A Tale of Two Tires - North American Motoring



Tires, Wheels, & Brakes Discussion about wheels, tires, and brakes for the new MINI.

A Tale of Two Tires

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Old 11-13-2017, 09:37 AM
'05Train '05Train is offline
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A Tale of Two Tires

With the cold weather finally reaching the Mid-Atlantic, it became time to take the summer tires off the cars and get something for the winter. Being in the DC Metro area, a dedicated snow tire is overkill, and a dedicated winter tire is not necessary. Which leaves us with all-seasons. I want a tire that works well in cold weather, can handle snow, and retains some actual playfulness which will allow some hooliganism when the roads are clear. And I also wanted to stick with run-flats, as I don't want to have to screw around trying to patch a tire in the cold.


The Paceman is my winter car, so I was willing to spend a bit more for a quality tire. Having had positive prior experience with the Pirelli P7 Cinturato All Season on another AWD vehicle, that seemed to be a natural. Knowing that I never wanted to use the stock Duelers again (it's a freaking light truck tire), I had the P7s put on the stock wheels. Save for a VIP RSB, the car is stock.


The ride is definitely better than with the Duelers. And they grip in the rain better than the Duelers. But that's about all the positive I have for them. They just lack the focus of a summer tire (of course), and even for an A/S tire, they don't telegraph when they're reaching their limit very well. This would be the difference between using them on a Subaru versus a performance-oriented car. Hopefully they're as good in the snow as I remember.


The Roadster is my summer car, and the only reason it's getting winter tires is due to the fact that I don't want the car disabled when the weather's bad. The S-04 Pole Positions are brilliant summer tires which turn downright scary around 45 degrees. I couldn't see spending the premium for the Pirellis, and ended up with DriveGuards, which were a relative bargain. The car's got a RSB and Konis, and is a freaking go-kart with the summers on it.


In a word, the DriveGuards are great. They're a bit wandery, and as a consequence, they ride pretty well. Throwing the car into a corner doesn't have the "on rails" feeling as the S-04s. The sidewalls flex and take a set, but once there the grip is extraordinary for an A/S tire. Great rain grip as well.


I'll update further as conditions change and things come up.
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