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Old 10-30-2010, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Good all-season tires?

I know there's a ton of threads on tires, but I can't seem to find a definitive answer. What is a good all-season tire for an Elise? It's pretty much my daily driver during the winter months here in Seattle and, well, it gets wet - a lot.

I don't want to skimp, but rather not spend $700 - $1000 on tires that I may only use half the year.

I've looked at the Toyo Proxes 4, Kumho Ecsta ASX and Conti ExtremeContact DWS. The Toyo's seem a little over priced and maybe overkill (I won't be driving in the snow). So, I guess I've narrowed it down to the Kumho's and the Conti's. Does anyone have experience with any of these tires? Any others that may be comparable?

One thing to note is that I have Team Dynamic Race 1.2 wheels, so the sizes differ from stock (Front: 205/50-16 or 205/45-16, Rear: 245/45-17 or 245/40-17). I've been to Discount Tire and Les Schwab. Neither had many matching set options in those sizes.

At this point I'm leaning toward the Conti's.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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toyo t1r is the best tire i've ever had in the rain. never tried them in the snow but they had incredible grip in the wet.
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Old 10-30-2010, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've put the conti DWS's on an Evo, BMW Z4, and Mini Cooper S to use as year-round tires including snow here in WI. I had the Evo out on light snow and they were as impressive as the reviews suggest - they gripped about as well as full-on snow tires. In the wet they were very good as well. They grip well in the dry for an all season, but they are a fairly soft tire. One thing to note though, is that they take a couple thousand miles to fully break in/wear off the mold release/etc. so they will get a bit better in the dry than they are when you first mount them up.

Check TireRack, they're always the best place for tires.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1. Tire rack is good, but we have sponsors here who sell tires and I'd try them first.

2. I don't know if T1Rs work at low temperatures, nor do I know what temps you get.

2. CR just tested UH performance tires: (check sizes for your car, I don't know)

descending order:

These are good to v good almost everywhere (except snow)

Pirelli P Zero Nero, $164, W, 82 score, vg wet handling, Recommended

Sumitomo HTR A/S P01, $99, W, 82, Rec

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus, $200, Y, 80, Rec

Continental Extreme Contact DWS, $125, Y, 80, also vg wet handling, Rec

Sumitomo HTR+, $95, W, 78

BFG g-Force Super Sport A/S, $113, W, 78, bad in snow

Nitto Premium Nt850, $115, W, 78, terrible in snow, vg dry & wet brake, dry handling

Bridgestone Pot, RE960AS Pole pos, $154, W, 76


skipping to 12th, my tire: Kumho Ecsta ASX, $97, W, 74, av dry & wet handling
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oxymoron. No such thing as a good all season tire. AST means it does nothing particularly well! Buy summer tires for summer, and winter tires for winter if you're driving below 45 degrees routinely! Not bashing, just stating the facts
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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completely agree ..... all seasons are also known as no season tires due to doing nothing good. Dry & wet weather traction is worse then a summer tires & cold/snow/ice traction is worse then a set of snows.

That being said I would say the best all season is the Nokian WR since it actually does pretty well in snow/ice but you loose a LOT in summer months

I had the toyo proxes 4's on my daily car & they weren't horrible. They were pretty easy to spin (not on a lotus) when under 45mph but didn't do to bad. I even did a drivers school with them & since they are suppose to be the old T1s compound they didn't do to bad, I was really shocked. Suck in the snow & ice........
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Kumho Ecsta ASX

I have two sets of rims/tires:

Standard 8 spoke rims with Kumho Ecsta ASX in cold NE months (195/50R16 and 225/45R17). Limited expectations from all-season tires, including uhp. Kumho's work well for me in cold months. I never drive in the snow and rarely on wet roads.

Y-type spider rims with Dunlop Direzza Z1s in 50 degree+ months as they may crack near freezing temperatures (205/50R16 and 235/45R17). Love Z1s on the street, they warm up fast, have relatively soft sidewalls and stay sticky.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brgelise View Post
Oxymoron. No such thing as a good all season tire. AST means it does nothing particularly well! Buy summer tires for summer, and winter tires for winter if you're driving below 45 degrees routinely! Not bashing, just stating the facts
I'd normally agree, but OP says he won't be driving in snow, so he needs a tire that grips in cold and is good in rain.

