Winter Tires Season 2004/2005
Join Date: Jun 2003
Get snow tires appropriate to your climate and driving style. If you don't see too much snow during the winter, and you like to drive/corner fast, look into the H-rated or V-rated high performance snow tires like the Dunlop winter sport M2/M3 or the Blizzak LM-22/LM-25.
If your area gets heavy snow or a lot of packed snow and ice, then look into a more aggressive, Q rated snow tire like the Blizzak WS-50. Q rated winter tires like the Blizzak WS-50 offer the best in snow traction, but will give up some dry road responsiveness over an H/V rated snow tire to get it. The former Moderator Eddie ran this tire on his 330CI last winter, and I've run these for years on my car.
We had a more severe winter last year than usual, so demand may be higher this year, so don't wait too long. Best to have the package before it snows to put them on when you are ready rather than waiting for it to arrive after the first snow. We should have most inventory available in late September/ early October. Tires and wheels purchased together are mounted and balanced at no charge to make changeover easy.
Here is a direct link to the winter tires area :
Some changes/new products for this year :
Bridgestone is making slight changes to the LM22 and renaming it the LM25 and should be phasing those in over the next two years, much like Dunlop did with the Winter Sport M2/M3. They should be considered near-equivalents like the old M2/M3 as we see only a slight tread pattern change and expect very little difference in the new tires.
Michelin introduced the Pilot Alpin PA2 late last year to take the place of the old Pilot Alpin. Based on last years winter driving, we found that the PA2 did improve over the older Pilot Alpin in snow traction more than we had expected, and now considered closer to the Dunlop M2/M3 and LM22/LM25 in winter traction. Michelin is also beginning to replace the old Q rated Arctic Alpins with a new Q rated snow tire called the X-ice. There is little feedback in snow yet of course, but at least the tread pattern seems more aggressive than the old Arctic Alpins were. The WS-50 continues on as the dominant Q rated snow tire for those after maximum snow capability, but willing to trade off some dry traction/cornering to get it.