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December 22, 2010

Winter Tire Report

Having left the swap over from summer to winter tires till late November this year, I got to experience both sets of my tires in winter conditions back to back. My stock Continental "All-seasons" that were great the first winter are now next to useless, having worn faster than expected. Not much traction on ice and no hope in snow with so little tread left. Driving in these conditions is slow and tedious, the tires often spinning -- in snow it's the only way to move and the advanced traction aids (ABS, traction control, stability control) kicking in all the time. Driving one residential road on the way to the tire swap was comfortable in the 30-40km/h range with traction aids still sneaking in.

Swapped the Bridgestone winter tires on and I gave it a spin around the same block trying to push the limits, 60-70km/h is still comfortable and the traction aids weren't even kicking in yet. On the way home I looked for many of the same snow conditions that almost got me stuck the previous day, again, I can't even get the traction control to activate as the tires are gripping well. The deep lugs sure help with that. On icy conditions I've certainly noticed additional grip as well. Unfortunately I immediately noticed my driving style adjusting to the improved grip and negating some of the gain, but I'm still nowhere near the edge of these tires, while I would be driving over the edge on the summer tires constantly.

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