My RE11s are great in dry & wet, but don't grip much in v low temps.

In NJ, where the roads are plowed well (early, often), driving in snow might add up to no more than a few hrs/year).

Anyway...OP doesn't need winter tires.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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glb is correct, I don't need snow tires. We occasionally get a week or two that dips below 35 degrees F here and it hardly ever snows. I need a really good wet weather tire that's good in dry conditions.

glb, thanks for all the info. Forgive me since I'm relatively new here and have only owned the Elise since early Sept. What are the sponsors here that sell tires?

I may still go with the Conti's since they seem to have a decent rating and a few people have recommended them. I wish Goodyear Eagle F1's would fit. I had those on my last car and they were perfect for the weather here.

I forgot to mention that I'll probably get new rims with summer tires for the summer months (including track days), but that's a whole other conversation! ;-)
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My pleasure. I clicked on Forums and found vendors listed. Two are Tread Zone and Discount Tire.

for summer tires good in rain, have had good success with RE11s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjayc View Post
glb is correct, I don't need snow tires. We occasionally get a week or two that dips below 35 degrees F here and it hardly ever snows. I need a really good wet weather tire that's good in dry conditions.

glb, thanks for all the info. Forgive me since I'm relatively new here and have only owned the Elise since early Sept. What are the sponsors here that sell tires?

I may still go with the Conti's since they seem to have a decent rating and a few people have recommended them. I wish Goodyear Eagle F1's would fit. I had those on my last car and they were perfect for the weather here.

I forgot to mention that I'll probably get new rims with summer tires for the summer months (including track days), but that's a whole other conversation! ;-)
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjayc View Post
I may still go with the Conti's since they seem to have a decent rating and a few people have recommended them. I wish Goodyear Eagle F1's would fit. I had those on my last car and they were perfect for the weather here.
If you mean the F1 A/S then you will probably like the DWS. I had a set of the F1 A/S's on an STI a couple years ago. The DWS has better grip in both wet and dry and is way quieter, though the sidewalls are a bit softer.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I run the RE11's as well for wet weather.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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General Exclaim UHP's are great in the rain and I've never wanted for more in the dry. If it was 100 degrees outside, I'd want more, but CT is probably like Washington as it doesn't cross 90 that often.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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This is an interesting discussion, but can anyone provide the name of a vendor who has matching winter tires for a base Elise in the recommended sizes, and actually in stock? I've been looking for a while and can't find any.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't consider a good summer rain tire, as it will suck at 40F, which is what I think you get in Seattle. I was freezing there in July of this year.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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if you have issues with puddles in your area i don't think there's a tire on the market that can compare to the General Grabber UHP's for cutting puddles. The T1-R's probably have more grip on dry and wet surfaces... the t1-r's are probably next best bet at cutting puddles, and I'll probably get them for my 15/16's i've got but i don't expect them to cut the puddles the same so it makes me a little nervous.

The Grabber UHP's have the biggest, deepest grooves in them for flushing water which i consider a big deal becuase freeways around here are succeptible to puddles and floating the front of the car off the road isn't very difficult.

I'm running 205/50r16 and 245/40r17. Don't even try and fit 245/45's in the back. My fronts are a little susceptible to rubbing but it doesn't bother me... looks good all around.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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....for below freezing temps, snow and ice I use Michelin Alpin pa2

I rarely drive in snow and ice, but switch from toyo r888's to Michelin Alpin's before it dips below 32F. They also do exceptionally well in water, but are designed as a snow/ice tire. They suck ass in warm-hot weather though.

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Old 11-05-2010, 03:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, it appears Michelin no longer makes the pilot Alpin, so I'll repeat my question: does anyone know any brand currently making winter tires - or even all season - for the base Lotus in the recommended sizes? I've had the DSW's on order for months, and still back-ordered so beginning to suspect they won't make them. Anyone with a '10 or '11 Elise, what does the owners' manual recommend, since the SnowSports are also no longer made?
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think you can get Nokian WRG2 in something resembling Lotus sizes, these are "all weather" tires, apparently considered the next generation of "all season" because they are snowflake rated but good in hot temps.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks. Checked Nokian website, but they're not made in recommended front size.
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