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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Get Blizzaks!
I've had lots of Blizzaks.. Since 1994.

I have a wheel /tire set of Viking Contacts 7s mounted and balanced for our RL. Too bad they won't work for Subaru. The Contact 7s work as well as Blizzaks from my experience. If we stayed here for the winter, it would be a no brainer. We have 5 weeks till we leave. I had just hoped for a little more worthy stock tire.
 

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^ Weird.....

No joke. I have a set of 7 (XLs) coming to me tomorrow. I know that they didn't do so well in TireRack's testing, but a lot of the overseas tests contradict those results and suggest that they'd be what I was looking for: with the $70 rebate offer and Capital One running a 7% cash-back on TR purchases, It was hard for me to resist yet another set of winters.

The underlying reason was that we're looking at the possibility of a few road trips this winter, and the little one and I decided that there just wasn't enough tread above the Winter Platform on the DM-V2s to risk it.

I'll mount the Conti's when they arrive tomorrow and break them in before the trips. Likely will then dismount and run-out the DM-V2s over the course of the rest of the season.

I had really wanted a set of studded Hakkas, but that's gonna have to wait until next winter. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
^ Weird.....

No joke. I have a set of 7 (XLs) coming to me tomorrow. I know that they didn't do so well in TireRack's testing, but a lot of the overseas tests contradict those results and suggest that they'd be what I was looking for: with the $70 rebate offer and Capital One running a 7% cash-back on TR purchases, It was hard for me to resist yet another set of winters.
When I bought the Contact 7s,they hadn't been reviewed yet by TR. I just read the whole report. I don't see where they didn't well? It seemed to be a very good report on them to me... Holding their own or winning in several categories. I took a chance with them, but am as satisfied as I was with the Blizzaks.. Quieter too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Yes, my personal seat of the pants comparison was to my Blizzaks experience. In these charts, it beats the Blizzaks in every category but one. It took 1st in acceleration and braking and was quite comparable in the others. I think it a very good report on 'The 7' overall.
 

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^ Ah! I get it, now - you're looking at them relative to the Blizzaks tested. That's where I was confused. I was looking overall. ;)

The Contis did take first in acceleration and braking in the snow, but fell to the other side of the pack in their ice tests.

Their "Performance Drive" rating also showed the Contis on the lower half of the pack in "Traction During Acceleration" (which is weird, given that it placed first in the "Snow Traction" test) and "Overall Snow Rating," and was consistently ranked below the Bridgestone in all aspects of that section.

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ETA: UPS just delivered the Contis...... I let my daughter pick the rims this time, so we'll see.

It's a heavy flurry outside now, and the ground's wet. It'll be sunny and dry tomorrow, but a nippy 20 or so. I guess I can't really win this one. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
@TSiWRX I was comparing with Blizzaks as that was the tire I've held others too and had much experience with. BUT...I still come away from the charts thinking the Conti performed quite well. One test had a little more didsparity...the ice stop. They tested well enough, that if I were looking to buy again, and they were cheaper (as they were when I did get them) I would buy them in lieu of the others

I've been buying tires and wheels from TR since around 1987. I like them a lot! One small thing I've noticed over time is that in the test write ups...they sometimes seem to shade the new guy a tad versus the 'gold' standard...like they have to earn their chops a little before they get their due props. Not sure if that's the case here. Some of the testing in the report is quite subjective as regards the pros and cons of each

I'll be curious to read how they work for you. I'm thinking you should like them (y)
 

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@TSiWRX I was comparing with Blizzaks as that was the tire I've held others too and had much experience with.
(y)

BUT...I still come away from the charts thinking the Conti performed quite well. One test had a little more didsparity...the ice stop. They tested well enough, that if I were looking to buy again, and they were cheaper (as they were when I did get them) I would buy them in lieu of the others

I've been buying tires and wheels from TR since around 1987. I like them a lot! One small thing I've noticed over time is that in the test write ups...they sometimes seem to shade the new guy a tad versus the 'gold' standard...like they have to earn their chops a little before they get their due props. Not sure if that's the case here. Some of the testing in the report is quite subjective as regards the pros and cons of each
1987! That was only two years after we came to the States (well, we came in '84, but it was the winter of that year, so 😅). I didn't start until 2003 or so. You could almost say that you're one of their OGs!

