Tread Design Types and How They Differ

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Not every tire is made the same, nor do they look the same. Tread designs help play a key role in traction ability, road noise and treadwear. Take a look at available tread designs and how they compare against one another.

Symmetric

A symmetric tread design is the most common and features continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire tread face where both inboard and outboard halves feature the same pattern. Tires featuring symmetric tread patterns can be mounted in any direction and allow for multiple tire rotation options.

Asymmetric

An asymmetrical tread design changes pattern across the face of the tire. They're designed to blend the requirements of dry grip, water dispersal and snow traction. They incorporate larger tread ribs and blocks on the outboard side to increase cornering stability on dry roads by offering greater contact area. This also helps to reduce tread squirm and heat buildup on the outside shoulder. The inboard side usually features smaller independent tread blocks to aid wet and winter traction when driving straight ahead.


Firestone Precision Touring (Symmetric)

Michelin Defender (Asymmetric)


Directional

Also known as an unidirectional design, these tires are designed to roll in one direction. Their tread design points one way like an arrow or V. These grooves enhance hydroplaning resistance at high speeds. Unless they are dismounted and remounted on their wheels to accommodate use on the other side of the vehicle, directional tires are to be used on one side of the vehicle and are intended to be rotated from the front axle to the rear axle. If different tire sizes are used on the front compared to the rear axle, the tires become location-specific and prohibit tire rotation, unless remounted.

Asymmetric and Directional         

Although rare, these dual tread design tires have V-shaped tread grooves that are offset compared to the centerline of the tire. Tires featuring asymmetric and directional tread patterns must be treated as directional tires for tire rotation. However, if different tire sizes are used on the front and rear axle, they become location-specific and prohibit any tire rotation possibilities.


Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
(Directional)

Pirelli P Zero Corsa System
(Asymmetric and Directional)


To learn more about tire designs, read "Tire Tread Patterns."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Thursday, February 6, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.2
 
 

2011 Audi A4 2.0T quattro
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Avon Lake, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
February 05, 2014

Have been a Tire Rack customer for almost 20 years. Have purchased about 200 tires in that time! These P Zero Nero's are the first Pirellis....don't know why. I drive fast and I don't care much about tire wear because I buy speed rated tires and change them out by 30,000 miles. Live in Ohio so I buy High-Performance All Season tires. This winter has delivered approximately 5' of snow and it's only February!! Had to write a review...these tires are simply the best tires I have owned for snow and wet!! Can say for sure they beat Pole Positions(and they are properly rated higher)in bad weather. I have them at 7 or better in snow/wet. I am confident you would find them dead quiet and smooth at....let's just say around twice the legal limit. Can't wait to put them on '13 Tiguan AWD and '11 328ix!! Thanks Tire Rack! I'll be back!!!

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Monday, February 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.67
 
 

2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5 Miles on Tires
December 23, 2013

Way better than the BFG Advantage I had, this is hard to say because I have two family members that work there. I am really impressed with these tires. Very good wet traction. Very good dry, could be better but with 300hp its not better unless I get race tires. I am really impressed with the grip in the snow, the BFG's I would just slip and slide all over. Even my wife noticed a huge difference and she knows nothing about cars, I mean nothing, lol. I have not gone on the highway much but don't hear anything cruzing through town. I have P Zeros on my Camaro and now on my GTP. I will be looking for a set to put on the CTS now! Buy these is you live in a mixed climate you will be very happy.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Rosso

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Rosso Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.43
 
 

2007 BMW X3 3.0si
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
January 17, 2014

great tires - you can corner the car at high speeds, great stability, great for agressive and non-agressive driving alike. negatives include lot's of road noise and impossible noise levels once worn down to the 2/32. mine got worn down after 12 months and 6000 miles. once worn they lose their grip like nobody's business. don't buy this unless you are acustomed to changing your tires with your oil change.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.45
 
 

2012 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 21,000
Location: Waunakee, WI
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 21,000 Miles on Tires
January 02, 2014

