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With snow already falling here I was looking into getting a set of winter tires and was curious as to what people's thoughts were on using a second set of rims. Currently I already have 20'' rims and 18'' rims but I was thinking of simply selling the 20'' rims and getting snow tires that I swap on and off the 18'' rims. There's a few reasons for this including:

  • I can't lift the 20'' rims (with the old tires on them) and this will become tedious to bring them to and from a tire shop to mount as I don't have a level area to put the tires on myself
  • I'd need a second set of TPMS which has a higher upfront cost.
  • Selling the 20'' rims will help towards the cost of the winter tires even if in 3-5+ years mounting and balancing ends up outweighing that cost
  • I drive a lot and I don't expect to swap each set of tires more than 4 or so times before I'll have already been through their entire tread life and need new tires anyway
  • I don't care if the 18'' rims gets scratched as I already use them for off-roading and don't except them to be in perfect condition anyway
Is there anything I'm missing or is there a chance that the rims themselves could get damaged in a way that they would be unusable with this sort of swapping? If I go with this route is there anything I need to know about storing my tires without a rim on them?
 

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It comes down to what is easier and more economical for you personally...extra wheels with winter tires are generally easier to deal with as a DYI install and de-install. Swapping tires onto the same set of rims generally requires paying money since one has to have the right kind of equipment to do it and yes, the more frequently tires are swapped out on a set of wheels, the greater the risk of damage just because of how the world works. Personally, if I lived in an area where I needed to run true winter tires for part of the year, I'd get the second set of wheels...
 
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I'm considering a winter set. What are the wheel specs for the Ascent; hole pattern, offset, etc? I would like to keep the stock wheel parameters with the second set.
 

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Jim has it nailed. I run summer tires on my WRX and the second set of snow tires means I can change driving tires in 30 minutes whenever I want. Plus, not all tire shops are kind to rims, so swapping rubber twice a year raises that risk greatly.
 

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It comes down to what is easier and more economical for you personally.
Bingo.

If you can't physically handle either one or the other pairing as you noted, Tgawe, then that's obviously a no-go unless you can enlist help.

Not having a place to safely mount the tires is another real-world issue for you, Tgawe.

Local club/Forum word-of-mouth is going to be your best bet at finding a shop/dealership that does good work affordably as well as with a reasonable appointment schedule (this time of year is tremendously busy for shops in areas where wintry precipitation is to be had on the ground).

Given your specific needs, Tgawe, you should also look to see if the shop will store your off-season wheel/tire combo. This is a service that many larger shops - be they independent or franchise - will offer at a reasonable additional cost.
 

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I'm considering a winter set. What are the wheel specs for the Ascent; hole pattern, offset, etc? I would like to keep the stock wheel parameters with the second set.
Everything you need to know is here:
 

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I worked out a deal with discount tire when purchasing my winter tires for an extra free mounting. I expect that given the life expectancy I will need to only pay for one swap, maybe two depending on tread wear on the blizzaks.
 

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Why not consider an "All-weather" tire, which is an all-season with the 3PMS symbol, making it suitable for winter use also?

Nokian WR G4 SUV (245/60r18)
Michelin CrossClimate SUV (245/60r18)
Goodyear WeatherReady (245/60r18, 245/50r20)

I can only comment on having Nokian WR G3 on my last year. The Nokian WR G4 SUV is too new on my car to make a comment
 

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Why not consider an "All-weather" tire, which is an all-season with the 3PMS symbol, making it suitable for winter use also?
They are fine for folks who live in "limited winter areas" like I do, but for folks who have "real" winter, especially with very cold temps, real winter tires are much, much better. "All Weather" tires are still a compromise on the winter side in some respects.
 

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They are fine for folks who live in "limited winter areas" like I do, but for folks who have "real" winter, especially with very cold temps, real winter tires are much, much better. "All Weather" tires are still a compromise on the winter side in some respects.
All tires are a compromise in some respects. I still rather use a All-weather tire than an all-season tire in the snow/ice, even with AWD.

I have used the Nokian WR G3 (asymmetric) on my old car (FWD), in actual winter conditions, ie chasing snow storms to get some fresh powder at the ski resorts.

"Real Winter" tires, they can vary in their grip.

