Tires

Athos

Well-Known Member
It will be time to switch to your summer/all-season tires in a month and I have been doing some tire research. For people new to buying tires I want to say, right away, that low rolling resistance tires will be by far the cheapest overall. You can expect to save 5-7% on fuel and that will pretty much pay for the tires in savings over their life.

One misconception about low rolling resistance tires is that they have harder rubber. This used to be true but no longer. The rubber is now a synthetic blend with silicone and other compounds. A really good analogy is comparing an old single grade motor oil to a new multi-grade. These new generation tires last a long time too, longer than ever. It is now common to have treadwear indeces of 700 or more. That's seven times the base index. With the long life and the low rolling resistance tires have become cheaper per kilometer than ever before.

Top-tier tires give you a number of advantages that you might not consider. Tires are never perfectly round but higher quality tires come closer to being round. That makes them quieter, last longer and your wheel bearings should last longer,too. They also hold air better so they stay inflated which saves fuel and allows them to run cooler on average. Hot tires burn out faster so this is very important. Good tires last longer, are also quieter, have better handling in all driving conditions and are safer. The warranty is also usually better.

There are many good brands out there. The big makers all have low rolling resistance tires and they all do well in the tests. The tires out this year are all so much better that 5 years ago. Tire technology moves deceptively fast. Yokohama, for example has a new line called BluEarth which rates right up there with the big boys at a budget price. Note that at this time of year there are usually rebates on four tires. Michelin, Yokohama, Bridgestone, Goodyear and other major makers usually offer these seasonal discounts.

Check pricing too. Forget Canadian Tire. Try Quattrotires.com ,for example. They offer free shipping and free roadhazard warranty on many of their sets of four.

Here's an experience I had with a cheap Chinese tire this week. I found the leak, a tiny pinhole in the middle of the tread. When I was repairing it I noticed a small needle of metal that I couldn't pull out. It was the steel belt itself! The weave of the steel fabric of the belt had frayed, probably during manufacture. When the tire wore down it exposed the damaged spot. I patched it but I don't know if it will hold. No warranty. If it was a Michelin it would have been covered.

Here's one review:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=237
 
Last edited:

Kurt Halfyard

Well-Known Member
Author
Moderator
I;ve got no choice in the matter. LRR tires are the only tires for EV. If you take off all the 'nanny/eco' modes on the VOLT, you can spin the wheels and make smoke like a goofball.
 

imsam

Well-Known Member
I'd get Pirelli or Michelin.Right now I have Bridgestone. It's tough but it's really loud.
 

Athos

Well-Known Member
I have never bought Yokohama but that AVID Ascent GT looks like a deal. There is a $70 rebate until May 31 and with that discount they are only a bit more than cheapie tires. They test out really well against the leading tires in the comparisons and have have they a 700 treadwear index. That's close to the Michelin Defender at 820 but much cheaper than the Michelin.

For an Uber driver who needs tires on the cheap they look like the ones to get.
 

racer26

Well-Known Member
Gotta nitpick - LRR tires are by definition harder and have less grip than equivalent non-LRR tires. This is just physics.

Tires have indeed improved a lot in recent years, and so LRR tires are acceptable for many uses, including rideshare, but they're objectively still harder than regular tires, which have also improved.
Post automatically merged:

People don't consider their tires nearly enough. Tires are the only thing that connects your car, and all of its braking, accelerating, and turning capabilities, to the road.

Good tires are one of the best automotive investments you can make. This applies to both summer and winter tires.
Post automatically merged:

People don't consider their tires nearly enough. Tires are the only thing that connects your car, and all of its braking, accelerating, and turning capabilities, to the road.

Good tires are one of the best automotive investments you can make. This applies to both summer and winter tires.
 

Kurt Halfyard

Well-Known Member
Author
Moderator
People don't consider their tires nearly enough. Tires are the only thing that connects your car, and all of its braking, accelerating, and turning capabilities, to the road.
Good tires are one of the best automotive investments you can make. This applies to both summer and winter tires.
People don't consider their tires nearly enough. Tires are the only thing that connects your car, and all of its braking, accelerating, and turning capabilities, to the road.
Good tires are one of the best automotive investments you can make. This applies to both summer and winter tires.
You become far more aware of the Nuance (and noise) of Tires after driving EV.

When I switched out the Michellin LRR tires that came with the LEAF to LRR Pirelli's things got noticable quieter and smoother. But at the cost of about 15% of the cars range. I was able to happily sacrifice that for a better driving experience, but if I was pushing the limited (~130km) range of that vehicle with a longer commute, that would have been a no go.

