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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently had new tires installed on my stock 2014 ST. Normally I go with a high end Michelin product, but am planning to replace the ST in the spring and do not want to spend $1000 for 100 days of driving. So I had Discount Tire install the least expensive tire they sell for the ST - the Barum Bravuris 3HM. I am surprised how competent it is, so thought a quick review would be appropriate.

First, some history. Barum is a Czech manufacturer formed by the combination of three tire manufacturers in the 1940s. When the Iron Curtain fell in the 1990s, Continental purchased a controlling interest and now runs Barum as a budget brand. Some Barum tires are made in the Czech Republic, others in Germany.

The Bravuris 3HM is a UHP summer tire intended to balance wet and dry performance driving. The size, speed rating, and load rating are exact matches to the Focus ST OEM F1 tires - 235/40/18 95XL and Y speed rating. I was surprised that it is a summer tire, the tread pattern looks like an all season tire. Like other summer tires, Barum recommends them for temperatures above 7C - call it 40+ degrees. The tire carries a 40K mile treadwear warranty. I paid $72/tire, plus installation and such. I have seen them for $10/tire less outside of expensive metro areas. They're cheap, real cheap.

The tires required minimal weight to balance - always a good sign. One tire required 1oz, two required 1/2 oz, and one required no balance weights at all. There is no rim protector strip, unlike the factory F1. The sidewall is a bit busy with writing and the Barum symbol, if you care about that kind of thing. Fit on the stock snowflakes is about the same as the factory tire - it looks neither stretched nor squeezed onto the rim.

I have put about 1000 miles on the new tires. No issues with vibration, tracking, or pulling. The car is just as smooth at speed as it was when the Goodyear's were new. Compared to the F1, they are less of an aggressive tire. The sidewalls feel a bit softer, so turn in is not quite as sharp. They do take the hard initial edge off impacts, the ride is a bit better. Steering is still very accurate, but not quite as go-kart quick. Traction is fine for my stock car, but I expect they offer a bit less grip than the F1, PSS, etc. - any tire with a mileage warranty most certainly uses a harder compound. They do seem to work better at low temperatures than the F1s (which are not impressive in that area). At 35 degrees they are not yet hockey pucks (ie glass transition temperature - google it!). It has started raining in Texas, so many of my miles have been in moderate to heavy rain. They are very good on wet roads, standing water doesn't phase them at all.

The biggest difference is noise - OMG they are quiet! It is like getting a new car. Granted I switched from F1s at the wear bars, but these are so quiet it changes the character of the car. I routinely make a 300 mile/5 hour run. It's now a lot more comfortable and less fatiguing to drive.

In summary - this is an impressive tire for the right user. If you don't track the car, live somewhere warm-ish, and have stock (or close) power - I would recommend this tire, regardless of price. That it is less than half the price of a PSS or AS3+ is just amazing. And I am basically a Michelin fanboy...
 

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My brother put a set on his Audi TT, and he too commented on how quiet and more comfortable they are than a typical high performance tire. He is not an aggressive driver, so this suits him better. I drove a Jetta at my job today (I appraise cars) that had a new set of them mounted. It was 27 degrees on dry pavement, and they felt just like any other all season tire that I drove today. Definitely better grip in cold temps than other "summer" tires. They didn't prematurely squeal going around a sharp corner, but they did feel a bit soft in the sidewall, as noted above. A few more PSI than normal would firm them up and make them feel more responsive, but possibly at the risk of irregular tire wear in the center.

If I were looking for a budget tire, they would be near the top of my list.
 

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I have used Laufenn S Fit tires... all season cheap tires that are actually made by Hankook...
 

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Thanks for your review! I also got the Laufenn S Fit (Sissy Fit?) all-season tires and have been mostly happy with them, and I got them installed with hazard warranty at Pep Boys for around $550. My one gripe is that they are slippery under acceleration. However, this is my 4th set of tires on my '13 FoST and I have a lot of tires with which to compare them. I have 75k miles on my car and typically run thru a set in 20-30k miles. The F1's lasted 21k, the Pilot SS tires about 27k, the the AS3's about 20k. The handling is actually better than the AS3's with less squall at the limit and better feel. I have struggled with wheel hop, especially when cold or wet, or both. I tried a boomba RMM and a TurboTech UMM to no avail. I don't spin the tires intentionally, and when they spin I generally back off to reduce tire wear, but since I switched to all-season tires it is mostly gone so I switched back to stock mounts. The AS3's were better in that respect and the hop with the Laufenn tires is mostly gone, tho there is generally more tire spin.
 

