http://www.discounttiredirect.com/direct/findTireDetail.do?sw=true&ar=65&pc=26548&cs=205&rd=15 I paid $56 delivered for these. Made in France, H-Rated. Viking is generic Conti in England. I had a hard time finding further info. The comparisons I saw looked good. 1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta With a test was carried out in which the characteristics of brand-new tyres where compared, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q came second, but when used tyres where put to the test, the Nokian defeated the Bridgestone Blizzak. After completion of the traction portion, the Blizzak was still in the lead, but once the test measuring maneuverability were done with, the Hakkapeliitta Q took its place at the top. Despite the soft tread compound, the wear resistance of the Hakkapeliitta Q has not been compromised. Tyres in the drive position do not show excessive wear in the middle, and tyres rolling free demonstrate an extremely regular wear pattern. Week of manufacture: 09/98 Average weight: 8.90 kg Variation in weight:20 g Hardness of tread: 53 sh Total score: 886 2. Bridgestone Blizzak MZ-02 The winner of the previous test excels in tests, which measure the maximum traction the tyre is able to provide, even when it is worn. A soft tread compound guarantees excellent traction, but not entirely without complications. Where handling properties and regulating tyre wear are concerned, the Hakkapeliitta gathers the points. The theoretical service life of the Blizzak is also shorter than that of the Hakkapeliitta, because the tread depth of an unused Blizzak, particularly in the middle of the tread, is less than the pattern depth measured in the Hakkapeliitta. Week of manufacture: 42/97 Average weight: 9.18 kg Variation in weight:260 g Hardness of tread: 50 sh Total score: 882 3. Continental Viking Contact 2 Sharing the second place with the Nokian Hakkapeliitta Q in the previous test, the Continental Viking Contact 2 nicely complements the top three and puts up a good fight. The Conti falls behind the top contenders in tests, which clearly measure the tyres' tractive properties, but as far as handling is concerned, this well-balanced tyre is at its best. Despite its slightly inferior maximum traction, the Continental gathers the most points, for example, for its handling on ice. As far as wear resistance is concerned, the Continental has also this aspect well covered. Week of manufacture: 08/98 Average weight: 8.83 kg Variation in weight: 50 g Hardness of tread: 55 sh Total score: 872 4. Michelin Maxi-Ice The Michelin Maxi-Ice, which has been around longer than the other brands and types participating in the test, cannot keep up with the more competitive brands in the demanding traction tests. The handling and maneuverability of the Maxi-Ice, however, leave nothing to be desired, but the total score is clearly affected by the tyre's rather poor performance in the wear resistance test. The tread depth of an unused Michelin Maxi-Ice is only 8.2 mm, whereas it is over 9 mm with all the other brands. Week of manufacture: 24/97 Average weight: 8.90 kg Variation in weight: 10 g Hardness of tread: 54 sh Total score: 840 5. Pirelli Winter Ice Direzionale Even when used, the Pirelli Winter-Ice cannot quite rise up to the same level with the other brands, particularly when it comes to measuring the tyre's performance in traction tests. The ABS breaking system evens out differences between the tyres, and actually the Winter-Ice performs superbly in snow. The same is true about handling in snow. For example, in the snow-covered fast section, the Pirelli proved to be a tyre, which is easy to handle and pleasant to drive, and one which bites effectively into the snow and does not abruptly lose traction and go into a skid. Such a transition happens smoothly with the Pirelli and is overlapping. The steering angle of the Pirelli is also wider than that of the other brands. Compared with the other test tyres, the tread compound of the Pirelli is considerably harder, yet there are no visible signs of slower tread wear. Week of manufacture: 41/97 Average weight: 9.28kg Variation in weight: 180 g Hardness of tread: 62 sh Total score: 804 http://www.viking.co.uk/viking.asp Cheapness is what it took for me to buy snows. Last winter I ran on Conti Extreme Contacts...awesome.