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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have conducted a search and it seems that a favorite is the WS-50. My question is how bad is dry weather performance. Tire rack offers the WS-50 as an alternative and the LM-22 as the primary offering. I do not want to have problems in the dry weather or rain with my snow tires since the snow days are few here in New York City.

Also, 17 vs. 18 for rims. I do not care about looks in the winter time and rarely drive over 80 even in the summer. My desire is to not have to worry about breaking rims or denting rims in pot holes created by the winter heaving.

I realize this car is not the best choice in the winter but it is my only choice right now and I need to get to work.

Thanks for the advice.

Michael.
 

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mchin said:
I have conducted a search and it seems that a favorite is the WS-50. My question is how bad is dry weather performance. Tire rack offers the WS-50 as an alternative and the LM-22 as the primary offering. I do not want to have problems in the dry weather or rain with my snow tires since the snow days are few here in New York City.

Also, 17 vs. 18 for rims. I do not care about looks in the winter time and rarely drive over 80 even in the summer. My desire is to not have to worry about breaking rims or denting rims in pot holes created by the winter heaving.

I realize this car is not the best choice in the winter but it is my only choice right now and I need to get to work.

Thanks for the advice.

Michael.
17 is better than 18 in the snow.

WS50 has no equal in the snow and ice, but is TERRIBLE in the dry. Noisy and squirmy. But then, that's the way it is, you can't have it both ways. Decide what your priorities are, then buy a tire to match those priorities.

Good luck!
 

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Michael,

Are you asking for advice on a designated winter tire? It almost sounds like you are asking for a winter tire that you can drive in the summer as well? If it is the latter, I suggest you reconcider and settle for an all season like the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Also keep in mind the all-seasons are a compromise - never the max performance summer tire, neither a winter tire when you really need it...

With that in mind, I have a separate set of rims + threads for the winter and summer months. As far as pure winter threads, my vote goes for the Dunlop Winter Sport M3s (which is on back order for many sizes, I guess it is very popular), then the M2s, then the Blizzak LM 22 or LM 25.

I live in the NY/NJ area, so pretty much your area and have been doing well with the designated winter Pirelli 240 Wintersport on an extra set of 18' OEM staggered fit rims. It is universally accepted that all else equal, you are better off with a smaller diameter wheel (i.e. 17') and skinner tires (245s all around). However, for our area I've done very well with the stagered setup on the OEM 18s, plus I like the look. I doubt anyone will dare take the Beast in blizzards or conditions that require chains, so a good pure winter tire should be good for over 90% of the winter days in your area.
 

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cosioboy said:
Michael,

Are you asking for advice on a designated winter tire? It almost sounds like you are asking for a winter tire that you can drive in the summer as well? If it is the latter, I suggest you reconcider and settle for an all season like the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S. Also keep in mind the all-seasons are a compromise - never the max performance summer tire, neither a winter tire when you really need it...

With that in mind, I have a separate set of rims + threads for the winter and summer months. As far as pure winter threads, my vote goes for the Dunlop Winter Sport M3s (which is on back order for many sizes, I guess it is very popular), then the M2s, then the Blizzak LM 22 or LM 25.

I live in the NY/NJ area, so pretty much your area and have been doing well with the designated winter Pirelli 240 Wintersport on an extra set of 18' OEM staggered fit rims. It is universally accepted that all else equal, you are better off with a smaller diameter wheel (i.e. 17') and skinner tires (245s all around). However, for our area I've done very well with the stagered setup on the OEM 18s, plus I like the look. I doubt anyone will dare take the Beast in blizzards or conditions that require chains, so a good pure winter tire should be good for over 90% of the winter days in your area.
I agree 100%. The best winter tires make the worst summer tires, period...and vice versa. All season tires are a total compromise and do neither particularly well. Many snow tires are sold that can not hold a candle to the WS-50 in adverse weather. In general, these inferior snow tires will outgrip, outhandle and outlast the WS-50 in dry weather use because their tread is not highly siped and soft like sponge rubber. The WS-50 grips the same all year, so in summer you basically need to drive with light throttle, steering and braking, as if you're in marginal traction conditions.
Pick your poison.

