Monday, October 27, 2014

Winter Tires Installed

I can't believe I actually managed to get the winter tires installed even before the snow hit the ground in Calgary.

Last week I bought some barely used Nitto SN2 snow tires for $325, and I took it to Blaskin & Layne to changeover and balance for about $130. I'm going to be looking for another set of steel rims or rims next year, because it is too expensive to change these over in 6 months.

I still have to change my engine oil on this upcoming weekend. I think I'll have to relocate my Hella supertones to behind the grille. When I installed them a couple of weeks ago I had serious problems trying to set them up. There isn't any fucking room there.

The Nitto's ride very quiety compared to the Turanza tires I had on. Literally, it feels like I am riding on a jacked up 4x4 because the stipes in the tires give it super grip. It also keeps road noise down to a minimum. The tire profile is the same height - 205 / 55 / R16 - but there is an insane amount of channels for water and ice to get between.

Even though I have snow tires, I know that I must continue to drive cautiously when the winter snow hits the ground. When driving you have to take it easy. The winter tires cut down your braking and improve handling by giving you better grip. But it doesn't give you the godly handling of Andretti. Even winter tires have it's limits.

The reigning champion of winter tires are the Bridgestone Blizzak W60's. These tires are incredible yet cost maybe $20 more per tire over the Nitto's new. (Honestly, spending $800 on winter tires is something I simply cannot afford this year).

Buy them used. Check the wear. Get them installed by a reputable tire shop.

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