Should I de-stud my snow tires?

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14,732
Location
Central NY
So after looking at the damage in the driveway from the studded tires, damage at work parking lot and almost getting hit because I couldn't get traction trying to make a left turn ... I am debating pulling the studs out of my Winterfarce tires. The Winterforce tires aren't that great all around. This will be my last winter on them. I will get something new for '15-'16; Blizzak WS70 or General Altimax Arctic ... can't find Nokians around here.I usually only run snow tires a few winters so I can always have good snow tires , then offload on CL. Anyone have any pros/cons to destudding them? They really aren't that great in ice even with the studs so I can't see them being much worse. I'll probably end up pulling the studs and re-siping the spots that may have worn down a bit. The noise also drives me nuts. I suspect that is from the studs. Louder than the mud tires on my Jeep ...
 
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2,771
Location
NYC
If your gonna get new snow tires, don't bother and just sell them. If its safe and cost effective to remove them, I guess there's no reason not to.
 
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778
Location
Southeast Michigan
Originally Posted By: Miller88
can't find Nokians around here.
Huh?... Nokian's site lists a slew of sellers within spitting distance of Syracuse. Did you look there? Anyway... I wouldn't de-stud. The Winterforce, as you know, wasn't a great tire to begin with. They're no worse in the snow with the studs, and Tire Rack's comparison that included studded and unstudded General Altimax Arctics convinced me of the value of studs. Unless you absolutely, positively can't swing the cash for new tires this year, I'd be shopping for new winter tires.
 
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802
Location
western ny, usa
Got the Firestone Winterforce, 4 years ago when I couldn't get the General Altimax. CR magazine rated the Winterforce low recently. We all know they are snow and not snow/ice. That said if you look at Tire Rack reviews , owners rate them highly, probably the highest rated tire on TR. I have no problems with mine but they are not studded. Living in Buffalo mine are a big help in snow. Studding only helps on ice and takes away traction on dry pavement, less rubber contact with road. Had Michelin snow/ice tires years ago and they were great , they did have a noise like a siren. Figured it to be a sound of safety.
 
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2,750
Location
Rochester, NY
I wouldn't un-stud them. A studdable tire used without studs will work fine in snow, but give up a bit of grip on hardpack and a ton of grip on near-freezing ice. If you want to run something without studs, get a snow tire that's meant to be studless.
 
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15,862
Location
NE,Ohio
just sell them and snag something in the labor day sale. if you wait past september there may be shortages. There maybe a thanksgiving sale... but who knows what stock levels or deals... so labor day is the last reliable sale. Its also when most of the big sellers have stock available. winterforce tires are terrible snowtires by modern standards. if you want studded go altimax arctic unstudded I'd go michelin xice xi3.. its almost like having normal tires.. except they are great in snow and ice. They do give up a small amount of deep snow traction and slush planing resistance due to their tread pattern.. but they are also LRR and great handling (for snow tires) Blizzack ws-70 I would only get if they are on closeout for a crazy price.. they are great tires.. but not the same as other class leading tires. Nokian R2.. I'd put these a tiny bit in front of the xice xi3's but their availablity and price kinda ruin the buzz for nokians.. at least around me. Also the fact that some are made in russia... and that I have 4 wrg2's --2 with seams starting to open in the tread. Blizzack ws-80's are new out this year but no one really knows anything yet. I'd expect them to be near class leading but who knows. Goodyear ultragrip WRT-- mediocre I was very disappointed with another goodyear product here. Sad since I live in akron.. home of the goodyear world headquarters.
 
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2,257
Location
WNY
What is thought of the General Altimax Arctic or Hankook Winter iPike? I have WS70's on a set of steelies for winter. I did not rotate them and they're already half down. I hate the speed they wear.
 
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1,459
Location
NY
Originally Posted By: redhat
What is thought of the General Altimax Arctic or Hankook Winter iPike? I have WS70's on a set of steelies for winter. I did not rotate them and they're already half down. I hate the speed they wear.
How many miles is that on the WS70s (and do you mean halfway down to the snow wear bars or halfway between new and 2/32nds)? I'm curious for myself (shopping in the future). I heard mostly good things on the Altimax Arctic last year when I was searching for snows for our Cruze - the negatives which didn't really seem universally agreed to were MPG hit, wearing speed and speed rating (I think they are Qs).
 
