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Unread 11-29-2013, 02:20 PM   #16
Charley3
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I was taking into account the "good for road" part. Two other people recommemded BFG AT, did they not? All the ATs I recommemded are Winter rated (snow/flake mountain symbol). Those snow flake rated tires do work well IME.

If I were looking for a dedicated snow tire, I'd look for something from Hankook or a Nokian, but I'm sure there's other good brands too.

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Unread 11-30-2013, 08:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
I was taking into account the "good for road" part. Two other people recommemded BFG AT, did they not? All the ATs I recommemded are Winter rated (snow/flake mountain symbol). Those snow flake rated tires do work well IME.

If I were looking for a dedicated snow tire, I'd look for something from Hankook or a Nokian, but I'm sure there's other good brands too.
Always happy to help:

"In order for a tire to get the RMA's mud and snow designation it must meet the following geometric design criteria: Tires must have multiple pockets or slots in at least one of its treads that extend toward the tread center at least 1/2 inch (about one centimeter) from the footprint edge, measured perpendicularly to the tread centerline. The tire must also have a minimum cross-sectional width of 1/16 inch, and its edge of pockets or slots has to be at an angle of between 35 and 90 degrees from the direction of travel. In addition, the tire tread contact surface void area should be at least 25 percent, based on mold dimensions.

Basically, what these dimensions require are rows of fairly large grooves that start at the edge of the tire and move toward the center, and that at least 25% of the tire's surface area must be grooves. A tire with enough void space can better grab through the snow or mud to gain traction.

You could think that having an RMA's mud and snow rating meant you were good to go. Unfortunately, as you see from the above, these ratings are based on a tire's geometry -- not how well it does on tests actually driving in mud or snow. The RMA has tried to address this gap by creating a separate designation, called "Severe Snow Use." A tire with this designation has a picture of a little mountain with a snowflake inside of it next to the MS designation. To earn the Severe Snow Use designation, a tire must exceed certain tire traction results as tested in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials severe snow test procedures."

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/tire-r...esignation.htm

Still, Buffalo is a whole different micro climate due to the lake effects snowfall. While the Mountain/snowflake designation means something, it is not a tire for a Buffalo rig. IMO.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 07:11 PM   #18
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Mastercraft Avalanche Xtreme LT is an interesting Winter tire that looks good to me. It comes in more sizes and larger sizes than most brands of Winter tires, IMO.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 11:17 PM   #19
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Have a look here.

http://www.snowandmud.com/tow-vehicl...ons-55446.html
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Unread 12-01-2013, 12:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
I did. Very interesting. However, one always has to be careful when one generalizes.

A Canadian mud and snow forum would seem like a great place to tap into the real experts on winter tires. It would seem so. However, when one peels the onion back, the picture is a little more complicated.

First, there is hardly a place in Canada that has as high average annual snowfall as Buffalo. In fact, most cities of size in Canada have average snowfall of less than half of what Buffalo gets.

Most of the posters in the forum seem to be from Western Canada which mostly has about one quarter of the annual snowfall of Buffalo.

And, because Canada is colder, the snow stays longer and is more compacted and more like driving on dirt.

Finally, I hate to say it, but Canadians are cheap. A second set of tires on the old forerunner is not always the first choice.

Having said all of that, I think my first suggestion of conventional studded snows is very consistent with the Canadian mud and snow forum posters, most of whom seem to use studded Severe Use tires.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 09:54 AM   #21
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While the OP is from Buffalo where studded tires may be legal, for anyone wishing to provide more geographically generalized opinions, keep in mind that studded tires are illegal in some states. As icy as Wisconsin gets, studs and chains are not allowed on the roads here; we have to rely on rubber alone. Just an FYI. I'm quite happy with my tires, and if I ever got a designated tire for winter, it would be Nokian Hakkapeliitta easily, but there may be others from studless states looking for tips.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mschi772 View Post
While the OP is from Buffalo where studded tires may be legal, for anyone wishing to provide more geographically generalized opinions, keep in mind that studded tires are illegal in some states. As icy as Wisconsin gets, studs and chains are not allowed on the roads here; we have to rely on rubber alone. Just an FYI. I'm quite happy with my tires, and if I ever got a designated tire for winter, it would be Nokian Hakkapeliitta easily, but there may be others from studless states looking for tips.
Winter equipment is certainly regional. We had a discussion of chains recently for a person who lives in an area where chains are required to drive on many roads.

Where ice is present on a regular basis, like the lower Midwest, where roads are constantly freezing and thawing, studs are the only effective choice other than chains.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 06:57 PM   #23
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I just got a set of studded Duratracs in 245/70R17 best snow tires I've run yet. They make them in a 235/80R17 but no one had them in stock.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 10:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
I did. Very interesting. However, one always has to be careful when one generalizes.

A Canadian mud and snow forum would seem like a great place to tap into the real experts on winter tires. It would seem so. However, when one peels the onion back, the picture is a little more complicated.

First, there is hardly a place in Canada that has as high average annual snowfall as Buffalo. In fact, most cities of size in Canada have average snowfall of less than half of what Buffalo gets.

Most of the posters in the forum seem to be from Western Canada which mostly has about one quarter of the annual snowfall of Buffalo.

And, because Canada is colder, the snow stays longer and is more compacted and more like driving on dirt.

Finally, I hate to say it, but Canadians are cheap. A second set of tires on the old forerunner is not always the first choice.

Having said all of that, I think my first suggestion of conventional studded snows is very consistent with the Canadian mud and snow forum posters, most of whom seem to use studded Severe Use tires.

