1994-2002 [Subscribe to Daily Digest]
All tire designs must make serious compromises!
What conditions will you primarily be driving in?
In my area, the typical winter conditions are:
-lots of packed snow with some ice
-snow is usually not deep
-extreme cold (makes ice sticky)
-dry pavement on freeways
-occasional bad ice or rain on ice, maybe once or twice a year
-I have a 4x4 truck if we get multiple feet of snow.
-I have tire socks for extreme ice&rain conditions.
Because of this, I've always chosen the sportier winter tire which gives up some snow/ice traction in favor of dry pavement stability. I run Dunlop's SP Winter Sport 3D. I'm only on my second set for the Viggen, over a 10+ year period, although this is really their last winter. The tread depth is perhaps OK, but the rubber gets a bit stiff after 5 years. In the same period, I've been through 3 sets of summer tires, on the 4th now.
In the case of the Bridgestone Blizzaks, the LM series is designed to handle well on the freeway and also does well at warmer temperatures (near or slightly above freezing). The tread pattern is curved at the side which helps with high-speed stability. However, this feature hurts cornering on snow/ice in my opinion.
The WS series is much softer and as you can see from photos has a sharp edge which contributes to traction in snow/ice, but does poorly on dry pavement at freeway speeds. I've driven on soft tires at higher speeds, especially passing and there is very little confidence! Especially at warmer temperatures, like 35F and above, I find the very soft tires to be downright scary on the freeway at 70MPH. Whereas with the sportier tire with an H speed rating or higher, the car feels stable no matter how fast you go.
More on Blizzaks:
WS80 looks like their maximum winter traction tire.
WS70 and WS60 look a little more sporty, but still soft
LM-60 is perhaps the softer of the sport lineup
LM-32 is their high-speed winter sport tire, looks like a direct competitor to the Dunlop I mentioned
LM-25 RFT is a sporty run-flat tire
I am not 100% sure, but I believe the WS tires use one rubber compound for the bulk of the tire and the softer compound for the tread, while the LM tires are all the same compound.
Hope that helps.
posted by 216.67.5...
No Site Registration is Required to Post - Site Membership is optional (Member Features List), but helps to keep the site online
for all Saabers. If the site helps you, please consider helping the site by becoming a member.