Why buy winter tires?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 by Todd Galbreath

We Know How They Go in Ice and Snow

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Since "experience is the best teacher," the Tire Rack team drives on as many of the tires we offer as possible. This testing allows us to better understand a tire's ride and noise qualities on the road, and its performance capabilities on the track. And even though Mother Nature is very generous with her snow allotment for South Bend (averaging over 80" annually), when it comes to winter tire testing we don't even wait for it to snow

For a number of years a hockey rink has been used to provide the ultimate simulation of the icy road conditions that we'll face later in winter. By conducting acceleration, braking and cornering tests on the ice we've confirmed the differences between various winter tires and the traction advantage they have over All-Season and All-Terrain light truck tires. We've also confirmed the importance of matched tires on all four corners. Our tests have shown that a rear wheel drive vehicle equipped with all-season tires on the front and winter tires on the back will require slower cornering speeds and longer stopping distances than the same vehicle equipped with four winter tires.

The combined results of all of these tests help us select the correct tire to meet your winter driving needs. After all, it gets pretty slippery out there!

 This years test included the Bridgestone WS & LM 60 model tires along with the Continental extreme winter contact and the Dunlop and all performed up to expectations,
With the Bridgestone Leading the pack in acceleration stopping and cornering ability, the Continental was close behind and the Dunlop placed a close 3rd in the test for ice and snow tires,
I was amazed at the difference between the Bridgestone LM 60 that is considered a Performance winter tire and the Ws 60  that falls into the Ice and snow category, although the LM 60 was much better than a All season tire and gave you very predictable traction, the Ice and snow WS 60 left it in the dust!



 


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