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MINI VANILLI
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203 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
just got a cooper with the sport package. since it come standard with performance tires, i was wondering how these tires are in the snow and slush? the pattern looks pretty agressive for a performance tire. i'm a pretty good winter driver, we get 5 months of snow up here in cleveland. i have DSC, ABS on my mini. the dealer told me alot of people drive on the mini performance tires all year round. does anybody have any experience driving on the performance tires that come with the cooper sport package? i know i SHOULD get other tires, but why would i if can use these. i really don't want to spend the extra money.
 

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Sullivan Racing
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1,117 Posts
My own theory is this: On ice, it doesn't matter what tires you have, you're going to slide. In snow, you just have to go SLOW. It amazes me how people around here will still be doing the speed limit despite 5" of snow on the road. I do not have snow tires and I do fine around here. I think the only reason I would get snow tires is if I were worried about getting stuck.
 

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Ok so far

Mine are doing ok so far. Surprisingly good grip in snow, but they only have 10K km on them. They are the 16 inch Dunlops. We've had a fair amount of snow so far but it hasn't really gotten cold yet.
 

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Benny the Yellow Cab
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347 Posts
My two cents on this is...in snow skinney tires are best.

My 71 Moggie can go through just about any snow depth 'cause the narrow tires dig in and bite. Our other cars with wide tires have a problem.

Mayhaps - but this might be too horrible to imagine - get a set of narrow 15 inch rims that fit and mount up some winter tires....then run these during the dark months.

If nothing else, you'll extend the life of your very expensive 16's.

Peter...expecting snow...in Denver
 

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cristo
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2,858 Posts
I agree....performance tires suck in the snow, and when the temp is below 40F,
the rubber compound gets hard and doesn't grip that great even on dry roads, so it's
a bit of a waste of your summer(/spring/fall) tires.
Nothing wrong with getting 15" winter wheels/tires on any MINI for the 3-5 months of
the year when the mercury's down there. Plus, it's a blast when spring springs and
you put the performance wheels/tires back on for the fun 7-9 months of the Motoring year.

:cool: ;) :D :)
 

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2,683 Posts
Good studless winter tires are much, much, MUCH better on ice than summer tires, though of course not nearly as good as studded tires (where they are legal). I wouldn't drive my MINI on summer tires in snow. Friends who tried it were doing 360s and regretted their choice...

Harry
 

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Obsessive Not Compulsive
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413 Posts
I will store my 16" Dunlops/R84 X-lites soon and mount the OE 15" Contis/R81 7-hole wheels for winter and see how the narrow tires do in the snow and cold before deciding about true winter tires.
I know I should just buy winters but would like to get some value out of the Contis.
Have you considered checking ebay for a set of the Contis/R81's?
 

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Benny the Yellow Cab
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347 Posts
HarryIndiBlue said:
Good studless winter tires are much, much, MUCH better on ice than summer tires, though of course not nearly as good as studded tires (where they are legal). I wouldn't drive my MINI on summer tires in snow. Friends who tried it were doing 360s and regretted their choice...

Harry
In Ontario you must get more ice on the roads than I am used to either in Wisconsin or Colorado. I say this because IME studs are a detriment in any winter condition other than ice. In snow they create a lessening of grip....again , this is my experience.

I would never mount studs for my conditions as they aren't warranted and I dislike what they do th the roads.

That and I grind my teeth when I see someone in a Front Wheel Drive Minivan driving past me in a parking lot ...with studs on all four tires...in summer.

Peter...who must stop grinding his teeth...in Denver
 

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I was only talking about ice braking performance. Around here there is enough pavement between snowstorms (after the cleanups) that studs would be detrimental to both braking distance on dry pavement and to the pavement itself. My cars, including my MINI, ride on studdless winter tires for the season. In locations where there is always an ice base on the road for the season, studs are useful.

Harry
 

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Sitting on a park bench..
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1,183 Posts
Based on extensive research here and over at NAM, I went out and bought some used R81s (15") on eBay, and have purchased Nokians (185). I'm due to get them mounted in a couple of weeks (of course it snowed today) when I have my 10k checkup...even tho' it's a FWD car, it's so light w/ so much torque I'm gonna feel better. Plus, it's all about the stopping ability as well (which is what most of the yahoos in the SUVs forget) and it's important to put 'em on AWD cars too....
 
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