Subjectivity in tire testing is OK, I feel, especially when those rendering opinion are true experts - I just wish that those who interject such into their tests/reviews would make it more apparent when they are doing so. There's a lot that pure numbers (particularly when the raw numbers are that close to each other) cannot fully convey.

In terms of testing biases and various limitations, I think that's also inevitable. More on this in a minute.....

I'll be curious to read how they work for you. I'm thinking you should like them (y)
Me too. These are only my second set of Contis, ever.

I've been leery of Continental winters since their juicing of overseas testing in the early oughts (Do you know where your tires were made? Now you can be...). Then, when one of their higher-ups in the NA market, by way of an industry interview, insinuated that Canadian and American shoppers were too stupid to understand test results and instead were susceptible to emotional marketing...well, that just pushed me over the edge. :ROFLMAO: It's been a while since I'd re-visited this brand.

That said, the latest overseas tests really speak highly of these tires, so yup, I put my money where my mouth was, and decided to give them a shot. :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
I am a bit long of tooth 😊.. But young in heart and spirit

I put a set Conti Extreme Contact DSW 06 Plus on our HC this past summer.. After I smoked the OE set off!

I wasn't aware of the bad Continental story. Always something to learn 👍
 

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^ I wish I had the foresight to save that interview with the representative from Continental. Try as I might now, I can't even find where I initially referenced it, much less the original source video.

The honest truth is that I don't really hold much of either of those against Conti. They're just out to make a buck, like any of the other manufacturers - and it's not like they're alone in their guilt. :)

Besides, I'm a brand ronin - I have no brand loyalty to speak of. :ROFLMAO:

All the ronin......



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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
We've shoveled here 3 times now...not much each time, but a little. It's snowing now. Our subdivision roads are all snow covered and packed right now. Normal winter roads here. Yesterday I got to experiment a little more with The Falken, the snow, and The System. The temp was high teens to low 20s. I don't have many places to test things out in our sub, but several corners, including a carousel, have afforded a common testing grounds for comparison of tires and systems over the years. I was a bit encouraged by the experience yesterday . The Falkens hung in there better than the other day for all facets: steering, stopping, and traction. With this very limited experience, I'm also quite pleased with the Subaru system. It seems tuned well for front/rear bias when being pushed. What I've noticed so far is that there is a tad of oversteer coming from the back end as the aids kick in. I like that. It's more natrual for me. I liked our RWD/AWD 300S for that same reason. While we've been snowbirds for quite a while, there's still part of me that likes playing in the snow with vehicles....for 6-8 weeks :)

To be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
^^^^ factory stock pressure ...they are 33 and 34 as I type right now...above the vehicle. When it gets real cold, I have to add air to keep the door sticker pressure. I don't monkey around with tire pressures unless autocrossing or road track applications...which are pretty much over for me now. :) To my knowledge, all safety ratings accorded any vehicle are based on the driver's door tag. That's where I try to stay

....One pound per ten degrees is the rule of thumb. Up and down. Similarly, I let air out when we get to the SW
 

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On pure snow, I think the Falkens perform admirably for what they are. We live in extreme northwestern VA, so our ability to test a lot of snowy conditions is somewhat limited. But we had a few 8" storms last year that left many of the roads snow-packed. I could stop on a hill and very easily get moving and even accelerate moderately up the hill. And without traction control coming on (or at least not indicating that it did). But that part's easy with a good AWD system. The turning and the stopping aren't as easy. But even there, it took some coaxing to get the car to spin around (with traction and stability control disengaged, at least as far as I could disengage them). It'd turn donuts in an empty parking lot satisfyingly well, but would also feel reasonably planted when attempting to drive safely.

