Winter tires, any favs before I take the plunge?

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:43 AM
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Winter tires, any favs before I take the plunge?

I am buying four winter tires next week, not going through the issues I had last year dealing with a certain hill on the way home. Looking to get steel rims as well or maybe simply mount the winter tires on my 15" Honda Sport rims and get new rims and tires in the spring. God knows the factory tires are not the best out there.

Any experience in the tire department winter-wise? Calgary has an odd winter really, I am from a place where when it is winter....it IS WINTER. In any case, how about the best places to get tires in Calgary? The current USA/Canuk exchange rate means ordering from the USA is a break even event. I am looking at Urban Expressions on 44th Ave. SE as they have some good prices and strong customer service. Any place else? Canuk Tire? Costco?

Hurry, I am storing my sweet summer ride, the Aztek over winter. A joke.....wondering if there are deals to be made on this ugly vehicle.

Cheers.

Went with Urban Expressions on 44th Ave. SE, great price and service. Nice to keep the money local as well. Lorne and gang did the trick. Now I await snow!
 

Last edited by kamakurakid; 11-22-2008 at 01:41 PM. Reason: added buying experience
  #2  
Old 10-17-2008, 02:26 AM
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Are studs legal in Calgary? If so, Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5's are awesome. If not, Nokian WR G2 are the best tires you can find for winter. Nokian Tires
 
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kamakurakid View Post
I am buying four winter tires next week, not going through the issues I had last year dealing with a certain hill on the way home. Looking to get steel rims as well or maybe simply mount the winter tires on my 15" Honda Sport rims and get new rims and tires in the spring. God knows the factory tires are not the best out there.

Any experience in the tire department winter-wise? Calgary has an odd winter really, I am from a place where when it is winter....it IS WINTER. In any case, how about the best places to get tires in Calgary? The current USA/Canuk exchange rate means ordering from the USA is a break even event. I am looking at Urban Expressions on 44th Ave. SE as they have some good prices and strong customer service. Any place else? Canuk Tire? Costco?

Hurry, I am storing my sweet summer ride, the Aztek over winter.

Cheers.
Talk to Bob at urban expressions and tell him Etienne sent you he will give you a great deal. I am picking up my winters from him this weekend.

I am getting Kuhmo KW19's great tire in the snow and pretty decent on the ice at a price that won't break the bank
 
  #4  
Old 10-17-2008, 08:43 AM
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Yokahoma Ice guards are some sweet rides. Also Blizzacks rock too.
 
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:12 AM
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Blizzaks are excellent tires but they don't last very long and would last even less here with the amount of asphalt they would drive on.

The Michelin X-ice and Goodyear Ultragrip ice are also good.

I might have some 1 season old X-ice tires mounted on honda steelies available soon if you're interested in buying used.
 
  #6  
Old 10-17-2008, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by airborne200208 View Post
Are studs legal in Calgary? If so, Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5's are awesome. If not, Nokian WR G2 are the best tires you can find for winter. Nokian Tires
I was looking at your photos yesterday, big snow bank and your crisp colour of a Fit. Something perfect with the snow and your car colour. Many think because you live in Alaska your snow tire needs differ from anyone outside Alaska. Snow is snow, ice is ice. There are longer winters and more snow an hour drive from Calgary. Not to lump all of Alaska in one type, the state is huge and it all differs if one is one the coast, inland, elevation, etc. It all differs.

People right away discount the need for studded tires, yet they have no experience with studs. I had studded tires long ago in high school, very impressed.

Studded tires are legal in all of Canada other than Ontario, some provinces other than Ontario again, have "winter condition use" as the legal goal markers. Ontario is using a 1970's report to keep studded tires off the roads. All recent reports say this is outdated as the studs and technology have changed greatly. Sweden was at one time looking at making studded tires illegal but backed down when the true facts were shown. Ontario...no go. Quebec passed a law recently where they now require winter tires on all vehicles during the winter/snow season. Smart as accident rates will fall, and traffic ought to flow as few will be stuck or spinning at intersections.

In any case, in Calgary last winter the only studded tires I saw and heard were those of courier and taxi drivers.

The Nokians get great reviews, thanks for the lead and I will look into them today.

I was kidding about the Aztek......gotta edit it out if possible.
 
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr_ET View Post
Talk to Bob at urban expressions and tell him Etienne sent you he will give you a great deal. I am picking up my winters from him this weekend.

I am getting Kuhmo KW19's great tire in the snow and pretty decent on the ice at a price that won't break the bank
I was given three quick choices on the tires with steelies: the Kuhmo KW19, Firestone Winterforce and General Altimax Arctic. All range in the $650-670 area. I am going with 185/65/14 as a size down from my stock 15" Honda wheels, all for better traction and less important is the saved money over 15" tires and wheels.

Now going with a 15" winter tire, using my Honda Sport rims as well. Will get new summer tires with proper aftermarket rims as well.
 

Last edited by kamakurakid; 10-21-2008 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Changed my mind.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:32 AM
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I spent a couple years in Sapporo, Japan and they do not sand or salt the city streets. Most cars used Yokohama ice tires from what I could see. Tons of snow there as well. Never saw anyone getting stuck, might be better winter drivers compared to the nut cases around here.
 
