PNW folks, what's better for rainy winters, my ATs or Snow Tires?

CloudCity

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Directed at fellow Pacific Northwest drivers since we have heavy winter rains but anyone with similar climate do feel free to contribute...

So my rig came with a set of nearly-new Dueler ATs for daily use and I love them and have read that they do well in wet weather conditions, but it also came with a spare set of mounted non-studded snow tires. My question is that I live in Oregon where we get a lot of rain through winter, so I am trying to figure out if I should just run the ATs and they will do ok if we get some random snow this year (which isn't guaranteed here and usually only a couple of days a year) but mainly I want to hear how these tires do for folks who run into LOTS of water on the highways, do they stay planted?

I assume if I put the snow tires on they would obviously help with snow, but for the rest of the time would they be better than the Dueler's in heavy rain or are my ATs best? Just really confused on the performance of snow tires in rain.
 

CloudCity

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Up in Seattle so similar if not worse rain.

I recently got K02s. Extremely happy with how they've been performing in the rain and snow up in the mountains.
Thanks for the tip. I’m not looking to replace my tires as my main set is new but really seeking info on what’s best for our weather between the Dueler ATs and a dedicated set of non-studded snow tires for heavy rain.
 
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Don't have experience with your specific tires but I'll say this, I've lived in Seattle since I started driving. I always had all-season tires on my regular cars for driving around on paved roads. 99% of the time, they work just fine and I had no concern even during heavy rain. For the other 1% of extreme rain or snow, I had to pay a bit more attention.

In your position, I'd just stick with the Duelers. When the time came to get new tires, I'd look into AT tires that do well in the snow as well.
 

CloudCity

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Don't have experience with your specific tires but I'll say this, I've lived in Seattle since I started driving. I always had all-season tires on my regular cars for driving around on paved roads. 99% of the time, they work just fine and I had no concern even during heavy rain. For the other 1% of extreme rain or snow, I had to pay a bit more attention.

In your position, I'd just stick with the Duelers. When the time came to get new tires, I'd look into AT tires that do well in the snow as well.
Thanks for the additional info! Maybe I’ll just save the snow tires for trips to Timberline and and run the ATs the rest of the time. I’m happy with them in every other situation.
 

lovetoski

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Winter tires have two important differences which improve traction in snow and ice. Rubber compound stays softer at lower temps, conforming to the road surface better. And the additional siping gives more edges to bite. My understanding is that these two changes also help performance in the rain. I've had dedicated (non-studded) winter tires on previous vehicles, and I thought the tires were awesome in the rain. If you already have them, there's no harm to running them. Save the AT's for dryer weather, and between the two sets you won't have to buy new tires for quite awhile. BTW - I am a Seattle guy.
 

CloudCity

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Winter tires have two important differences which improve traction in snow and ice. Rubber compound stays softer at lower temps, conforming to the road surface better. And the additional siping gives more edges to bite. My understanding is that these two changes also help performance in the rain. I've had dedicated (non-studded) winter tires on previous vehicles, and I thought the tires were awesome in the rain. If you already have them, there's no harm to running them. Save the AT's for dryer weather, and between the two sets you won't have to buy new tires for quite awhile. BTW - I am a Seattle guy.
Thanks much. I wasn’t sure if “snow tires” were different in tread pattern than “winter tires” which many people may not differentiate but you understand my angle here since we don’t have typical winter weather like the rest of the country. Saving wear does make sense too, maybe I just need to switch them out and see what each set feels like. Appreciate your reply.
 

80t0ylc

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Both A/T and snow tires will perform well on wet pavement, given they have adequate tread left. What is needed from tire construction to help minimize hydroplaning are tread grooves to channel the water away and allow the rubber to remain in contact with the pavement and not have a layer of water separating rubber from pavement. It's friction that allows you to steer, brake and keep control. M/T tires have very wide grooves, but have less rubber in contact with the road surface, compared to A/T & snow tires, so their performance on wet pavement is not as good. Point is, the harder it's raining - the slower you should be driving. If it's raining hard enough, the water on the road will make any tire hydroplane if the speed is too high.
 
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The question I have is which of the Dueller ATs you have? The 3s are the most aggressive and probably the best for rain. As mentioned, here in the PNW you want (at leas I want) an open tread design to evacuate the water when it rains hard. I am up and down from Whistler weekly in my 100, and my favorite tires for winter are either the Cooper ST Maxx, or the Toyo MT. Both of these really work well in in the super wet snow and rain. No hydroplane action for me!

Not knowing which snow tires you have, it’s hard to say if they will be better. Snow tires are usually very soft compound rubber with a huge number of sipes in them. The openness of the tread is secondary to those factors in typical colder snow areas. Here at the coast where we get slurpee type snow, a spied MT is a really good alternative.
 
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