WOW !!! Not sure where you get your facts.

there are quit a few places in canada that receive more snow than Buffalo.

Buffalo's annual snowfall average is 96" and that is from the late 1800's to current figures.

http://www.currentresults.com/Weathe...al-average.php

Where I am from we receive 54" annually and double that 45 min. north.

As for being cheap, when our tires are close to 40% more for the exact same tire we have the right to be cheap.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #25
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WOW !!! Not sure where you get your facts.
Using your linked source, my facts are exactly correct.

The mean average of the cities on your link in Canada is 58" per year.

Buffalo averages 98" according to you.

Only one of the sixteen (6%) Canadian cities you cite has as much snow as Buffalo.

As for Canadians being cheap. Eh?
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Unread 12-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #26
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I never understand how people think that using a 2nd set of tires for winter is that much more expensive. During the months that you're driving on one set of tires, you're NOT using the other set. They each last longer time-wise than they would have on their own, and they each get exactly the same life distance-wise as they'd get on their own. In the long run, you're not really spending any more $ per mile with some wiggle room if your winter tires are more expensive or shorter-lived than your summer tires, but any difference should be fairly insignificant. It's only "expensive" in the short-run because you have to secure a 2nd set of tires at a time you wouldn't otherwise have bought tires, but after the initial purchase, they should slide right into your budget with minimal negative effect. Throw the winter tires on some cheap old wheels and the only downsides become storage and the biannual swapping of wheel/tire sets which shouldn't be any more work than normal if you sync the swap up with a time you'd normally be doing a tire rotation.
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Unread 12-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #27
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I never understand how people think that using a 2nd set of tires for winter is that much more expensive. During the months that you're driving on one set of tires, you're NOT using the other set. They each last longer time-wise than they would have on their own, and they each get exactly the same life distance-wise as they'd get on their own. In the long run, you're not really spending any more $ per mile with some wiggle room if your winter tires are more expensive or shorter-lived than your summer tires, but any difference should be fairly insignificant. It's only "expensive" in the short-run because you have to secure a 2nd set of tires at a time you wouldn't otherwise have bought tires, but after the initial purchase, they should slide right into your budget with minimal negative effect. Throw the winter tires on some cheap old wheels and the only downsides become storage and the biannual swapping of wheel/tire sets which shouldn't be any more work than normal if you sync the swap up with a time you'd normally be doing a tire rotation.
^^^^^ This.

And, the Winter tires (at least the studdable conventional snows) are actually cheaper. So, by the time you wear out both sets you have saved money.
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Unread 12-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mschi772 View Post
I never understand how people think that using a 2nd set of tires for winter is that much more expensive. During the months that you're driving on one set of tires, you're NOT using the other set. They each last longer time-wise than they would have on their own, and they each get exactly the same life distance-wise as they'd get on their own. In the long run, you're not really spending any more $ per mile with some wiggle room if your winter tires are more expensive or shorter-lived than your summer tires, but any difference should be fairly insignificant. It's only "expensive" in the short-run because you have to secure a 2nd set of tires at a time you wouldn't otherwise have bought tires, but after the initial purchase, they should slide right into your budget with minimal negative effect. Throw the winter tires on some cheap old wheels and the only downsides become storage and the biannual swapping of wheel/tire sets which shouldn't be any more work than normal if you sync the swap up with a time you'd normally be doing a tire rotation.
It's obviously an upfront expense to have to buy a second set of wheels and tires, and you have to have room to store them, and it's a nuisance to change them.

Given time value of money, the upfront expense is unlikely to be recovered.

However, given regional issues mentioned (including laws and weather) what is best depends on the region and perhaps other factors.

My my region, I prefer year round use Winter tires without studs (though my tires are studable). Studless do very well for me on snow and good enough on ice, and are way BETTER on wet pavement and dry pavement. I used to use studded Winter tires, but I have learned I prefer Winter tires without studs.

My choice is partly based on my climate. During Winter we have periods of dry pavement, periods of wet pavement, and periods of snow. Occasionally we have brief periods of ice. Most of these periods last a week or two, then change to some other condition, but ice is only occasional and lasts only 1 to 3 days IME.

So my tire choice is versatile to work for all things. I don't have to store and haul extra tires. I don't have to wait in line for hours at a tire store when a storm blows in (or out).
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Unread 12-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #29
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Here is an interesting factoid. I got this from an Internet source discussing studs vs studless in Oregon. I didn't save the link.

The annual road damage from studded tires in Oregon is 4 times the annual road repair budget.

So can we afford to have people driving on studs in States where snow and ice happen for a day to a week at a time followed by weeks with no snow or ice?

Studded tires are increasing road repairs a huge amount, which will have to be paid by tax payers.

It's different in regions where snow and ice are constant during Winter. In those states I have no objection to studs if people want them.

But in regions where snow or ice are occasional, why tear up the roads with studs? Also, studded Winter tires have less traction on wet and dry pavement. In Western WA and OR we have snow or ice less than half the time in Winter. So studs don't make sense there, IMO.
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Unread 12-12-2013, 02:12 PM   #30
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I've done enough Winter wheeling on studless Winter tires (year round use variety) in a front wheel drive Buick to know those tires are very capable on snow and good enough on ice.

Studs are better on ice, but studdless are adequate on ice when I'm driving. IME

For snow I think studs or studless are equal IME.

For wet and dry pavement studdless are better.

So I think frequent ice is the only reason to get studs.

Periods of wet or dry pavement are reasons not to get studs.

---

So for the OP in Buffalo, how much ice do you get? That is really the deciding factor for studs vs studless, IMO.
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