All in all a pretty good tire. I have put them through two track days and am on my third winter with them and they have been my Swiss Army knife tires. They probably have another 15k in them and for how I have hammered on them I can't complain. They did get noisy at about 15k but cross rotated them and they are quiet again. The fault of this isn't the tire but the aggressive camber of the GTI in the rear. I also think the tread pattern and the sidewall look good. I would definitely purchase them for replacement to keep the oem look too.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero

Friday, January 10, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.86
 
 

2012 Buick Regal GS
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Miles driven on tires: 6,000
Location: Shelton, CT
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 6,000 Miles on Tires
January 08, 2014

The tire is very capable in dry weather that is over 70 degrees. If it is colder out than that or wet out the tire is worthless for traction. The temperature part is obviously to be expected to some degree from this type of tire, but that it is also completely worthless in the wet as well, even when it is warm out, to me is unacceptable. It also breaks loose very unpredictably and drastically in those situations during straight line acceleration. The tires also developed a whining noise at speed that was quite noticeable after about 3000 miles of use. I ended up dumping them around 6000 miles for something less aggressive that suited the temperature range I use the car in better. I could not really evaluate tread wear at this point as there was still plenty of usable tread left on the tire.

 

Pirelli Makes Some of the Best Winter Tires for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Pirelli doesn't just make performance tires like the P Zero line, they also produce world class winter / snow tires for a range of vehicles from small cars and high performance sports cars to large SUVs, trucks and crossover vehicles. So, whether you need affordable studded snow tires for your Honda Civic, performance snow tires for your BMW 3 Series or tires for the family's SUV for ski trips, Pirelli has you covered!

 Pirelli Winter Carving
Pirelli Winter Carving
 Pirelli Scorpion Winter
Pirelli Scorpion Winter
 Pirelli Winter SottoZero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3


The Pirelli Winter Carving is a Studdable Winter / Snow tire made in a variety of sizes for those looking for a traditional studdable snow tire. With or without studs, the Winter Carving represents a great value in a traditional studdable winter tire. Note, that while studded tires are not the quietest tires, they do offer great snow and ice traction. To learn more about about using studded tires, read "Studded Tires for Winter Driving."

Pirelli's Scorpion Winter is an outstanding choice for crossovers, trucks and SUVs. It features an Ecoimpact icon branded on the sidewall to highlight the tire's contribution to the environment with regards to energy efficiency, clean air and low noise. The tire is designed to deliver low temperature wintertime driving performance by combining predictable handling on dry and wet roads with traction in snow and on ice.

Drivers looking for a high performance winter tire that will provide some winter traction for better dry road grip and steering response should consider the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3. The tire was developed with the philosophy that winter tires must perform in a variety of unpredictable weather conditions.

All three tires feature aggressive, directional tread patterns for great water and snow/slush evacuation. Looking for winter aftermarket alloy wheels or steel wheels to mount your winter tires on? Check out "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack" for some great options.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.33
 
 

2011 Volkswagen GTI-2 door
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Miles driven on tires: 40,000
Location: Bellevue, WA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 40,000 Miles on Tires
November 18, 2013

I had an old 2011 VW GTI ,this tires was almost worn out in approx. 40K and my tires were 5/32 on the front and 4/32 on my rear wheels, but its still doing well on wet traction but the sad part it was slipping on wet situation while I was on rapid acceleration and my dashboard warning came on, so it was about time I change tires on my front tires. Brought a pair of Michelle Tires trying to see what will happen after putting this Michelle on my front tires....I will wrote any review on this used one let said 3 - 4 months from now.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DW

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DW Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8
 
 

1986 Porsche 944 Turbo
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Miles driven on tires: 20,000
Location: Elyria, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 20,000 Miles on Tires
November 17, 2013

