as I have moved. Previously, most of my driving was on the interstate; now it's about half interstate and half country roads/city driving. I am still happy with the overall performance of the Passenger All-Season Michelin HydroEdge. They handle well for the car's capabilities and offer a smooth ride. At times they make a little noise but nothing that is beyond acceptable to me. They are not good in the snow, which is why I have the Blizzaks for winter use. This tire has a 90,000 mile warranty and exceptional hydroplanning resistance.

Don't just take my word for it. Check out some of the other consumer reviews online.

SMichelin HydroEdge with Green X Technolgyince I purchased my HydroEdge tires, Michelin updated the tire with their Green X Technology, which basically allows the tire to roll easier, moving the HydroEdge with Green X Technology into the low rolling resistance tire category.

Testing Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season Tires

Thursday, August 12, 2010 by Colin .
Test 1: Street Drive


I recently tested the following Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires:


I found the Kumho and Pirelli to have similar ride comfort and quietness, while the Michelin did not seem to ride as nicely. The big difference I noticed was with steering response and handling. The Pirelli was far better than the other two. The Kumho was in the middle with the Michelin bringing up the rear while having trouble with corners that the Pirelli and Michelin could handle with ease. 

Official results will be online soon but here is more information on our testing program.

Ice, Ice Baby!

Friday, August 6, 2010 by Tucker Glenn
That's right kids, it's time once again to drive expensive BMWs on an ice rink!!

Tire Rack has been putting winter tires through the ringer for the last couple of years by equipping our test vehicles with some popular choices and testing their mettle on glare ice. This year we tested the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Dunlop Graspic DS-3, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, and the new kid on the block, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70.

Now, driving on glare ice does present some problems. If you're like me and just a little clumsy, one false move and WHAM! It's a visit to Ouchtown! But the slickness of the ice is where we really get a feel for the tires' performance in situations where the weather is less than desirable.

The Blizzak tire has been the industry standard for years, providing top notch snow and ice traction compared to its competitors. This year is no different with the WS70, but the gap seems to have been narrowed a bit. Continental has stepped up their game with the ExtremeWinterContact. It handled very well as we made the turns. The X-Ice Xi2 also did very well, and the top three were very close. The Graspic DS-3 lagged a little behind and was the only tire to take out some cones on the turn. Acceleration and braking were all pretty close with these four tires. Complete results will be online soon.

Ultimately, you can't go wrong with any of these winter tires. The snow and ice traction from a winter tire is roughly double what it is with an all-season. When winter safety is a concern, Tire Rack for great deals on studless ice and snow tires!

Snow Tire Testing on an Indoor Ice Rink

Thursday, August 5, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Today I tested the Bridestone Blizzak WS70, the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, the Dunlop Graspic DS-3 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 Studless Ice and Snow tires.

The test took place on an indoor ice rink and let me tell you that it's always a fun learning experience to be able to test these tires back-to-back on glare ice.

All four tires were good in acceleration and braking with the Continental and Michelin tires at the top of the scale followed by the Bridgestones and Dunlops. In the area of handling and cornering on ice, I found the Continental to be first and the Michelin second with Bridgestone close to the Michelin and the Dunlop in fourth place.

Please be advised that even the lowest ranked studless snow tire is twice as effective on ice compared to any all-season tire.

Watch for complete snow tire test results online.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 Studless Ice and Snow Tire

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 by Bart Blackburn
Yesterday I had the opportunity to test four different Studless Ice and Snow winter tires. Comparisons were conducted on an indoor hockey rink here in South Bend, Indiana and included acceleration and braking tests along with a cornering demonstration.

We drove on the Continental ExtremeWinterContact, Dunlop Graspic DS-3, Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. As in years past the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 provided the most control for acceleration and braking and was head and shoulders above the others in the cornering demonstration.

These are not your father's snow tires! All the results will be online soon! Check this page frequently.

Snow Tire Testing in the Summer

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Henry Carlson
This week I tested snow tires on our 6.6 mile road course. I know this sounds strange -- it was 85
degrees and sunny -- but it gives us a good chance to see how these tires handle in warm, dry conditions (because the roads aren't always full of snow throughout the winter season).

I tested the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Continental ExtremeWinterContact, Dunlop Graspic DS-3 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2, Studless Ice and Snow tires.

All four tires had a very good ride and were also very quiet. The best handling of the four were the Michelins and the Dunlops. The Continentals and the Bridgestones were a bit squirrelly under these conditions.

