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  1. #1
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    Snow Tires for SUVs

    What SUV snow tires do you snow area drivers like most? I'm thinking of getting a set of Blizzaks for my Tahoe as a second set to used only for winter driving in the NorCal area. I've read the Nokian tires are pretty good as well.

  2. #2
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    Most of the time you don't need show tires. Just get a good set of all terian tires and you'll be fine. Unless you are driving 100% on ice and snow you're wasting money.

    Tirerack.com has ratings for various conditions on all there tires. It's very helpful. I have the Michelin Defender LTX on my f250 and like it. Plus the tread life is rates at 50k miles.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundrted View Post
    Most of the time you don't need show tires. Just get a good set of all terian tires and you'll be fine. Unless you are driving 100% on ice and snow you're wasting money.

    Tirerack.com has ratings for various conditions on all there tires. It's very helpful. I have the Michelin Defender LTX on my f250 and like it. Plus the tread life is rates at 50k miles.

    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk
    Most of the time I'm running All Season tires, these tires/wheels are for heavy snow trips.

  4. #4
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    If you are going to be driving on colder surfaces, snow and ice, nothing beats good winter tires, plus, if you have decent summer tires, you basically maximize your safety in each season. The I've had pirelli sottozeros, the nokian hakapilleta (or whatever it's called) and blizzaks. The blizzaks I have right now (LM32?) are NOT the full winter ones and the difference is pretty big, so just because it says "blizzak" doesn't mean it's all that. That aside, these are all still pretty amazing tires, able to stop a vehicle on ice, with traction that is far and above what you get in an all-season tire. These are not for driving 100% on snow and ice, they are for driving on colder surfaces where your tread compound is compromised. Below about 40 degrees most summer tires go rock hard and any kind of ice or snow is like trying to balance on marbles. All seasons extend the range down below freezing for a good bit, but true winter tires really maximize your grip on ice, snow and cold surfaces.

    The negative is in warmer temps, you'll wear them down quickly, so IMO, I'd only have them if I lived in Truckee, Tahoe, Colfax, etc. Living further down the hill where the trip up to the ski-resorts is going to be the one-off, it would be hard to justify.

    If that vehicle is only going to be used for winter trips, like 40 degrees or below, including possible snow and ice, sure. If it's going to be used for other stuff and it's going to be driven most of the time in temps well above that, naw.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are going to be driving on colder surfaces, snow and ice, nothing beats good winter tires, plus, if you have decent summer tires, you basically maximize your safety in each season. The I've had pirelli sottozeros, the nokian hakapilleta (or whatever it's called) and blizzaks. The blizzaks I have right now (LM32?) are NOT the full winter ones and the difference is pretty big, so just because it says "blizzak" doesn't mean it's all that. That aside, these are all still pretty amazing tires, able to stop a vehicle on ice, with traction that is far and above what you get in an all-season tire. These are not for driving 100% on snow and ice, they are for driving on colder surfaces where your tread compound is compromised. Below about 40 degrees most summer tires go rock hard and any kind of ice or snow is like trying to balance on marbles. All seasons extend the range down below freezing for a good bit, but true winter tires really maximize your grip on ice, snow and cold surfaces.

    The negative is in warmer temps, you'll wear them down quickly, so IMO, I'd only have them if I lived in Truckee, Tahoe, Colfax, etc. Living further down the hill where the trip up to the ski-resorts is going to be the one-off, it would be hard to justify.

    If that vehicle is only going to be used for winter trips, like 40 degrees or below, including possible snow and ice, sure. If it's going to be used for other stuff and it's going to be driven most of the time in temps well above that, naw.
    I'm going to keep a separate set of wheels/tires for Tahoe, Yosemite, and other snow trips. I can swap them out pretty easily. My main tire for the Bay Area is a low rolling resistance all weather tire.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    What SUV snow tires do you snow area drivers like most? I'm thinking of getting a set of Blizzaks for my Tahoe as a second set to used only for winter driving in the NorCal area. I've read the Nokian tires are pretty good as well.
    I have the Blizzak DM-V2 and my dad has the Nokian Hakka (8?) SUV, both on 4Runners, both about 2 years old now. Really, there doesn't seem to be much to choose between them. They are both great for getting to ski hills in the worst conditions. I have used Nokians for a while and they are always great snow tires. The Blizzaks do seem to wear faster, and they are almost as good on snow, and probably better than the Nokians on ice. So the generally cheaper price of the Blizzak is offset by the wear. It's a tossup to me.

  7. #7
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    You could always run all terrains and keep a set of chains in the truck for when you go into heavy snow.

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    Is your Tahoe a 4x4 or 2x4?


    Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    https://www.nokiantires.com/winter-t...eliitta-9-suv/

    Have an older set for my truck, great tires

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundrted View Post
    Is your Tahoe a 4x4 or 2x4?


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    It's a 4x4 LT with the Max Trailering package, so the gear ratio is a bit lower than standard for extra torque.

    Snow Tires for SUVs-img_0612.jpg

  11. #11
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    In the past I've had Nokian and Blizzak, currently am running the Michelin Latitude X-Ice, can't really tell any differences between the three. They are all far superior to any mud & snow for winter driving. I leave mine on all winter but I don't live in the Bay area. They will wear faster on dry roads.

  12. #12
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    michelin ltx winter

    /thread

    if you want studded, then any studded tire
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  13. #13
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    Just switched out our studded snow tires for some studless ones. Found a good deal on TireBuyer for our older Ford Escape and got the Michelin latitude ice x.

    My wife was concerned looking at them online because the studded snow tires we were replacing looked pretty burly and the ice x donít really have any big lugs and obviously no studs. But i guess studless tires have a softer compound than stud-able snow tires. I was originally going to get some studable snow tires and just run them without the studs, but read studless tires will perform better due to the softer compound.

    Our other car is a company car and they will not let me put on winter specific tires, so I have to go with all season. However, I called tiresplus and they told me to try the falken ziex ze950. I have to say I am very impressed with these tires considering they are just all season.

    So far both sets of tires grip great and have no problem getting out of our uphill, unpaved and unplowed driveway. I will be curious to see how the falkenís perform as we get deaper into winter and they wear. If you live in the bay and come up to Tahoe often, then the falkens seem like a great option as a tire to keep on all winter down in the bay without having to worry too much about wear.

    Falken video:


    Ice x tires and our driveway. Might not look like much, but with a half foot of snow and just enough of a grade, most all season tires canít make it out.
    Snow Tires for SUVs-4d92eedd-93c5-409c-8834-238ce55d4bf2.jpg

    Snow Tires for SUVs-f6065b86-93bf-4ba9-a7ec-74eee45ff912.jpg
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.
    .

  14. #14
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    Blizzaks are like race tires for winter conditions imo. All seasons will get you buy in the pinch or you live somewhere that only sees rare/occasional ice or snow, but arenít anywhere near as safe or effective as real snow tires. Especially on ice.

  15. #15
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    If you don't mind a good tire, but not a dedicated set of snow tires. GoodYear Duratrac is the way to go.
    A set of chains for the 'just in case' moments.
    Duratrac with 4x4 and a limited slip rear diff is gonna get you through the snow pretty well. I assume those Tahoe's do not come with an open differential, especially with the tow package. If it has the G80 rear, you'll golden.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    If you don't mind a good tire, but not a dedicated set of snow tires. GoodYear Duratrac is the way to go.
    A set of chains for the 'just in case' moments.
    Duratrac with 4x4 and a limited slip rear diff is gonna get you through the snow pretty well. I assume those Tahoe's do not come with an open differential, especially with the tow package. If it has the G80 rear, you'll golden.
    It has a G80 locker on the rear.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like your vehicle is gonna do just fine. I have no experience with snow tires, per say. If you go that route you'll be great. Studded tires probably won't help much off road. But a good all terrain tire on your setup will do just fine -if you end up going for a daily tire instead of a dedicated snow tire.
    Once the snow is too deep, tire won't matter too much anyway. Depending on where you end up too, weather conditions play a factor. The warmer it is here in CA, the more difficult it is to get through regardless.

    I have the Cooper ATP. They are less aggressive than the BFG A/T tires. I had it in the snow for the past 2 winters and they did okay on maintained dirt roads. I could get through several inches of snow as well following tracks. But they are not as good as the Duratrac would claw through. I have an open diff Canyon. I've been in hub deep snow following tracks from others and struggled as well. It was warmer and a more damp snow. Humps in the tracks would hold me up and I couldn't "climb" over the small humps without spinning. I was by myself and didn't want to get too deep into the back roads. I Just made my way back and called it good.

    I carry chains, shovel. Couple 50# bags of gravel. Gravel is just there in case I need to break open the bag and throw it down for traction. So far I've been lucky enough to not have to use either.

    The Duratrac tire is surprisingly quiet considering the tread pattern. They do generate more noise as they wear beyond 50%. And the rain weather is junk by time you are 60% worn. With that said, my Coopers are currently 60% or so worn and they too are showing signs of poor wet weather traction. Still better than the Duratrac was for a similar amount of wear. With that said, I've had these tires now 4 years, so remembering exactly the wear on the GoodYear from 4 years ago may be a bit fuzzy.

