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Tyres that REALLY work


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Yesterday I was at the excellent TR trackday at Castle Combe. There were very few small chassis cars, my Spitfire and 2 Vitesses 

Anyway the point of this post is to suggest tyres that really work. On the track we had heavy rain at times, and on a few sessions a dry track, so everything we normally get in this country. And please bear in mind speeds into bends, changes in direction and hard braking are all happening all the time, so the cars and tyres get tested to extremes.

Both Vitesses were running Falken SN832 tyres. The consensus from both cars is that that are a truly excellent wet weather tyre, on driver uses them for wet sprints when he competes. There is a slight downside in that they are not the best dry weather tyre, but still pretty good. And dry performance is not usually an issue.... I have fitted these to our family "citycar" as wet performance is so important.

That brings me onto my tyres. I fitted a set of Michelin Crossclimates. This was because I was supposed to be doing a trackday at Silverstone a few weeks ago, and the average temperatures were likely to be below 7 degrees. I am sounding fickle, but from experience normal (summer) tyres do not grip well in cold weather. Recently in the cold weather I have had a few experiences in town with people pulling out of side turnings, and my work car locking up, something that just wouldn't happen  normally. However, these Crossclimates are designed to be a summer tyre that still work well in cold temperatures, and cope with all weathers. 

So yesterday, I arrived at the track, with 20 year old daughter and an umbrella. The car was fantastic, doing nigh on 100 track miles. There was never an issue with grip, and it felt brilliantly sure footed. And at least as good as the previous tyres in the dry/warm (another tyre I can recommend, Goodyear efficientgrip performance, but don't like the cold!) Will I be fitting them to my work/everyday car? yes. The downside for many Triumph owners is they are only available in 14" and bigger. 

So if anybody is thinking of new tyres, there are some tried and tested recommendations. Please do not think that a classic that is used rarely doesn't need good tyres, 99.9% of the time you could run bald remoulds, but it that one occasion when the unexpected happens that a tyre has to prove its worth. And you really do not want to find it lacking. 

 

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I had winter tyres (wintracs)  on my discovery for 2 winters and they were so much better in the wet/cold compared to the previous 5 years on ATR’s. I have heard of the ones you mention Clive and the comments have all been good. 

And I fully agree about tyres for our classics. Why spoil the cloth for a hapeth of tar?

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Interesting discussion, I have just put Uniroyal Rainmaster on my Herald (165 13R). They did replace 9 year old tyres but the car just feels so much better. This in not pushing it just driving around, really surprised how different it feels. Now fully understand why you should change the tyres as they get old....

Cheers

mike

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Mike, I have heard many good things about the uniroyals,  I know John Bonnet likes them, which is a notable recommendation. But so glad you have found the great improvement with new tyres. It seems many out there in classic-land think that tread depth is all that matters:angry:

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17 minutes ago, clive said:

Mike, I have heard many good things about the uniroyals,  I know John Bonnet likes them, which is a notable recommendation. But so glad you have found the great improvement with new tyres. It seems many out there in classic-land think that tread depth is all that matters:angry:

to be honest I was surprised how old the tyres were, I have had the car for a long time! Only noticed when I was doing some work on the car and checked the date code on the tyres. You can feel the difference in the rubber just by looking and touching it, yes the old one had plenty of tread and would have passed an MOT but the difference is noticeable. New tyres aren't that expensive but you need to look beyond the tread depth!

Mike

 

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Very odd. Maybe they have stopped as sales are low?? I guess they are a bit of a "premium" tyre, and I doubt there are many recent cars with anything smaller than a 15 or even 16 inch wheel. Except our pug107 (C1/Aygo) which use an unusual 14" tyre......

Saying that:

https://www.michelin.co.uk/tyres/michelin-crossclimate

Maybe you saw the crossclimate + page? I think they are slightly updated version....

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I've got a set of Pirelli P6 that have been great, showing no signs of wearing out and they must be nearly 30 years old.

I reckon they will out live me at this rate.

I bought a set of Goodyear Efficient grip Performance for the TR last year, now they were a revelation. 

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Just now, thescrapman said:

I've got a set of Pirelli P6 that have been great, showing no signs of wearing out and they must be nearly 30 years old.

I reckon they will out live me at this rate.

I bought a set of Goodyear Efficient grip Performance for the TR last year, now they were a revelation. 

Are the P6 the one you use for autosolos? they have done a few.....must be rock hard!

The efficientgrips are really good tyres, but be warned about cold weather. Had the spit lock up a few times in the cold snap, nearly caught me out big time when a blind old bat pulled out of a junction in her pug306. Straight out onto a main road. Obviously a bright yellow spitfire with lights on was hard to see:angry:

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Rock hard is not getting close, reckon they must be approaching diamond now... :-)

got given some spare ones as well. Zero chance of any loading on my suspension.

TR is less likely to go out in cold weather, but I did note the 2000 on my driveway that I seem to have ended up storing has a set as well, will warn the owner.

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7 hours ago, dougbgt6 said:

Most manufacturers say chuck them away after 7 years, but they would say that wouldn't they? :lol:

My brother made Quick Fit change his tyres when he noticed the "new" ones they'd put on were 2 years old.

db

Good for him! I got caught like that with the Hankook rears on my GT6 - bought in either 2014 or 2015, but are dated 2010. I didn't notice for ages afterwards - my Dad got them put on the rims whilst I was away working at an air show. All that said, they aren't showing any outward signs of ageing yet. Mind you, the fronts (which I will be replacing this year as they are wearing) are dated 2008 - again with no sign of ageing.

Gully

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Hi

Interesting. Caught up with an edition of "Car SOS" over the weekend, which was quite enlightening, how do they do it in 3 weeks?. They must really throw manpower and cash at it behind the scenes, for the programme?. However, I digress, one of the "Snippets" was about putting new tyres on the Herald 13/60 they where doing (hence my interest). And, the boss, (I assume?), of a company called "Longstone?" Tyres, was recommending a Mich; XZS?. Which he reckoned was the best compromise between adhesion and driveability (no Power Steering of course). Apparently it is a revamp of the OLD XZS range?, so must be produced in low volume for the classic market.

The tyres that came with the "box of bits", (mine) are a mixture of makes and ages. But I have no intention of doing Track Days. so I favour a good compromise. Incidently they fitted the Herald Engine with a Fuel injection system, which gave it the edge over the N/A version in a staged "drag" race. I have recorded a programme about refurbishing a GT6, too, which I have yet to view.

 

Pete.

Edited by PeteH
spellin and additon of text.
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I would like to fit original pattern quality tyres to my Vit , but unfortunately they are very expensive each compared to a modern readily available tyre. I appreciate that companies like Longstone work hard to persuade companies like Michelin to remake ' classic' suited tyres, but I suppose as long as they are made /sold in low numbers the price will remain high.

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My point is that experience on track is useful to see how good a tyre is. Normal driving is unlikely to test a tyre, but in an emergency you want the tyre to do what it is supposed to.

Vintage tyres may look correct, and indeed some are very good. But the cost is indeed very high, and they still only last 7 years. You pays your money etc, but good tyres are a sound investment.

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I can see how "modern" tyres might attract, especially for hard road use and some track days. However I have to consider that fitting some really sticky modern compounded tyre might make low speed manoeuvring more difficult, having got used to PAS on my last few moderns. Also I would surmise that not ALL modern tyres are suited to Classic use, with different Setups.

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