Snow Tires Without Studs Are Worthless.

Pew

Messages
1,306
Location
Illinois
This has not been my experience. Wife had Conti DWS on her C300 4Matic while I had General Altimax Arctic on my RWD 530i. Her C300 did very poorly in snow. My 530i did quite well.

Mine is actually the exact opposite with those tires; the DWS on the Evo did great while my current Altimax Arctics on the Focus are downright awful in the snow. Interestingly enough my roommate's old Saturn L200 with Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 felt more controllable than my focus on Altimax Arctics too. However the Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT were amazing on the focus so my conclusions could just very well be a tire thing. My GPS routed me down Utah route 62 and 22 from Capital Reef to Bryce Canyon in the winter of 2016-17 and only the northbound lane was partially plowed while the southbound lane (my lane) was untouched with ~6-8in of snow. The GYs were amazing when I had to switch back over into my lane because of incoming traffic.

I'm not well versed in Mercede's 4matic systems but the AWD system on my friend's 2014 E63S AMG felt very underwhelming compared to the Evo and STi. It was however a RWD system until slip was detected then it sent power up front versus the Evo and STi's always-50/50 torque split.

I agree 100% with you. Yes every area is different, but put here it’s hard to justify snow tires for the 5 times a year that you really need them because they haven’t plowed the roads. As I said in my other post, I’m impressed with the 3PMSF rated tires I just got, they even got over the ice dam at the end of my driveway with no issues.

I'm starting to believe this too. We only had 1 or 2 days since 2015 where there was more than an inch of snow that stuck on the road. The last one (minus this winter) that I can remember was 1 day in March around the winter of 2018-19 I think and everything was plowed by the time I got off work and melted within a few days so there's that.

The snow we received this week seemed to not faze many cars with A/S tires too - a lot of them looked more controllable than my car with snow tires.

If it wasn't for my winter road trips through Utah and Colorado I don't know if I would run winter tires anymore. A lot of people here rave about total cost of ownership but I wonder if they can say if having 2 days out of 5 years justifies the price of snow tires and when the local government takes care of the roads early in the day. With that said I'm more confident driving with snow tires than I am with all seasons so that does help.
 
Messages
830
Location
United States
I'm not well versed in Mercede's 4matic systems but the AWD system on my friend's 2014 E63S AMG felt very underwhelming compared to the Evo and STi. It was however a RWD system until slip was detected then it sent power up front versus the Evo and STi's always-50/50 torque split.
My volvo S60R was the exact opposite, FWD until it slips, takes a long break and then sends everything to the back. The old S4 ran rings around that car.
 
Messages
761
Location
Connecticut
We’re going to move to Lancaster PA. Despite getting less snow than CT at least one car will have 4 snow tires In the winter.

Every car I’ve owned in New England has had 4 snow tires on rims.

It’s all about traction. Nothing beats dedicated snow tires.
 
Messages
5,379
Location
down in the park

video prior was the same car with knobby gravel tyres on snow... as close to AT tyres vs snow tyres as you can get.

The car is mounted on Yokohama iceGuard ig52c Studless tires.


 
Messages
15,794
Location
NE,Ohio
If you ever drove a subaru with those awful yoko oem tires on it then with winter tires..

With the geolandar 95a? tires it was a wild animal front would slip rear would slip not predictable around a turn
AWD was more like FWD+RWD cant make up its mind.

Felt much less stable than just fwd.. but of course got moving better..

Put on some WS-80 (not my favorite winter tire) and it was a snow beast.
 
Messages
3,478
Location
Parts Unknown
Nokian's are overrated.

And, don't confuse a snow tire with an all weather tire.
Snow tires has many categories.

Studded and Studdable
Nordic Winter
"Central European" Winter (not the Alps mountain range) aka Performance Winter to us yanks.

Some of the Nokian all-weather tires start life as their Central European tire, namely WR G2, WR G3, and WR G4 with so-called tweaks to make it tire to be used all-season.

Michelin has their Pilot Alpin & Alpin series
Continental has their TS series
Bridgestone Blizzaks have their LM series.

I personally haven't had issues with All-weathers, got me everywhere a studdable and Nordic Winter has taken me, and since moving to CA, have to carry chains anyway for those especially icy conditions when Caltrans calls for an R3 chain control
 
Messages
12,152
Location
Colorado Springs
Snow tires has many categories.

Studded and Studdable
Nordic Winter
"Central European" Winter (not the Alps mountain range) aka Performance Winter to us yanks.

Some of the Nokian all-weather tires start life as their Central European tire, namely WR G2, WR G3, and WR G4 with so-called tweaks to make it tire to be used all-season.

Michelin has their Pilot Alpin & Alpin series
Continental has their TS series
Bridgestone Blizzaks have their LM series.

I personally haven't had issues with All-weathers, got me everywhere a studdable and Nordic Winter has taken me, and since moving to CA, have to carry chains anyway for those especially icy conditions when Caltrans calls for an R3 chain control
Depends which TS series. P is for performance. Regular TS is as hardcore winter tire as it gets. I had numerous of their TS tires.
 
Messages
12,152
Location
Colorado Springs
If you ever drove a subaru with those awful yoko oem tires on it then with winter tires..

With the geolandar 95a? tires it was a wild animal front would slip rear would slip not predictable around a turn
AWD was more like FWD+RWD cant make up its mind.

Felt much less stable than just fwd.. but of course got moving better..

