I kept the staggered set-up despite advice to use a narrower rear tire. The ride and handling in cold, dry conditons remained fine, and I am definitely glad I maintained the original set-up. This tire is outstanding in snow. Despite having rear wheel drive I was able to safely drive through 6-8 inches of snow and slop before the streets were treated. Last year I was caught with summer tires and got stuck in a suprise snowfall of only 1-2 inches. With these tires even the 8 inches of snow in my unplowed driveway couldn't keep me out of my garage. Have not had them long enough to gauge the treadwear. However, it feels great to no longer have to change vehicles when snowfall is predicted. These tires have given me peace of mind. P.S., Tire Rack's price, customer service, and fast delivery was great too.