Snow/Ice Winter Tyres recommendations (Mini Cooper R56)

Soldato
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21 Aug 2006
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Hi guys,

I'm getting a Mini Cooper S end of November which is the beginning of the friggin freezing winter here in Moscow. Anyone got recommendations for studded winter tyres? I'll be driving on slush, deep snow, packed snow, ice, tarmac (ha dream on!).

I've read good things about the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 but I can only find the 5s here. I assume there isn't much difference other than the 7s being a newer model. These come to approx £150 per tyre, is this extreme overkill?

Will be using 17" x7" R112 Mini wheels, not sure what size tyre I need...

Thanks in advance.
 
Caporegime
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You want recommendations for studded winter tyres, from people in the UK?

A nation that needs snow tyres for all of 3 days a year?

I'd be talking to the locals to be honest.
 
Soldato
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lol, i know i know but there are plenty of people on these forums from US, eastern europe and northern most reaches of scotland so I'm sure there is some experience here :p + if anyone in the UK did buy them they'd be a snow fanatic and therefore possibly a good person to hear from ;)
 
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Caporegime
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I drive up the Alps twice a year, and even then I only take a set of chains, and at most buy a set of winter compound tyres (never bothered with the 330d, just used chains). Had winter tyres on the Volvo 850, but they were only cheap things from a brand I'd not heard of before.
 
Soldato
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I'll be buying my first set this year for my cobalt. Looks like I'll be paying around $5-600. Having been to moscow when it was -20 and snowing id be buying some if I had to drive over there too.
 
Soldato
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I think the tyre fitting is 205/45/17 but it seems run flats in this size are hard to find.
 

mjt

mjt

Soldato
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Sounds about right for those tyres. They seem to be the most expensive by a mile.

I don't know much about studded tyre prices, but with normal winter tyres 17" are significantly more expensive than 16s.
Can you get 16" steelies over the brake calipers?

Remember that studded tyres are more expensive than regular winter tyres, and RFTs are even more expensive. Couple that to arguably the best tyre, you get crazy prices :)
 
Soldato
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All good points. Wonder if I should get some 16" alloys for winter use (cant really bring myself to stick ugly steelies on there considering the winter here lasts 6 months).

Do tyre sizes have to match exactly - i.e. can a 205/55/17 fit where the normal tyre would be 205/45/17? I understand it's the ration that's different so does it just mean it will be a taller tyre so depends entirely on whether it fits in the wheel arch rather than on the rim? Might need to start a separate thread about that!
 
Caporegime
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having two sets of wheels is what a lot of people in Canada / The northern states do.

Stops the snow / ice / grit etc.. ruining your nice shiny alloys too.
 
Associate
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having two sets of wheels is what a lot of people in Canada / The northern states do.

Stops the snow / ice / grit etc.. ruining your nice shiny alloys too.

^this.
+ you just swap them on your driveway in half an hour for free rather than paying £50-100 + 2 times a year.

I'd just go for mid range winter tyres to be fair. I disagree with "only 2 days a year", If you leave home in the morning the temperatures are highly likely to be close if not under 0 degrees celsius for quite a long time. Last winter I was in Colchester (dryest and warmest town in England apparently) and there were a solid 2 weeks of snow.

Also for a country that doesn't have any mountains there are a LOT of hills in England from what I've seen. That means you will have lots of fun each time there is even the slightest amount of snow (because hey, it hardly every snows so we don't need grit ha).

Personally I drove the same car with mid range summer tires in England and it was full of pant browning moments on hills even on a tiny amount of snow despite driving carefully and being used to driving on snow.

I also drove the same car a few years ago in a place where there was snow/ice everywhere. I could drive completely safe and relaxed even though I only had budget winter tyres. It's just a different compound and a different kettle of fish.

While at 4-5 degrees high performance summer tyres may stop quicker than cheapo winter ones, as soon as you get a tiny amount of snow the difference is horrendous. And imo it's nice to be able to feel safe in your car even if it's just for 2 weeks of snow.
 
Caporegime
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to be fair the winters have been untypically harsh recently.

Apart from the last 2 winters, we've not really had any snow in winter.
 
Soldato
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I can guarantee at least 4 months of snow here and temperatures consistently at -5*C and below, so i've no concern that they will get well used :D. Found the same nokian 7s from a tyre dealer at half the price quoted by the mini dealer...perhaps the mini dealer meant with alloys :confused: (I can hope).
 
Soldato
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Nope from England, but these seem to be their list prices but found out that £1,457 was including a standard 16" alloy so not quite as bad as previoulsy thought. German cars are a rip off when it comes to ording optional extras anyway :mad:
 
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