The WS-50 will wear down like they are made of wax, if you do sustained highway driving over 60 MPH. If you see 15K mi before wearbars, you're doing well. My preference is to run summer performance tires until mid-November or later, if weather allows it. At that point, install WS-50, SLOW DOWN & enjoy the adverse weather traction. Drive like your mommy until you remove them EARLY in the spring. Using this strategy, I get 4 or 5 seasons from a set of Blizzaks and I NEVER get stuck. IMO, they beat resorting to a SUV.


For winter, dedicated wheels in the narrowest, smallest idameter are best. Narrow tires, numerically high series (tall) tires are better too. The handling and grip of WS-50 is wildly different than typical tires, so they are best used on all 4 corners to avoid unanticipated loss of steering/control. I would use choose smallest wheels that you can find to fit over the M5 brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the responses.


Cosioboy and Rob you both hit it on the head. My plan was dedicated winter tires. I planned on keeping my OEM tires on until the night of the first snow and then leave them on until it gets above freezing. Based upon what I have read I will go with 17's and leave the size up to the guys at the Tire Rack but go as skinny and high walled as possible.

I am still wondering if perhaps I do not need as dedicated at tire as WS-50's. As cosioboy pointed out, in the tristate area our snow fall is not horrible and if things get that bad I will have to find other transportation.

Rob, when you say drive slow, how slow are we talking. I commute roughly 20 miles per day a majority of which is highway where I will at least do 60. Given these conditions, is there something less dedicated to winter than Ws-50's but not as bad as all season tires which I would rather not use as I want to maximize my snow traction while still retaining as much "normal" driveability.

I realize that everything is a trade off but what would be just below the WS-50's so that I would retain some driveability in dry winter conditions given the fact that there is not much snow fall and I will be doing highway driving.

thanks again.
 

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I had the dunlop snows on 17" M double parallel rims. Driving on these means you will engage DSC a lot more (anything beyond 5-6/10ths throttle on acceleration- but they work in the snow. The 17" rims look too small and I always thought the car looked emasculated, but it worked. I think if you are using the car for your primary mode of transport, you owe it to yourself to go for separate summer/ winter wheels and tires.

One idea is to keep the 18" OEM rims and put snow tires on those and then get something more aggressive for the summer (19s?).

If the worry is potholes etc, then get the 17s- I think the tires were 245s all around.

Btw- you can have some fun by turning the DSC off and melting the tires- but that will really hurt snow performance!
 

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MEnthusiast said:
If the worry is potholes etc, then get the 17s- I think the tires were 245s all around.

The WS-50s are by far the best snow-tire for the car. I say snow-tire... winter tire... because they offer nothing in dry-weather performance -- get me through the awful snow and ice like butter, however.

I have posted numerous times on the WS-50s. You can do a search if you want and come up with it.

For MAXIMUM snow/ice traction in the worst conditions, get the WS-50s and mount them on 17"s all around. It will almost be like having 4-wheel drive. They are squishy on regular roads if you try cutting a tight turn, yes. I have not noticed any obnoxious or irregular noise associated with the tire, however. I also haven't noticed accelerated wear or the tire either.

As far as I'm concerned, anything but "Ultra high performance summer tires" for the summertime and Blizzak WS-50s for the winter are a compromise.

For the summer, the PS2s I have offer the best traction. For the winter, the WS-50s offer the best traction. Anything in between is a compromise of performance in the grandest sense of the word.

Good luck!
:cheers:

-Matthew
 

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MT JTN said:
...For the summer, the PS2s I have offer the best traction. For the winter, the WS-50s offer the best traction. Anything in between is a compromise of performance in the grandest sense of the word...
AMEN Bro... well said.
 

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Another tire to consider is the Nokian RSI. It comes in the -1 size and is easily the best non-studded snow/ice tire I have driven on. The wet and dry performance is acceptable and they are surprisingly quiet for a snow tire.
 

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first post here, be gentle...

so i had a 99 M3 and i just upgraded to a 02 M5, anyway on to the tire talk.

moved from dallas to colorado springs and was running pilots for a year with only a few problems in city driving in snow. moved to a house in the mountains and caught a bunch of nails due to new construction in the area and had to replace all 4 corners with yokohamas in the summer.

first snow they turned to hard plastic on me and the car sat for a week until new dedicated rims and lm-22's arrived. put em on and i immediately had a car again. in snow blizzacks are AMAZING, no news there.

moved to jersey and put them back on for winter last year, got too lazy to take them off and drove from jersey to texas on them, no problem. had them on all summer in texas, no problem. had the car to 155, no problem, wouldnt do it again, but they didnt fly off or anything.

so, 4000+ miles cross country and in high heat and the blizzacks performed just fine, although, yes they are noisy...
 

