235 85 16 snow tires

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Tons of fat tire threads, I'm looking to put skinnys on for snow or more correctly ice. I have Nokian 265 70 16s on there now and they slide quite a bit on ice so want to go thinner. Bought 6" wide split rims and I'm selecting between lt235 85 r16 tires. The only winter tires I've found available are General Altimax Arctic, Blizzak w965s Firestone Winterforce, Cooper m/s, and Mastercraft Courser msr's. I'm leaning toward a modern ice oriented tire with tons of siping. I'm leaning toward the Altimax Arctic. Anybody have any experience with these tires or any others in this size? I'm set on the tire size, but out of curiosity how do these rigs handle on the skinny tires on dry roads?
 
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My buddy had studded courser msr's on his TJ wrangler in size 31x10.5 and loved em for 4 seasons before he sold the jeep. No input for em on a cruiser. Skinny or otherwise. Good luck!


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uHu

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Where are you based? What kind of winter do you have?
There is a thread or two in here on narrow tires, iirc.

Of the tires you mention, I know of the Blizzak, which should be good. This is a LT version though, and I don't have first hand experience with it. Looks like it could be less than perfect in sideways grip with that very square pattern.
The General tires are generally not very good for winter roads. Those that buy American cars over here, change the winter tires after, or during, the first winter to get a Nordic type of winter tire.
The Coopers will be good only for the first season. The rubber is too hard I think. I had them, but at the start of the second season I found that the 4 yrs old Michelin LTX m/s had better grip.
 
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Uhu thanks for the response. The LT Blizzaks have not been well reviewed and I had concerns with them. The General Altimax supposedly is a Nordic tire as there are some reports that it is a German made Gislavad Nordfrost 3 rebranded by General. This also happens to be the least expensive option behind an eBay no name option. I think at an 85 ratio, however, I think the sidewall stiffness is very important to dry handling so I was hoping to find someone with some seat experience. None the less, 1st priority is safety on ice, second priority is dry handling.
 

uHu

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Sounds like the Altimax could be better than the Blizzak, yes.
If ice handling is 1st pri, then only studded would be acceptable. Studded tires also often handle better on dry roads, because the rubber is harder than on Nordic type studless winter tires.

If you see a studless winter tire which the manufacturer says "can be studded" (or has holes for studs), it means that it is no good on ice without studs.
 

TLC Norway

woodwelder
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What Did you end up with?
I'm looking at nokian LT in that same size. Would love to have it reach up to a 33 or 34' tire, but no luck.

I've had the hakka LT Nokian on a hilux and 60 series before, loved them for 3 seasons, ok for the 4th.
 

e9999

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I was under the impression that it is difficult to find a place -besides heavy truck shop maybe- to install tires on a split rim in the US. Is that not true, or are you someplace else?
 

uHu

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The whole idea with split rims is that you DIY.
I did it on my old 1966 bus, on 20R11 tyres. You just need big enough hand tools.
 

e9999

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sure, but the reason why many shops here don't do it anymore is that it's too dangerous without a cage, reportedly. So caution is of the essence, I take it.
 
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I am still leaning toward the altimax tires but still haven't pulled the trigger. I did find a local tire shop willing to install them, but I'd rather do it myself for the reasons listed...especially since I have a balancer. I can't imagine it can be too dangerous to change them if you slide the tire under the truck to fill with air. Already bought a good lock on chuck for the job. Pulling the trigger soon though, don't want to mount them in the snow.
 
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Ok, I finally pulled the trigger but did not get the Altimax Arctic only due to cost. I got a really good price on Mastercraft Courser MSRs ($135 a tire) and hope I won't regret the decision. When I first started researching, I looked at snow plow forums and they almost unilaterally suggested this tire. I haven't laid eyes on them yet but I am worried that this design is older and studdable as opposed to a dedicated ice tire. That said, the best snow tires I ever had were PaceMark snow trackers for ~$39 a piece on an Omni Glh turbo so i'm definitely not convinced these won't be great. The key to the pacemarks was that they were really narrow, so I'm hopeful that the 235 width and soft winter rubber compound with siping is the key here. As an aside, I suspect that the snow plow guys would also value the life of the tire so I expect they'll be long wearing as a bonus. In a couple months I'll know for sure whether or not this was the right decision, but I'm hopeful. I'm headed to pick them up now so I'll post pics of them soon.
 
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My buddy ran these on his jeep (studded) for four seasons. If they handle and wear on the cruiser anything like they did in his jeep, you won't be disappointed.


Hahaha. I was thinking as I typed this "I've written about these tires on this forum before. At least twice." And one of those times was in this thread. Good times =) enjoy the tires!

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Here are some pics. As you can see, the tread is very deep like all Cooper products. Some siping and plenty of room between tread blocks. Seems like a compromise between ice and deep snow. I'm going to try running them stud less. I'm committed now so I'll give them a run. There's no question they'll outperform the wider Cooper AT3s that I'm running now year round.
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1443904078.897428.jpg
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So I have the snows mounted to the split rims and got them balanced. This was the first time I mounted split rims and I was very surprised how simple it really was. I have no question that I can repair a flat in minutes by myself. I was very cautious airing them up by sliding the tire completely under the k member while I filled the tire hiding behind the mounted front wheel. Bottom line though is that I have little safety concerns now that i see the construction. With the tire fully seated there just is no way for the ring to come off of today's tires. The only hairy part is filling the tire until the tire moves up onto the ring. I think the safety concerns are overblown. Also, I took them to a local tire shop to balance, so they won't mount, but no issue with balancing.
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1444793870.735203.jpg
 
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