  18. #18
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    I think you'll find a 4WD Tahoe is pretty capable in snow regardless of your tires considering its ~5500 lb curb weight, and 52/48 weight distribution. I don't drive daily where snow is expected to fall (but it does once and a while), but do travel to the mountains in New Mexico and Colorado where we do encounter snow. One of our Tahoe's has Cooper ATP's, the other BF Goodrich All Terrains. The Coopers do pretty good in snow over road surfaces. The BFG's are very good, and equally as good on snow going off road. I've never had to use full time 4WD (4H/4L) on snow covered roads with either of these tire on the Tahoe's. AWD is sufficient, and better since when driving on snow covered roads, you may encounter cleared hard road surface. Making turns in the Tahoe's with the front end locked in 4WD on unforgiving tarmac can be a strain on the front axles and CV joints. Done that a coupe of times... nasty groan while the inside tire hops and chirps trying to keep up with the outer tire. Just stick it in AWD and forget about it (it only engages one or the other front wheel as needed). Off road, different story...

    If it were me, I'd go with BFG's year 'round. Fairly quiet tire, but gain a little more hum when they wear down. Surprisingly good at disbursing water at highway speeds. I use LT versions for their stiffer sidewalls for off roading and occasional trailer hauling, and get 50k miles out of them. A close second choice would be the ATP's. Very quiet and smooth rolling for an all terrain tire, and we've easily reached 50k+ miles on them. In fact, I believe the ATP's have a 40 or 50k mile tread life warranty (non LT's). The LT version of BFG's don't have a tread life warranty, but I think the non LT's do. Both of these tires have been great daily drivers, and do just fine on the highway. I've tried a few others, including the Goodyear AT's the Tahoe's came with. For tires this size, weird tire wear is sometimes common. The ATP's and BFG's both exhibit a nice even wear, even when you forget/neglect to rotate them as recommended. Just sayin'.

    Having said all this, we do go off roading... rocky, dusty, steep, cantered, on and off trail, but never (usually) mudding unless it's in the way, so a year 'round all terrain tire fits our bill. But if I lived where snow is common and I didn't go off roading, I'd still use these tires all year since they work fine as daily drivers, and I wound't want the hassle and expense (I'd rather more mountain biking stuff!) of swapping wheels and tires just because of the weather. That's just me.
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  19. #19
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    Yeah, Duratracs do ok in the snow
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snow Tires for SUVs-img_20180323_180611729.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by drag_slick View Post
    Yeah, Duratracs do ok in the snow
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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    Doing ok and safest, best choice are not the same thing. If you donít want to swap tires or have an extra set of wheels I get it. But an all-season or mud-snow rated tire isnít going to perform anywhere near as well as snow tires. Not even close due the compound differences between a true winter tire and a tire that needs to wear well in warmer conditions. Most people donít even know the difference until actually having them, myself included. Said my peace, best wishes on whatever decision you make.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    What SUV snow tires do you snow area drivers like most?
    Blizzak DM-V2, here.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheUnknownRider View Post
    Doing ok and safest, best choice are not the same thing. If you donít want to swap tires or have an extra set of wheels I get it. But an all-season or mud-snow rated tire isnít going to perform anywhere near as well as snow tires. Not even close due the compound differences between a true winter tire and a tire that needs to wear well in warmer conditions. Most people donít even know the difference until actually having them, myself included. Said my peace, best wishes on whatever decision you make.
    Good point! Some of us are looking at this from a practicality point of view based on our climate. And you're right, an all terrain tire isn't necessarily a true winter snow tire. But from a practicality stand point, a spare set of snow tires would probably dry rot between uses here.
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  24. #24
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    I found the best success with a set of Hankook Atms in a 255/80/17. The combo of a tall and narrow tire really worked well in winter conditions.

  25. #25
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    I've had these on a year, and they're a bit more winter biased than regular AT's, I've liked them a lot so far. Nothing is ever as good as a dedicated snow tire, but with 4wd, these have been fine.

    Cooper Discoverer A/TW | Cooper Tire

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheUnknownRider View Post
    Doing ok and safest, best choice are not the same thing. If you donít want to swap tires or have an extra set of wheels I get it. But an all-season or mud-snow rated tire isnít going to perform anywhere near as well as snow tires. Not even close due the compound differences between a true winter tire and a tire that needs to wear well in warmer conditions. Most people donít even know the difference until actually having them, myself included. Said my peace, best wishes on whatever decision you make.
    Amen to that. In the tire industry they call all-season tires "no-season" because they are a compromised tire for all conditions and not best for any particular one. I feel like it's worth the investment to spend 10% or less on the purchase price of an average vehicle and get two sets of wheels and tires if you're living in that type of climate.

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