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Old 11-25-2020, 11:12 AM   #1
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Snow Tire recommendations

New to the forum, so if this has been recently discussed, please just refer me to the correct thread.

I have BFG KO2 as my all around tires on 17" wheels, but I am considering dedicated snow tires to get over snowy/icy mountain passes.

Studded? Your experience with your recommended tires under these conditions would be appreciated.

I have 144 4x4 outfitted my SMB West.

Thank you
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:39 AM   #2
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Is it just an occasional pass, with ice and snow free roads rest of winter? If so, perhaps careful driving and chains are best.
Or are you on ice and snow for months? If so, designated winter tires are probably best.

We live in Montana and regularly drive snow and ice packed roads. We have studded tires Oct through Mar. Nokian Hakkapelita. So far, never slided with these tires. But... Always mind speed, braking behavior, and position on road.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:26 PM   #3
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Aren't the BFG KO2 already snow-rated? They should have the mountain-snowflake logo on the sidewall. That should be a fantastic snow-tire on their own.

I tried a dedicated snow-tire one season, and found they'd get bogged down in deep slush. Went back to a more aggressive tread the next season.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:55 PM   #4
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@carrinb Yes, BFG KO2 are "snow rated". We use them in summer. But... if you are driving on snow-packed or icy roads regularly, especially with a heavy vehicle, actual winter tires are advisable for better traction. Last year I was a bit late putting on our studded tires... ended up sliding backwards on a pretty steep-ice packed forest service road... in the dark. I thought I was going to go down the side slope, loosing the vehicle, perhaps our lives. Came to a stop only a few feet from the edge. I put on chains on the spot (no wheel movement needed to put our chains on). Turns out the tracks were like bobsleigh tracks... I had to hold on to the vehicle with my hands to keep myself upright walking alongside the vehicle. Then I backed the vehicle down in a controlled manner without further issue. It was a very bad experience leaving me with a dry mouth for hours and a bit "ice-shy" for months.

It was my error in several ways:
1. I should have already put the studded tires on.
2. I seriously misjudged the surface in the dark. I should have investigated and stopped. But conditions can change fast when going up a mountain...
3. Should I have continued anyway, I should have put on chains before sliding.

My conclusions were:
1. Despite the studded tires costing about $1000, they are totally worth it when you drive on snow packed icy surfaces regularly. We go to Yellowstone in winter quite a bit. Typically the surface is snow packed and icy, with slopes, with curves... So, for us it is well worth it.
2. Having snow chains, especially ones that do not require you to move the wheels when putting them on, and actually having them in the vehicle, can get you out of a dangerous situation. They are also worth every penny in my experience.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:04 PM   #5
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@carrinb

I forgot to add this perspective: You are right, winter tires are not great on wet surfaces at all. Studded tires are also not great on dry surfaces. So, it depends on how often you drive on snow and ice, and how ice packed those roads are. If it is an occasional pass in winter, with no snow and ice for the rest of the winter, I would not get winter tires. Because it increases danger for most of the rest of the winter on wet or dry road surfaces. Instead I would drive very carefully on snow and ice (as one should always do), investigate and walk the surface when in doubt, not be afraid to decide to stop and turn back, and carry chains.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:09 PM   #6
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Agree with whats been said. I typically drive the passes around here 4-6 times a month with the odd trip to Wyoming sprinkled in. Most other driving is typical valley winter driving, read wet. I was pleased with how the KO2's did and have been even more pleased with my current General Grabber ATXs as a snow flake rated all rounder. Never considered a dedicated or studded tire for that amount of snow driving.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:53 PM   #7
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We are another studded tire family and have Mastercraft Courser MSR studded tires.If we lived in a different part of town we could probably get away with just a snow rated tire but our access and fall line to our road can be a challenge.
It definitely makes a difference when you feel comfortable in the road conditions that are present!
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:15 PM   #8
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Suggestion: if you get winter tires, get the same size you use in summer.

This means:
1. Odometer will read the same.
2. You can use 1 set of chains for summer and winter.


We have the winter tires on their own rims (steel, ugly). Makes seasonal change easier and reduces wear on the tires.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcel Huijser View Post
Suggestion: if you get winter tires, get the same size you use in summer.

This means:
1. Odometer will read the same.
2. You can use 1 set of chains for summer and winter.


We have the winter tires on their own rims (steel, ugly). Makes seasonal change easier and reduces wear on the tires.
Yep we have a different set of rims winter,summer for all our vehicles as through experience it has just been the easiest to be able to switch when required instead of having to go to the tire shop.
Marcel I am interested to know what chains you are using?
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:36 PM   #10
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@Blowby


We have RUD chains.

Can't remember the model, could look it up if the label is still there.

They go on at the spot, no wheel rolling needed.
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