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Preferred tires for stock class?

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  • Preferred tires for stock class?

    I need to pick up some tires for a stock class Miata. I'm assuming snow tires are still the go-to solution? Firestone Winterforce or General Altimax still the ones to get? I'm open to all opinions or suggestions. Thanks!

  • #2
    I've used the Hankook iPike on my 2.5RS and my previous Evo. The iPike is very similar to the General Altimax. I have noticed though that the new iPike and Winterforce have been updated with different tread patterns. Not so sure that I like them as well.
    Charles
    RXB
    MA 1995 Subaru Impreza
    SA 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

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    • #3
      The Winterforces have been superseded by the Winterforce 2.

      I bought a pair for my S40 to use as alternates. I wasn't terribly impressed with the original Winterforce but it at least was quite inexpensive and had a very chunky tread pattern, even if the compound wasn't so great.

      The 2 is 10x worse. I can't say for what the compound is like, since I never actually competed on them, but the sidewalls are paper thin and about as stiff, and the tread blocks are very close together. Treadwidth is about 1/2" narrower than normal, for my tire size (185/65-15) I had them on the back of my S40 on the street and the handling was scary compared to my old Altimaxes (which were horrible tires to rallycross on unless the car had AWD). It felt like the rear suspension bushings were all shot and the tires had 15 pounds in them even though I had them up to 40psi. And with a trailer the handling was downright spooky.

      I gave the tires away with the car when I sold the S40, so I won't ever have any competition experience on them.

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      • #4
        A stock Miata has inexpensive snow tires and cheap secondhand wheels, so the upshot is that you can test with multiple tires.

        Another one to try might be the Cooper Weather-Master ST/2. Cheap, blocky tread pattern.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pete View Post
          The Winterforces have been superseded by the Winterforce 2.

          I bought a pair for my S40 to use as alternates. I wasn't terribly impressed with the original Winterforce but it at least was quite inexpensive and had a very chunky tread pattern, even if the compound wasn't so great.

          The 2 is 10x worse. I can't say for what the compound is like, since I never actually competed on them, but the sidewalls are paper thin and about as stiff, and the tread blocks are very close together. Treadwidth is about 1/2" narrower than normal, for my tire size (185/65-15) I had them on the back of my S40 on the street and the handling was scary compared to my old Altimaxes (which were horrible tires to rallycross on unless the car had AWD). It felt like the rear suspension bushings were all shot and the tires had 15 pounds in them even though I had them up to 40psi. And with a trailer the handling was downright spooky.

          I gave the tires away with the car when I sold the S40, so I won't ever have any competition experience on them.
          Pete, did you find anything that works?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JimR View Post
            A stock Miata has inexpensive snow tires and cheap secondhand wheels, so the upshot is that you can test with multiple tires.

            Another one to try might be the Cooper Weather-Master ST/2. Cheap, blocky tread pattern.
            i've looked at this one but i'm concerned by all the sipes reducing the strength of the tread blocks, leading to chunking and rapid wear...

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            • #7
              The list i'm considering is as follows:

              - Firestone winterforce 1 (original). $250/4, terrible on-road manners, soft sidewall, but reputably works well in the dirt.
              - General altimax arctic (original). slightly better on-road manners than winterforce, but also works well on dirt
              - Hankook iPike. i've used this one on a stock miata and experienced some tread chunking on combo dirt/shale lots. Didn't work that well in mud. But optimal conditions it's almost as fast as a rally tire.
              - Mastercraft glacier grip - i used this one, it was decently quick but also experienced some chunking on a low power FWD.
              - Presa Pi01
              - Nokian Nordman
              - Goodyear ultragrip
              - Goodyear nordic

              - Nexen Winguard Winspike

              - Hercules Avalanche Extreme

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hufflepuff View Post

                Pete, did you find anything that works?
                Back to back testing in Tulsa in 2012 had Cooper Weathermaster tires being negligibly different in times compared to aged Michelin ZE rally tires.

                I have Weathermasters on my S60R, mainly because they are are the cheapest option available in a rubberband 18" fitment (225/45, versus 235/40 OE size). But they do work rather well. I was quite happy with them on the RX-7 when I took it to the few winter events I did, with 206/60-15s on the front and 235/45-17s on the rear.
                Last edited by Pete; 09-29-2018, 11:25 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hufflepuff View Post

                  i've looked at this one but i'm concerned by all the sipes reducing the strength of the tread blocks, leading to chunking and rapid wear...
                  Those sipes add grip.

                  As for rapid wear, who cares? Winter tires are not built with rubber that ages well, they should be replaced every year or every other year anyway. Use 'em or lose 'em.

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                  • #10
                    I have just discovered that the Weathermaster ST/2 (the good one) has been discontinued. It is no longer on Cooper's USA website, although it still exists on the Canadian site.

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                    • #11
                      I noticed Jan Gerber was running Hercules snow tires this year. The one design looks rather similar to the Cooper Weathermaster. Check it out here. It's hard to judge if the gaps are smaller or larger.

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