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Any Experience Putting Studded Snow Tires on cMax

Snow Snow tires Winter

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5 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   lkushner52

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 04:21 PM

I am in CT and I just yesterday purchased a 2013 cmax Energi with 17,000 miles. I am thinking about putting 205/60R16 SR Winter Grip tires with studs or General Altima Arctic with studs. I live on a hill with a 35 degree incline and my Prius with Blizzak WS 70 did not make it up if the snow was over 5 inches or so .Doe any one have any experience with the cmax driving it with studded snow tires and does anyone have any experience with driving it with 16 inch snow tires?







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#2 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:47 PM

Congrats on the purchase!

 

I'd recommend a different size to maintain speedometer calibration (7.5% error), and 205/60-16s have a bigger problem. If using WS 70's in this size, you'd be 44lb short on the tire load rating, a very, very, very bad idea. OEM tires are 1433 lb., and I wouldn't go any lower.

 

That said, there are 10 WS70 sizes that will give you less than 2% error, 8 of which have sufficient load ratings.

 

I'm curious that you ask about studs, in the context of deep snow. Studs are for ice; they have no effect in deep snow. They will leave you with a scarred driveway if you need to spin the tires to get up, and degrade your dry handling compared with an unstudded tire. The guys running the local winter rally series love them with 4WD... which is the real solution to a deep snow, uphill problem.

 

That said, I would suggest a very aggressive conventional snow tire. Something with a lot of void around the tread block, and perhaps lugs on the sidewall, a "mudder" among snow tires. I'd point to a link, but all I'm seeing is Euro-style packed-snow tires, even from Nokian, because they're what you want for just about everything except deep snow.

 

BTW, I run 215/60-16 Michelin X-Ice3 on steel rims, a little over $800 at Tire Rack today; I paid $1000 in 2013 - oil prices affect things made with oil! The only time traction control kicks in is in deep slush, where nothing works but following a snow plow. Those Generals don't look bad either!

 

Have fun,

Frank



#3 OFFLINE   WNY

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 08:19 PM

Like Frank Said, the studs are good for ice. a good all winter tread works well.

I have the same Xice X3 (215/55R17 on the stock rims), will be my first winter with the car and these tires. we have had no snow yet to test them, they seem to handle on dry pavement quite well and are very quiet. I got mine thru TireRack also. 
Here's the tread that is very aggressive with lots of small grip grooves.
 

Winter Tires Michelin XIce X3

Edited by WNY, 03 December 2015 - 08:20 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 02:46 PM

...Here's the tread that is very aggressive with lots of small grip grooves.

Let's do a little calibrating here, as the X-Ice is not what one would call an aggressive tread.

 

When I say aggressive, this is what I mean:

http://www.photos-pu...xture-close-up/

or if we can stretch things a bit, these are for industrial plowing (scroll down to see the snows)

http://www.nebraskat...ial/skid-loader

 

There are two different things going on in snow.

 

Most of the time...

... the snow isn't very deep, but it gets packed and very slippery. This is the domain of the "Euro-style" snow tire like the X-Ice, to the point where I had a hard time finding the links above!. The tread surface is smooth, and the profile gently rounded, as any good road tire. Tread blocks are not monolithic "blocks" but rather a tower of thin panels, separated by grooves known as "sipes." Deform one of the X-Ice tread blocks and the surface parts at each sipe to reveal an edge that will bite into packed snow, and a space to collect any pressure-melt water on ice, improving traction there as well. Add in hydrophilic rubber compounds and you get a great snow and ice tire... most of the time.

 

In deep snow...

...  the relatively narrow grooves between tread blocks of a Euro-style snow tire fill with snow, and traction degrades significantly as the tire must climb the pile of snow and compact it down to gain traction from the siped areas. A pile of packed snow can be very hard to climb and compact, so you get stuck, have to back up a little and try to rock your way through the snow.

 

An aggressive snow tire has far larger grooves that do not hold snow, and the treat profile is flat due to large lugs at the sidewall transition. These lugs act as paddles in the compacted snow, and unclogged tread grooves can get a good bite as the snow compacts.

 

Think of it this way

- in deep snow, you compact several inches of snow, so you need several inches between tread elements

- in packed snow, you compact a fraction of a millimeter under the tire, just enough for the tread blocks to deform and the sipes to bite.

 

And all are going to have a problem in more than about 5" of snow, as all bets are off when the snow is deeper than your ground clearance, and your C-Max becomes a snowplow. Good judgment is always required in snow storms, as cold is deadly.

 

Have fun,

Frank


Edited by fbov, 04 December 2015 - 02:47 PM.

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#5 OFFLINE   lkushner52

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 09:59 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and input. I think based on your comments I am going to go with 215/60R16 with Andros N1 rims machined w anthracite accents. Now big question is which tires? Based upon comments I don't think I want to go wth studs any longer as I don't want to destroy my newly paved driveway. I believe the issue is more packed compressed snow on my street with a 35% incline rather than ice. So do you think I am better off with Blizzaks WS 80s, Michelin Xice-xI3, General Altimax Arctic, Firestone Winterforce, or Dunlop Winter Maxx. The Tire Rack rep felt that the Blizzaks would be better than the Michelin xice-xI3 for my situation but I did not ask him about the Generals, Firestones, or Dunlops.

Any comments? Any experience with these tires. It seems most people on the cMax boards have the Michelins.

#6 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 10:27 AM

One reason we gravitate to the X-Ice is rolling resistance, very low, while maintaining very good grip in a snow-storm for example (we get a lot of squalls).

 

I got a look at the Firestone Winterforce in person this weekend, and it's a far more aggressive tire than the Michelins. Edge lugs are 2-3 times wider spacing, which should shed show much better than a more tightly packed tread. These were studded, too!.

 

Blizzaks vary; there are several tread designs in the family. An open tread line would likely do well, too, but with the foam rubber tread, life with good ice traction will be short.

 

HAve fun,

Frank








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