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by airborne200208 View Post
Are studs legal in Calgary? If so, Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5's are awesome. If not, Nokian WR G2 are the best tires you can find for winter. Nokian Tires
I find my Fit on the loud side anyway, at least on the highway. Could be the tires that came with the car, replacing those in the spring anyway.

With the studded tires on, how is the road noise level in the city and on the highway? I can live with most anything if it means being safer and having more control.

Below is an article from 1998, the expert (a forensic engineer who investigates car accidents) lives in Calgary and he says studded tires are the way to go. Mind you, he is using a decade old tire compared to today and technology has changed greatly. Physics still apply of course.

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/f.../tirestud.html
 

Last edited by kamakurakid; 10-17-2008 at 11:58 AM.
  #10  
Old 10-17-2008, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kamakurakid View Post
I find my Fit on the loud side anyway, at least on the highway. Could be the tires that came with the car, replacing those in the spring anyway.

With the studded tires on, how is the road noise level in the city and on the highway? I can live with most anything if it means being safer and having more control.
It definitely increases road noise on dry pavement, but on snow, ice and slush they are about as loud (or quite) as the Dunlops that came on mine. I wouldn't say that the noise is to an unreasonable level, no need to blast the stereo to drown it out.

I live in Anchorage, but 1200 feet above the city on the side of a mountain. We get some pretty gnarly snow up here and the roads are only maintained for 4-wheel drive vehicles. If I lived in the city I wouldn't see the need for studs so much.
 

Last edited by airborne200208; 10-17-2008 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:30 PM
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I was looking into some new 14" snow tires about a month ago coz I sold my OEM sport rim this year.

I used the 15" KW19 for a couple winters when I still have the sport rims & they're not bad in dry & wet condition, decent grip & not noisy. For the slush/snow performance on the KW19 I think it could be a little better probably because the threads aren't aggressive as Yokohama IG20 or Michelin X-Ice.

I bought my set of used 14" steelies with some Michelin Alpins on it last year. They work so-so in dry & grip pretty good in the rain as long as there's no puddle on the highway. Performance in snow/slush wise, I think it's a lil easier to steer around compare with the KW19 coz of the straight threads & sharper edge @ the edge to the side wall on the Michelins.

My dad used a set of Michelin Artic Alpin XM+S 330 quite a few years ago. They were very impressive in the rain & snow plus they last forever. So this time, I think I will get the Michelin X-ice most likely, or the Yokohama IG20 if they run out of stock on the X-ice.
 
  #12  
Old 12-27-2008, 11:56 PM
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I ended up going with some winter General Tires AltiMax Arctic General Tire * The Tires * Winter from Urban X Wheel & Tires in the NE of Calgary. Bob and Lorne were terrific in dealing with me, from prices to the rims, balance and install. The tires are wonderful in snow and slush, ice seems fine too. Last winter I was on the all season factory tires, total crap and really stressful all winter. Winter tires have me looking forward to driving in the city and on highways.

Come April I will be seeking summer only tires from Lorne and Bob, as well as aftermarket wheels.
 

Last edited by kamakurakid; 12-28-2008 at 12:36 PM. Reason: altered Urban X from the old/incorrect name.....
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:23 AM
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Yep those guys are the place to go for tires!

I had a look at the link, that looks like a pretty sweet tire.
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sugarphreak View Post
Yep those guys are the place to go for tires!

I had a look at the link, that looks like a pretty sweet tire.
Hard to go elsewhere when they treat one so right. I wish I had gone for the studded tire treatment though, not due to a bad tire but rather the extra zip a studded tire does allow. I had studded tires long ago and they were like driving in the summer. But these are great really, we always think we can do better.

On another note, maybe the Calgary Fit group ought to do a meet-up in Arizona. This winter is "gettin' on me tits" as a Brit. friend says to be weekly.
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:41 AM
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lol, Arizona or Bust!!
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:13 AM
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Urban X FTW
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:20 AM
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two best snows on earth:

1) Toyo GO2

2) Michelin X-Ice
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:33 PM
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oh man, anybody look out the window this morning?

Didn't see this one coming
 
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Fit of RAGE View Post
two best snows on earth:

1) Toyo GO2

2) Michelin X-Ice
I would not have the X-Ice tire on my car, overpriced and really bad reviews in the Scandinavian tire tests this year. They hated the tire on ice and snow. To each their own, better to have winter tires than no-season tires. Snowing big time here right now, we need to adopt a southern nation......Turks and Caicos was interested decades ago, Canada made an error in not accepting the offer.
 

Last edited by kamakurakid; 01-02-2009 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kamakurakid View Post
I would not have the X-Ice tire on my car, overpriced and really bad reviews in the Scandinavian tire tests this year. They hated the tire on ice and snow. To each their own, better to have winter tires than no-season tires. Snowing big time here right now, we need to adopt a southern nation......Turks and Caicos was interested decades ago, Canada made an error in not accepting the offer.
I had the X-Ice tires, they were ok... decent on ice, but crap on snow... I had Nexen Eurowin 550s last year on my fit and they were decent... better than the X-Ice tires. I now have the Toyo Garit HTs and they are pretty darn good. But the best winter tire I've ever owned were some studded walmart specials that I had 10 years ago. They were called wintermarks and they lasted for 6 seasons!!!! They had a super deep tread depth and were the best tire in snow ever, and with the studs it made them the best on ice too! Best part was I got all 4 for 40 per tire after xmas as they were 60% off for 205/55R15s.
 

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