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Old 12-15-2004, 07:20 PM
moparmike's Avatar
You will rue this day...
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 732
I thought winter tires would be stickier...

I just had a set of Nokian Hak2's put on my 380SEL, and the steering wheel is now about twice as easy to turn as it was with my Michelin XV2's. Does this make sense to anyone?
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Old 12-15-2004, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ajax, ontario, canada
Posts: 773
I assume that you made that observation on dry pavement while the car is stationary.

Winter tires have softer rubber and less rigid blocks due to the density of sipes. This makes them squirm more on dry pavement compared with non-winter rubber. It is also typical practice to fit winter tires that are narrower than those used for summer/all-season - if this is what you did, then this would also reduce the steering effort.

They come into their element when the temperature dips below around -10C or so, at which point non-winter rubber become non-pliant and lose the ability to provide grip by conforming to the small irregularities of the road surface. Winter rubber remains pliant to around -40C.

The steering effort should not be a basis for judging the performance of winter tires. The unidirectional design of the Hakka-2 for example, is there for a reason, which obviously can only be realized when the tire is rolling. The tread pattern and siping are typically optimized for braking, and/or lateral traction (for steering), on snow, slush or ice, which cannot be judged by plain stationary steering effort. The performance of the deep lugs can only be appreciated when plowing through deep snow.

One ride on a bad winter day is all it takes to convince one of the value of winter tires. And the first time they save you, they will have paid for themselves.
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:04 AM
moparmike's Avatar
You will rue this day...
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 732
Nope, in motion. It struck me as odd. It could be my imagination, but they dont want to track as straight either.
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