They're certainly not winter tires and I'd never claim them to be comparable to winter or even 3PMSF all weather tires. But for OE all season tires, which appear at least somewhat biased to warm weather driving (with a lack of heavy siping), I was pleasantly surprised how usable they are in the snow. At least when new. Perhaps their performance turns towards deplorable the more they're worn. We have 19k miles on ours and they're measuring 7/32" on the fronts and 6/32" on the rears. At this same rate, I'll probably expect to be in the market for replacements in the 35-40k mile range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
On pure snow, I think the Falkens perform admirably for what they are. We live in extreme northwestern VA, so our ability to test a lot of snowy conditions is somewhat limited. But we had a few 8" storms last year that left many of the roads snow-packed. I could stop on a hill and very easily get moving and even accelerate moderately up the hill. And without traction control coming on (or at least not indicating that it did). But that part's easy with a good AWD system. The turning and the stopping aren't as easy. But even there, it took some coaxing to get the car to spin around (with traction and stability control disengaged, at least as far as I could disengage them). It'd turn donuts in an empty parking lot satisfyingly well, but would also feel reasonably planted when attempting to drive safely.

They're certainly not winter tires and I'd never claim them to be comparable to winter or even 3PMSF all weather tires. But for OE all season tires, which appear at least somewhat biased to warm weather driving (with a lack of heavy siping), I was pleasantly surprised how usable they are in the snow. At least when new. Perhaps their performance turns towards deplorable the more they're worn. We have 19k miles on ours and they're measuring 7/32" on the fronts and 6/32" on the rears. At this same rate, I'll probably expect to be in the market for replacements in the 35-40k mile range.
Good story. Where we live, my guess is we'll be lucky to get two winters out of these. Even the LTX and LE2 tires we've had were nowhere near adequate for me at 6/32nds. Because we're no longer here for the whole winter...for the first time I may go the cross climate tire way (or similar) instead of two sets of tires and/or wheels.
 

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Good story. Where we live, my guess is we'll be lucky to get two winters out of these. Even the LTX and LE2 tires we've had were nowhere near adequate for me at 6/32nds.
That's definitely some serious snow!

Our Subaru has probably been the best snow vehicle we've had. My first car was my worst snow vehicle by far. It was an '84 Olds Cutlass with a 2.14:1 (yes, you read that correctly) open rear differential. It had the Olds 307 V-8 and the whole car was only 3,200 pounds (most of it in the front). I had Firestone Firehawk SS10 tires on it which were apparently laughable in the snow.

I never truly got it "stuck", but I had to back down several light-to-moderate hills that were just too much for it. It may have been the Blizzard of 1996, where our area (near Herndon, VA, at the time) got about 30 inches of snow. I was leaving the Tysons Corner area (a built-up business district) and all the roads were snow-packed and the snow was coming down hard. Traffic was gridlocked. There was a wide four or six lane road to the right and I knew I could get to the Dulles Toll Road that way...but it was up what seemed like a slight hill but may have been steeper in reality. I tried it. I made it about 50 yards before the car just wouldn't go any further. I remember backing down and coming back with some speed, but no coaxing or fancy throttle work could get that car up that hill. I ended up backing down the hill, back out into the intersection that I had abandoned five minutes earlier, and got back in line.

I'm sure that any combination of better equipment would have helped. Posi traction differential. Snow/winter tires. Sand bags in the trunk. :ROFLMAO:
 

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^^^^ factory stock pressure ...they are 33 and 34 as I type right now...above the vehicle. When it gets real cold, I have to add air to keep the door sticker pressure. I don't monkey around with tire pressures unless autocrossing or road track applications...which are pretty much over for me now. :) To my knowledge, all safety ratings accorded any vehicle are based on the driver's door tag. That's where I try to stay

....One pound per ten degrees is the rule of thumb. Up and down. Similarly, I let air out when we get to the SW
(y)

We're pretty much the same. Actually, I just found out this past weekend that my cousin has invested in a little pancake compressor. :) He makes the 6th person (that I know of) that I've been able to confess to get a little compressor for the garage, to help mind tire pressures during the swing seasons.

This past summer's wheel/tire purchase for me was the first time that I'd shelled-out for aftermarket TPMS. I never really felt the need, previously, as I check my pressures almost obsessively. TPMS does bring a certain peace-of-mind, though, and the Autel TS508 really makes life pretty easy.