Put on some WS-80 (not my favorite winter tire) and it was a snow beast.
We got quick 7-12 inches last night. I was on my way back from skiing when Front Range got dumped with snow. The amount of Subaru's in ditch every time this happens is an achievement actually.
 
Messages
227
Location
eastern WA
If you do some searching (i’m too lazy) you’ll find some studies on the internet about this, I think there is a doc somewhere from Alaska DOT that includes a bunch of different tests. The basic conclusion was that studded tires have a noticeable advantage over studless tires right around the freezing point, and as the temperature gets colder, the studless tires do relatively better.

That’s been my experience as well. My Blizzaks are great on super cold days, but slip to some extent on days in the low 30’s, when there is a thin layer of water on the ice. In any case they are noticeably better than BFG all terrains in ice or packed snow regardless of temp.

Can’t speak to all seasons as I have no reason to own a set.
 
Messages
4,632
Location
Decatur AL USA
One test in recent memory I saw that I had faith in with high end tires on packed snow showed about:
Studded Winter (index Tire)
Studless Winter +10%
All Weather +35%
All Season +65%

Sorry I can't relocate it currently.

That said you will see huge variations within each class of tire. Some All Weather Tires like the Michelin CrossClimate 2 are very good while some "Snow" Tires are very bad. Just like normal all seasons they are not all equal.
 

Ws6

Thread starter
Messages
3,808
Location
South Central US
One test in recent memory I saw that I had faith in with high end tires on packed snow showed about:
Studded Winter (index Tire)
Studless Winter +10%
All Weather +35%
All Season +65%

Sorry I can't relocate it currently.

That said you will see huge variations within each class of tire. Some All Weather Tires like the Michelin CrossClimate 2 are very good while some "Snow" Tires are very bad. Just like normal all seasons they are not all equal.
I'm upgrading to cross climate 2 next few months. I've got 45k miles on my LX25s, and they were 2019 technology when I got them. CC2 should be an improvement I'd think. I like Michelin.
 
Messages
480
Location
USA
I couldn't disagree more. My WinterForce tires have performed flawlessly over the last couple of weeks in some seriously ugly weather. Night and day over my DD all seasons. Worth every penny.

Screenshot_2021-02-18-20-56-28.png
20201108_101845.jpg
 
Messages
6,456
Location
Connecticut
There are numerous tests out there comparing stud-less and studded snow tires. Studs are better on ice, but not necessarily better in the other conditions like dry pavement or noise. Many states won't even allow studs due to road damage. I run stud-less General Altimax Arctic 12's on my RWD BMW, and they are worth every penny. Going on my 3rd season with them, and with the snows I can drive in 6" of snow without issue. Without them the car is useless in those conditions.

Also all-seasons will NEVER perform as well in snow as dedicated snow tires. All-seasons in my mind are 3 season tires. Fall, Spring, and Summer. They can get you by on a light dusting of snow, but that's it. The performance isn't even comparable. I just bought Michelin Pilot AS4's to replace my dedicated summer only tires. The reason was my climate has too many of those "in-between" days.
 
Messages
12,152
Location
Colorado Springs
There are numerous tests out there comparing stud-less and studded snow tires. Studs are better on ice, but not necessarily better in the other conditions like dry pavement or noise. Many states won't even allow studs due to road damage. I run stud-less General Altimax Arctic 12's on my RWD BMW, and they are worth every penny. Going on my 3rd season with them, and with the snows I can drive in 6" of snow without issue. Without them the car is useless in those conditions.

Also all-seasons will NEVER perform as well in snow as dedicated snow tires. All-seasons in my mind are 3 season tires. Fall, Spring, and Summer. They can get you by on a light dusting of snow, but that's it. The performance isn't even comparable. I just bought Michelin Pilot AS4's to replace my dedicated summer only tires. The reason was my climate has too many of those "in-between" days.
That is it. And Michelin Pilot A/S are sooo good in dry and warm weather, that they will outperform many dedicated summer tires.
 
Messages
15,794
Location
NE,Ohio
There are numerous tests out there comparing stud-less and studded snow tires. Studs are better on ice, but not necessarily better in the other conditions like dry pavement or noise. Many states won't even allow studs due to road damage. I run stud-less General Altimax Arctic 12's on my RWD BMW, and they are worth every penny. Going on my 3rd season with them, and with the snows I can drive in 6" of snow without issue. Without them the car is useless in those conditions.

Also all-seasons will NEVER perform as well in snow as dedicated snow tires. All-seasons in my mind are 3 season tires. Fall, Spring, and Summer. They can get you by on a light dusting of snow, but that's it. The performance isn't even comparable. I just bought Michelin Pilot AS4's to replace my dedicated summer only tires. The reason was my climate has too many of those "in-between" days.
there are many exceptions to all the rules. For example in extreme cold studless can be better than studs on ice.
 
Messages
233
Location
Toronto
1) Looks at thread title.
2) Reads articulate responses which give tests and personal experiences.
3) Wonders why such a thread was created.

Winter tires do just fine without studs for 95% of the population that actually needs them. Sisters Corolla has them, as do all of our cars. I was driving it in a storm and saw tons of Subbies, Audis, Acuras etc stuck in the snow due to the fact they had summer or all season tires on. AWD/4WD is useless if you don't have the right rubber on.

Having the right rubber for the right situation is everything. On and off the road.
 
Top