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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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  #1  
Old 09-04-2010, 09:23 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Seeking advice on winter tire options for 128i

I am debating what to get for this upcoming winter. Having used all season tires before, this will be the first time that I have mucked around with winter tires.

For a Chicago winter, should I be looking at Performance Snow, or Studless Ice and Snow?? Also, I am considering downsizing to a 16in wheel.

Any opinions on the Kosei K1 racing wheel for the winter. At 15lbs, it seems to be the lightest that I can find. Any downsides? Example - sturdiness being a possible concern??

Link - takes your to tirerack - http://tinyurl.com/24hrbeb
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2010, 08:26 AM
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BestCS BestCS is offline
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If you're really concerned about getting around in tough winter weather, a steel wheel with a good winter tire is the best choice. Throw them on when the weather gets bad and take 'em off in the Spring. Tire Rack has packages, wheel & tire, and plenty of reviews.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2010, 11:15 AM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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No steel wheels show up on tirerack - where I was doing this research. Else, I would prefer to get a cheap steel wheel.
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2010, 07:25 AM
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BestCS BestCS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
No steel wheels show up on tirerack - where I was doing this research. Else, I would prefer to get a cheap steel wheel.
Here's one link:

http://www.tirerack.com/snow/changeo...amefrom=wtpack

BTW, the wheel doesn't have to be made specifically for a BMW. One for a VW, Audi, or MB will have the same bolt circle. Also the offset doesn't have to be exactly the same either. You'll have to do a little research, but it won't be difficult. Anyway, this is what'd I'd do if I lived in a place with a lot of snow.

BTW, there are other vendors that sell steel wheels. For the moment, get the offset and bolt circle info of your stock wheels to get started. Finally, I've seen plenty of BMWs with steel wheels and snow tires when I lived further north.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2010, 09:52 AM
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There are several (critical) things to consider for a proper wheel fitment:

1. Brake clearance....most current BMWs now require 17-inch wheels for adequate brake clearance.

2. Contrary to what has been said here, all German cars do NOT share a common bolt circle....Audi, VW, etc. are 5x100, while BMWs are 5x120.

3. Find out what the offset is on your stock wheels, and adhere as closely to that number as possible....try to not deviate by more than 5mm or so.(Avoid clearance headaches)

4. BMWs use a hubcentric wheel fit (SEARCH if you don`t know what that means). Make sure the new wheels have a hub bore diameter identical to the factory wheels.
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2010, 04:23 PM
ErvGotti ErvGotti is offline
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For $1200 I bought a used 93 explorer 4x4. Cost about as much as a winter set of wheels and it saves my beloved from the road salt and snow. If they're is a hint of snow I'll drive the ford, but otherwise the RFT hold up well in the cold.

Last edited by ErvGotti; 09-06-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2010, 09:06 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Performance Snow vs. Studless Ice and Snow

Lets drop the wheel question... I did find one wheel on which I asked some opinion, but the conversation got hijacked by the whole steel wheel deal...

Anyway, that aside... for Chicago... or some weather like that, would the forum members go with Performance Snow tires, or Studless Ice and Snow? I know that I would be giving up ultimate traction on icy intersections, for better dry grip, with the performance snow.

Any experience using either... or preferably both?
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2010, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
Lets drop the wheel question... I did find one wheel on which I asked some opinion, but the conversation got hijacked by the whole steel wheel deal...

Anyway, that aside... for Chicago... or some weather like that, would the forum members go with Performance Snow tires, or Studless Ice and Snow? I know that I would be giving up ultimate traction on icy intersections, for better dry grip, with the performance snow.