Later this summer we will test these tires on an indoor ice rink. Watch for complete test results online.

Testing Eco-Friendly Passenger All-Season Tires

Friday, July 9, 2010 by Colin .
I recently tested the following tires on a Real World Road Ride and Performance Test Track Drive.
kumho solus kr22

Michelin HydroEdge Green X

During the Real World Road Ride, I found all four tires to be somewhat similar in ride quality and handling with the Michelin and Continental slightly ahead of the others. It was on the Performance Test Ttrack Drive and in the wet that their differences really came through. The Kumho was very hard to control on the course. Its braking traction was very poor as well. The Goodyear was much better, followed by the Michelin. My favorite was the Continental.

Official results will be online soon. Here is more information on our testing program.

Hybrid Tires for your Vehicle

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Tire Rack was able to complete tire testing on low rolling resistant tires. Unfortunately, we were not able to use our usual BMW E92 328i test cars because of tire sizing, Instead, we made a switch to the Toyota Prius, which enabled me to get about 28 mpg better than my personal vehicle! Check out the overall average fuel economy data from our Real World Road Ride. The Original Equipment Toyota tires were the Goodyear Integrity, so we used it as the baseline fuel economy tire.

Tire Line Test
@ 15,000 Miles
% vs.
Michelin Energy Saver A/S 53.8 278.8 +4.74%
Bridgestone Ecopia EP100 53.5 280.4 +4.12%
Yokohama dB Super E-Spec 52.8 284.0 +2.81%
Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max 51.6 290.7 +0.37%
Goodyear Integrity 51.4 291.8 ---
Michelin HydroEdge with Green X 51.1 293.5 -0.59%
Goodyear Assurance ComforTred 50.0 300.0 -2.64%
* Our evaluation used Linear Logic ScanGauge II automotive computers to record fuel consumption and Race Technology DL1 data loggers to record true distance travelled.
(offset 6% for Prius Summer E10 regular grade fuel)

Don't worry if you don't have a hybrid car; these tires may still work for you. Select your vehicle and search for low rolling resistant tires (LLR). You can buy these tires online and have them shipped to one of our independent Recommended Installer of your choice.

Read all the results:  When Lean and Green goes Round and Black

Testing eco-oriented Passenger All-Season tires.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Last week, I tested eco-oriented Passenger All-Season tires -- the Continental ProContact with EcoPlus Technology, Goodyear Assurance Fuel MaxKumho eco Solus HM KR22 and the Michelin HydroEdge with Green X -- on our 6.6 mile road course.
The road course was dry, sunny and temperatures were in the low 70s. I found all four tires to be very comparable in ride quality and noise. In handling, only the Kumho was a bit sluggish. The other three tires handled well for passenger tires.

Later, I was on the test track where conditions were sunny, dry and 79 degrees. I found the Michelins to be the best in braking and handling, the Kumho was the worst and the Continental and Goodyear fell in the middle.
Overall. I would place the Michelin first, the Continental second, the Goodyear third and the Kumho fourth.

Look for complete test results online soon.

Testing New High Performance All-Season Tires

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
High Performance All-Season tires provide traction from January to December without compromising ride quality or treadlife, or the sporty handling that high performance tires are known for. Tire Rack recently added a few High Performance All-Season tires to our inventory, so we thought it would be a great time to find out if they've improved upon some of the qualities of our previous favorites in this category.

We put the new Firestone Precision Sport, Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Yokohama AVID ENVigor tires up against the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, which was a favorite tire the last time we tested High Performance All-Season tires.

Each set of tires was mounted on a 2011 BMW E92 328i coupes that were then driven along a 6.6-mile loop of expressway, state highway and country roads. Though the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S is still a great tire, our new top choices for High Performance All-Season tires are the Yokohama AVID ENVigor and the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 because of their excellent combination of wet and dry traction. That's not to say we wouldn't recommend the other tires, though. They all drove quite well. We've posted the full report online. Feel free to shop our entire collection of tires according to your vehicle, perhaps one of the above will fit yours.

Where are my DWS tires?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Gavin Carpenter
A common question we are getting lately is, "where are my Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires?"  Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Due to the unexpectedly high demand of this tire, and the demands on production, Continental is running just a little behind. How behind? A few months for some sizes.