This is a great tire if you are looking for a comfortable and quiet touring tire. I can enjoy getting on the highway and driving 6-7hours to NY or NC. My car has had a variety of tires on it for the 17 plus years I have owned. May max performance tires will cup and make horrendous noise within 10K and ride very hard over rough roads pom this type a car. I was getting tired of the noise and harsh ride and wanted a comfortable touring tire like the original P6 they came with in 1986. I tried a Pirelli P zero nero, but that tire was poor in all areas of noise and wear. This tire fit the bill perfectly and has had great tire wear with very little cupping. I am running MO30 suspension and being a 16" wheel this tire will give up in a hard corner or when braking when pushed very hard in the dry. It does not squeal or give you a sign, but it will let go because of the larger soft side wall that gives it the comfortable ride. Maybe a 17" wheel conversion with this same tire would improve the cornering. You just have to know the limits of this tire and not get stupid or it may bite you. I would rate it as an excellent touring tire. I will probably buy again when the these wear out unless another model proves to combine the same comfort with an increase in performance.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero

Friday, December 6, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.38
 
 

2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 10,700
Location: Grayville, IL
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 10,700 Miles on Tires
October 11, 2013

Some aggressive acceleration but rear tires wore out at 10,700 miles. The fronts would probably go 18,000. They bite like no other tire I've ever had but too short of tread life with a 220 wear rating. Ride is also much harsher then the Michelin PS2's I had on my last AMG

 

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

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

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

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


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

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

N-Spec Tires for Your Porsche

Friday, April 19, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

Porsche vehicles are known throughout the auto industry as one of the most highly engineered driving machines. Their engineers meticulously analyze every aspect of the vehicle's execution from weight savings and balance, all the way down to how the tires perform.

Porsche vehicles from 911 Carreras to Cayennes have tires that are specifically engineered for the vehicle through collaboration between tire manufacturers and Porsche themselves. Original Equipment Porsche tires are commonly referred to as N-Spec tires because the sidewall of the tire will be branded N0, N1, N2 or N3 and so on. The "N" is the designation for Porsche approved tires and the corresponding number identifies the version, with the higher number assigned to newer generations of the tire.

For instance, if you shop by vehicle and look at the 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Coupe, when you choose "View Original Equipment Tires" the website will display all of the tires that may have come on the vehicle as Original Equipment from Porsche. You will find on the list the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2, Pirelli P Zero N2, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0, and Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1.

 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2 Porsche
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 N2 Porsche
 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1 Porsche
Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N1 Porsche

 

 Pirelli P Zero N2 Porsche
Pirelli P Zero N2 Porsche
 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0 Porsche
Bridgestone Potenza RE050A N0 Porsche


For more information, read "Porsche N-Specification Tire Approvals."

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.1
 
 

2004 BMW M3 Convertible
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Miles driven on tires: 2,000
Location: Fargo, ND
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 2,000 Miles on Tires
March 21, 2013

Installed these all-season rated 225/45 fronts and 245/40 rears and the overall handling of our M3 is excellent. Had previously used Pirelli P Zero summers but wanted to extend the driving season. The RE970AS's are a great choice and highly recommended.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Rosso

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Rosso Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.25
 
 

2005 Saab 9-5 Aero Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 5,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 5,000 Miles on Tires
April 04, 2013

After 5K miles a pretty good experience. Good off-the-line grip, stable cornering and tracking, good braking hold. Limited wet road exposure, but in light to moderate rain no cornering breakaway or hydroplaning at 80 mph+. The tire is noisier than I'd like; running at 38-40 psi and tread wear is almost non-existent. This tire had gotten mixed reviews (cupping, rapid wear) but with proper inflation and rotation I'm hoping for 30K plus.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.64
 
 

2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
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Miles driven on tires: 4,800
Location: Akron, OH
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 4,800 Miles on Tires
April 09, 2013

