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What type of driving? Dirt, mud, sand, snow, ice, slick rock, winter, summer, ect?
DENNY
 

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I would consider Bridgestone Blizzak. Not cheap but if you can't run studs the Blizzak is a great tire. I would avoid getting a wide tire, too much flotation on ice and snow will hurt traction. Get stock or narrower tire. Do you have 2WD or 4x4?

DENNY
 

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Michigan? I am surprised you don’t have two sets of tires mounted on wheels. Maybe you are in the southern part of the state?

The problem with studless snow tires is they really should not be run in summer. Studless snow tires rely on a combination of rubber compound and siping (which creates many small cutting edges like squeegees. They really need to be removed as the snow season ends because warm weather affects the rubber compound and the hard pavements erode the siping edges. The result the next winter is a tire that may still have decent tread but which now lacks the properties which allowed it to handle well on snow & ice without studs.

Denny brings up an interesting topic about tire width in snow. It used to be that we would run very narrow tall tires in the mountains out west. This was in the days before everybody and their brother had moved out there and city and county snowplows were far less frequent. The tall narrow tires had less surface area and used to cut through the deep snow and get down to harder road surface where it could get a “bite”.

But we also used to drive slower as a result of the snow remaining on the roads and so less surface area or rubber contacting ground did not matter as much.

Fast forward to today where traffic volume has increased greatly and residents now demand and finance large snow removal operations. Roadways are cleared of snow often almost down to pavement. In these conditions of only 1”-2” snow, the advantages of tall narrow tires are lost and wider tires with grip (tread, lugs, siping, studs, etc) are more advantageous, especially with the prevalence of black ice and pavement hidden from direct sun due to trees. And ofcourse now everyone expects to drive at summertime speeds.

Now jump to the midwest where its common to see plowed roads with snow depth not exceeding 3”-5” but with salt or mag chloride treatments. Those treatments attempt to lower the freeze point to prevent icy conditions and result in a wet mix of bare pavement atleast until the temps drop and freezing occurs. Now you have ice on otherwise bare pavement and a wider tire with more surface area is an advantage.

Alaska is still different. Up there its common practice to have a snowpack on top of the pavement through the winter and to disperse stone to become embedded into that snowpack for traction. Its also common to be out on stretches of highway before the plowtrucks as everybody is racing up to their favorite snowmachime or ski area to be the first in the powder.

The result is that we don’t have a universal meaning for “snow conditions”. I used to agree fully with Denny about narrow tall tires but in this modern age of aggressive snowplowing and snow removal down to pavement, I think the concerns of flotation are not as great as the benefits of wider surface area contacting roadway or snowpack.

Here is another regional thing. In most areas of the country that gets snow, everybody puts on their new winter tires in October. Well in the mountains of CO, the biggest snows are in the Spring and its old school practice to use last years snowtires through most of the winter and buy/install your new snowtires in March in preparation for the early spring “dumps”.
 

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I have driven in Michigan during snow season. Michigan does not clean the roads the same as the "entire" Chicago area that includes suburbs within approx 75 mile radius. On Michigan highways I frequently see cars in ditches along the sides of the roads. Chicago area is loaded with salt. Michigan does not use much salt.

My experience with Michigan is from Chicago to Muskegon and out to Detroit area.

I agree with Arctic Driver. You should have two sets of tires mounted on wheels.

The tire you select depends on the snow removal in your area, and what roads you are driving on.

One size doesn't fit all seasons. I have a highway tire because that is where I drive the most.
 
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