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New Winter tyres - thinking Continental?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Need new winters on Nissan Murano AWD SUV.

235/65 x 18 110H

Have heard/read good things Continental. Have previously had Dunlop, Bridgestone (never again), Michelin (current),

WinterContact™ TS 850 P or ContiCrossContact Winter*

Not interested in all-season* as summers sitting in garage, etc. and live up very steep hill, >1,000m in alps.

Any informed opinions?

* I was under the impression that the ContiCross was all season but info is variable.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
First, it might be useful as a sort of baseline to see what your local Nissan garage would quote, both in terms of brand and cost. Might be worth a chat with the Parts Dept. I've found that sometimes dealers can actually be competitive. In any event, your 65 aspect ratio probably means you have a wide choice and won't go far wrong with any mainstream full-winter tyre. If it's for mountain residence, you want them to be snow-biased: the 'three peaks & snowflake' rating has a fairly low bar for winter-y-ness and quite a few warm-biased all-seasons get the rating. I've had Michelin Pilot Alpin, Dunlop Winter Sport, Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme* and Pirelli Winter Sottozero** winter-biased tyres, and they've all been good. If there's a Owner's Forum for the Murano you may well find a thread on winter tyres (which will be a contentious as the Snowheads 'which helmet' threads) which will give a bit of model-specific feedback. A pragmatic approach might be to spend some time wandering 'round the Chamonix car parks and seeing what similar vehicles carry. Although this might look suspicious to the local Gendarmerie ....

*On AWD Estate Cars
**On AWD Estate (Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie-II) and Performance convertible (Pirelli Winter Sottozero S3)
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@LaForet, Thanks. I had discounted the local Nissan (FR) dealer as in the past Nissan (CH) were not competitive but the locals were extremely helpful when it came to sourcing an exhaust over the summer (sadly the car is of that age).

In terms of choice, when we got our first Murano in 2006, the only OEM producing the size (iirc then it was 225/65x18) was Dunlop, and we paid handsomely for it. Thankfully in the intervening years a. the size changed for mk2 car and b. lots more cars take that size. That said, the Grandtrek WTs were quite capable and very reassuring.

Not so the Bridgestone Blizzaks which went onto the 2nd and current Murano for its first winter in 2010. Really not at all good. 4 years from then and the current Michelin Latitude Alpins were a relief, and very quiet (this may simply be technology improvements). But they only had a summer left in them at the end of last winter...

Your snow bias a good point - but it's hard to establish this objectively/quantitatively.

Given the not insignificant investment I might just stick with Michelins...
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https://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/ has all the ADAC/ Autobild/ Auo Express tests plus their own. Usually some clear consensus around the top 3-4 tyres in a class
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I have used Vredestein Wintrac Pro on my Lexus and now on my Evoque. Very good all round winter tyres, never needed to use chains, once cleaned the snow from the car, drove straight out of this!

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@under a new name, Vredestein Wintracs were good on our X-trail. .
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Bought some Continental TS860 winters a couple of months ago after getting a good price and reading some reviews. Decent in the wet alright and quieter than I expected. If it ever snows in West London or the home counties I’ll let you know how they perform in that.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 won this years German region test (click on „Ergebnisse“ and scroll down for the larger type size results)
https://www.oeamtc.at/tests/reifentest/winterreifentest-2020/
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@harrim51, @Hells Bells, the Vredesteins get nice ratings and are €30 cheaper a corner... hmmm ...

@ster, I'm typically in snow 8-10 weeks of the winter and on ice for much of it ... so those are pretty critical. Nothing so far has been entirely foolproof Twisted Evil
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Another vote for the Wintrac 4 Xtremes, they've been faultless on both my Nissan Navara and Land Rover Freel2. Not bad on price either. Planning to get a set for the new VW Alltrack, once I've bought some narrower alloys.
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A curiosity, that tire carcass rating "110H" is a pretty hefty load rating. Wondering if it's definitely specified with that?

The effect would be to make the tire more rigid and in probability less successful as a winter tire if not needed.

I'm using just a little above that on an old 4wd with over 2000kg towing capacity for use with car trailers.

Worth verifying to see if it aligns with spec for your car.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Looks like recent Murano should be at 106 if reference is correct, 110 rating will give you a 110kg per tire capacity over the 106.

106=950kg per tire as opposed to 110=1060kg

The 106 rating is already pretty hefty for the vehicle weight.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@ski3, good point. That's what's on at the mo, but I had in my head 104H as being the previous ones. Will check.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
This is like a freeking helmet thread. No two tests whether across magazines or different years give particularly consistent results.

I think I might stick with the Michelins, despite there having been an "upgrade".
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There's an aside too, with Michelin philosophy generally having an approach to work with the most flexible sidewall construction versus Bridgestone as more or less the opposite.

As flexibility in extreme cold and low grip surfaces is usually an assest, perhaps your experience of the two competitors has illuminated that in combination with load rating spare capacity for you.

That would suggest the Michelin in matched load rating could offer the most assured winter performance.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Id have thought a Continental would be at very high risk of producing too much pressure when Brexit happens. It could blow up at any moment.

