Re: Walmart winter tires

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Posted by bikor on November 05, 1999 at 16:16:28:

In Reply to: Walmart winter tires posted by Andre on November 04, 1999 at 22:26:21:

Sorry, I haven't. But I'll try to help. I've been running "off-brand" snow tires of various types for several years (unstudded) on my family sedans. They all have improved my snow and ice traction. None of them have been disappointing. I can climb an icy viaduct much more easily than the cars around me, and go through a 3' snow drift from a stop. And stop a little sooner.

Of course, most snow tires have good snow/ice traction, and sacrifice dry and wet handling. I would think thsi distinction would be true in most off-brand and "budget" tires. If the trade-off isn't acceptable, there are a few costlier alternatives, like Blizzaks, Michelins and Pirellis that are better-rounded.

The tires you are considering were probably designed a few years ago, when studs were "in." I am assuming you won't stud. Some of the new ones use silica, walnuts etc., in the rubber to add characteristics of studded tires. But they will still stop sooner because of the tread and softer rubber fairly standard in winter tires.

Generally, the more sipes the better, and good ribs on the shoulders. If it's a big, blocky tread, its better suited for deep snow. More detail, maybe better for ice.

As there are only a handful of actual tire makers in the whole world, but lots of off-brands and relabels, check for the same tread design on different brands. Weathermaster, Hercules and Big O, for instance, have used the same design. You might find a match to something with a brand name and get a better idea of what you are indeed getting.

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