The "Nordic Studless", yes they are better in the snow/ice than my old WR G3, such as Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 (I have had the RSI before), Bridgestone Blizzak WS/DM series, Michelin Xice series. But during the cold-dry road & cold-wet roads (hovering above freezing), all the tread pattern technology designed to have snow/ice grip don't grip the dry road too well, or evacuate water too well.

Then there is the "Central European" winter which in US/Canada, tend to be categorized as "Performance Winter", such as Michelin Pilot PA-series, Bridgestone LM-series, Nexen Winguard Sport, etc..., they make the trade off of superior snow/ice traction, for better dry cold road and wet-cold road grip. The WR G3 is in this area of traction in the snow/ice, as the WR G3 (and G4) start life as a WR A/D series tire with some slight modifications to market it as an all-weather in US/Canada. Michelin CrossClimate, people say is more summer-biased all-weather tires, but can still easily hold its own in the white stuff. Pirelli Scorpion Winter is available in 245/60r18.

Then there is the "Studdable budget winter tires", which when people run them unstudded, have fair winter traction. Those appliance testers (Consumer Reports) have noted that the All-weathers when they tested them (Nokian WR G3 & Toyo Celcius) performed better than many of the Studdable budget winter tires when unstudded (which most people do anyway). Not to mention, on cold-dry roads, the tires squirmy a lot. Yes, I have run General Altimax Arctic's before. For the 245/60r18, there is the General Grabber Arctic.

Plus, if I'm going to buy a studded tire, I want a tire that is studded from the factory, which has the studs designed for that tire, such as a Nokian Hakkapelliitta 9, as has less chances of a losing a stud (I have had to replace a windshield from a stud flying off a tire and bouncing off of my windshield, instantly cracking it).
 

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Please check out the great reviews for the new Michelin CrossClimate. The winter performance for this tire rivaled that of a dedicated snow tire and the three-season performance rivaled that of an all-season tire, the best of both worlds.

I live in a definitely "real" winter region (Northern New England), but even here the weather varies dramatically during the winter, we often have days/weeks where a winter tire is best, but then it can very quickly change to periods of weather where an all-season tire would provide better performance. Conditions often range from icy cold and heavy snow to perfectly dry and surprisingly warm. So, unless you're willing to change your tires with every forecast, neither tire type can provide the best safety and performance throughout the winter.

However, this new CrossClimate is a game-changer. Its "All Weather" design provides very good performance in any condition. This is what most people need unless you live in the deep Arctic. You get the performance of an All-Season and a dedicate Winter tire all in one. Is it better than the best all-season or winter-only tire? No, but for all-weather conditions, it is much more versatile than either and will keep you safer in a far wider range of conditions you're likely to encounter in most regions. If you live in Arctic conditions or high in the mountains where deep snow is usually the case, stick with winter-only tires. But if like many of us, you live in a snow belt but are just as likely to encounter dry, warmer weather as well as cold, snowy weather throughout the winter, then these are for you because they work well in a much wider range of conditions where winter-only and all-seasons can not.

This tire can eliminate the need for two sets of tires and wheels (or twice yearly tire/wheel changeovers), swapping the tires, dealing with the TPMS issues, and finding a place to always store four sets of wheels/tires. This, combined with such a wide range of all-weather performance makes them more practical and versatile than anything else you can buy.

This is exactly what I'm looking for. The only thing holding me back is that the CrossClimate is not yet available in 20". I'm thinking of selling/swapping my 20" rims for 18" and getting the available 18" CrossClimates to run all year.

Much less hassle, much less expense, better overall safety within a wider range of ever-changing conditions, and great performance year-round. What more can anyone ask for in one set of tires?

From Consumer Reports (Note, I've never seen a tire get a high rating in all these categories before):

2950


2951
 

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Do you know if CR has tested the Nokian WRG4 SUV? It's also a highly rated All-weather tire available in 18" for our Ascents.
 

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The real-world problem with "All Weather" tires has always been - and will be - that they're run year-round....tread-depth, depending on mileage, can become an issue as the years wear on, versus being amortized over the span of two sets of tires.

And it unfortunately doesn't really matter all that much how many sipes open up as your tread-depth decreases: a part of the wintering capabilities (specifically that of slushplane resistance and fresh powder moving capabilities] lies simply with tread depth.