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2,257
Location
WNY
I am down and past the snow wear bars. The tires still have tread but if I'd estimate, I'd say they probably have 4/32nds left. Still serviceable, but I don't feel comfortable on them. This was probably 7,000 miles. Rears are just at the snow wear bars.
 
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2,257
Location
WNY
Don't get me wrong, they bite good, but they're not that cheap. I was thinking about the Winterforce for this year, but may be changing my mind.
 
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3,877
Location
Alberta, Canada
In the winter here road surfaces are generally unpredictable, black ice, snow covered ice, bare road, frost covered and deep snow. Winter fuel economy generally stinks at the best of times, so rating one winter tire against another for fuel economy purposes is an exercise in futility. Speed...in the winter time, simply asking for trouble. I go the speed that the conditions dictate..not the posted speed (which is designed for the most part for optimal clear conditions) so anyone that speeds in the winter is asking for trouble. Wear for winter tires is an interesting concept. I only know of one tire that comes with a rating and that is the Nokian WR all weather tire. My winter tires are put on when winter comes and taken off when its gone. I have yet to have a winter tire that has not lasted at least 4 winters. To me winter tire performance means safely getting me to my destination with the least drama, primary avoiding idiots out there who can't drive for the conditions. It's winter, you put on good shoes and drive prudently and you'll get home, everything else is just frivolous. I have Altimax Arctics and they are the best winter tire for the dollar IMO. Either stick it out with the studded winterforces, or sell them and get what you want. De-studding a winter tire is just a waste of time & money.
 
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Messages
1,459
Location
NY
Thanks - I only put winters on for the first time last year but that (wear / tire life) was one of the main concerns when shopping as our commutes are pretty lengthy. Hard balance to strike.
 
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Messages
15,862
Location
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: redhat
Don't get me wrong, they bite good, but they're not that cheap. I was thinking about the Winterforce for this year, but may be changing my mind.
if you are thinking winterforce just get altimax arctics. 10x better tire. Similar price. Thats kinda odd how fast those wore.. I have 3 winters on my 225/55R17 ws-70 and they are only worn 2/32 from new. GF has 3 winters on her xice xi2's with probably 2-3x the mileage and they are still good for another winter or 2. I usually put them on in December and try to get them off by April. this year was early November to end of April though.
 
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Messages
3,678
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I have used the Altimax Arctic on my 2013 Sonata the past 2 winters. With about 15,000 miles on them, the wear is 10 - 15%. I only put them on when I expect temps to stay below 32F and take them off when temps stay above 32F. They are better in all situations than the Winterforce - snow traction, ice and noise. I have the WF on two other cars. I do recommend the Altimax.
 
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7,503
Location
North America
Originally Posted By: Miller88
So after looking at the damage in the driveway from the studded tires, damage at work parking lot and almost getting hit because I couldn't get traction trying to make a left turn ... The Winterforce tires aren't that great all around. ... ... They really aren't that great in ice even with the studs so I can't see them being much worse. I'll probably end up pulling the studs and re-siping the spots that may have worn down a bit. The noise also drives me nuts. I suspect that is from the studs....
Answered your own question! I'd have had them off as soon it got warm. If they're a poor tire and you will be replacing, you might get more on your CL sale if the studs are still installed.
 

Miller88

Thread starter
Messages
14,732
Location
Central NY
Two of them only have one winter on them. The other four have two winters on them. They aren't worth too much now, won't be worth much less in another year. I may end up keeping the studs in then offloading them on CL. I just don't like the noise, really. Appears the Altimax Arctic isn't available in 185/65-15 but the i-Pike is. If I can get a good deal on Nokians this fall, I'll definitely order them and see about offloading the Winterforce tires.
Originally Posted By: ronbo
Got the Firestone Winterforce, 4 years ago when I couldn't get the General Altimax. CR magazine rated the Winterforce low recently. We all know they are snow and not snow/ice. That said if you look at Tire Rack reviews , owners rate them highly, probably the highest rated tire on TR. I have no problems with mine but they are not studded. Living in Buffalo mine are a big help in snow. Studding only helps on ice and takes away traction on dry pavement, less rubber contact with road. Had Michelin snow/ice tires years ago and they were great , they did have a noise like a siren. Figured it to be a sound of safety.
Do you get any ice in Buffalo? We occasionally get ice here in Syracuse and the Winterforce don't do so great. You don't feel they are dangerous or like an all-season on the ice?
 
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