Honda Insight Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here in the San Francisco area, we are having a cold snap. (anything below freezing is considered cold in the area). It is also dry (ie no rain or snow), and this morning when I got to work, a person I work with told me about her husband involved in a crash due to "black ice".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_ice

Which brings up a worry of mine. I have Toyos Proxes T1R 195/55 R14 mounted on steel wheels on my Insight which are ultra high performance tires for dry and wet conditions, (and considered unsafe in snow or icy conditions). My question is, are these tires as safe for sub freezing weather even though there is no rain, or snow?

If so are any tires better than others when it comes to black ice? If Toyos are less safe is it the tread, tire compound, side wall differences? I would guess that since they are not safe for ice, snow, then cold and dry is also not safe. I am considering placing the stock Bridgestones back on
during the winter here since one cannot predict when it will become cold (sub freezing). It is relatively infrequent but better to be safe than sorry as they say.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I looked up the model of tire you have on a tire site and it showed a snow rating of 0 (vs. 4.5 dry). There is a similarly styled all season tire from Goodyear called "Assurance" which seems to be rated at nearly the same traction (4.3 snow, vs. 4.7 dry) and long tread life, so it looks very interesting for all year use provided the cost isn't too high.

Here in the northwest a lot of people buy metal studded winter tires which dig into the ice better should you come across it, but that will further drop MPG and additionally they are only legal to have on your car for certain months out of the year because they cause road damage. They may not be legal at all in the bay area, but the tire shop should know if that is the case or not.

There are also pure winter use tires without the metal studs which have special material that sticks better to the ice. Bridgestone has "Blizzak", and Les Schwab makes an "Observe" winter tire which all seem similar in design. All of these winter tires have a shorter lifespan especially when driven in non-winter conditions which might be in the realm of 12000 miles, so of course you'd only want to use them in the winter driving season.

Hope that info helps...

-Shawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
the bad thing about black ice is, that you cannot see it, except for a slight glitter on the road way. Even the best snow tire will fail you when black ice is involved. The main thing is driving technique. Slow acceleration and deceleration is a must, and don't touch your brakes. No sudden turns of the wheel, and give yourself extra room on the roads so that you have time to react.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Insightful Trekker said:
And unless the tires are studded (imbedded metal spikes, illegal in some states - road "damage") no tire will be very effective in _any_ iceing conditions.

HTH! :)
That is not entirely true, the latest generation studless winter ice tires have surprisingly useful grip on glare ice. They are not as good as studed tires on ice but they are significantly better on dry cold roads. In winter I compete by Ice Racing a Chevette (it sucks but it was free) in the rubber to ice class with winter tires (no studs), we go over 50 mph on the longest straight before we have to slow down and turn on glare ice!
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=1394503848546337704&q=ice+racing+canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-O6BO21Cs8


Ultra High Performance summer tires are made of a compound optimized for warm and hot temperatures to provide uncompromized grip in wet and dry conditions. Summer tire compounds becomes very hard in cold weather losing it's ability to grip even in dry conditions.

At 50 F summer tire compounds have already hardened to be about equal to all season tires in dry grip. Below 40 F summer tires have less grip then all season tires even in dry conditions. Below 30 F winter tires have more grip then all season tires even in dry conditions.

DO NOT USE PERFORMANCE SUMMER ONLY TIRES BELOW 40 F. They are not safe even in a sunny dry day they are the worst tires to have at those temperatures. There is always a risk of driving over a wet section of road (spilled from a truck) and it will feel like ice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
RobMason said:
If so are any tires better than others when it comes to black ice?
Winter tires can be divided into 3 categories:
Snow tires, Ice tires, high performance winter tires.

Snow tires have the largest gaps between the treads to scoop out the snow and penetrate through deep snow to get traction on the road using it's soft compound and tread sipes (to evacuate water that is produced when ice is under pressure). Sidewalls are soft so the contact patch can conform to the uneven surfaces and grip better. Snow tires are best for deep snow, northern areas where roads are usually covered in snow most of the winter.

Ice tires have smaller/narrower gaps between the tread so there is more tire compound making contact with the road. With more tire tread in contact against the road it can be made of the softest compound and with the highest concentration of sipes. Side walls are soft to conform to uneven road surfaces and grip better. Best for ice conditions and cities such as Toronto and New York where most of the time it's cold and dry but with a dozen days of icy roads and another 2 dozen days of snowy roads in winter.

High performance winter tires: Designed for low profile rims to fit on sports cars with large brakes. These tires are usualy asymetric, which means the outside tread blocks of the tires are large and rigid for cornering stability. The middle section is like an ice tire with lots of rubber contact on the road and sipes. The inside tread blocks have large gaps for snow traction. Side walls are stiff for better handling. Performance winter tires are designed to retain the sharp handling expected when driving a sports car in cold weather conditions which are mostly dry with occational snow and ice. These tires are better then all seaons tires in snow and ice and the best for cold dry roads.