Any experience using either... or preferably both?
I`ve used both....first, Blizzak MZ-01s, recommended to me by the Tire Rack as being the hot setup for ice & snow. IMHO, they sucked donkey balls....felt like big greasy donuts, *extremely* unstable at anything over 70 mph on dry pavement (to the point of paranoia). Didn`t do such a great job in snow and ice, either.
Replaced them with Dunlop Wintersport M3s, it was a night and day difference. The M3s perform great in the sloppiest slop, and are *rock steady* (even at triple-digit speeds) in the dry....HIGHLY recommended....
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  #9  
Old 09-07-2010, 05:16 AM
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dhc3 dhc3 is offline
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+1 for the Dunlops. If you live near the city, roads are usually plowed, use the Dunlops. If you live way out in the sticks and often have to run thru ice and packed snow, use the Ice and Snow Studless.
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  #10  
Old 09-07-2010, 11:31 AM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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I am right downtown... so performance snow it is.

Thanks...
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2010, 11:55 AM
RyanE90 RyanE90 is offline
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I'll recommend the Dunlops also.

I live in St. Louis so we probably have some similar patterns although your temps are probably a bit lower and snowfall a bit higher. Most of our snowfalls around here are in the 2 to 6 inch range and the major roads get cleared pretty quickly. However, I only live about two miles from work and am in the city, so I can easily keep my driving to a minimum on a nasty day. I've been very happy with Dunlops for four winters now and have never felt I needed more traction in the snow or other bad weather. I'll run out of ground clearance before the snowfall is too much for the tires.
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2010, 07:26 PM
supremeart supremeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
I am debating what to get for this upcoming winter. Having used all season tires before, this will be the first time that I have mucked around with winter tires.

For a Chicago winter, should I be looking at Performance Snow, or Studless Ice and Snow?? Also, I am considering downsizing to a 16in wheel.

Any opinions on the Kosei K1 racing wheel for the winter. At 15lbs, it seems to be the lightest that I can find. Any downsides? Example - sturdiness being a possible concern??

Link - takes your to tirerack - http://tinyurl.com/24hrbeb
Personally, I went with this combo on a 2007 Z4, and it not only got me through 2 terrible East Coast storms and winters, the tire performed remarkably well in dry conditions. Considering I went with a narrower tire and smaller rim (from 17 to 16), I was very surprised to get such good dry road performance. I will be using the same tire/rim combo on my 2011 128i vert with M Package that I get next month.

I would say Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT Performance Snow all the way! If it took my Z4 through a storm that only 20 out of 150 people at work made it in (I was one of them), I have to stand behind them. Since I put them on on Thanksgiving each year through April, I do alot of non snow driving and have to say that I never missed the 3 season 17s that came on the car through that time.

And yes, these wheels and 16" wheels fit on the 128i (even M package, since the brake discs are the same diameter).

I wanted to keep cost down, so I went with this wheel:

Sport Edition CE:
20.2lbs.
Size: 16x7.5



For winter driving, since I won't be competing or anything, I doubt the extra weight will be much of an issue, since it wasn't on my Z4.

Tires, I would go with these, I have heard nothing but good things, and can speak from performance, they are quiet and perform line high perf tires IMO. FTR as well..

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT (I have the LM-22 actually from 2 years ago, which these replaced)

Size:205/55R16
Performance Snow



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Last edited by supremeart; 09-07-2010 at 07:34 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2010, 01:58 PM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
I`ve used both....first, Blizzak MZ-01s, recommended to me by the Tire Rack as being the hot setup for ice & snow. IMHO, they sucked donkey balls....felt like big greasy donuts, *extremely* unstable at anything over 70 mph on dry pavement (to the point of paranoia). Didn`t do such a great job in snow and ice, either.
Replaced them with Dunlop Wintersport M3s, it was a night and day difference. The M3s perform great in the sloppiest slop, and are *rock steady* (even at triple-digit speeds) in the dry....HIGHLY recommended....
I had the same tires on my E46 mounted by Tire Rack on 16" steelies made by BMW (now no longer available). While the MZ-01s were like jello on dry pavement, they were OK up to about 85 mph as long as you were careful. They did perform very well on snow & ice.

As Bob says, the M3s are great in the dry - although they did not do as well in snow as the grippier Blizzaks.

If all you need is a tire to handle 2~3" of snow, I'd opt for the M3. But if you will often encounter 4~5 inches and/or ice, I'd mount a studless winter tire like the MZ-01.

