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Thread: Winter Wheels

  1. #46

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    As to the TPMS hate, I concur on some fronts, but I really do like the VW implementation on the lower end cars, it uses the ABS sensors to calculate wheels speed vs actual air pressure, it works quite well, however it doesn`t tell you which tire is low, for that you have to rely on your $5 Milton.
    BMW has been doing this for many, many years. On the US models they do full TPMS now, because of the Ford thing I assume. In Canada we`ve just got the wheel speed sensor thing.

    In some ways, I like the idea (but not the expense) of full TPMS. In the US you can bring up a screen that shows real time pressure and temperature of all four corners as you drive.

  2. #47

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    OK - so I know that this is a winter wheel thread, but we did spend a few sentences talking about the Hakkapeliitta R2s I chose and most of us are probably "car guys" anyways.

    So, in the dry and above freezing they are predictably squirmy. As with my Hakka RSis years ago, control inputs seems to generate a `rrrrrrrrrrr` sound before generating a handling response. They`re better than the RSis were, though. They make a slight whine or wrrrrr at speed on dry pavement, but they`re quieter than the summers I took off so far. Critically, they do not suffer from the dangerous warm/wet loss of traction my RSis did - thank heaven for that. In light/typical braking, they do seem to instill a bit of a "rumble", I don`t know how else to describe it. It`s like a "gritty" feel in the steering wheel while the brakes are applied in a certain range - goes away with lighter or heavier braking. My RSis did not do that. I can live with it, but I noticed it.

    In the cold/dry (e.g. -10C or lower), just like the RSis they firm up nicely and come into their own. I expect that, just like the RSis, they will feel like summer ultra-high performance rubber in -15C and colder in the dry. The challenge has always been that Toronto-area winters aren`t like that, and when we get snow it`s usually hovering around freezing or going above and below with rain and freezing rain.

    When I told a co-worker that I went "full winter" (e.g. Hakka R2) instead of "performance winter" (e.g. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4) I got "What did you do that for?? Do you want to hate your car 4-5 months a year?". If we had another open winter I would agree with him. We`ve been dumped on twice so far, including overnight last night.

    In the winter conditions I`ve had so far - slush, packed snow, salted snow "dough", standing water, a few inches of virgin snow, snow packed and polished to ice - these tires are absolutely outstanding. My current vehicle (F10 chassis BMW 535xi AWD) did better than I expected on my previous performance winter tires (Dunlop WinterSport 3D) although which there were some weaknesses observed. These winter tires have kicked it up a big notch. Of course as with just about any winter tires I`ve had my share of all season bearers sliding right past me with all four wheels locked, minivans unable to even get moving, FWD cars fishtailing around me while I`m experiencing pretty much nothing. But even compared to other winter-tire shod cars these have the advantage. They are so good, I can even forget I`m driving in winter conditions. I`ve even stepped up the `aggression` (no one else around) and this package just "does it" and it never seems any worse than driving on a gravel road.

    Well done, Nokian.

    I`ll have to report in on how the wheel coating works out later

    2011 BMW 535xi
    18"x8J style 237 factory wheels w/ Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 245/45R18
    Likes SWETM liked this post

  3. #48

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Surly- Glad you like them, funny about that weird feel under braking but I`m glad you can live with it.

    ... I got "What did you do that for?? Do you want to hate your car 4-5 months a year?"...
    [sarcasm]Oh gee, how could you possibly like your car with snowtires on it?!?[/sarcasm]

  4. #49

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Thanks surly each time Iím due for new winters I look to Nokians but after I search for a couple days on the latest other tires that rank well I always end up finding ones that will be workable for much cheaper. My wallet ultimately talks for them.

    One of these days. But we just donít get the consistent winter that wants me to spend the extra. But it always leaves me wondering how much better they are


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  5. #50

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Yes, it`s me, checking into the "winter wheels" thread to post a follow up on my tires. Since the discussion went there, I figure it`s still the best place to add to the conversation.

    In real winter weather, the Hakkapeliitta R2s were dominant. Starting Christmas Eve we were hit with storms, cold, heavy accumulating snow, snow clearing crews off for Christmas break etc.... The R2s probably paid for themselves in a 3 week span. They were so dominant compared to everything else on the road it was immediately evident. In places where my gut thought I might have trouble stopping or accelerating - no issue. In crazy snow depth, both virgin and salted (the cookie dough stuff that everything seems to float on) control was absolute. The only thing I didn`t venture through was a plow pile that came up to my side mirrors. Even in tricky winter conditions I could launch, not just make my way around. I started to look forward to snowfalls. Unlike with my Dunlop Wintersport 3D, there is no huge discrepancy between acceleration grip and braking grip (yet anyways).

    Slush planing in the sloppy stuff was also superior to anything else I can remember driving in the past.

    As with my Hakka RSis, when it gets really cold and dry they firm up and feel like UHP summer tires (in the summer). In most other weather in the dry they`re a little sloppy and make grippy ripping noises. They seem to absorb a lot of control input (brake, throttle, steering) but don`t break free.

    We haven`t had much in the way of snow since Valentine`s Day (strangely) and its been mostly dry and bouncing from -5C to +5C. I`m ready to get off of them, but it`s not quite UHP weather here either.

    I see that Nokian released the Hakkapeliitta R3 in January - figures. You`re welcome everyone LOL.

    The R2s are not "performance" snow tires but if you have real winter conditions they are truly something special.

  6. #51

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Surly- Thanks for posting about the Hakkapeliittas, they sound impressive in the snow. How are they on ice?

  7. #52

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Surly- Thanks for posting about the Hakkapeliittas, they sound impressive in the snow. How are they on ice?
    Actually - I didn`t encounter a lot of icy conditions this winter. I did encounter the usual "packed snow polished to ice" at stop signs - no problem, didn`t even notice. I also drove in some pretty serious freezing rain - didn`t notice. I don`t believe I was out driving after a flash freeze or similar this year though (yet).

    And when I say "didn`t notice", I`m not claiming that the performance is like the dry or anything. I could always play with the brakes and find the limits pretty easily. What I mean is that in fairly regular driving there was no need to "tippy toe" around and I still had reserves of braking, acceleration and cornering beyond what I needed.

  8. #53

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Surly- Ah, OK, thanks for the additional info. One of these days I`ll need to replace the Blizzaks, and while I`ll probably just get their new versions I want to be as informed a consumer as possible

  9. #54

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Iíll tell you I have never had Nokians of any range but anytime I get blizzaks they are so good even though other newer tires may test a hair better in testing they seem to never let you down

    Ws80s on our Odyssey


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  10. #55

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    To show how old mine are, the newest ones are still WS50s

  11. #56
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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Nokian`s are just so much harder to find in stock, in the U.S. . They are all over the place in Canada, and Europe.

  12. #57

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    Re: Winter Wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by Coleroad View Post
    Nokian`s are just so much harder to find in stock, in the U.S.
    Ah, that`s a factor for me...I`m *not* doing a certain (otherwise wonderful) wheel/tire setup on the Crown Vic because of the "what if I need a replacement *now* in the middle of nowhere?"

 

 
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