RobMason said:
If Toyos are less safe is it the tread, tire compound, side wall differences?
First of all, lets not call them "the Toyos" because I have Toyo winter tires and Toyo summer tires, they are completely different types of tires.
And you are correct summer tires are very different then winter tires for the reasons you listed: tread shape and depth, siping, tire compound, and side wall stiffness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
rtm242 said:
I looked up the model of tire you have on a tire site and it showed a snow rating of 0 (vs. 4.5 dry). There is a similarly styled all season tire from Goodyear called "Assurance" which seems to be rated at nearly the same traction (4.3 snow, vs. 4.7 dry) and long tread life, so it looks very interesting for all year use provided the cost isn't too high.
The tire rating on places like tirerack are public opinions. If most people like Heinz ketchup it's a safe bet i'm going to like it better too. But most people have very limited experience with different types of tires, so they always rate their new tires way higher then their old tires, because that's the only thing they have to compare with. The only tire rating worth looking at are the tire tests that places like http://www.tirerack.com does because they compare different tires of the same size on the same car at the same time under the same conditions and get scientifically repeatable numerical results.

rtm242 said:
All of these winter tires have a shorter lifespan especially when driven in non-winter conditions which might be in the realm of 12000 miles, so of course you'd only want to use them in the winter driving season.
Yes winter tires don't last as long as all season tires, but thats because they actually grip when you need them in cold emergency conditions (what's your priority?).

Winter tires last long enough, I have over 20,000 miles on my Toyo Observe G02+ winter tires and they still have more then 70% of their tread depth left. But they are on their 4th winter so the compound has aged and hardened to the point that it's noticeably less grippy on ice compared to their first winter. I'm going to sell these winter snow tires next fall and buy softer compound blizzaks or Nodian RSi ice tires that grip ice even better and hopefuly they will actually wear out in 4 winters. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
dice said:
the bad thing about black ice is, that you cannot see it, except for a slight glitter on the road way. .............The main thing is driving technique. Slow acceleration and deceleration is a must, and don't touch your brakes. No sudden turns of the wheel, and give yourself extra room on the roads so that you have time to react.
Yes, driving technique!
I instruct many advanced driving courses including the winter car control school, it's a fun collision avoidance course that people take with their own cars on a specially prepared lot with ice and snow.

Ice doesn't crash cars it's people's reaction to ice and snow that causes most winter crashes. When driving on a straight road that is level or even slightly downhill, driving on black ice does not cause the car to go in the ditch. The ice just reduces grip so if driving at a constant speed in a straight line and the driver does nothing as he/she drives over ice the car will continue on it's straight path.

Very few people have the training to drive properly on ice because very few people have the advanced training and experience required to know what to do when the car does not respond to steering wheel inputs as expected. When the driver turns the steering wheel but the car does not respond, 99.999% drivers turn the wheel more. That is the wrong input. The correct input is to turn less and smoothly lift the accelerator to slow down. Then when the tire regains grip (now that it's pointing the direction of travel again) turn the wheel again but always slowly and smoothly. In these conditions you cannot tell the car what to do, it requires gentle persuasion, gently hinting where to go. If you are jerky, quick and bosy you will loose control. A skilled driver can drive smoothly on ice and the passenger will not even notice that they are on ice.

If the car goes into oversteer on ice or rain or oil, the rear has lost traction and wants to pass the front end. Most people lift the throttle or brake but this transfers more weight to the front guaranteeing the car will spin. The correct action is to apply the throttle and slightly speed up in order for the weight transfer to shift back so the rear will regain grip.
This is harder to do well then it sounds, but anyone can do it after proper training and plenty of practice.

As dice mentioned, leave lots of space in front to keep the options open and to be able to look hundreds of meters ahead and see what's happening 10 to 20 cars ahead. I leave lots of space in front, not just so I can see more and to prevent the possibility of rear ending someone in slipper conditions, but to give my self plenty of space to brake more gently then the person in front of me. And it gives me more then enough time and space to drive around the car in front of me if neccessary to avoid the driver behind me front rear ending my car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,942 Posts
I stand corrected :!: :) But no matter what the tire compound on my car there are all the others cars out there that share the road too.

We've had 3 ice storms here in east Tennessee over the last 25 years or so. I got "caught" out in the first one. My car wasn't the problem. Other clueless drivers were.

How bad was it you ask :?: Well it was soooo bad it required lowering tire pressure to achieve _any_ traction (it was all smooth ice). And no I didn't have studs or winter tires. We only read about such things here in Tennessee. There's simply not that much wintery weather (snow & ice).