Best sticking with a WTO compliant tyre.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
ski3 wrote:
There's an aside too, with Michelin philosophy generally having an approach to work with the most flexible sidewall construction versus Bridgestone as more or less the opposite.

As flexibility in extreme cold and low grip surfaces is usually an assest, perhaps your experience of the two competitors has illuminated that in combination with load rating spare capacity for you.

That would suggest the Michelin in matched load rating could offer the most assured winter performance.


The Vredesteins are a two ply sidewall construction, as opposed to many being a three ply, that would also imply greater flexibility. As a result Vredestein recommend +2psi over OEM spec.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@snowdave, you'll be here all week I imagine?
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@ski3, interesting points. Yep, sounds very plausible. The Bridgestones were a nightmare. I mean, not as bad as summers ... but really crap.
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So after all that, and thanks folks for your insights, no less than I'd expect Happy I've just had a look myself at the current tyres and it looks like I have 4-5mm depth clear on the main treads.

So I think I'll get another winter out of them.
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Belay that, Nokian suggest swapping at 4mm for prudent safety reasons. Might be back on ordering the Michelins again.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
sounds like you're decided, but for what its worth ... ive run ContiCrossContact Winter, Nokians and now Conti wintercontactTS850 on my volvo xc70s. each of them ran on snow during our winter trips (and very occasionally in the UK) - all did well, imo. not much to choose between them on the snow, but i did feel the nokians wore more quickly and the contis had v slightly more grip when running on tarmac.
I would have had ContiCrossContact Winters again, if i could have found them in stock because i like the big snowfalke pattern on the side Laughing
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@JonA, interesting you say that - I’ve also felt the nokians have worn faster than two previous sets of conti wintercontact. Will be going back to conti for next set I think. Not seen any difference in handling in different conditions between these two brands tho.
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@under a new name, weddings, bar mitzvahs, funerals, I do 'em all. Happy
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under a new name wrote:
So after all that, and thanks folks for your insights, no less than I'd expect Happy I've just had a look myself at the current tyres and it looks like I have 4-5mm depth clear on the main treads.

So I think I'll get another winter out of them.


Probably ok for one winter, but could be worth optimizing the pressures for the load rating you have.

The tire wall will usually show kg loading at say 50psi, from that you can work out how much each psi will support in kg, then compare vehicle kerb weight to see how much is needed to support the load you have, in psi. That's the correct psi for those rated tires to carry the load you have as the tire specification demands. It will usually be less than the car handbook states as that's for specific rated tires.

To be really particular, you can add average occupancy and payload to the stated kerb weight. That's effectively what the little diagrams in fuel cap do for additional passengers and luggage, ie. Specify raised rear pressure for full vehicle versus a driver and one passenger.

It's more or less what we do with Din for ski bindings, and should be the best performance.
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If I can hijack @under a new name's thread for just one minute:

The Vreds I run on my pickup are 10mm wider and same profile as the OEM regular tyres. This just happened as they weren't making the appropriate size way back when I first bought in 2006 and since then I've kept buying the same size as they wear out at different times and I didn't want to mix due to load on the diff. I have burly chains in the bed (load bed that is, before anyone makes any wisecracks) in winter but never needed to fit them, there is though a ton of clearance everywhere for fitting if ever necessary so the size up was no issue.

The Vreds I run on the Freel2 are as OEM, but I have a set of 'narrow link' chains (again never fitted in anger) and clearance is ok (despite what it says in the handbook).

The Leaf has a set of Nokians now, not yet fitted but 10mm narrower than OEM (because I got that size cheap) and whilst there are narrow link chains in the boot in winter thats just because I had them already and as it never leaves West/North Yorks I've never sweated the clearance issue.

Now the new Alltrack has been added to the stable and will (if not this year, in the post Covid world) live winters in the Alps. The handbook says go down from 18" to 17" alloys, and also run 1/2" narrower then the spec'd 17" summer wheels (so down from 7" to 6.5") and run a 205 not a 225, and the offset is adjusted to centre the wheel in the arch.

What do you knowledgeable folks (looking quite specifically at @ski3 here) think all that is for? Narrower wheel/tyre pushed out from the centre a smidge to allow increased clearance for chains? Or is it just narrower tyres for 'digging' into any soft snow. I'm thinking the former, and ergo I shouldn't ignore it.

Thanks for any input. C
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I have found this website very useful for sizing and offsets etc

https://www.wheel-size.com/

https://www.wheel-size.com/size/volkswagen/golf-alltrack/2020/
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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@harrim51, Thx, yep, I have that website bookmarked already.

Looking at it again though (it's Passat btw not Golf, critical that I can take a 190 ski straight in the boot) I'm even more confused, the snow wheel offset takes it back INTO the arch, closer to shocks etc.

So compared to the 18" wheels it came with I'm supposed to run a 1.5" narrower wheel with a 20mm narrower tyre, buried deeper into the arch?

Also I'ld assumed the wheel spec on Alltrack and regular Passat would be the same, but oh no, the offsets are quite different.