If you don't drive excessively or are simply willing to pony-up for replacements as-necessary, then it's honestly almost the best of all worlds. As I've cited (overseas test data) in other threads (How much of a difference will winter tires make on cold dry roads versus all seasons tires) and as TheAscestion pointed out, between "Performance Winters" and "All Weathers," the line can become really quite blurred. Similarly, for folks who simply are not able/willing to do the two-sets deal, it is also an attractive alternative.

A relative of mine living in the metro-DC area loves "All Weather" tires: they've gotten him through everything from the daily grind to Snowmageddon (back in '10, he was riding on WR G3s, IIRC). That said, he re-ups on an every-other-winter cycle as he drives a lot during the warmer months, so that he can head into the "third" winter always with full tread-depth.
 

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The real-world problem with "All Weather" tires has always been - and will be - that they're run year-round....tread-depth, depending on mileage, can become an issue as the years wear on, versus being amortized over the span of two sets of tires.

And it unfortunately doesn't really matter all that much how many sipes open up as your tread-depth decreases: a part of the wintering capabilities (specifically that of slushplane resistance and fresh powder moving capabilities] lies simply with tread depth.

If you don't drive excessively or are simply willing to pony-up for replacements as-necessary, then it's honestly almost the best of all worlds. As I've cited (overseas test data) in other threads (How much of a difference will winter tires make on cold dry roads versus all seasons tires) and as TheAscestion pointed out, between "Performance Winters" and "All Weathers," the line can become really quite blurred. Similarly, for folks who simply are not able/willing to do the two-sets deal, it is also an attractive alternative.

A relative of mine living in the metro-DC area loves "All Weather" tires: they've gotten him through everything from the daily grind to Snowmageddon (back in '10, he was riding on WR G3s, IIRC). That said, he re-ups on an every-other-winter cycle as he drives a lot during the warmer months, so that he can head into the "third" winter always with full tread-depth.
True, no matter which tire strategy you choose, you have to watch tread wear, especially for winter use. Even if the wear bars are not showing, once you loose significant tread you can't expect the tire to perform as well as when it was new.
 

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I'm considering a winter set. What are the wheel specs for the Ascent; hole pattern, offset, etc? I would like to keep the stock wheel parameters with the second set.
18"
  • Tire size: 245/60R18 105H @ 35psi
  • --- Rated at 2039 pounds
  • Wheel size: 18 x 7½ J
  • Inset: 55 (2.17)
  • P.C.D.: 114.3 (4.5)
  • 682 revolutions per mile

20"
  • Tire size: 245/50R20 102H @ 33psi
  • --- Rated at 1874 pounds
  • Wheel size: 20 x 7½ J
  • Inset: 55 (2.17)
  • P.C.D.: 114.3 (4.5)
  • 681 revolutions per mile
  • Falken ZIEX ZE001 A/S 245/50R20 - 30 pounds
  • rim: 33 pounds
STOCK LUGS FOR STOCK RIMS:
  • M12 (12mm) x 1.25
  • Conical seat
  • 60° cone
  • Minimum 0.945" inside length.
 

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My opinion may be unpopular...but this is based on using Nokian WR since the OG.

I had WR SUV, WRG2 SUV, WRG3 SUV in 215/65R16XL.
I very much enjoyed the first 2 generations when the performance in snow was half decent during the 4-yr lifespan of >60000 kilometres in each set. The were replaced as the wear indicator passed the “4”.
The last one (WRG3 SUV) I had was not as good but they made it last longer it seemed.

I also had a set of WRG3 in a 45-series performance tires and they were only good in the first winter, the second was barely adequate and now the 4th winter I was not able to drive up my driveway last week in the 2.5” of snow (FWD sedan of course). The wear indicator is still at “6”. I must replace this set with something before next winter.

To me, they are completely missing the point enhancing treadlife to allure buyers.

I have not tried other brands,I consider it a red flag on anything with too long of a treadwear is guaranteed.
 

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^ Not unpopular at all - I think it is quite interesting, actually.

Realistically, this is exactly what -ALL- tire manufacturers do: they tweak the tire's compounding - and even possibly other aspects of the tires' architecture that we as consumers are not able to literally see with our eyes - as incremental developments over the course of a tire's market "lifespan."

This is reflected many times in various quantified testing/comparisons, where from time to time a tire's performance from one year to the other may be noticeably or even drastically different.
 
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