Since we had little or no snow for over 5 years, I went with a Toyo all-season last year. Great tire, but no match for the 45"+ inches of snow in the DC area last winter!

Tom
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
I had the same tires on my E46 mounted by Tire Rack on 16" steelies made by BMW (now no longer available). While the MZ-01s were like jello on dry pavement, they were OK up to about 85 mph as long as you were careful. They did perform very well on snow & ice.

As Bob says, the M3s are great in the dry - although they did not do as well in snow as the grippier Blizzaks.

If all you need is a tire to handle 2~3" of snow, I'd opt for the M3. But if you will often encounter 4~5 inches and/or ice, I'd mount a studless winter tire like the MZ-01.

Since we had little or no snow for over 5 years, I went with a Toyo all-season last year. Great tire, but no match for the 45"+ inches of snow in the DC area last winter!

Tom
I take your evaluation with a (big) grain of salt....the MZ-01s I had were squirrelly beyond description....felt like the wheels were on sideways, and disaster was imminent. The M3s work *way* better than you describe....the first winter I had them on, I drove 160 miles round-trip in a nasty storm that dumped a bunch of snow, slush, and ice, and I never felt concerned about losing control....the car just maintained it`s composure, with the typical,
nice, well-balanced feel....If the storm was more than I thought the tires (or ground clearance) could deal with, I would just stay put until the roads were cleared enough to proceed safely.....
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2010, 07:33 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
I take your evaluation with a (big) grain of salt....
Although the concensus is that a performance winter tire will not be as effective in snow/ice as a studless one, perhaps your wheel size made the difference. I had 16" BMW steel wheels. Whatever, my experience did not parallel yours so lets leave it at that, OK?

Tom
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  #16  
Old 09-15-2010, 12:22 PM
bet993 bet993 is offline
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I have had two sets of wheels for each my vehicles for the last 7 years. I used Blizzak LM-25's on a 2001 Porsche Carrera for 3 seasons. I used Conti Wintersports TS810s for a season on my Cayman S. I currently use (last winter) Michelin Pilot Aplin PA2's on my Cayman S. I used Dunlop M2 & M3's on my wife's 328i for 7 years (just sold the car and got an X3). In my experience the performance winter tires are very similar, with the exception of the Conti's which I thought were worthless in the snow. I thought the LM-25's were very good on the Carrera. I also thought the Dunlop's worked well on the BMW, and I was satisfied with the Michelin's last year on the Cayman. What I have found with all of these tires (except Conti) is that they work well for what they are designed to do. They are all good in the cold and wet and don't give up steering response or grip as full out "snow" tires (see comments later). Most are completely acceptable in snow up to a point. The reality is the cars I have had them on are more limiting than the tires. Both of the Porsche's have low ground clearance. In snow that is above 7-8 inches the ground clearance is more a factor than the tires. Deep ruts in the roads caused problems with bottoming out more than issues with the tires. Winter driving skill is also a factor as my wife struggles much more than I do in the same conditions. The bottom line is I have never been in a situation where I thought a different tire would make a difference when using performance winter tires. They may take a bit more caution under some conditions vs. full "snow" tires but they are never unsafe (like summer only tires).

I have driven, on a couple of occasions, a 2004 330i with full studless snow and ice tires. Great traction. Really bites hard and stops well in the snow. Definitely better than the winter performance tires in anything deeper than a dusting. However, they are squirmy and seem to "move" under you when there is no snow on the road. On a car with good steering feedback the car felt like it was "wallowing" around and was not confidence inspiring at higher highway speeds in the dry. On softly sprung cars with little or no road feel or steering feedback I could see how you would not notice this.

One of the US car magazines (I want to say Car and Driver) did an excellent article where they road tested in a somewhat controlled environment (I think with the help of Tirerack) summer only tires, winter performance tires and studless snow & ice tires. The comparison definitely showed that the winter performance were significantly better than summer and the true "snow" tires were better than the winter performance tires in the snow. It also showed the winter performance tires work significantly better than the "snow" tires in the cold dry and/or wet surfaces when it came to stopping and handling. All-season's may have been included also... There is also an older article that compares all wheel drive with front and rear and the different tires. Both are good reads.

