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Expensive VS Cheap Winter Tyres

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Video comparison : Expensive VS Cheap Winter Tyres


http://youtube.com/v/T4DssjLGr4k&feature=emb_rel_pause
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I was considering Tristar but this might have changed my mind...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
So...video made by Nokian, on Nokian's test track, finds Nokia tyres better (mainly when racing on snow, not driving the way any of us would on the road in similar conditions).

Humm...
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Here's a list of the better tested tyres (as tested by Austrian and German automobile associations).
Nokian didn't receive the best test results (pretty much middle of the field)

https://autorevue.at/ratgeber/winterreifen-test-ergebnis

https://autorevue.at/files/uploads/2019/09/Winterreifentest-2019.jpg


More tyre test results in english …..
https://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/2018-Autobild-UHP-Winter-Tyre-Test.htm


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 11-11-19 17:30; edited 1 time in total
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@Mjit, it's not made by Nokian.
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@Mjit, did you watch it? Tyrereviews use their testing facilities but they are objective as seen by results on other videos on their YouTube Chanel. This result is not surprising given Nokians pedigree in this sector. The budget tyres equal Nokian in ice braking and better them in dry conditions.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
For many people in the UK I think a more relevant test might be cheap winter tyres v. summer tyres. I persuaded my father to fit winter tyres a couple of years ago, but he wouldn't have been persuadable if budget winter tyres hadn't been available.
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Ozboy wrote:
@Mjit, did you watch it? Tyrereviews use their testing facilities but they are objective as seen by results on other videos on their YouTube Chanel. This result is not surprising given Nokians pedigree in this sector. The budget tyres equal Nokian in ice braking and better them in dry conditions.


But it was at the Nokian test track so hardly the most independent of exercises. In the handling test he was throwing the car around with the aim of getting around as fast as possible which you would not be doing in those conditions, thereby to show up differences between the tires. They should have just driven normally and then reported on this.
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I thought he was focussing on consistent lap times and the point being that the cheaper tyres got slower as the track deteriorated - but hard to tell form in car footage. I have asked via a comment on the YouTube video.
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Would be interesting to see what their reply is as I took them as wanting the lower lap time of the Nokian to show it was a better tyre but to achieve this it looked like they were pushing it in excess of what the normal driver in those conditions would do. (Nor does a lower time mean necessarily better value).


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 11-11-19 22:09; edited 1 time in total
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My view on this test was that the budget tyre for me and probably most people would be an acceptable choice. The area where the Nokian excelled was at speed on snow on an empty track. I am never going to drive in those conditions at that speed. What the extremes of tests like this shows is where the strengths and weaknesses of these tyres lie enabling me to match my driving profile and conditions that I drive in to the tyres capabilities.

I did run Nokians for a few years and they were wonderful on snow ( maybe 25% of my winter use) but not great on cold and wet although better than summers. The reason I was glad that I chose Nokians was that in the maybe 2% or 3% of occasions when in severe conditions the Nokians got me through where maybe other tyres wouldn't.

The other point is that once having made the commitment to go the winter tyre route the difference in cost between budget and premium is probably less than your insurance excess on having an accident on the budgets and not having the accident on the premium.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Be good to know what is the actual cost difference? May be negligible when you amortise over a number of years. There are probably other “non-budget” reputable winter tyres cheaper than Nokians
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they were lucky those tristars are very decent for cheap chinese product. Seen tests, where cheap chinese tyres fall behind by 10 meters at wet braking from 80km/h.

fro brits more important video would be this:
http://youtube.com/v/lplaTRkPjTg

those european all seasons are very decent compared to regular euro winter tyre.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hmm - Nokians already are a budget-ish tyre though aren't they ?

So this test is a mid range tyre against a budget tyre - and the difference (esp in wet braking = 90 % of UK winter weather conditions) is enough for me to walk away from even considering a budget option.
Budgets are always good enough in snow but tend to be bad to dangerous in wet conditions...this opinion comes up all the time in tyre tests.

The performance gap between e.g. a Continental TS860 versus the budget would be even wider .

Why would anyone even consider saving a few quid on tyres versus £ 1000 repair bills (or £ 100's insurance excess plus a higher premium) for even a modest bump these days?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
sheffskibod wrote:
Why would anyone even consider saving a few quid on tyres versus £ 1000 repair bills (or £ 100's insurance excess plus a higher premium) for even a modest bump these days?


