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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anybody recommend the optimal winter tire size for my s70? I have 15" steel wheels, the car manual states that 185/65 15 should be used for winter tires.

Found a great deal on general altimax arctic for $300 including installation, could also get Firestone Winterforce for a little more. Anybody have any experience with those tires?
 

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185/65 15 is a good choice. Narrower is generally better for winter tires.

Between those two tires, I'd choose the Generals which are considered perhaps the best budget snow tire available.
 

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Skinnier is better. I run 195 65 15s on my S70 because that keeps the speedometer accurate and theyre skinnier than the 205 55 16 thats standard. Getting a great deal on nokian hakkapellitas didnt hurt either.

Generals are ok. Do you need snow tires, ice tires or both? Thats much more important. What are your most common winter driving conditions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Skinnier is better. I run 195 65 15s on my S70 because that keeps the speedometer accurate and theyre skinnier than the 205 55 16 thats standard. Getting a great deal on nokian hakkapellitas didnt hurt either.

Generals are ok. Do you need snow tires, ice tires or both? Thats much more important. What are your most common winter driving conditions?
I live in Providence RI so mostly just snow tires, I'm on the East Side though and the hills to get home can get icy. I'll make a few trips to northern VT and the White Mountains over the winter, studs will definitely be useful but not sure if it's absolutely necessary. My friends in Jay Vermont swear by the Nokian Hakkapelittas studded, and they get about 30 feet of snow every year. I haven't priced out those tires yet, not sure if it would be worth it for me doing most my driving in southern New England.
 

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I live in Providence RI so mostly just snow tires, I'm on the East Side though and the hills to get home can get icy. I'll make a few trips to northern VT and the White Mountains over the winter, studs will definitely be useful but not sure if it's absolutely necessary. My friends in Jay Vermont swear by the Nokian Hakkapelittas studded, and they get about 30 feet of snow every year. I haven't priced out those tires yet, not sure if it would be worth it for me doing most my driving in southern New England.
Dont go studded. But, Hakka 7s, 8s or R2s are the best snow/ice/winter tires on the planet. Throw a set on your s70 and it'll climb a tree. I picked mine up "used" but with maybe 2000 miles on them. Had them put on volvo rims and never had a problem all winter after that. Only time i lost grip was while testing grip. Tried to drive up a 30 degree incline with 8 inches of powder on top of ice. Got wheelspin but turned off STC and actually was able to drive up that hill.

New nokians are going to be very expensive. Used, i paid $300 for my set and they have another 3 years in them easily. Check craigslist. I have a set that have half tread left im looking to sell but theyre 205 55 16 and too wide for your purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Burlington would be too far too drive for tires, I found a couple places near me that carry Nokians. I'll make some calls tomorrow and get quotes. I'd rather spend the extra money and get good tires
 

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Found the R2s online for $109 each with free shipping, $436 total no tax
Thats not a bad price at all for the best non studded winter tires there are. Highly recommend them. We run R2s on a work wagon that goes to the far north on some really bad road conditions. No complaints. Only gets beaten by the hakka 7s on the other work wagon in deep snow. But you shouldnt be driving in a foot of snow anyway.
 

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I agree if you can swing it Nokian is the way to go. For my latest V70 I was able to pick up a set of Nordman 4's which are an older Nokian style with studs for a ridiculous price on wheels from Craigslist. I'd actually prefer non-studded even though we get plenty of snow here in central NY but the price was too good to pass up, and I've never actually driven on studs before. I have them on already and they are LOUD. Not sure I'll make it through the winter on them. I have another set of Michelin X-ice 3's in the same size on another car that gets driven less. May have to trade out their quiet ride at the cost of a bit of traction...
 

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I'd rather spend the extra money and get good tires
Truth.

I run hakkas on both my cars for winter, I even run them in 275 45 20 on my touareg and they still kick @$$ with that width. I'm up in burlington VT area every weekend in winter, so I get my fair share of testing :)

And buy new. Buying used tires is sketchy (no offence scottish..) but that's also why you can also score deals on used tires.
 

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Oh I agree. Most used tires are sketchy. Set I got had 2 thousandths of wear. That's a thickness of a sheet of paper and the guy showed me the receipt from 4 months earlier when he bought them. Snow tires I would consider buying used. UHP all seasons for the rest of the year no way jose. New so I have warranties on tread ware and road hazard.
 

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$109 is a good price for R2's. What size was that?

My 6 1/2" x15" Volvo steelies are all cleaned up, repainted and ready for snow tires
 

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I agree if you can swing it Nokian is the way to go. For my latest V70 I was able to pick up a set of Nordman 4's which are an older Nokian style with studs for a ridiculous price on wheels from Craigslist. I'd actually prefer non-studded even though we get plenty of snow here in central NY but the price was too good to pass up, and I've never actually driven on studs before. I have them on already and they are LOUD. Not sure I'll make it through the winter on them. I have another set of Michelin X-ice 3's in the same size on another car that gets driven less. May have to trade out their quiet ride at the cost of a bit of traction...
You can de stud the tires if you really want to.
 

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I used to work pretty close to home, and the back roads around here are plowed poorly. I ran a set of Hankook I-Pike's with studs. They were very good tires and I was happy with their traction and wear. Where they suck is on the highway. I never felt comfortable going much over 65mph


 

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I bought a set of Michelin X Ice snow tires in P195/65R-15 today. They come with free shipping and a $100 visa card from Discount Tire Direct
 

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You can de stud the tires if you really want to.
Oh, I know, part of me is thinking of doing that, but it looks like a royal PITA and I'm not 100% convinced it's not going to do some damage to the tires. It'd be a cinch to sell these tires in this size in this market so I'll probably do that if I decide the noise is too much. I will probably wait until it gets colder as I may feel differently about them once there is actually snow on the ground.
 

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The traction on snow, slush and especially ice is incredible with studded tires
 

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I've been running Hakka 5's with studs for the last few winters.
If you have much in the way of ice, there's no beating them.
In the last 5-10 years, we've seen more freezing rain in the
middle of winter, then the temps drop and we're driving on
1/2" plate ice for the rest of the season - Studs FTW!

As far as pulling studs? It's a pain, but shouldn't damage
the carcasses. Nokian Hakkas are all very soft compound
tires and I'd be amazed if you managed to shred any rubber.
But, if you're running them as dedicated winter tires, I'd
suggest playing it safe and just leaving them in.
When you need'em, you'll NEED'em!

I can't speak to highway speed performance with the Hankooks,
but the Hakkas on my car are solid and smooth at any speed.
 

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I've been using Altimax Arctics for years on both my Toyota and V70 with great results. As for all true winter tires, it's important to not have them on at temps over 45F; they'll shed rubber like trees shed leaves in fall. My XCSE has standard 205-55 16's and there's about a $20/tire price jump for that size so I picked up 205-60-16. My speedo has always read a little high, so these should bring it right in line.

General has no tire narrower than a 205 on a 16" rim.

That being said, overlooked is the loss of dry performance for all-season or summer tires once the temperature plummets. IMO, winter tires are a must even if it doesn't snow.
 
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