IMO iceing conditions are best rode out at home, from your favorite armchair. No matter how "good" you are the other "guy" will still get you. ;)

HTH! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
The tire rating on places like tirerack are public opinions. If most people like Heinz ketchup it's a safe bet i'm going to like it better too.
Very much correct, I went back and looked at the site again, and found some Blizzak models rated all 0's, even for snow/ice traction which they are clearly designed for.

Great responses Guillermo!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Tires for winter

I didn't want to play with Mother Nature nor taunt Father Physics so this morning I drove my '05 Honda AWD CRV, slowly. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Come on guys, Rob is in San Francisco. How often do they have black ice in the bay area? Once or twice a year? Maybe several time every third year? NPR was saying that the valley gets a hard freeze about every 10 years(this is in reference to the news about the citrus crop freeze in recent days). By the way, my experience is that ‘black ice’ is a west coast term. Here in the mid west heavy ice is just a given. We call it ‘winter’.

For some one in the SF area getting snow tires would be very expensive for the very occasional chance of black ice. If you are concerned get a set of all season tires with good wet performance. You are more likely to have deep puddles so hydroplaning resistance is of more value. As soon as the weather picks up switch back to the Toyo’s. Or you could slap the original tires back on, they have reasonable wet performance because they are so narrow. The low cost solution is to slow down and be observant.
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I live in SF area too, and saw 3 accidents over 2 miles on the windy roads in the vineyards this morning. I just drove slowly, only slipped a little bit on the sharp turn while going downhill, and stayed in control. All that east coast driving helped!

But slow and steady was the key. Most of the wrecked vehicles were either big pickups with monster tires or SUVs. Pretty sure they were all going too fast for the conditions, and thought they were invicible.

And it has ***snowed*** here twice in 15 years... I've seen this kind of ice maybe 6 or 10 times - not worth getting different tires for. Just drive carefully and sanely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
Over the past two weeks I've driven my car across Utah and Colorado twice, more than 2000 miles. There's been three inches of fresh snow, packed ice, "black ice" in the shadows of the mountains, below zero cold, and generally nasty weather of all sorts.

All on stock tires with no real problems other than a bit of slipping around on Loveland pass in the really deep snow. Also the car used the starter motor twice in the mountains of Utah when it was below zero in the morning.

Bottom line: Drive carefully and even the stock tires can cope with pretty lousy conditions...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Snow tires

I am having trouble finding a suitable performance type tire that is better in cold, and wet weather conditions than summer high performance tires in a 14 inch size, any reccomendations?

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
If I lived in the San Francisco area with it's mild snowless winters, I would use OEM Insight tires (165/65R14 Bridgestone RE92 all season tires) 4 months per year and ultra high performance summer only tires 8 months per year.
But if I lived in SF and drove into the mountains a dozen times a year to go sking/snowboarding/snowshoeing/mountaineering I would use winter tires. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
Re: Snow tires

RobMason said:
I am having trouble finding a suitable performance type tire that is better in cold, and wet weather conditions than summer high performance tires in a 14 inch size, any reccomendations?

Rob
Ok, I just remembered something, I take back what I wrote above.

If I lived in San Francisco with mild winters but cold enough that ultra high performance summer tires are not safe. I would buy high performance winter tires like the Kumho KW17. They grip cold and wet pavement very well, much better then all seasons. The problem I have with all season tires is that they are a "jack all trades master of none". Because they are designed to have a long tread wear life their grip is compromised in any and all condition. I'm not saying all season tires are not adequate, but I have so much experience driving dozens of different types of tires in all conditions that I'm a tire snob! Adequate is not good enough for me.

The Kumho KW17 is a true high performance winter tire with stiff sidewalls and a high speed rating. It is made of a soft winter tire compound with lots of sipes so it grips extremely in wet and very cold dry weather.
The high speed rating means it's designed to handle heat without damaging the compound or wearing out too fast.

My friend that lives in a tiny apartment doesn't have room to store extra tires, so he bought these under my suggestion a few years ago. He was able to use them all year around because of the high speed rating. In the summer they grip like quality all season tires, but cornering feel and responce is that of a high performance tire. In the winter they grip cold roads better then any other type of tire, and feel like the high performane tires they really are. In snow and ice they are significantly better then expensive all season tires (but not as well as specialized snow or ice tires). These are the first winter tires my friends has owned and he loves them after 2 full years of use he is going to replace them before the 3rd winter. But if you only use them in winter they should easily last 5 years.

The reason these are better tires for mild winter conditions (near freezing temperatures) is because they grip much better then performance all season tires at these temperatures. Sure these high performance winter tires won't last 70,000 miles but life is too precious to worry about that.

Rob, try the 175/65R14 Kumho KW17 on your Insight in winter (if they aren't already sold out everywhere).
It will be safer then driving your AWD CRV, and a lot more fun.

http://www.tiretrends.com/catalog2.php3?tireID=399
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
There's a Bridgestone 165/65R14 winter tire that is (or was) listed on the Japanese Honda web site. Tire Rack has them.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top