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Old 11-06-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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^absolutely <3 15s in the winter!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
The instability you're feeling probably has more to do with the softer tread compounds and tire siping than tread width. Taller sidewalls (especially one ply ones) will often add to the feeling. It's the price you pay for optimum snow and ice grip.
I run performance winter tires so I get less of that squishy feeling due to the compound and tread design. They cost a little more, but they are totally worth it when your winter consists of 90% dry pavement.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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Well, I am sitting here inside and it's been blowing hard and snowing all day. Rained and then sleeted overnight. Windows on my new car are crusty with ice I'll need to chisel off, and here I am wishing I had gotten off the dime two weeks ago on buying winter tires.

Couldn't make up my mind about brand.

Couldn't decide whether to also buy rims, or just to get tires.

Learned that TPMS would cost me big time if I buy new rims. Thanks government, for that added cost that brings me no benefit.

Couldn't decide about wheel size.

And then there is the aluminum versus steel question.

And got socked with a $600+ repair bill on the other vehicle that has put a serious dent in my winter-tire fund.

But mostly, I have been wallowing in The Valley of Indecision (tm).

I've narrowed my choice to Michelin Xi3 versus Hakkapeliitta R.

If I go w/the Nokians, I'd stay with my 16" stock rims and have my mechanic swap on the new tires and rebalance. Otherwise, I'll downsize to 15" Xi3s and order from Tire Rack. One of those two choices. That's where I sit at the moment.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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You know you aren't REQUIRED to buy TPMS for your winter rims, right?

Ignoring an idiot light might be do-able for the price....

Still haven't figured out if your stock rims are steelies or not, especially after you implied you were on 15" wheels in your other thread. If you have steelies now, and want larger aluminum wheels for next summer - just buy the Winter tires for your current rims 7 sell the old tires when you get new summer wheels next spring!
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #15
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What about the load and speed ratings? The placard on my vehicle calls for 93H. Only one of the 15" options at Tire Rack meets the 93 rating. Only one meets the H rating. None meet both.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
What about the load and speed ratings? The placard on my vehicle calls for 93H. Only one of the 15" options at Tire Rack meets the 93 rating. Only one meets the H rating. None meet both.

I really wouldn't worry about the speed ratings. How often are you going to be driving over 100mph? H speed rating is over 130 mph and I doubt there's very many foci that can come close to that. Common sense has to enter into the equation as well. Snow tires are simply not designed for high speeds and one needs to adjust for that.

Load ratings can be important if you are constantly at the full gross carrying capacity of the car (hauling 3 or 4 passengers all the time, load the rear with bricks, tools, etc.).
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:34 PM   #17
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I have to allow for five adults on church days. My immediate household is four adults. Two and three people in the vehicle is the more common scenario, but four and five happen often enough.


Sent from my iPhone using FF Mobile. Typos and terseness are to be expected.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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You should be able to find plenty of tires that are at least rated at 91, which is less then 100 pounds less load per tire (still about 1300 pounds per tire). The GVWR is only 3990 pounds.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:33 AM   #19
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A plausible explanation of why narrower might be better

Hey, I found something interesting. I've been looking around for some sort of experimental evidence that narrower really is preferable in winter tires. There's an amazing lack of such evidedence, so I decided last night to look at the problem from a standpoint of hydroplaning. That took me to a Ford truck forum, which pointed me to the following research paper:

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstr...6.0001.001.pdf

The introduction states:

Quote:
The project addressed a specific area of concern involving the control of heavy duty
trucks on wetted pavement. The concern deals with the lightly-loaded, or near-empty
condition in which truck, tractor, and semitrailer tires are less capable of providing good
wet-traction performance. The traction handicap derives from the fact that the lightlyloaded
truck tire contacts the ground with a footprint which is rather short relative to its
width such that there is risk on wet pavements of developing significant hydrodynamic
pressures over a substantial portion of the tire's contact length.

Since the tire rolls in the longitudinal direction, a very short contact length
dnnension implies a very short time interval during which water on the roadway must be
expelled from beneath the footprint. If the contact shape is short, but wide, a long escape
path is presented for water flowing laterally while the short available time implies that very
high water velocities must prevail if the fluid is to escape and thus allow the tire tread to
engage the pavement.
This idea of the narrower contact patch being longer, and thus providing a longer interval for water (and presumably for snow as well) to be expelled is an interesting one. It's the first plausible support I've found for the narrower-is-better meme that is so common (and yet unsupported) across the Internet.

There is also this abstract that I found:

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16250009

which states:

Quote:
Some recent studies of several tractor-trailer accidents on flooded highway surfaces, however, suggest that in addition to inflation pressure, truck tire footprint aspect ratio (tread contact area width to length) may significantly effect dynamic hydroplaning speed.
Interesting stuff, and again it supports the narrower-is-better theory.

Some direct, experimental evidence would still be welcome. I wish that I owned two Focus vehicles. Then it would be fun to buy the same brand and model winter tire in wider and narrower sizes, and compare the two against each other. Does the one-inch difference between the 195s on the S trim level and the 215s on the SE trim level really matter? It'd be fun to put two Focus's together and put that question to the test.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #20
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it may not be the type of evidence your looking for, but look at off road trucks.

those driving on sand have very wide tires to "float"
wheras narrow tires would sink.
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