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Need tire advice for cool temps

Old 10-25-2018, 01:11 PM
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Default Need tire advice for cool temps

I need some guidance as to which new tires to buy for my new-to-me 2004 S2K. This car will see very little rain. No snow. And no track time.

And it will get driven in temps from 32 to 90 degrees, from April to the end of October in MN.

So with the low temps should I rule out the Max Performance Summer tires? Assuming that is the case I am considering the following tires.
  1. Firehawk Indy 500
  2. Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS
  3. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06
Am I on the right track? Any clear favorites? What else should I consider?
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:42 PM
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If it will never see snow and very little rain, I'd go for a max performance summer. I'd rather enjoy the performance for the 90% of the year when the temps are warm enough and drive gently the other 10% than have compromised performance for 100% of the time.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:05 PM
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If your not going to track the car go with the Firehawk Indy 500. I have over 10k miles on mine and they work for me. I have put 140k miles on our '06 S and I think I'm on my 8th or 9th set of tires. I have run nothing but Ultra High Performance Summer or Max Performance Summer tires and I don't find much difference between the two on the street except the Ultra High Performance Summer work better when cold. I've only had the Firehawk Indy 500 tires down to 14F and they held the road just fine at that temp.

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Old 10-25-2018, 08:36 PM
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Stay away from all seasons first off, they are too soft in the sidewall and take out all the precision handling designed into the car, and in some cases make it downright scary handling as a result, and second no matter what compound tire you go with make sure the sidewalls are firm two ply construction, after you establish this, then get into where you are willing to make your compromises on compound/temp effectiveness. I tend to lean towards thomsbrain philosophy on the compound, but if this is your primary commuting car then you may choose to lean more towards the ultra or max performance category. I run Extreme summers and Rcomps on the street in every temp all year around and adjust my driving accordingly, but do avoid the wet and adverse winter conditions where I will rely on my 4x4 truck.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:02 AM
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Thanks. This is not a daily driver, FYI.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:34 AM
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I have still been driving mine on the RE-71r's from this years autox season. You are not going to want to push it much when it is sub 40, but they do ok as long as you remember that :P I would not want to drive on them below 32 though. But keep in mind, I have autocrossed on them in 32 degrees so I have a pretty good idea where the grip level will be, so be mindful if you run summer tires in the cold for sure. It is not all that good for the tire either, but I expect to buy new tires to start next season and already had these on the car ... plus, we do autocross when it is cold during our last couple of events so I end up running on them in the cold no matter what.

With all that being said, they did do just fine, but I would not go buy a set to run right now. Normally, if I decide to take it out this time of year I throw on the stock wheels and the older all seasons that are on them (like .. really old ones).

I suspect it will time to put it away for the year soon anyways, so if you have some all seasons on it already you may just want to drive on them and store it on them (if it is not stored in a heated garage I would not leave sticky summer tires on it all winter anyways since it will degrade them if they freeze for long). Then buy some good sticky summer tires in the spring.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:06 AM
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I 3 season dd my S. I am in CT, where it doesn't get as cold as MN, but certainly exceeds the temp parameters you mentioned.

I run max performance summer tires (S04). I will drive the car to work 40 mioes each way daily in temps down below 30. Once salt hits the roads, it goes into the garage till spring.

They are only dangerously slick when you first set out. Once you drive a couple of miles they warm up enough to have as much traction as I need for normal, even slightly aggressive driving.

But I definitely don't push it in the cold. I think you would be ok with the theory of max performance and take it easy below 40 (but that doesn't mean you have to drive like Grandma).

For the street, the Firestone's get very good reviews. If you are still worried about cold traction, they would seem to be an ideal choice.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:19 AM
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Between those choices:
  1. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06
No question.

With such a range of temps, no matter what you get will be a study of compromises. A summer tire will heat up - eventually but the compound is never going to match the ground temp that it needs to stick to. The closest you'll get to this is a busy interstate where performance related traction isn't a concern. With an all season performance tire, you give up some stiffness on the hottest days but remember that on cold days the rubber will be stiffer. I had Michelin Pilot Sport A/S on a BMW M roadster and a Jaguar XKR and they were great on both with an astonishingly limited amount of compromises.

The folks are tire rack are actually pretty knowledgeable so I'd recommend giving them a call as a part of your research. My favorite path to making these decisions is going to gatherings and hearing what other people do in the same scenario.
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:59 AM
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I'd not put all season tires on a S2000 and the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 tires are all season tires. These are probably the best all season tires available but still several tiers below the better summer tires. My wife has them on her Subaru Legacy 3.6R (actually on her second set) and they're wonderful on that car.

I've run Bridgestone S04 Max Performance Summer tires on the S2000 now for two years. One year in Cleveland, Ohio (snow belt) and now here in Richmond. Weekend car. As long as it's warm enough to run roof-down and you let the tires warm up for a few miles they're great in cool weather. Several "runs" with other cars starting in the 40°F range. Just don't drive stupid in these temperatures and you'll be rewarded in the summer. The Honda went in storage November to April in Ohio but is merely garaged here in Virginia when the weather gets bad.

-- Chuck
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:30 AM
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I have been using max performance tires primarily since I bought my S. However, I have a set of highly rated all seasons on my OEM wheels that I use during the shoulder seasons. In my opinion, contrary to the conventional wisdom often posted here, they perform very well. I'll probably continue to use dedicated summer tires in the warm months. But, I honestly think the good higher rated A/S tires available these days are perfectly fine if you are an enthusiast driving only on the street. I notice no real performance difference. I drive on twisty back country roads all the time. I don't notice a meaningful difference from a handling perspective.

The Firehawks are not in the "max performance" category on Tire Rack. They are one notch lower. I'm thinking for an enthusiast who likes to drive in a spirited way on the street only, the Firehawks may be the sweet spot right now. They are available in 16" which is a good thing. I have a set of Conti Extremecontact Sports (which I ilike a great deal) that will last me one more season. But, after they are shot, I think I will give the Firehawks a shot. Its fun to experiment with different tires. There are a lot of good options.
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