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I have no doubt WS-50 will last 4K+ mi at Texas temps w occasional top speed runs, as will race tires with 3/32" shaved tread. They will not fly apart at high speeds either.

That said, speed & load ratings should be respected if you're doing anything that generates heat. The nature of the WS-50 rubber would make triple digit speeds very risky, if sudden steering or braking input is needed. The car could get loose.

WS-50 can not generate significant G's (in any direction), so hard throttle, aggressive cornering and panic braking under dry conditions will be noticeably sub-par under panic/evasive maneuvers or sporting use, compared to other tires. In addition, tread life will be about 1/3 of a typical all-season or summer tire. The deep sipes and soft rubber required for winter grip greatly reduce life.
 

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One of the things that makes the WS50 so good on ice is the microcell construction. It's only the first half of tread depth though, so when the WS50's are 1/2 worn, the Blizzak's rubber compound becomes similiar to the rest of the snow tires on the market.

You should replace any snow tire when 1/2 worn, but it's even more important with the WS50.

155mph on Blizzaks? Man, that's adventurous! Rock the steering wheel at 80mph with Blizzaks on dry pavement and the car will squirm and yaw like a reptile. Yikes!
 

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ELEVENS said:
One of the things that makes the WS50 so good on ice is the microcell construction. It's only the first half of tread depth though, so when the WS50's are 1/2 worn, the Blizzak's rubber compound becomes similiar to the rest of the snow tires on the market.

You should replace any snow tire when 1/2 worn, but it's even more important with the WS50.

155mph on Blizzaks? Man, that's adventurous! Rock the steering wheel at 80mph with Blizzaks on dry pavement and the car will squirm and yaw like a reptile. Yikes!
oh, i'm not bragging about it, but in my defense i was way drunk and not driving so it didnt come to me till the next day about how bad of an idea it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of the imput.


I will be going with 17's and the WS-50's. I will probably do this in the next few days. I will probably use one of the winter tires as a spare so maybe I can geat some double duty out of the tires.

Anybody use the Beastpower tire storage cover for storing their tires outside?

Thanks again for the responses.

Take care.

Michael.
 

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mchin said:
Thanks for all of the imput.


I will be going with 17's and the WS-50's. I will probably do this in the next few days. I will probably use one of the winter tires as a spare so maybe I can geat some double duty out of the tires.

Anybody use the Beastpower tire storage cover for storing their tires outside?

Thanks again for the responses.

Take care.

Michael.
Perfect choice! Just try to avoid the temptation to go with a wide tire - the skinnier, the better. Now, if you're like me, you'll be wringing your hands in anticipation of foul weather. Nasty weather is nasty only if you're not prepared for it. This is the true reason many Americans hate snow, it's because they're driving around on all-season tires! An all-season tire charades as a jack-of-all-trades, but excels at nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Elevens and Matthew thanks for the thumbs up on my decision.

Gosh I do wish that my first mod for the beast was something more hip and/or cool and that would make my car go faster.

Oh well maybe next time.

thanks again to all.

Michael.
 

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Michael-

You can't "go faster" if you can't go at all...

Hence the necessary winter wheels and tires for the cold and snow! Good luck!

---Incidentally, as an aside:

I think a common misconception is that you need snow tires "in the snow" but you really need them "in the cold". It's not just snow that will render our Beasts useless. When the ambient temperature drops to around 40 degrees or so the sticky rubber compound on our W/Y/Z-rated "ultra high performance tires" hardens like a rock and thus, we can't drive.

(When I first test drove an M5 before owning this one, it was a late fall, early winter day and it was cold... you couldn't give the car any gas in 1st or 2nd gear without DSC flashing about!)

Snow makes it worse but it really is the cold that makes summer tires useless as well. Winter tires are made of a different rubber compound that doesn't turn solid in low temperatures.

Think an ice-cube on a patch of ice versus a gummy pencil eraser on ice.

---Done preaching.
Drive well!

-Matthew
 
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