Ford Focus RS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking to buy myself a new set of tires for my blue baby this year, my initial alpines that came with the winter package are done for, and wasn't all that impressed with them to be honest (I don't think they are made for canadian winter).

I wanted to tag my other fellows canadians here, from my research, the two tires mentionned in the title (Blizzaks WS90) and (Nokian Hakkapelita R3) are two great contenders in the snow + ice for canada.

Which one is likely best, or any other option I should check out that would suit the RS better ?

Thanks !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I have WS80s, they are absolutely awesome on the RS. Most people like the Nokians even better. The WS80s will whine a bit on dry surfaces, sounds like a drivetrain issue. That is the only drawback I have with the Blizzaks.

Edit: Reason I run Blizzaks on my cars is availability. I'd likely try Nokian if they were available and cost effective at time of purchase.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
606 Posts
The alpines I believe were performance winter tires. I ran them for two winters and liked them for their handling in good/cold weather and they were quiet too. Even went to a track refresher event in April with them and they did very good on the concrete track although ambient temps were quite low!

Switched to Nokian Hakka9 last winter and first impression was they were much softer, handling was definitely affected and tires were noisier. But you get used to it quickly.

Hakka9 were great in snow and ice though, I would say if you’re after better bad weather performence rather than dry/cold performance looking for something else than the alpines makes perfect sense.

Sorry I have no experience with the two options you are looking at though!

I also have a set of studded hakka8 for ice driving events, daily drove about a month on them this winter between events, the RS is a monster in icy road conditions with those, but definitely overkill except maybe for those 1-2 rainy ice days per winter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
448 Posts
Blizzaks, no question are the overall best. I used them on my FWD Solo2 FSP car as an ice-racer up in South Dakota (Stockade Lake) back in the day. I was faster than all the FWD cars, even those on studded Hakkas. YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
I'm not a Canadian but have driven snow/ice covered roads in Central Oregon and over mountain passes too many times to count over the past 25 years. Mostly with FWD cars that I equipped with Blizzaks. In my experience a great winter tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
I have the WS80's for to seasons so far and they are a blast in the snow and ice. Great tires! i highly recommend them or the newer WS90 now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
349 Posts
Well, that depends on the climate where you are. Some winter tires are better for transition zones, some are better for Arctic/Nordic climate.

Here in Calgary we have wild freeze-thaw cycles throughout the winter, and that often means wet, cold roads. Or dry cold. In those conditions the Alpin is an amazing tire.

If you deal with a lot of ice and snow you really can't beat the Hakkas for inclement weather grip, but the handling suffers a little bit and they're noisy AF on dry or wet pavement. The Blizzaks should be a bit quieter and have slightly better turn-in at the cost of grip in extreme ice and snow.

I had Blizzaks on my ST, Hakkas on my wife's Outlander, and the Alpin on my RS. I've also used X-Ice on the SUV and they were pretty good too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
it all depends.

How much of the time are your roads covered with snow/ice? Or are they mostly plowed/salted/sanded?

If your roads are mostly snow/ice during the winter, then you want a studdable snow/ice tire. they offer the best grip in those conditions bar none. However, dry concrete/asphault act like a cheese grater and wear them down quickly. Also, during the transition period, if you see 50°F+ days, that will wear the tires out quickly. The super soft rubber will get worn very quickly.

If your roads are mostly plowed/salted and the rubber rides on Concrete or Asphalt, then you want a Performance Snow tire like the Alpin 4. You will give up snow/ice traction, but maintain superior traction vs all seasons. They will also handle like a normal high performance winter tire. They are also better during the transition periods where temps vary widely day to day and the rubber lasts longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I'm not a Canadian but have driven snow/ice covered roads in Central Oregon and over mountain passes too many times to count over the past 25 years. Mostly with FWD cars that I equipped with Blizzaks. In my experience a great winter tire.
How do they do in the rain? It seemed to me that the Alpin's are a better tire for oregon given that 90% of the time it's rain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I've used both Blizzaks and Michelin X-Ice and prefer the X-Ice. In deep snow, they're both about the same. Might be able to give a slight edge to the Blizzak in unplowed snow, but there's no storm where the Blizzak will get you home and the X-Ice won't. And realistically, if it's more than about a foot deep, I wouldn't want to be out on either tire. That's truck weather. For hard pack snow, ice, and dry roads, the X-Ice has slightly better performance and lasts longer. I've never tried Nokians, mostly due to limited availability.

In case it matters for validating my opinion, I live at 8600 ft and I have 2 miles of steep dirt roads that are not plowed regularly in the winter before I reach my 15% grade dirt driveway. Even with good snow tires, I've gotten the RS stuck on my own driveway. I got my old ST stuck many times, which was the primary motivator to move up to an RS.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
^Your picture reminds me exactly why I winter in Mexico since retiring (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
How do they do in the rain? It seemed to me that the Alpin's are a better tire for oregon given that 90% of the time it's rain.
Oregon is divided into two climates: the wet side of the state where the majority of the population lives and the dry side of the state which composes central and eastern Oregon. When I lived in Portland I saw an annual average of 35 inches of rain and snowfall maybe every 2nd or 3rd year. The last 25 years I've lived in Central Oregon with an average of 9 inches of rain a year and snowfall every year.
So yah, I probably wouldn't be running a dedicated snow tire in Portland unless I was an avid skier and drove to the mountains.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
606 Posts
^Your picture reminds me exactly why I winter in Mexico since retiring (y)
Here’s some fun snow dump pics taken at 5AM in Feb.2019.

The RS plowed through this storm like a champ, still on stock alpines at that time. The SE waited in the garage for the streets to be cleared!

345100


345101


345102


345103
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
349 Posts
Here’s some fun snow dump pics taken at 5AM in Feb.2019.

The RS plowed through this storm like a champ, still on stock alpines at that time. The SE waited in the garage for the streets to be cleared!
-- SNIP --
That looks like snow out East. Quebec or Maritimes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Do you guys think the WS90's are overkill if I live in Maryland and plan on driving the car on both dry, cold roads and in snowy conditions, to go Skiing, which very well will include snow 100%, once I get close to Skiing Destinations? I very well am probably going to make my way up to Vermont at least for a few days, this Winter. Only other time I plan on taking it out this Winter, besides to go Skiing, is to have some fun in Local Snowfall.

Some reading about has led me to think they will be fine, alot of people suggest Winter Performance Tires versus Studless Winters (WS90's), although they'd be better in the dry, cold conditions, I still need something to handle Snow on the treks to go Ski. And I'm not too worried about a 5-15% loss in grip, or whatever the Winter Performance Compounds might gain in dry, cold grip. I'm more so worried about premature wear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I've used both Blizzaks and Michelin X-Ice and prefer the X-Ice. In deep snow, they're both about the same. Might be able to give a slight edge to the Blizzak in unplowed snow, but there's no storm where the Blizzak will get you home and the X-Ice won't. And realistically, if it's more than about a foot deep, I wouldn't want to be out on either tire. That's truck weather. For hard pack snow, ice, and dry roads, the X-Ice has slightly better performance and lasts longer. I've never tried Nokians, mostly due to limited availability.

In case it matters for validating my opinion, I live at 8600 ft and I have 2 miles of steep dirt roads that are not plowed regularly in the winter before I reach my 15% grade dirt driveway. Even with good snow tires, I've gotten the RS stuck on my own driveway. I got my old ST stuck many times, which was the primary motivator to move up to an RS.

Colorado ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,241 Posts
There's a reason I have families in Canada and Minnesota....... and I live in San Diego now.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top