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On pure snow, I think the Falkens perform admirably for what they are. We live in extreme northwestern VA, so our ability to test a lot of snowy conditions is somewhat limited. But we had a few 8" storms last year that left many of the roads snow-packed. I could stop on a hill and very easily get moving and even accelerate moderately up the hill. And without traction control coming on (or at least not indicating that it did).

<snipped>

They're certainly not winter tires and I'd never claim them to be comparable to winter or even 3PMSF all weather tires. But for OE all season tires, which appear at least somewhat biased to warm weather driving (with a lack of heavy siping), I was pleasantly surprised how usable they are in the snow. At least when new. Perhaps their performance turns towards deplorable the more they're worn. We have 19k miles on ours and they're measuring 7/32" on the fronts and 6/32" on the rears. At this same rate, I'll probably expect to be in the market for replacements in the 35-40k mile range.
I also think that in so far as compromises go, they're truly not that bad.

Can they be better? IMveryHO, I do think so - but I don't know what I'd be willing to trade for -in terms of their current performance- to be able to increase their wintering capabiliities.

....to which @Steve70 replied -

Good story. [to @hokiefyd post 54 above] Where we live, my guess is we'll be lucky to get two winters out of these. Even the LTX and LE2 tires we've had were nowhere near adequate for me at 6/32nds. Because we're no longer here for the whole winter...for the first time I may go the cross climate tire way (or similar) instead of two sets of tires and/or wheels.
I think that in addition to the decrease in snow mobility at < 6/32nd, the other factor that should be considered with the OE Falkens is that there's going to be a big traction difference based on the fact that in @Steve70 's context, that tire is much less likely to contact anything other than hardpack, all winter long.

I really would be interested to hear from an experienced "deep winter" driver such as you as to whether a 3PMSF/severe service rated "All Weather" or A/T can truly be a viable substitute given the hardpack that lives underneath, all-season-long.

For folks like me, fresh powder is only half the story in that the other is slush - for folks like @Steve70 , whose other half is all-winter-long hardpack, that fact that neither an "All Weather" nor an A/T-based 3PMSF tire will have optimized compounding makes me 🤔.

That said -and I know that I've lamented on this previously- it does seem that the wheels/tires get heavier every season. :ROFLMAO: I don't know if it's just that we weren't quite awake yet this morning when we decided to do the change-over, but neither myself nor the little one really all that much enjoyed ourselves. The mood picked up on the way back from Panera after a couple of sips of iced chocolate latte, so maybe it was just the fact that neither of us had our coffee? Tactical error? :p

Maybe after she leaves for school, I'll start thinking more about a one-tire-to-rule-them-all strategy.

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Car

^ Not mine - stolen from a Google Image search. 😅

Our Clipper/Lake-Effect combo has started, but I won't have the necessary break-in miles on the Conti's to really render much of any opinion, at least for this storm, I'm afraid. Maybe I can Ferris Bueller it somehow?

I'll snap a few pix and put it again in the "wheels and tires that work" thread, but the little one's wheel pick gave the vehicle an elegant aesthetic, I think. It's a good move away from the more rugged/robust look that I'd been going after for the last two sets.


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....to which @hokiefyd then followed up to @Steve70

That's definitely some serious snow!

Our Subaru has probably been the best snow vehicle we've had. My first car was my worst snow vehicle by far. It was an '84 Olds Cutlass with a 2.14:1 (yes, you read that correctly) open rear differential. It had the Olds 307 V-8 and the whole car was only 3,200 pounds (most of it in the front). I had Firestone Firehawk SS10 tires on it which were apparently laughable in the snow.
:ROFLMAO:

My buddy got one of his municipality's old Grand Marquis Police Interceptors at-auction. He decided to go really cheap that first winter, and didn't bother replacing any of the tires. He had some fun times.