Last thought....last winter my wife's car (MY 2000 328i) was in for service and we had a loaner (2009 328i). While in the shop the first snow came 2-3 inches and I got to drive the loaner with all-seasons. The vehicle did very well. When I picked up my wife's car it still had the summer only performance tires. The ride home was "exciting" and treacherous to say the least with the ability to stop almost non existence in packed snow in parking lots or intersections. I got it home and put on the Dunlop Wintersport M3's and then went the grocery store. The car was perfectly drivable but the reality was the all season's on the newer car were equal or better. Interestingly the DSC light flashed quite a lot more in my wife's car than the newer car. The data indicates the M3's should have been better than the all season's but it wasn't. I occurred to me that the difference in the vehicles was what was causing the issues. The new car is significantly heavier and not to mention the difference in electronics and suspension.

Just some food for thought…..as I have spent way to much $$ on winter tires.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:46 PM
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+1 for the Dunlops. If you live near the city, roads are usually plowed, use the Dunlops. If you live way out in the sticks and often have to run thru ice and packed snow, use the Ice and Snow Studless.
dhc3
While I had the Dunlop M2s, not newer M3s, I didn't like them. Sure they're good in dry, in fact I wore them the last 12 months just to wear them down before replacing them, and they work fine even in summer.

Kinda sucked in real snow though. I replaced them with Conti WinterExtremes, which are noticeably worse in dry - they feel like donuts you'd get on a Camry. Hopefully they're good in snow or I'll be pissed.

In real winters I'd avoid performance snows. Make sure you get narrow tires also, maybe even 205s on the 128i. Maybe performance snows in 205 might be a good compromise.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:51 PM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
Lets drop the wheel question... I did find one wheel on which I asked some opinion, but the conversation got hijacked by the whole steel wheel deal...

Anyway, that aside... for Chicago... or some weather like that, would the forum members go with Performance Snow tires, or Studless Ice and Snow? I know that I would be giving up ultimate traction on icy intersections, for better dry grip, with the performance snow.

Any experience using either... or preferably both?
Studs are not allowed 80 miles north of you.
Blizzacks will do fine.
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2010, 05:30 PM
jatbeni jatbeni is offline
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Well - looks like we have some sort of agreement. Its Performance Snow - and not Studless Ice and Snow (@dalekressin - I had ruled out the Studs, because I think that they would not be allowed here).

Less agreement on the actual tire - but a large majority is with the Dunlops, a smaller one also likes the Blizzaks and apparently, the Michelin's are OK too. Stay away from the Conti... and no word on the Pirelli Sottozero.

But these are all Run Flats... is there a reason to stick with the Run Flats? Can I get a non run flat - like the Michelin Alpin PA3 (instead of the PA2 Run Flat)? Or the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D - instead of the M3? Or the Pirelli 210 Sottozero? Don't see a Bridgestone in a non-runflat in this size.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:14 AM
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I had Conti WinterSports (performance snow) - those were great, better than the Dunlop M2. I don't know why Continental gets bad reviews on Tirerack, but probably most voters don't know squat about snow tires.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:38 AM
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mgthompson mgthompson is offline
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I bought a Michelin X-Ice Xi2 and wheel combination from Gill at Tire Rack. They worked great last year.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jatbeni View Post
But these are all Run Flats... is there a reason to stick with the Run Flats? Can I get a non run flat - like the Michelin Alpin PA3 (instead of the PA2 Run Flat)? Or the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D - instead of the M3? Or the Pirelli 210 Sottozero? Don't see a Bridgestone in a non-runflat in this size.
Sottozero 210 in 225/45-17 size all around on our 135i last winter (together with 3 winter's worth of experience of Sottozero 240 on our Z4M in 225/45-18 size). Basically the car was limited by ground clearance only, tyres give enough traction to push enough snow underneath when clearance challenged, to require digging out compacted snow from under the car when high-centred. Best handling winter tyres I have ever driven on.
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