Well, there is an old saying "penny wise and pound foolish".....
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
DB wrote:
Here's a list of the better tested tyres (as tested by Austrian and German automobile associations).
Nokian didn't receive the best test results (pretty much middle of the field)

https://autorevue.at/ratgeber/winterreifen-test-ergebnis

https://autorevue.at/files/uploads/2019/09/Winterreifentest-2019.jpg


More tyre test results in english …..
https://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/2018-Autobild-UHP-Winter-Tyre-Test.htm


For the last 10 years or so we have gone down the road of using "upper budget" tyres like Kleber, which is a Michelin brand anyway, and selling them off on ebay / facebook well before the legal limit is reached. Works well, especially when you get the timing right and have tyres with full tread at the start of winter every time. Good to see that the Klebers come out well in that last set of tests as they are far cheaper than say Michelins. Of course you could do the same with your Michelins and you might get a bit more for them but people buying s/h tyres are usually just doing it to get an MOT or whatever.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

Why would anyone even consider saving a few quid on tyres versus £ 1000 repair bills (or £ 100's insurance excess plus a higher premium) for even a modest bump these days?

Not sure if we are talking a few quid or a few hundred quid. £75 per tyre versus £175, but that is not really the point @sheffskibod, is implying that everyone who uses budget tyres will have a £1000 shunt. This is clearly ridiculous. Let us say that there is a 5% chance of having an accident in a car resulting in £1000 of damage in a year then the expected accident cost is £50 per annum. Saying you will have a £1000 accident purely due to your tyre choice is just wrong.
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johnE wrote:
Quote:

Why would anyone even consider saving a few quid on tyres versus £ 1000 repair bills (or £ 100's insurance excess plus a higher premium) for even a modest bump these days?

Not sure if we are talking a few quid or a few hundred quid. £75 per tyre versus £175, but that is not really the point @sheffskibod, is implying that everyone who uses budget tyres will have a £1000 shunt. This is clearly ridiculous. Let us say that there is a 5% chance of having an accident in a car resulting in £1000 of damage in a year then the expected accident cost is £50 per annum. Saying you will have a £1000 accident purely due to your tyre choice is just wrong.


Well you pay your money and take your pick. Of course it is unlikely that most people will have a shunt in either premium or budget tyres.

- but if the the budget tyre has a much longer stopping distance in wet weather ... it vastly increases your chances of having even a minor bump - which can be very costly.

Personally , I would always pay extra for a premium tyre.

My point about most budget snow tyres being V poor in wet conditions still stands.
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@sheffskibod, my only comment would be that we have experienced very different performance from different models of expensive tyres so paying moreis no guarantee of a good result.
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Probably opening up another can of works but would be good to see how the cheap winters compare to a good set of all-season.
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Ozboy wrote:
Probably opening up another can of works but would be good to see how the cheap winters compare to a good set of all-season.



Read a test (will try to find it and post a link here) where good quality all-season tyres were tested aginst cheap winter tyres. The all-seasons were better.
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@DB, there is another review where they they these the full range of Nokian tyres summer -> studded winter (on the same facilities as this thread) and the all seasons and winters are quite close.

I am now driving all-seasons and amazed how much better drive thwy provide around london once the temperature drops. It’s eliminated annoying front tyre skip when making slow tight turns which are a ‘feature’ of some cars on summer tyres.
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I thought the vid was quite a reasonable endorsement of the budget tyre for a smaller lighter car. I do think sometimes people go OTT on tyres - better to have something that meets the basic spec and not drive on the limits than to have the best of the best and drive like its summertime on dry roads. You don't need a hi performance tyre to help you if you're not headed for the barrier in the first place.

What that video tells me is that the bigger, heavier your vehicle the more going premium really helps.

And as UANN says variables being what they are there's alwasy a chance you find yourself in the weakspot of a particular tyre.
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As a performance car driver I'd never put budget tyres and my daily driving is normal, occasionally spirited. The most important aspect of a car safety is the interface between road and vehicle i.e tyres, pay budget get budget.
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A premium tyre is composed of between 600 and 700 separate pieces. Compounds will vary between pieces, especially on the multiple tread layers, so that as the tread wears, adhesion and performance remain consistent. Compounds also often vary across the tread, to provide optimal handling in different conditions. And they'll use a wide variety of different wire reinforcement belts and components, again, to cater for different types of load. All this costs money but almost none of it is visible once the tyre is vulcanised and it just appears as a single amorphous lump.

You can easily save a lot of money by using fewer components and simpler compound chemistry. You can give the tyre a funky tread pattern to make it look visually attractive and like it's more 'engineered'. You can also take a slightly older tyre design, now discarded by the premium manufacturers, and make a tyre that will sort of be OK.

But in the end you get what you pay for. And if you want to skimp on your tyre spend, then hey, it's not like it's a safety-critical item is it?
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DB wrote:
Here's a list of the better tested tyres (as tested by Austrian and German automobile associations).