I never truly got it "stuck", but I had to back down several light-to-moderate hills that were just too much for it. It may have been the Blizzard of 1996, where our area (near Herndon, VA, at the time) got about 30 inches of snow. I was leaving the Tysons Corner area (a built-up business district) and all the roads were snow-packed and the snow was coming down hard. Traffic was gridlocked. There was a wide four or six lane road to the right and I knew I could get to the Dulles Toll Road that way...but it was up what seemed like a slight hill but may have been steeper in reality. I tried it. I made it about 50 yards before the car just wouldn't go any further. I remember backing down and coming back with some speed, but no coaxing or fancy throttle work could get that car up that hill. I ended up backing down the hill, back out into the intersection that I had abandoned five minutes earlier, and got back in line.
I noted for @Steve70 in a previous reply, individual municipalities here are responsible for their own local surface streets, and as-such, there can be some rather hilarious harrowing scenarios/scenes.

As we mounted my new winters today, my daughter -now almost 16- told me that she didn't remember much of her first Subaru (my '05 LGT), but one of the things she remembers is watching outside the window at several vehicles in adjacent lanes crabbing and even sliding down a small incline near our home, as we passed them (this was in 2008 or so, before winter tires really started to gain in popularity here outside of hobbyist circles) while I took her to daycare.

I'm sure that any combination of better equipment would have helped. Posi traction differential. Snow/winter tires. Sand bags in the trunk. :ROFLMAO:
^ Yeah, but you wouldn't now be laughing about that great memory, now would ya?! :p:ROFLMAO: Totally worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 · (Edited)
Wow! Go away to watch Michigan thrash Ohio State for a few hours and look what happens :)

@hokiefyd Great memories of the old Cutlass! My in laws in the late 70s had a Cutlass 350/4 barrel car. Posi would of helped for you! Posi was always good back then. 2.14 is definitely a highway gear. My 1st car was a 1951 Dodge Coronet fluid drive flat head six in 1968. I'm not sure there was any car back in those days I didn't get stuck at least once. No one had 4WDs but the wealthy ....or maybe a Dodge Power Wagon for commercial plowing. Studded tires were the norm for the back end then

@TSiWRX I've had a more than adequate horizontal compressor for about 25 years. Tire pressure, changing tires...etc

I'm not sure I described my conditions properly. Neighborhood roads are snow packed...unless it snows...which it does lots. It snowed several inches today. If we get typical snow we'll get another 80-100 inches by January. That means about 20 inches per week. We should get at least one good dump by then too....maybe a few. We also get very slushy highway conditions when they pour the salt down. You just never know.

Bottom line is we experience every type of winter driving there is...on a regular basis. Could be sub zero for a month straight in Jan/Feb. Could be warmer...usually is for a big dump. there's reall no just hard packed roads. I'll never know the comparisons you speak of because I'm all snow tire to date. I may get to comment on a cross climate type tire should we ever get them

On a positive note....on the way home tonight after more snow fell, I pulled into the local school parking lot which had about 4" across it. I wanted to test the system for traction / SC parameters etc. The 4" means nothing for snow depth. Any 2WD car could easily traverse it. I was very pleased with the Subaru system! I was able to initiate a wide 360 circle with all tires doing and pulling, The back end maintained the same slight bias of oversteer as it spun its way around the circle. I did it 3 times. Every time it responded very well!

On another less positive note, I will say that the tires broke loose going up a hill 30 miles from here on a neighborhood street. I had to keep er going. I don't think it would have climbed the hill if I stopped in the middle of it. That street had about 3 inches on it, but the temp was warmer...pushing 30F

I am bonding well with the new ride!
 

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Great memories of the old Cutlass! My in laws in the late 70s had a Cutlass 350/4 barrel car. Posi would of helped for you! Posi was always good back then. 2.14 is definitely a highway gear.
I did eventually put a posi in it (after that experience). I found an axle out of a Grand Prix that was advertised as a 2.41:1, but was really 2.29:1 I think. It's pretty remarkable how many different powertrain combinations GM had back in the day. Just in those G-body cars, they had something like four different engines shared across the various platforms...from the turbo Pontiac 301 V-8 to the Olds 307 V-8 to the Chevy 305 V-8 to the Olds diesel V-8 to the Buick 231 V-6 to the turbo Buick 231 V-6 in the Grand Nationals...and then add in at least two different transmissions (a 3-speed auto or a 4-speed auto; I don't think a manual was ever offered)...and then at least two physically different axles...a 7.5" model that most cars got and an 8.5" model the Hurst/Olds, 442s, and Grand Nationals got...I think GM had like seven or eight different axle ratios available.