Final thought is how can both a 225/50 17 and 205/50 17 be OEM, the rolling circumference is not radically different, but it is different, so which is the speedo calibrated to?
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

It's more or less what we do with Din for ski bindings,


@ski3, speak for yourself! I set mine to 8.5 or so and crack on. It's hardly an exact science.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Now really interested in anyone's feedback on the WinterContacts that @under a new name mentioned in the OP.

Spotted a set of new wheels for my Alltrack fitted with new (but 5 year old) WinterContact 830 P from a discounter. If they are prepared to do me a reverse VAT EU supply on them then the price is good.

So anyone run these? The older 810 S, these 830 P or the current 850 P?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
midgetbiker wrote:
@harrim51, Thx, yep, I have that website bookmarked already.

Looking at it again though (it's Passat btw not Golf, critical that I can take a 190 ski straight in the boot) I'm even more confused, the snow wheel offset takes it back INTO the arch, closer to shocks etc.

So compared to the 18" wheels it came with I'm supposed to run a 1.5" narrower wheel with a 20mm narrower tyre, buried deeper into the arch?

Also I'ld assumed the wheel spec on Alltrack and regular Passat would be the same, but oh no, the offsets are quite different.

Final thought is how can both a 225/50 17 and 205/50 17 be OEM, the rolling circumference is not radically different, but it is different, so which is the speedo calibrated to?


There's alot going on in front suspension with drive through them, all but invisible to the owner.

They ordinarily prioritise keeping the centre line of the rim aligned with the same for the wheel bearing pair to avoid odd loading. This is why if a narrower rim is specified, then it follows that the offset is trimmed to re centre that rim, often seen as ET in specs.

It gets more complex with many current suspension designs as many use a split top wishbone to locate the wheel assembly, this has a "notional" geometric centre that alters with steering lock.
The effect of this it to move the top pivot back along the car as lock comes on and effectively lean the wheel over, like a motorcycle wheel, which enhances grip for the front wheel on the outside of the corner. This will be generally clear of the bodywork even on full lock.
However, the wheel on the inside of the corner will, under the same conditions, bring the top outside face of the wheel back toward the wheel arch and so conflict with the bodywork when chains are fitted. It looks like this point is what they are trying to clear with the sizing ie. To be able to use chains and with full lock and throughout suspension travel.

They've effectively got no choice as they're running minimal, but sufficient, clearance with std spec "normal" tires. They're fitting the tire plus chains within that original dimension, not just clearing the rear face of tire near suspension which remains relatively constant.
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@midgetbiker, I have used winter contacts for several seasons and they have been great. Better than the nokians I used.
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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?
This is worth a watch, very nice bloke.


http://youtube.com/v/jHzbfjxKvcc
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Well, just to close off at my end, just ordered Michelin Latitudes ... don't fix what ain't broke, etc. Significantly cheaper than last time at € 633 for 4.
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Whereas I did go for the WinterContacts after @jbob and @Spyderjon gave them the thumbs up. Supplier in Germany is happy to do a reverse VAT sale and I'm waiting for the net invoice to come through, £825 was the gross, not fully sure on what the net will be as Germany has some Covid based VAT reductions at the moment. Happy at that for 4no brand new VW St Moritz alloys and 4no brand new (but previous gen) WinterContacts.

@harrim51, Thx for that vid, I've watched a few from that chap when sorting bits on my Freelander, but that vid I'ld not seen and the number of factors it brought into play (added to @ski3's comments) made me stick to VW spec on the new set up. Makes me wonder what I was doing to my first Navara with the 30mm spacers I used to run summer and winter! Probably not too much given the industrial set up on that type of vehicle (I hope) though I did need new bearings on both front corners (over 10 years and 130,000 miles though) anyway it's gone to the scrappers now.

*edited once as I went for the St Moritz alloys, not the Oslo ones I named by mistake.
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This is all one reason why I go to a (knowledgeable) independent or the dealer's Service Dept. for my winter wheels and tyres. It's then their responsibility to come back to me with choices that will work on my specific car. My car also has a performance brake option, ex-factory, and this further complicates the choice of what wheels will fit, because even knowing the all the parameters (aspect ratio, width, J, diameter and offset) isn't enough to tell me if a wheel will fit over the brakes. I'd only buy wheels off eBay if they we from the car manufacturer, and the seller included the car manufacturer's part number and I could then ring up my dealer and get them to check that my VIN can take that specific part no. Of course, you'll get loads of people saying they had no problem buying 3rd.Party wheels via the Internet, but you can see from the video that while you might be fine, it could turn out problematic.
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@LaForet, indeed, and the guy I'm buying from in Germany is exactly that, a specialist in VW wheels and tyres (used and discounted new). So I'm 100% happy that both sets he offered (new VW St Moritz/Conti WinterContact and used VW Oslo/Conti WinterContact) are bang on the right kit for the job, even if he is off Ebay. All specs check out with my handbook too. I've now spec'd the St Moritz set with TPMS valves, hub cabs (to save swapping them across) and a balance for €858 net under EU reverse VAT and shipped, and I'm happy at that.
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