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  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2013
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Winter tyres, snow (M&S) tyres, all season tyres

Within the HUBB there is masses of discussion about different types of tyres for motorbikes, but I haven't noticed as much discussion in here about tyres for 4 wheeled vehicles.
What discussion there is tends to refer to hot weather conditions/desert driving, and out-and-out off road travelling.

My immediate concern is more with driving on highway in snow and ice conditions, such as the Alps in winter.
I've taken a look around this other website which has a good cross section of tyre reviews such as this one:-
Goodyear Vector 4Seasons | the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons reviewed and rated | the online tyre guide
and this:-
2012 Auto Bild All Season Tyre Test | the online tyre guide

but, in there, the authors of the website openly state that they don't have much, if any, experience for tyres on AWD/4WD/SUVs.

So, after that long-winded introduction, what tyres are rated highly for driving in said conditions on steep slopes?
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  #2  
Old 11 Feb 2013
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Hi Dave,

Here in the Canadian Rockies we use Winter tyres for 6 or more months of the year, our roads are normally covered with and inch of sheet ice from November to April/May time. Though this year it has been quite a mild winter, its only been down to -30 Celcius!

Some people still use studded winter tyres, which give excellent grip but more people use studless tyres which are still very good especially on a 4x4 vehicle.

In Europe I would suggest looking at Nokian Tyres, they sell a good range of tyres for all sizes - including SUV/4x4's. I have some Hakkapellitta R's (studless) on our Mini Cooper S and they have been very good.

If nothing from them fits your vehicle take a look at Bridgestone's Blizzak range, I have had some Blizzak DMZ-3's (studless) on our Discovery 2 (245/75-16) for the last 6 winters - In the UK I think you can buy the DMV-1 in several sizes - this is also a very good tyre.

what vehicle are you fitting them on? - let me know if you need any more information
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  #3  
Old 11 Feb 2013
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Thanks Gipper!

You'll understand that studs aren't viable for the UK with snow one day and thaw the next.
I'll bear those recommended tyres in mind; right now I'm doing research and that's when it struck me about the lack of discussion in here about such tyres.

I have 265/70 R16 on a Landcruiser, with 4 Bridgestones on the road at present, but the spare wheel is fitted with a Dunlop Grandtrek which is marked "m&s".
All as this thread:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...1-5#post411090

The subject is not too different from that of motorbike tyres of course; different compounds for different usage but I didn't realise that winter tyres are different from "all season" versions. The latter appear to be a compromise between summer and winter compounds so that the all seasons can do just that - be used all year round - without wearing too quickly.
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Old 11 Feb 2013
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Dave, I would suggest any of the AT range should be OK, with BF Goodrich ATs offering the best all round functionality and longevity.

Yes, you can get tyres that will be better in snow once in the Alps, but they won't be so good for the journey there and back or for the rest of the year.

The key I find is to also be prepared to drop tyre pressures. With BFG ATs I tend to run around 34-42psi in the tyres, going higher for longer motorway runs and lower for local driving, but with snow (or if expecting wet muddy/grassy fields) I tend drop them down to 24-28psi which transforms the grip and handling.

Trying to drive around the hills here with high tyre pressures I would have to lock all the diffs and still struggled, now I drop the pressures and just use the centre diff lock for stability and go everywhere up and down hills regularly towing heavily loaded vans, cars and even a school bus out with ease.

Admittedly I do have around 65k miles on my ATs (8k off road in Morocco) so they are slightly lacking in the tread department, but still do a great job.
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Old 11 Feb 2013
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As Julian says,
For all round performance, the BFG AT is very hard to beat.
Not the cheapest tyre, but they do grip well in the cold icy, snowy roads.
I have 2 years in Norway, they were good.

If you look carefully on the BFG AT you will see the impression, or rather looks like a twin peaked mountain.

It is just below the Letters " TA" after "All Terrain"

vette
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  #6  
Old 11 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
Dave, I would suggest any of the AT range should be OK, with BF Goodrich ATs offering the best all round functionality and longevity.

Yes, you can get tyres that will be better in snow once in the Alps, but they won't be so good for the journey there and back or for the rest of the year.

Admittedly I do have around 65k miles on my ATs (8k off road in Morocco) so they are slightly lacking in the tread department, but still do a great job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
As Julian says,
For all round performance, the BFG AT is very hard to beat.
Not the cheapest tyre, but they do grip well in the cold icy, snowy roads.
I have 2 years in Norway, they were good.

If you look carefully on the BFG AT you will see the impression, or rather looks like a twin peaked mountain.