Good times.

I watched that Michigan St/Ohio St game. And then we watched Michigan squeak it out against Penn St. And then watched our own Hokies try like heck to let UVA get a W in Charlottesville tonight. Despite their best efforts, Tech came out on top... :ROFLMAO:
 

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^ I'm too young and our family came into the country too late for it, but I was told that back in the day, domestic-vehicle order sheets gives modern Porsche/Audi options lists a run for its money.


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Wow! Go away to watch Michigan thrash Ohio State for a few hours and look what happens :)
You snooze, you lose! :p

@TSiWRX I've had a more than adequate horizontal compressor for about 25 years. Tire pressure, changing tires...etc
It took me a while to realize that not everyone has even one of the tiny ones like I have in their garage. After a decade of apartment living in my 20s, I thought that feeding quarters into gas-station air-compressors (once you found one that was actually working! 😖) for "free air" was something that everyone got fed up with. 😅

Once I get a fun car that I can work on, again, I'm going to get me some air-tools and a respectable compressor setup!

I'm not sure I described my conditions properly. Neighborhood roads are snow packed...unless it snows...which it does lots. It snowed several inches today. If we get typical snow we'll get another 80-100 inches by January. That means about 20 inches per week. We should get at least one good dump by then too....maybe a few. You never know.

Bottom line is we experience every type of winter driving there is...on a regular basis. Could be sub zero for a month straight in Jan/Feb. Could be warmer...usually is for a big dump. there's reall no just hard packed roads. I'll never know the comparisons you speak of because I'm all snow tire to date. I may get to comment on a cross climate type tire should we ever get them
Ah! So you do see daylight every once in a while! :p ;)

Organism Handwriting Pink Font Red



I feel that I should clarify, too, for those following the thread silently - that's a good idea, @Steve70 .

Here in NE-Ohio, about the only time we'll see hardpack is after a larger/longer storm, and typically only on side streets. Main thoroughfares are typically cleared in a timely fashion, even in the less prosperous municipalities (where, while plows can't necessarily keep those roadways fully cleared all the time, it's usually cleared/treated enough that it's that slush-treatment mix). I think in my close to 25 years here, I've only seen hardpack on the highway, once.

We get nowhere what the UP gets, but even so, when folks outside this area hear the words "snow belt" and "lake-effect snow," they tend to think that we'er in some sort of winter wonderland.... 🥶

Hairstyle Beard Gesture Facial hair Font


...the truth is - particularly in the last decade, it seems - that we're nowhere near. McMurdo, we're not.

I think that over the last 5 years or so in particular, both consumers as well as the folks selling tires have gotten much more educated about what they need in winter tires. Back in the early oughts, if you told the phone-in sales clerk at any of the big tire retailers that you lived in a snowier area, their automatic response was to push you into a "Studless Ice & Snow." Now, I'm glad to see that there's much more nuance in discussions as well as sales recommendations.

On a positive note....on the way home tonight after more snow fell, I pulled into the local school parking lot which had about 4" across it. I wanted to test the system for traction / SC parameters etc. The 4" means nothing for snow depth. Any 2WD car could easily traverse it. I was very pleased with the Subaru system! I was able to initiate a wide 360 circle with all tires doing and pulling, The back end maintained the same slight bias of oversteer as it spun its way around the circle. I did it 3 times. Every time it responded very well!
In ATL, we used to use trays from the lunch-room....... 😬

On another less positive note, I will say that the tires broke loose going up a hill 30 miles from here on a neighborhood street. I had to keep er going. I don't think it would have climbed the hill if I stopped in the middle of it. That street had about 3 inches on it, but the temp was warmer...pushing 30F
^ I wonder if the "warmer ice" allowed more water to form between the tire and the frozen precipitation on the roadway?

Ice is so complex - the 2012 Ripka paper I cited in post #29 (and paid to read) really had its meat in ice traction, and it was way over my head.
 
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