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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved to the bay area and got a new st here. As someone who grew up in New England and went to college in Upstate NY, snow tires were a must for winter but i'm not sure what to do here. Now, if i was staying in the bay, I wouldn't bother but since I'll be going up to Tahoe to ski almost every weekend and need to get up Donner pass I need something more capable than my F1's. Does anyone have experience with this?

I'm planning on just getting a second set of wheels with x-ices for winter but it might be worth just getting a pair of all seasons because the winter tires will suck once i go home.

Has anyone run a pair of all seasons year round? Do they just suck 99% of the time until you go skiing or is there no noticeable difference in performance?

Thanks!
 

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I run iPikes on 17s for half the year. I'm in CO and it's just not worth swapping them on for every storm, but with that said I am not driving in snow every day. I get plenty of dry pavement time and I can say that it's not that bad. You could try running the BLIZZAK LM001 or WINTER SOTTOZERO 3 for something with a little better dry performance. But either way, I would definitely suggest getting a dedicated set of wheels for scuffs and overall weather beating...also just to step it down into the 17" range. The extra sidewall and slightly narrower path with definitely make a difference. With my iPikes, my car does quite well out here and there are times they closed the highway behind me due to weather....always made it to work (damnit).
 

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Your situation is pretty unique, as you'll potentially need the winter grip only on a few days a month, and then back to more moderate temperatures.

I'd look for a high performance all season that gets the best snow reviews. You'll give up some dry grip compared to a max performance summer tire, but if you aren't racing the car, then a little less grip can be a fun thing.

Check out the Continental DWS 06. Their DWS line has always gotten good reviews for snow performance for an all season tire. Tread indicators in the tire will show when you have worn through the Snow portion of the tread, with the remaining tread good for Wet and Dry and so forth.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+DWS+06
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How much narrower did you go for the winter tires? Does the warmer weather driving mess with them at all because most winter tires arent rated for temperatures above 40 degree i think
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your situation is pretty unique, as you'll potentially need the winter grip only on a few days a month, and then back to more moderate temperatures.

I'd look for a high performance all season that gets the best snow reviews. You'll give up some dry grip compared to a max performance summer tire, but if you aren't racing the car, then a little less grip can be a fun thing.

Check out the Continental DWS 06. Their DWS line has always gotten good reviews for snow performance for an all season tire. Tread indicators in the tire will show when you have worn through the Snow portion of the tread, with the remaining tread good for Wet and Dry and so forth.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ExtremeContact+DWS+06
Do you know anyone who has them? Ive driven a standard all season tire in the winter before and they do really meh for lack of a better word and it would seem to me that high performance all seasons would have worse performance in the winter because they're going for better dry performance.
 

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215/50 r17
With spirited driving (where I listen to them howl around the off ramp once and again our zip around turns), they can last me two seasons. Our roads are pretty tough on tires and I do highway commuting of 100miles round trip. I think the two above mentioned tires would probably suit you well. If you've never had winter tires before, you'll never want to be without them in the snow again, once you do. I don't care how good an all season is, it will never touch a snow tire in its element. Then you can run summers, or whatever you like, on the other wheels.

I still run all seasons just because of where I'm at. I drove down Berthoud Pass this past weekend in a few inches of gravel sized hail. Made for some fun descending.

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Do you know anyone who has them? Ive driven a standard all season tire in the winter before and they do really meh for lack of a better word and it would seem to me that high performance all seasons would have worse performance in the winter because they're going for better dry performance.
I daily the DWS 06. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another set. They are wearing evenly and do very well in Cleveland winters.
 

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Do you know anyone who has them? Ive driven a standard all season tire in the winter before and they do really meh for lack of a better word and it would seem to me that high performance all seasons would have worse performance in the winter because they're going for better dry performance.
If you look at the link I provided, there is a nice test between the Continental, Michelin, and Pirelli. The Conti was best in the snow, but not as good in the dry. The Pirelli that was best in the dry, was worst in the snow. So you need to decide if you're willing to give up a little dry grip (where you spend the most time) for a little more snow grip (where you spend the least time, but where that extra grip might make the most difference). Every tire is essentially a compromise. The best solution obviously is a set of wheels with summer tires, and a set of wheels with winter tires. But that would likely mean swapping them out multiple times per year for your situation. Hence, an all-season tire that works well in the snow is probably the best compromise.
 

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If the OP gets one set of tires, the contis would be a fair choice. But if your getting a separate set, you cannot match a dedicated set of snow tires with any all season...ever.

I swap to snow tires in nov and back to UHP all seasons in May. You value both tires equally because uou can't get everything out of one tire.

OP, Ive been snowboarding in CO for 25yrs and I'll tell you that if you are REALLY going to be heading up there as much as you say, its worth the investment. Especially when the snow hits and you want to go ride. Plow over the pass with a foot of fresh on the road, no problem. When there is an accident on the pass, and your pointing up hill in stop and go, in the snow...no worries getting going again. But I digress. Best of luck with whatever you get!

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think i may go for the winter tire then. Since the DWS is the best one, it looks like it does a great job in the test but the snow they are testing on is minimal compared to what Ive dealt with in the high sierras. Plus if the handling is going to be that impacted and not get great snow performance, i think im better off just getting a proper snow tire. Then if i want to go hoon, its only 15 minutes to swap on the other wheels.

If I was living in a place with milder winters, I think the DWS would be the right option.

Also, my commute is only 30 miles so im hoping they last longer than 2 winters haha

Thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If the OP gets one set of tires, the contis would be a fair choice. But if your getting a separate set, you cannot match a dedicated set of snow tires with any all season...ever.

I swap to snow tires in nov and back to UHP all seasons in May. You value both tires equally because uou can't get everything out of one tire.

OP, Ive been snowboarding in CO for 25yrs and I'll tell you that if you are REALLY going to be heading up there as much as you say, its worth the investment. Especially when the snow hits and you want to go ride. Plow over the pass with a foot of fresh on the road, no problem. When there is an accident on the pass, and your pointing up hill in stop and go, in the snow...no worries getting going again. But I digress. Best of luck with whatever you get!

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My thoughts exactly haha. I was just imagining being stuck on Donner pass like wtf do I do now
 
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