OEM on my '13 Mustang GT Premium Convertible. Aquired the car just after the New Year and drove it hard in Jan-Feb on snow and ice. Exceeded my expectations. Now that it is warm again I am finding how great these tires are in the wet and dry. I feel confident in all weather conditions with these tires. Highly recommended! This GT replaced an '08 CTS that was equipped with Continental DWS. I'll take the P Zero Nero over the Conti DWS any day.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 24,000
Location: Chicago, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 24,000 Miles on Tires
April 09, 2013

Loudest tires I have ever owned on uneven surfaces. The slightest ripple or roughness in the pavement creates extremely loud vibrations and noise.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.11
 
 

2006 Jaguar XJ8L
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Miles driven on tires: 4,000
Location: Houston, TX
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 4,000 Miles on Tires
April 02, 2013

I think I am the only review here that has these "SUV" tires on a luxury passenger car. I bought these solely on price and reviews on Tire Rack, and I'm very pleasantly surprised at the outstanding quality and value. I came off a set of Hankook V-12's that were an excellent summer tire in all ways except tread life. Since I plan to sell this car in a year or so, I got the "cheapest" tire available. In terms of ride and quietness (2 traits most important to my wife), these even exceeded the Hankooks, which were in themselves vastly superior the the OEM Pirelli P-zeros. In deep snow in Colorado during a ski trip last month, they were outstanding; I did better than a guy in a Grand Cherokee (2wd) we were following during a heavy snow!
Anyone seeking a really good tire at an amazing price, don't hesitate getting these for ANY vehicle.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6.5
 
 

2010 Volkswagen GTI
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Miles driven on tires: 36,000
Location: Melrose Park, IL
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 36,000 Miles on Tires
April 03, 2013

Bought this car new. Tires rotated per owners manual and they became LOUD at 20k miles. Sounds like a wheel bearing gone bad, but it's the tires. They grip well, decent in rain and snow and wear pretty well. They are just really noisy. Will go with another brand when these are done.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season

Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.09
 
 

2011 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
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Miles driven on tires: 10,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 10,000 Miles on Tires
April 03, 2013

These came stock on the 19" x 8.5" rims of my 2011 Mustang GT. I drive 6-speed with 3.55 gears, so the rear tires get a bit more shock treatment than that of an automatic.

Brand new, the tires are great. You almost can't get them to break traction short of turning the traction control off and dumping the cluth after reving up to red line. But after doing that a few times, you will find the traction/stickiness of the tire will have depleted.

They are still good all-around tires, but after a few months of driving, they lose their launch traction.

I have already replaced two sets (four tires total) in the two years that I have had the car and am about to replace another set on the rear. That would mean that about every 10,000-13,000 miles, they need replaced. The tread is not down to the cords or anything, but you can feel a major difference in the performance at the 10k wear point.

Road noise is pretty minimal for a low-profile tire and the ride is comfortable as the suspension on the GT with these tires rides very well. There seems to be a bit of roll/softness in cornering, but if you know your car well enough, you know what you can and can't do and the tires stay fairly firm. I will buy them again for all year tires, but I will probably switch to something stickier for Summer track action on street tires.

 

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli P Zero Silver

Monday, April 1, 2013 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli P Zero Silver Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7.5
 
 

2007 BMW 550i Sedan Base Model
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Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location:  
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
March 20, 2013

I've had these tires for a couple months and have several thousand miles on them now. I waited till Jan. 1st to buy them, as the price dropped drastically...there was a drawback though...they're terrible in cold weather; I live in Virginia Beach, VA and figured it wouldn't be a big deal, as its not like I live in Minnesota (anymore). Anyway, Good luck trying to get traction in the cold..they are after all summer tires! Needless to say, I expected it and do not give a negative rating for that reason. When it warms up, they respond perfectly...rain or sun, they're great tires!!! I do think they'll wear really quick, but just based on a visual check. Oh, and the white letters look a little funny...I think I like it though; but it took a while to get used to it on my BMW! ya don't see white lettered tires on a Bimmer too often haha. Overall, great tires!!!!! Good thing it doesn't get too cold here in VA!