I somehow don't really trust those tests from ADAC, even though I normally end up buying tires that are on top of their tests. It's simply hard to believe for me, that every single year, in every single category, regardless if it's summer or winter, regardless if it's SUV or wheelbarrow tires, it's always Conti (surprisingly, I guess, it's German company) that's way better then rest, and after that things are changing from year to year and from category to category.
But even in those tests, you can actually see difference in results that pretty much equates difference in price.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Gainz wrote:
The most important aspect of a car safety is the interface between road and vehicle i.e tyres, pay budget get budget.

Nope - it's the interface between seat and controls - the driver.
The key to driving safely is not having amazing tyres, the key to driving safely, is driving safely.
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Quote:

Nope - it's the interface between seat and controls - the driver.

The key to driving safely is not having amazing tyres, the key to driving safely, is driving safely.


This!

If a driver believes that having a "performance" vehicle, and/or "performance" tyres means they can go faster in any particular conditions any safety benefits are immediately negated, and it just means that when you do crash you will probably do it faster.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
LaForet wrote:


But in the end you get what you pay for. And if you want to skimp on your tyre spend, then hey, it's not like it's a safety-critical item is it?


I do think there are a lot of very tall ponies that get ridden in tyre threads. It stands to reason if you live in a snowy area and/or commute regularly to the Alps becasue e.g. you have a place there then buying the best snow tyre you can find (or at very least a strong winter performance modern all season) make complete sense. But for some of us the decision is more marginal - if you live on the plains of SE England those rare days you need a snow tyre are mitigated further by the fact that roads will probably be closed down by jackknifed trucks etc. And most of the threads ignore the fact that 100s of thousands of winter journeys in the alps are undertaken by those who have not even considered what rubber to put on the car because they have zero choice in the matter - it's a hire car and will just have whatever the hire company specced or it came with per the rules of the country it is rented in. I've done lots of mileage in snowy, wintry conditions. Most of it has been in hire cars. You learn the limitations of the tyres and drive accordingly.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sooner or later, on any tyre discussion, someone will comment that 'great tyres are no compensation for poor driving'. Well, yes, of course, and conversely, great driving is no compensation for rubbish tyres. Any more than modern driving aids are a compensation for lazy and careless driving. And so on. The thread, though, is about expensive vs cheap tyres, and what I'm reading is that some cheap tyres seem to be a lot better value then you might think. Would I buy a cheap tyre? Never. Because so much depends on my tyres performing at their best that for me, the consequences of a cheap tyre underperforming outweighs any money that I might save.
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IMHO it's not either or but both i.e. driving safely and having performance tyres.

If someone else on the road makes a mistake but has performance tyres e.g. misses a turn and brakes hard, then the last thing you want is to run into the back of him/her.
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Beyond ridiculous comparison. A blind person could readily see that. The "budget" tire in this "comparison" is about as pathetic a winter/snow tire as one could get, period. Period! Total apples to oranges "comparison". Ridiculous.

You do NOT need to go premium - spend the big bucks, quid, euros, yen, shekels, rubles, rand, dirham, peso, wampum or loan out your wife when it comes to winter/snow tires, you can go "old school" ("old" technology), but you have to get a true winter/snow tire. And where the nation or licensing state allows for studs, where permitted, DO IT! Studded snow tires rule!!!!!

I grew up in a most complete full winter plus environment to put it mildly. I kinda somewhat know my way around winter and its rules. The presented "comparison" I trust knew better and should have pragmatically created somewhat of a level playing field.
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RobinS wrote:
Quote:

Nope - it's the interface between seat and controls - the driver.

The key to driving safely is not having amazing tyres, the key to driving safely, is driving safely.


This!

If a driver believes that having a "performance" vehicle, and/or "performance" tyres means they can go faster in any particular conditions any safety benefits are immediately negated, and it just means that when you do crash you will probably do it faster.


I didn't include the driver as its not a constant. You don't need the most expensive tyres but mid range tyres are always better than budget esp some of the chinese crap available in stores.
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'You do NOT need to go premium'

I worked for a premium tyre manufacturer, so you won't be surprised if I eschew the view that somehow they're not really worth the extra. You get what you pay for. Not just in snow but in the wet, in the dry and in every other road condition. Premium tyres are not a luxury item. This isn't like a 'I'd like heated seats, but they're pricey on top of everything else' choice.

In the context of this thread, I'm assuming that the discussion involves people who take their car to the Alps as part of a skiing holiday. And in that case, as I've said before, for me it weights the decision much more in favour of premium brand winter tyres. The probability is high that you'll encounter low temperatures, hail, slush and snow. And you want to avoid having to fit chains as far as you can. And that means premium winters. Everything else is a compromise.

