In Reply to: Snow Tires or Studs - 735i Auto Trans posted by JPR on August 11, 2001 at 14:11:49:
For the ultimate drive you need the ultimate tires.
I run Nokia Hakkapeliitta studded winter tires on original rims; 205/70/15. They have a very good grip and they run very smooth. Also available without studs.
I've had a lot of experience with winter tires thanks to being as high up as Alaska, and after experimenting with Nokia, Gislaved (wasn't half bad except for stopping), Kleber (Very good overall performance; car was wrecked before I got around to testing them worn. My recommendation also), Uniroyal, Michelin, a few cheap brands and several kinds of "rebuilt" tires, I've come to appreciate Nokia Hakkapeliitta as the best winter tire there is. And my personal preference has so far been backed up by EVERY car or tech magazine there is.
If your laws allow then a studded winter tire will always be better on ice; on snow you can't really tell the difference.
Should the weather change often and have you driving in watery or even dry conditions frequently, then studless snow tires are better.
There are no such things as "all-season tires" because winter tires are made of natural rubber; making them softer and summer tires of synthetic rubber which makes them harder. Using winter tires in summertime will result in VERY poor handling and using summer tires in winter will provide terrible grip since the not-made-for-snow thread can't really get a grip on the snow and the synthetic rubber gets even harder at cold temperature and thus gets even less grip than same thread natural rubber would.
If someone was wondering what Hakkapeliitta means then here goes: The Hakkapeliittas were famous Finnish soldiers who fought in the long european wars couple of centuries back, under Swedish rule.
Good luck in tire hunting,
+20C now but will drop to -35C again in January