Several sizes are listed as back ordered: "Items shown with an inventory status of "Back Order" are on order from the manufacturer and an approximate in-stock date has not yet been determined. If you select an item with "Back Order" status, we will contact you when more information is available (no more than once per month). Our on-line order tracking feature will include updates to the estimated in-stock date."

Continental is working diligently to improve supply. Because increasing production means creating new molds and re-configuring manufacturing facilities the time to make the changes are lengthy. 24 sizes are in limited supply. We are receiving partial shipments on most sizes but customers have placed orders for more than for which we have definite availability dates. We will receive tires for all orders placed but for some customers we do not have specific dates. Continental expects to have adequate supply with in the next couple of months.

If you have placed an order you can find the status on our Tirerack.com or by contacting us over the phone or by email. We will also contact you when there is a change regarding the availability of tires for you order.

The great news is that because of Continental's efforts we have 62 sizes of the ExtremeContact DWS tires in stock now!

If we are out of your size and you are able to wait, then they are definitely worth the wait, they are a great tire. But, if you need something in the near future, a back ordered tire may not be the one for you.

Rather than wait, why not consider other options? Other tires to consider that I've tested and do well, if not a little better than the Continental ExtremeContact DWS in my opinion are the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position or the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus. Both offer better dry handling but suffer a little bit in the cold weather handling department.

Now I do realize that the tires above demand a little more of a premium price tag, but are well worth it in my opinion.  Others to consider that fair very well and keep the price down are the Dunlop SP Sport Signature, the Goodyear Eagle GT or the Yokohama AVID ENVigor.

It's better to be safe and have tires with adequate tread depth than to wait months and drive on unsafe tires. There are other tires out there.

High Performance All-Season Tire Testing: Part 2

Thursday, May 27, 2010 by Colin .
Test 2  - Track Drive 

Today I tested the following tires on our test track in the wet:

I was surprised that the Michelin did so well considering it's not the newest tire. It did seem to give up some cornering and braking to the Sumitomo and Yokohama though. I really liked the Yokohama and Sumitomo. Their handling, cornering and braking abilities were all very good. The weakest was the Firestone. Its handling in the wet was not very confidence-inspiring. 

I think the Yokohama and Sumitomo are the best overall tires in this group. 

Official results will be online soon but here is more information on our testing program.

We Test Drive

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Grant Edwards
At Tire Rack, our advice involves the entirety of the automotive experience. Sales specialists receive continuing product education and participate in test driving experiences.

Recently I had the opportunity to drive and compare the Firestone Precision Sport, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Yokohama AVID ENVigor, and Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 tires side-by-side.

I found the the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S to be the most comfortable and noise reduced, while the Firestone Precision Sport and Yokohama AVID ENVigor to have excellent handling and steering. 

This experience means that when you call us for advice on tires and before we recommend tires to you we are also saying "Yes!" to road-testing these tires and sharing our experiences with you.

The full report of these tire comparisons will be available online soon!

Testing Complete on High Performance All-Season tires

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 by Henry Carlson
I just finished testing the Firestone Precision Sport, Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 and Yokohama AVID ENVigor High Performance All-Season tires.

On our 6.6 mile road course, the weather conditions were light rain so the roads were wet which made it difficult to test for noise levels. I found the Firestone to be the best handling of the four and I was also impressed with its ride comfort.

After the run on our test track I pushed the four tires to their limits on a wet track and found the Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 to be the best in all areas of wet handling and braking.

Overall, I'd place the Sumitomo first, Firestone second, Yokohama third and Michelin in fourth.

Watch for complete team test results online.

High Performance All-Season Tire Testing

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 by Colin .
Test 1  - Street Drive

Today I tested the following tires on a warm and sunny day here in Indiana:

I personally found the Sumitomo and Yokohama to be the best overall tires for handling and ride quality. The Michelin and Firestone were not as smooth or quiet and the handling was not as good. I didn't find any of them to be exceptionally noisy though. This is just the first part of our test. During part two we'll tes their handling and braking limits on our track.

Official results will be online soon but here is a more information on our testing program. 

Buying Tires, Selection, Service, Price and the Experts

Thursday, May 6, 2010 by Rudy Riedel
Why buy tires at Tire Rack? Tire Rack started in 1979 and has continued to grow. Many customers look to Tire Rack to get the knowledge to make an informed decision on their purchase. We also stock many of the leading brands like BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dick Cepek, Dunlop, Firestone, Fuzion, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Hoosier Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Sumitomo, Uniroyal and Yokohama. We stock the hard-to-find speciality performance tires, too.

