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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to swap my 18" wheels to 16" steelies with winter tires. Does anyone have recommendations on which winter tires I should get?

I'm located in Canada.

Thanks
 

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I like Blizzaks. Haakkaappeelliittaas are good also. People seem to like Michelin Alpins but I've never used them. There are a lot of good studless winter tires out there, and I've found I don't need studs anymore. YMMV.

hans
 

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I've had my fair share of winter tires thru the years. Living in the mountains of the Quebec Eastern Townships, here's my thoughts.

Don't cheap out. Better to find a year old top tire on Kijiji than a cheap tire at Canadian Tire.

My personal favorites are Nokian Hakka7 (good price for great winter traction) and Toyo GSi-5.

Go for a set of steelies or find used mags, but make sure they're straight and not bumped.
 

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Do not know where you live @lordnikon, but if you live in a big freezing rain/ice place, you might wish to consider the Nokian’s with studded tires. Their studded tires have 200 studs (instead of the usual 100), and underneath each stud is a cushion which is soft when needed, firms up when it gets cold — so best possible ice traction, yet comparatively little pavement damage.

I do not know whether they have studded ones in 16” sizes, but this catalog of theirs will answer that question.

https://dc602r66yb2n9.cloudfront.ne...ers/pricelists/NT_US_Product_guide_Winter.pdf


I have 18” winter wheels (the original OEM’s I had powder coated “Ultra Black Chrome”), and I am putting studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8’s on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestions. What typical sized tire do you use? I've been recommended 205-60-R16.
 

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*The Electrician*
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Canadian winters generally mean black ice at one point or another, what do you want on your vehicle when that situation occurs? Tires with studs? Or tires without studs? I generally encounter black ice 4-5 times per winter here in Western Canada and every single time I am very glad I had chosen studded winter tires. I will be running Pirelli Winter Ice Zero Studded this winter in a 205/55/R16, was quoted $800CND installed including tax/GST ect. Will be acquired wheels hopefully this coming weekend and the tires near the beginning of November, we already had a dump of 10-15cm this past Monday with nasty 90km/h North winds blowing snow drifts all over the roads. Several highways we closed due to significantly reduced visibility, about 10m of visibility was reported on many of the surrounding highways. Conditions like that warrant the need for proper studded winter tires and thus I have been using them successfully for many years now.
 
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Canadian winters generally mean black ice at one point or another, what do you want on your vehicle when that situation occurs? Tires with studs? Or tires without studs? I generally encounter black ice 4-5 times per winter here in Western Canada and every single time I am very glad I had chosen studded winter tires. I will be running Pirelli Winter Ice Zero Studded this winter in a 205/55/R16, was quoted $800CND installed including tax/GST ect. Will be acquired wheels hopefully this coming weekend and the tires near the beginning of November, we already had a dump of 10-15cm this past Monday with nasty 90km/h North winds blowing snow drifts all over the roads. Several highways we closed due to significantly reduced visibility, about 10m of visibility was reported on many of the surrounding highways. Conditions like that warrant the need for proper studded winter tires and thus I have been using them successfully for many years now.
If you live in rural areas and studs are legal, ok. I live in southern Ontario and studs are illegal. So for the OP, 205/60/16 is the recommended size and if studdable tires are legal in your area with lots of ice during winter, you can go that way. But if your in the same boat as most people, ie more snow, city driving with not very good plowed streets, than non stud tires are the way to go.
But its your choice which ones you need. But I will echo, do NOT cheap out on winter tires. And make sure you know where your tires are made and what the expected life span is, ie 3-4 winter seasons. I made the mistake of not doing enough research on the Bridgestone LM-32s. At new they had a depth of 12/32. I bought them last year, by March of this year and only 6000 kms driven on them, they were down to 8/32.
I discovered in talking to a couple of tire shops, Bridgestone cheaped out on life expectancy. They acknowledged what they did and sold the first generation of those tires at half price. So I know I will need new winter tires sometime in February. For me, I will be looking at these:
Firestone Winterforce 2
General Arctic 12
Pirelli Ice Zero FR
Gislaved Nord Frost
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm looking at Bridgestones Blizzaks WS80 or Michelin X-Ice Xi-3 but the latter is 80 bucks more. Not sure if it's worth it.
 

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Don't wait to long to order your tires as when the snow starts they will disappear fast. Winter snows Running 205/55/16 Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 on 2011 Mazda 3S. All season BF Goodrich g-Force COMP 2 A/S 235/45 r17 rest of the year.
 

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I'm looking at Bridgestones Blizzaks WS80 or Michelin X-Ice Xi-3 but the latter is 80 bucks more. Not sure if it's worth it.
I got these Michelins last December for my previous car and unfortunately, I can't use them on my new Mazda. This was the first time I had winter tires so I can't compare them to any other ones and we didn't get much snow in central PA last winter. They were good and they still have a lot of tread left on them. According to the reviews on Tire Rack, the Michelins are better, but I can't add much more than that.
 

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Anyone know what the narrowest tire is that can be put on in place of the 205/60/R16? A narrower tire is better in snow.
 

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+1 Blizzak. I got Blizzak WS70 3 years back and have been using them every year on hills with deep snow/slush/ice during winter road trips and they've worked great, even in a blizzard over the pass. Looks like the Blizzak WS80 is the new model. Great to have pzero 3-season and separate winter tires.
 

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With studs go with the Firestone as they cut through slush and deep snow very well. If you're going with studdless, the General Altimax Arctic 12 or Continental Winter Si would be my recommendation

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
 

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You can get 16'' Mazda mags pretty cheap on Kijiji. They hold up better against our potholed roads.

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
 

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Just ordered some General Arctic 12 studded tires with 16" wheels from Tire Rack. I had the General Arctics on my 15 Forester XT for three winters and they handled all the winter conditions very well. Had to get studded this time so that I don't have to chain up during restricted driving up our canyons.
 

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Thanks to @Midnightsky228, I just learned of the latest generation Nokian Hakkapeliitta’s, the 9’s. They debut, among 7 other enhancements, two different stud shapes, the outmost bead ones for cornering stability, with different center bead studs for braking and acceleration.

I am now getting a bid from Discount Tire for the studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9’s.

Here’s the only not-in-Finnish-language video review of the 9’s I have found so far.

https://youtu.be/DIl6Wu__HLY
 

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I've always used Hakka 8's studded or unstudded. They're no doubt the best but I'm thinking about the R2's this year. Wonder how they compare to the 9's.
 
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