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Hmm, this actually sounds very much like the Continentals I put on. I wonder if it's the same tire just rebranded and sold cheaper due to lower labor costs in CZ. The Continentals were pretty cheap, but not that cheap.
 

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In summary - this is an impressive tire for the right user. If you don't track the car, live somewhere warm-ish, and have stock (or close) power - I would recommend this tire, regardless of price. That it is less than half the price of a PSS or AS3+ is just amazing. And I am basically a Michelin fanboy...
I just installed a 245/40R18 set on my mostly-stock '13. I replaced a set of Conti DSW06 tires that were right at 3/32nds and starting to get a bit sketchy in the wet. They're quieter than the Conti's, have less sidewall flex and the steering has quickened up. They definitely offer more grip than an set of Conti's with 40K miles on them. I've been driving them in sub 30 degree weather and they feel just as good as an all-season tire. Oddly, Discount Tire's website mentions them as having an 'all-season tread', but they are lacking the 'M+S' symbol.

I picked them up installed for $362 - the counter guy at DT asked me why I was installing the 'cheap' tires on the car and said he had talked everyone else who bought them out of them. The set I bought were fresh too - had DOT code of 0818.

For the price you'd be be hard pressed to beat them.

John
 

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Any updates from the Bravuris owners now that you've had them in some warmer weather and some miles?

How is wet and dry traction during braking, acceleration, and cornering?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I put about 5k miles on the Barum's before trading in the ST. No change in vibration, noise, or any other characteristic over those miles. They were as I described in the initial post all the way through. Dry traction is a bit less than the factory F1 tires. Wet traction felt about the same. I got rid of the ST right before this little heat wave started in Texas, so can't tell you if they start to feel greasy at 100 degree temps. Up to the 90s, I didn't find there to be any change in the way they handled. After six months, I would still recommend them - for the some owners.
 

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I put about 5k miles on the Barum's before trading in the ST. No change in vibration, noise, or any other characteristic over those miles. They were as I described in the initial post all the way through. Dry traction is a bit less than the factory F1 tires. Wet traction felt about the same. I got rid of the ST right before this little heat wave started in Texas, so can't tell you if they start to feel greasy at 100 degree temps. Up to the 90s, I didn't find there to be any change in the way they handled. After six months, I would still recommend them - for the some owners.
I'm still very impressed with the tires on my ST. Southern Ohio has had some 95+ degree days and I have zero complaints with the tires.

John
 

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Reviving this thread. I'm just looking for a set of inexpensive tires to get me through the winter. The ST I just bought has mismatched performance summer tires on it that will put me in a ditch as soon as we get a dusting of snow in Ohio. Has anyone driven these tires in snow much? https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/barum-bravuris-3hm/p/11437 Discount Tire claims they are all season, but I don't see any reviews of snow driving. Thoughts?
 

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Reviving this thread. I'm just looking for a set of inexpensive tires to get me through the winter. The ST I just bought has mismatched performance summer tires on it that will put me in a ditch as soon as we get a dusting of snow in Ohio. Has anyone driven these tires in snow much? https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/barum-bravuris-3hm/p/11437 Discount Tire claims they are all season, but I don't see any reviews of snow driving. Thoughts?
Have you given a look at your local craigslist for a used winter wheel/tire set?

I'd trust a used set of winters for $450 a lot more than any Barum tires.
 

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Have you given a look at your local craigslist for a used winter wheel/tire set?

I'd trust a used set of winters for $450 a lot more than any Barum tires.
I have, but even if I bought a set of winter tires I’d need to buy at least two summer tires. I haven’t been able to find a decent set of winter wheels and tires that fit in my area.
 
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