It is just below the Letters " TA" after "All Terrain"

vette
Thanks both: that is certainly a big vote for the BFGs.
I had wondered about the versatility of AT tyres but I didn't want to jump straight into that subject in my OP thereby prejudging what everyone wants to say on this subject of cold/ice/snow conditions.

I guess that the tyre review site I picked on in my OP stays off the subject of 4x4s because the specialist AT tyres are commonly in use (possibly, peut etre) but are a small market compared with cars.

Now, I am curious again: do BFG tyres (or any other AT tyres for that matter) come in various compounds? For instance, when last fitting tyres to my bike I chose dual compound "road pilots" which have a soft rubber on the sides for leaning grip and a harder rubber in the centre for wear resistance.

In any case, I can certainly live with 65K miles to a set of tyres!!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 11 Feb 2013
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In realty most all seaon tyres grip quite well down to ~ -7 C below that the compound is too hard and performance drops off badly on ice, in Canada more Provinces are making it a legal requirement to use Winter tyres over the season.

The BFG A/T's do a pretty good job below this temperature, I run them all summer on the Discovery 2 (255/70-16) however below ~-15 C on ice their performance drops off considerably.

The performance between the BFG A/T and a dedicated studless winter tyre is HUGE.....

To the point where I can brake the Discovery down a fairly steep hill at 40 MPH on sheet ice at around 80 - 90% braking pressure - just shy of an emergency stop and have no locking up of the brakes at all, if I try that with the BFG's they lock up and slide with the ABS cutting in heavily.

Dave, Im not aware of any vehicle tyres that run dual compounds, this is more of a speciality done for bikes due to the leaning in corners, The BFG A/T's have a softer compound than the older style BFG M/T K2 for sure, they also do a tyre over here called the Winter Slalom which is supposed to be a dedicated winter compound. As BFG are owned by Michelin, this is a cheaper tyre which is not as good as the Michelin 'Ice' series.

For the fairly mild UK winters the BFG's make a lot of sense, but if you are driving in the Alps every winter then having a set of dedicated winter tyres on rims might be a good idea - even if you only use them for a couple of months.

Just some observations.....
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Last edited by Gipper; 11 Feb 2013 at 22:42.
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  #8  
Old 16 Feb 2013
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The whole winter tyre thing is somewhat difficult with a 4X4 , as the design of tread on a winter tyre (high sipe content) etc tend to be negative when you venture off a hard packed snow (ice) surface and get into deep snow and mud , as this is where a high void self clearing tread is required . This is not something that the normal vehicle market can contemplate , as they are either on the smooth surface or not going anywhere!!
Personally I prefer to stick with my BFG M/T , drop the pressures slightly and carry snow chains ( although have rarely needed ) JMHO&E
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  #9  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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I remember Four Wheeler mag doing a test of General Grabber APs in the snow and they did well.

I didn't know any proper 4x4 tyre had the 3 peaks in a snowflake symbol if thats whats in Vettes pic?
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  #10  
Old 2 Mar 2013
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Snow chains also

I've come across yet another website that gives feedback about tyres:-
BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO Reviews
this one contains opinions about how a wide range of tyres perform in various conditions, including driving on/through snow.

It's a US site, but I guess that tyre construction and specifications (and, therefore, performance) for various models/names are the same across various markets?
Offroaders.com Source for 4x4 off-road trail reports, tech articles, 4x4 clubs, Product Reviews

I'm in no hurry right now: I've just got a pair of snow chains.
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Old 3 Mar 2013
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I've always considered that the BFG ATs are the best ATs, but looking around now I've decided to give the Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxxs a go.

Whilst looking at various tyres this weekend the BFG AT's were actually considered to be pretty bad on snow and ice with people favouring the Goodyear Wrangler Duratracks up in Alaska as well as the Coopers.

I preferred the Coopers over the Duratracks because I couldn't find the size I wanted.
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Old 4 Mar 2013
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A Four Wheeler mag review years ago suggested General Grabber APs were particularly good in snow, and looking at all those little ledges I can imagine they would be?
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Old 4 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
I preferred the Coopers over the Duratracks because I couldn't find the size I wanted.
I noticed that factor in the review website; for sure, not all tyres are manufactured in every size of wheel fitted to trucks.

I posted the link to BFGs because of the earlier comments about them, but I noticed that they get just 3 stars, of 5 max, for snow driving (I haven't tried to find one that gets 5 stars!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly7 View Post
A Four Wheeler mag review years ago suggested General Grabber APs were particularly good in snow, and looking at all those little ledges I can imagine they would be?
Since it is a US review site maybe you can get all of those tyres, but many of them I have never heard of -- Pitbulls?

I've read somewhere else that some drivers do not rate the Gen G AT2s compared with their earlier experiences with the original G G ATs.. Just saying, obviously I have no direct experience with either.
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