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Hi,

I recently moved from los angeles to Vancouver, BC and I am trying to decide whether or not I need to change my stock tires to a winter tire or an all weather tire. I have low profile tires and I can not seem to get a consistent recommendation from the local tire stores. Some say, my tires are fine, others say I need to change my wheels bc all weather tires aren't available for my current wheels.

I do have intentions of driving up to whistler to go skiing, otherwise, i drive from downtown vancouver to White rock.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi,

I recently moved from los angeles to Vancouver, BC and I am trying to decide whether or not I need to change my stock tires to a winter tire or an all weather tire. I have low profile tires and I can not seem to get a consistent recommendation from the local tire stores. Some say, my tires are fine, others say I need to change my wheels bc all weather tires aren't available for my current wheels.

I do have intentions of driving up to whistler to go skiing, otherwise, i drive from downtown vancouver to White rock.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Continental DWS's are available in 195/50 16. They are all season. My brother lives in Cleveland, OH and was very pleased with a set he had. Winter tires are probably not available in that size because wide tires are not as good in snow as narrower tires. I think that would be 175/70 14 in a winter/snow tire. You might ask some local people what they run in the winter or other ski enthusiasts if they don't have 4 wheel drive.
 

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Though I got by with my all season's last winter, I'm thinking of getting the Hankook I pikes, my better half had them installed and they are very good. Dealer wanted $780 wheel in + tax for them, found them for $655 wheel in + tax at an independent. Going to try to get them installed this week.
 

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You might consider keeping some dedicated winter tires on steel rims to put on at least for those trips into high elevations. If you know you're going to be driving in snow/ice, it's best to have snow tires.

If that's not practical, which it may not be since it would require, along with the bother of changing out wheels occasionally, 1) an additional expense of four winter tires plus four steel wheels, 2) plus the jack and tools to change the wheels, and 3) the storage space to keep your extra wheels and tires when you aren't using them, and 4) a safe level spot to do the changing, then I would definitely keep a pair of Z cables in the appropriate size for the all season tires. SCC is the company for snow cables. You can get sizing /model information at their website.

The Continental Extreme Contact DWS is an all season tire that is most highly rated (at the tirerack online store) for winter weather conditions in its class. But it has to be borne in mind that when they rate tires for winter weather conditions they rate them only against other tires in the same performance category. And "performance category" at a place like tirerack means basically the speed rating of the tire. So they do not compare the snow and ice handling of a "Ultra High Performance" All Season tire vs. the handling of a "Grand Touring" All Season tire. It could be that the lower class of tire handles snow and ice just as well (or badly) as the class leader in "Ultra High Performance". Performance categories for tires at retailers are based mainly on how fast you can get around a dry road course - top speed rating, cornering power, braking, etc.. I put Conti Extreme Contact DWS on my mother's STS Cadillac, because they are an appropriate performance tire for the car, and their reviews give reason to think that they are safe -as safe as any other tire in that category- in bad winter weather. But Michelin Defenders might be just as good in bad winter weather or even better. They didn't get chosen because they aren't as high performing in dry conditions. They are just in a slower performance category and don't "look right" on a car like the STS. They might be more desirable in bad weather, but performance categories and reviews and customer ratings at tire stores won't tell you that. There just isn't much information to go on. They also don't rate the snow/ice performance of all season tire models vs winter tires, except generically.

No All Season tire, whatever its speed-based performance category, is going to perform as well in ski country as a dedicated Winter tire. Cheap General Arctic Altimax winter tires will outperform the best Michelin or Bridgestone or Continental All Season tires that cost over twice as much when you are driving on snow and ice. (Check out comparison videos of all season tires vs. winter tires on youtube or tirerack) By "outperform" here I mean keep your car from going off the side of an icy mountain road.
 

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No All Season tire, whatever its speed-based performance category, is going to perform as well in ski country as a dedicated Winter tire. By "outperform" here I mean keep your car from going off the side of an icy mountain road.
:clap: Ditto from the mountains of Central PA. "All Season" really means 3 seasons (Or "No" Season).

Winter Tire Test - Performance Test - Road & Track
 

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FWIW, 185/65r14 has more options for snow tires. 175/70r14 would be ideal due to a narrower contact patch.

I live along the great lakes, and run snow tires in the winter.

also, if your on the stock kumho kh25 (195/50r16), you will want ANYTHING else in the snow. promise.
 

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First dusting of snow this morning, My Ipike 490's gripped the road like tacks. Pretty impressed, look good with the black wheels. I recommend this if you are still looking for a reasobably priced winter tire.
 
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