Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Review: Hankook Winter iPike w409 Tires (with studs)
Several years ago, I discovered the difference between an all-season tire and a dedicated winter tire. I was a believer; a changed driving man. I highly recommended a tread upgrade for anyone living where the snow files or where it gets cold.
My latest winter tire purchase was a set of (barely) used Hankook iPike W409 studded tires. I picked them up for $150 used, then had America's Tire install them. I've had them on for about a week and a half, and was impressed by the ride comfort and traction in the wet thus far. Like most studded winter tires, they do hum down the road much more than an all-season tire, but it's a small trade off for foul-weather traction. T0day, however, I really got to put them to good use, as my wife and I had a trip planned to the Oregon Coast, and sure enough, we got snow and ice.
Conditions along the coastal and Coast Range roads ranged from wet pavement to ice-and-snow-covered roads. Temperatures varied from about 40°F last night to 25°F this morning.
I am happy to report these tires did an outstanding job. There were only minor slight yaw changes on the ice-encrusted Oregon Highway 18, but we could tell we were doing much better than other vehicles without snow tires. Braking was equally impressive, and the car's ABS never went off. Luckily, there wasn't any hard braking required, but a couple of checks to see if the road was slippery yielded a noticeable grab by the tire's studs.
I know: $150 for four barely used tires is a hell of a deal, and so for the money, these were a steal and well worth it. And thus far, I'm very impressed by these tires. After today's experience, I'd consider buying these tires new for our other vehicles, too (or used if I could find a set!).