Are All-Season Tires Really Capable Of Handling All Weather Conditions?
There is a lot more than what you see and the road when it comes to tires. With the number of brands offering all-season rubber, you’d be sorry for any confusion when it comes to trading in a new set. Fortunately, Jonathan Benson from Tire Reviews put some of the industry’s contenders to the test.
So where the hell did he find the facilities to subject them to the all-season wringer? Fortunately, Goodyear came to the rescue and left the keys under the rug not only for its test center in Ladoux in southern France, but also for its snow-covered demonstration circuit in Lapland, Finland.
Surprisingly, with the ground covered in snow and ice, one of the low budget contenders, the Giti produced the fastest lap time in the winter handling test. We know you won’t set records on public roads, but it’s important to know how these tires behave in high intensity situations. Benson mentioned that while the Giti produced the best lap time, the Continental offering was the best, providing a more positive and safer feel behind the wheel.
Unsurprisingly, things were a little different in wet handling tests on Goodyear’s tarmac tape in Ladoux. It also turned out to be a bit of a role reversal for the Giti tire, which has been relegated to the bottom of the timesheets. While the Cooper tire was just as dark as it was in snow, a surprise competitor in the wet was the Bridgestone A005 which offered optimal lap time, feel and balance.
In the dry, the results were incredibly close – the fastest and slowest tire were separated by just 2.4 seconds. At the top, it was the Michelin and the Vredestein that produced exactly the same lap time, but in two very different ways; while the former offered a safer understeer feel, the latter offered a better turn but induced some oversteer.
While these two riders proved to be the fastest in the dry, Benson praised all of the contenders as they maintained the same relative level of performance throughout each test and did not fall apart under the high loads. In the end, it was a draw between Bridgestone, Hankook and Goodyear, where all provided satisfactory performances in wet and dry conditions, without however falling off a cliff in the snow.