Only you can decide, for yourself, whether you want to compromise or not. I would never criticise anyone who simply can't afford the premium: I've been there when I was younger. And I wouldn't criticise anyone for whom it was impractical to store and swap a winter set. We all have to make cost/benefit/risk/probability choices throughout our lives. As long as you understand all the factors, that's up to you.

But I wouldn't ever tell anyone to go for a cheap tyre vs a premium one because it doesn't make a difference - it does.
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@arcsinice, +1
Since we started using studs on the 2wd cars 8 years ago we have not used chains since.
We have used socks a couple of times when the snow has come before we we're ready, and the various 4x4 ( Defender, Freelander, Subaru, Duster) we just use mid-price winters (vredestein, cooper, nokian, hankook, nexen) and have not required chains or had any incidents (yet).
I do around 800KM a week and we run 3 cars, so price and longevity are more important to me than being able to drive super fast on snow.
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ster wrote:
Would be interesting to see what their reply is as I took them as wanting the lower lap time of the Nokian to show it was a better tyre but to achieve this it looked like they were pushing it in excess of what the normal driver in those conditions would do. (Nor does a lower time mean necessarily better value).


I received the following reply regarding testing speed on the handling track from the reviewer:


Me: Great video once again. Could you clarify at what speed you were going around the handling track - Was it racing or normal driving speed for snow?

Tyre Reviews: As fast as possible

Me: Thanks for the reply... Your video getting lots of discussion over on the snowheads forum. Would it not make a better comparison to drive at a normal speed around the track to represent most of us who 'drive to the conditions' as its a given the Nokian will be better when driven fast? Would love to see a review of the cheap winter vs a good all-season.

Tyre Reviews: both tyres would be fine at "normal" speeds in a controlled test. We test at the limit because we want to know which has the higher level of grip, so if something happens on the road that requires an emergency input, where you rely on the full grip of the tyre, you will know which tyre you will be safest with. You don't buy the best tyres because you want to drive flat out everywhere, you buy the best tyres because when you have to lean on the tyres grip, you want the biggest safety reserve possible
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All these tests are great and they information they give helps us make the compromise decision based on our own set of values. What would be really interesting would be seeing the results from one brand of winter tyres tested with differing tread depths. Could it be that a set of winters on it's recommended 4mm minimum performed less well than a set of new summers? Do the premium brands performance fall away more quickly with wear or does the difference between the two increase? All these tests are done on new tyres which doesn't reflect real world conditions.
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Isn't the word "Premium " being incorrectly substituted for technical measurements on this thread? I can understand wanting to buy products from a competent manufacturer but it's being used to exclude products that people rate as being less "Premium" just on names of companies ( sometimes implied and not written) , no?

The purpose of multiple product tests is to show the consumer relative levels regardless of the headline name. That will dispell or endorse without pre judging the whole test with heavily advertised name brands being projected.

This particular test of the two straight products should be conducted blind to have any significant value.

As already pointed out, it would be useful to have comparison with "summer" tyre as a control to let potential buyers see what improvement they could expect. That would give a better decision making foundation on which to judge.

The "cheap" option have already been judged in that fashion though as they seem to hold a 3PMSF accreditation ( is that true?) which does exactly as that above, in that it compares the tested tyre against set criteria established with a non-winter example to ascertain a level of competence that would allow the symbol to be used.

The presentation appears to be a marketing one on "negative underpinning " to give foundation to the Nokian brand. Just take a "cheap" brand and don't trash it (legals and all that) but use it to establish your own market position, complementary words of how good one cheapy has done gives them a bit of a rosy glow, but of course nothing like our more "quality" brand, as expected.
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@ski3, Indeed, how about this test where a budget brand outperforms a number of more "premium" brands where Pirellis that well known budget brand finish worst for snow braking and second worst for snow handling (to be fair Auto Bild filters out the bottom 60% first and only selects top 20 for the more detailed test)

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Article/2019-Auto-Bild-Winter-Tyre-Test.htm



Note that in this test -when it comes to snow braking the spread from best to worst is a relatively tiny distance compared to summer tyres so perhaps not the best criterion for making a complex decision and the commentary which reflects that for the UK market performance in wet conditions might be wieghted more heavily.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 13-11-19 19:03; edited 1 time in total
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Timc wrote:
All these tests are great and they information they give helps us make the compromise decision based on our own set of values. What would be really interesting would be seeing the results from one brand of winter tyres tested with differing tread depths. Could it be that a set of winters on it's recommended 4mm minimum performed less well than a set of new summers? Do the premium brands performance fall away more quickly with wear or does the difference between the two increase? All these tests are done on new tyres which doesn't reflect real world conditions.


Here is one, only covers winters though and very general, no brand names mentioned. I did see one with comparisons to summer tyres but cannot find it at the moment.

https://tiresvote.com/articles/what-minimum-safe-tread-depth/
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