We know how the tires perform and we test them at our test facilty. We put the tire test results online for you to review. We offer fast shipping to a local installer near you. Installation is also made easy. Find a Recommend Installer near you here.

Do I Need Summer Tires or All-Season Tires?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 by Chad Hocker
A common question I receive as we are changing seasons -- just because you live in a location that does not get snow does not exclude you from an all-season tire.

A general rule of thumb for someone that is looking to run a summer tire year round is will the vehicle be used when temperatures are below 40 degrees consistently. For example, on those early mornings or late nights when the temp gets into the 30s the summer tire would not perform well. Typically summer tires are more performance-oriented and have a shorter tread life. The all-season tire can handle the hottest summer climates and coldest winter climates. All-season tires can handle light snow as well however if you are in a climate that receives a modest amount of snow a winter tire will be your best option for winter traction and then the all-season or summer tire during the warmer months.

Take a look and compare some of the tread pattern differences on a popular all-season tire, summer tire and winter tire below.

All-Season Tread Pattern  Summer Tread Pattern  Winter Tread Pattern
All-Season Tire                              Summer Tire                                  Winter Tire

The tread patterns are from the Michelin Harmony, Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 and Continental ExtremeWinterContact from left to right.  Check  Tire Rack to view online tire prices for the tire of your choice.

Shaving Tires for Competition Use

Friday, February 12, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Why shave a brand new competition tire? The short answer is improved performance! Let's look at a few benefits of shaving a competition tire for track events or autocross.
  • Tire shaving will allow a wider contact patch vs. a tire "wore down"
  • Tire shaving reduces tire weight by a few pounds
  • Tire shaving will reduce tire squirm, allowing better tire response and corner handling
  • Tire shaving will reduce heat build up
  • Tire shaving will allow a tire to last longer in competition vs a non-shaved tire.
A new tire that is worn down to 6/32" tread depth will not preform as well as a tire shaved down to 6/32" tread depth. So shaving a tire for competition will improve the tire's performance in dry conditions. Some manufacturers do recommend shaving tires before such use:

Dry AutocrossDry Track
Kumho ECSTA V700RequiredRequired
Kumho VictoRacer V700OptionalRequired
Michelin Pilot Sport CupOptionalOptional
Pirelli P Zero CorsaOptionalRequired
Pirelli P Zero Corsa SystemOptionalRequired
Yokohama A048OptionalOptional
Yokohama A048 LTSOptionalOptional
Yokohama A048 MOptionalOptional

Tire shaving can be added at the time of check out when buying tires online at Tire Rack. Check out some additional information about shaving competition and performance summer tires for competition use.  Shaving Tires for Competition

Buy Competition Tires Online at the Tire Rack and have them Heat Cycled Prior to Shipping

Friday, February 12, 2010 by Chad Hocker
Try Heat Cycling the easy way at Tire Rack.  As today's race tires become the technology base for tomorrow's street and competition tires the care and break-in of a tire have become more methodical and are important to do correctly.  The Tire Rack has developed a Heat Cycling service ($15 each) for competition tires purchased through the Tire Rack.  Basically, a proper Heat Cycling of a new competition tire will allow the rubber bonds to relink in a more uniform manner from when they were originally manufactured.  This allows the tire to preform at more consistent performance level for a longer time.
Tires That Will Benefit from Heat Cycling
Michelin Pilot Sport CupYokohama Advan A048
Kumho VictoRacer V700Kumho Ecsta V700
Kumho Ecsta V710BFGoodRich g-Force R1
Hoosier R6Hoosier A6
Pirelli PZero CorsaPirelli PZero Corsa System

The Tire Rack will stamp your tire As Tire Rack Heat cycled prior to shipping them out.  Check out some of the Heat Cycling process and take a look at theHeat Cycling Process at Tire Rack picture of a tire being Heat Cycled at the Tire Rack.  Also if you by a performance tire and wheel package selecting the heat cycling service we will Heat Cycle your tire using one of our wheels to prevent any possible damage to your new performance wheel or track wheels.  We'll then mount your newly heat cycled tire on your new wheels and get them on the way!  The transit time will allow enough time for the rubber to efficiently relax. Heat Cycling can be added at the time of check out.

Tire Rack Heat Cycle Stamp