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Discussion Starter #1
I'm prepping to get some winter tires so I'll be ready for prolonged Northwest rains (and a little bit of ice). According to the manual, I should be looking for a front 195/50 R16 and rear 215/45 R17. However, after hitting many tire shops and websites, I can't seem to find winter tires for the front. The only complete set I have found are Toyo Garit KX. I've seen suggestion for Blizzaks and Alpins, but neither seem to be available for the front. What do I use?
 

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Try contacting user 'mr t', I know he bought a set, though I don't think he ever installed them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, the manual says Pirelli Snowsport. Looking at their website, it looks like the tire is still available in that size, but the "local dealer" from their website is Les Schwab, the exact shop that could only get the Snowsport in the rear size and the Toyo was the only full set.
 

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I have these. Not terribly sticky dry weather wise, but they seem like they would be great rain/winter tires. I've the LSS package and stock size tires, don't recall exactly what sizes.

Kumho ECSTA ASX
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My Yoko AD07s will still be around for the dry months, but I need something less aggressive for when the water starts to build up on the roads around here. I won't be driving in the snow (even my old WRX couldn't handle it in these hills), but some light ice on road for a week or two out of the year is common. Since all of the tire websites are coming up empty at the specified sizes, I feel like I'm out of luck and will be stuck with the Toyo.
 

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Tires for Water Snow

I did a lot of research on the same thing. You will find it odd but the best ratings from 5 sites, customer reviews, and ability to get a staggered set led me to Falken's. Supposedly the new compound used in the 912's are a big improvement. I already purchased and will be installing in a few weeks. Let me know if you want some feedback after I get them on. Also they are W rated which was tough to find for a season tire with some water snow grip.

Falken Ziex ZE-912 - A better 512? - Falken Ziex ZE-912 - Epinions.com
 

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LOL for where we live Blizzak's are going to be overkill. Scary enough in full on rain that Seattle can give us I found Dunlop Z1 star specs do amazing in heavy rain. Yes they are rated as a Max performance dry tire, but they are so much more. Found out the fun way at very wet track day last March at Bremerton. I had so much grip it was offensive. As long as you don't plan on driving the Lotus on those 4 days a year it snow's here you'll be fine. Also for mounting and balance of those tires call the great people of tight and tidy to do it for you. They are cheaper, better, and Carl is a fellow racing nut.
 

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Winter tires are required here in the winter. I have Pirelli Snowsports and they seem to do the job well. I generally don't drive when there's snow on the roads, but it's sometimes unavoidable if I'm on a secondary road or parking lot where the snow hasn't been fully cleared yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
LOL for where we live Blizzak's are going to be overkill. Scary enough in full on rain that Seattle can give us I found Dunlop Z1 star specs do amazing in heavy rain. Yes they are rated as a Max performance dry tire, but they are so much more. Found out the fun way at very wet track day last March at Bremerton. I had so much grip it was offensive. As long as you don't plan on driving the Lotus on those 4 days a year it snow's here you'll be fine. Also for mounting and balance of those tires call the great people of tight and tidy to do it for you. They are cheaper, better, and Carl is a fellow racing nut.
Thanks for the local advice. The car will never be taken out in snow as I could never get down my driveway with even with AWD. I read somewhere else on this forum that winter tires are suggested if you are using the car as a daily driver in a wet climate, but I have not tried yet. To be honest, the AD07 has a very similar tread (and depth) to what I had on my WRX that never caused me any problems, but I want to make sure I'll be as safe as possible when water starts pooling up on 202 or the 520 off ramps (beyond just careful driving).
 

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Michelin Alpin PA2

I use this tire is sizes F 205/50/16 R225/45/17 on LSS wheels during the colder months.

The tire has seen seen DEEP snow, moderate snow, light snow, lots of ice, and much rain. My Elise handles great with these tires under colder conditions, but don't expect much from them when the temperature rises above 50 F. You'll be surprised how well a mid-engined car handles in snow and ice. (and ofcourse rain)

-Robert
 

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Winter Tires

I'm prepping to get some winter tires so I'll be ready for prolonged Northwest rains (and a little bit of ice). According to the manual, I should be looking for a front 195/50 R16 and rear 215/45 R17. However, after hitting many tire shops and websites, I can't seem to find winter tires for the front. The only complete set I have found are Toyo Garit KX. I've seen suggestion for Blizzaks and Alpins, but neither seem to be available for the front. What do I use?

I have the Pirelli SnowSports on the front of my car, but could never find the rears, so I ended up fitting 225/45 R17 Sottozeros instead. The 195/50 SnowSports used to be quite easy to find, but I too noticed that they aren't listed anymore online. Maybe check eBay? I'm now using 215/45 R17 Yokohama W.drives with decent results. I was looking at the Toyos, but since I didn't need a full car set, just the rears, I didn't go for them. I think they're one of the only full car sets you can get in the Lotus specified sizes. For another possible full set try Hankook's IceBear W300. You can get the 195/50 R16 front, and go with 225/45 R17 rears. If I ever need another full set, I might try those. They're reasonable in price, too, on tires-easy.com. Hope that helps!

Martin
2005 KG Elise
 

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LOL for where we live Blizzak's are going to be overkill. Scary enough in full on rain that Seattle can give us I found Dunlop Z1 star specs do amazing in heavy rain. Yes they are rated as a Max performance dry tire, but they are so much more. Found out the fun way at very wet track day last March at Bremerton. I had so much grip it was offensive. As long as you don't plan on driving the Lotus on those 4 days a year it snow's here you'll be fine. Also for mounting and balance of those tires call the great people of tight and tidy to do it for you. They are cheaper, better, and Carl is a fellow racing nut.
Pretty convincing recommendation, thanks for sharing. I'll also be staying home on snow days and really just need to account for rain.

Anyone else have rain/general street tire experience with the Dunlop Z1 Star specs?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've stopped shopping around for now. There is still a good bit of tread on my AD07s and I have not experienced any problems. I got caught in a late night down pour on some wet back roads last weekend and while I was white-knuckle driving extra carefully, the car had perfect grip the whole time. I'll make up my mind once I feel the car in some puddles, but I think I'll be fine.

That said, I did continue to shop around prior, talking to the very few people who have worked with Elise drivers and plenty of people that know tires in general. I came away with the Dunlop Z1 series for the best high performance rain tire. The only true winter (as in snow) tires I ever found were the Toyo, but I got really mixed views on those and probably don't need anything at that level. I guess I'll wait and see.
 
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