Furthermore, due to range concerns, I'm more aware of keeping the tire pressure to a certain kPa during seasonal temperature changes to maximize range.

With ICE cars, people simply don't care, because they cannot SEE the difference it makes on their dashboard.
 

Athos

Well-Known Member
I think you are right @racer26 , harder tires roll easier. My grandfather used to say that you couldn't beat a railroad train's steel wheels on steel rails. But it's not a one to one ratio though. The new tires have both low rolling resistance and soft rubber. It's the silicone blend they use. Also, when the temperature plunges they stay softer than the older technology rubber compounds. Those old tires used to turn to stone in really cold temperatures.

Compare the non LRR Blizzak with LRR Michelin X-ice for example- both top winter tires. The Blizzaks are extremely soft. Your fingernail pushes right into the rubber. Not so the Michelin. Yet the winter performance is almost the same.

The rubber at the footprint is only one aspect. Sidewall flex is another factor. Then there is the efficiency of the rubber- its ability to return to its natural shape without creating heat. The latest tires have taken aerodynamics into account- that's a new factor they didn't worry about much before.

I think I am going to try the new Yokohama Avid Ascend GT. They cost just a bit more than Chinese junk. They are a lot less money than my usual picks, the Michelin Defender and Bridgestone Ecopia yet the performance and longevity are close. The rebate ends May 31 so I have some time.
 

racer26

Well-Known Member
I learned a lot about tires between my racing experience, and owning a 01 Insight, which used then-unheard of LRR tires when it was introduced. The OEM tires for that car were 10% + better than all other options in terms of fuel economy. Putting winters on that car took my fuel economy from around 3L/100km, to around 4-4.5. I was always trying to have winters on that car as little as possible, so put them on way late and took them off early.

People also don't realize that the manufacturers recommended tire pressure does not necessarily need to be blindly followed. You can increase or decrease it to suit your needs within reason.

On the Insight, Honda recommended 38psi. Bridgestone max rated pressure for those tires was 44psi, and I knew other owners that ran them as high as 50psi. Higher pressures trade off ride comfort and grip for fuel economy. Improperly inflated tires may wear prematurely, but for some reason the suspension geometry on that car meant that even vastly overinflated tires still exhibited 'underinflation' wear patterns.

Similarly, on my race car, we would run tire pressures much lower than recommended, because grip at the expense of tire wear and fuel economy was desired.

LRR tires are special primarily because of very stiff sidewalls.
 

Athos

Well-Known Member
I once drove an Insight that had 60psi and the car was all over the road. I don't know how the guy drove it. He was a jet pilot for Air Canada. I think that after about 45psi the eco-benefits drop off. @racer26 was one of the Insight geeks as was I.

LRR tires are special primarily because of very stiff sidewalls.

I don't know if this is true. I remember that the early LRR tires had an XL (extra load) designation but the Bridgestone Ecopia tires have a very thin, flexible sidewall. Maybe the thinness allows the flex to happen without a lot of heat buildup.

Here's a cutaway Insight I got from the Ottawa museum of Science. It is now being prepped for the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville.

https://www.lanemotormuseum.org/

Cutaway.JPG
 

Skorpio

Well-Known Member
Whatever summer tire you buy..
It will last you 1 season with Uber..

Winter tire can last 2 season with Uber..
 

MUGATS

Well-Known Member
On what planet does a set of “summer” tires last you 1 season?

I drive 50K+ a year and most decently rated tires will last at least 100K

If you have them on 7-8 months a year, you’re putting 35ish on per year.

You should easily be able to get 3 years out of any decent tire if you drive 50K a year.
 

Kurt Halfyard

Well-Known Member
Author
Moderator
Yup. I get at least 3-4 years out of my tires at high kms, and paying more attention to wear than most.
 

racer26

Well-Known Member
There's a lot of factors to tire wear. Lots of tires won't last 100k km. Some will. Same tires on different cars last differently too.

My insight chewed through front tires in about 30k km, but took 3x or more longer for the same tires to wear on the back.
 

Athos

Well-Known Member
My insight chewed through front tires in about 30k km

On the Insight most owners used the Bridgestone Potenza RE92. They had a very low treadwear index. I believe it was 260. Modern Touring tires are in the 700+ range. Some I have seen as low as 560 but the new ones are 820 and even higher.
 
Top