How I equipped my car with 12 tires
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who reads this! This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for the grace and salvation God has given me. What are you most thankful for?
A few weeks ago, I purchased a set of BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S ultra high performance all-season tires (P215/45R17 91W) from the Tire Rack ($118 each) for my 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan. On November 15th, I had them mounted, balanced, and installed on my car at Island Tire & Service in Pasadena for a very reasonable rate, although it appears they may have slightly scratched some of my wheels in the process.
Why select an all-season tire in (Southern) California? Or rather, why not?
First, I have a separate set of Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R (P225/45R17 91W) extreme performance summer tires that I use for the track. Second, I like knowing that my car can be driven in snow if necessary to go snowboarding, skiing, or to retreat sites. Third, it would be nice to have a set of tires that last for a while compared to summer tires or even the factory supplied Bridgestone Potenza RE92 tires, which only have a treadwear rating of 160 compared to the BFG’s 400.
So how exactly did I equipped my car with 12 tires? The answer is I didn’t. But in a way, I did. BFGoodrich’s g-Force Super Sport A/S tire replaced the venerable g-Force T/A KDWS. The g-Force Super Sport A/S is constructed with three distinct rubber compounds to provide traction in dry, wet, and snowy conditions. Many all-season tires may have three distinct zones, but each zone uses the same rubber compound.
Dry: The outer sides of the tread feature large shoulder blocks designed to maximize traction while cornering. Additionally, these same blocks also contain sipes to aid with acceleration and braking in snow. Displayed in the middle, the continuous center rib provides the driver with excellent steering feel.
Wet: The center rib and grooves on its sides work with the swept lateral grooves to effectively channel water and reduce hydroplaning.
Snow: In-between the dry and wet tread zones is the snow zone. Working in conjuction with the outer shoulder blocks’ sipes, the intermediate tread block provides a snow hook shape to function like snow chains.
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. In May, the Tire Rack conducted a test of the BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires against its chief competitors. You can see their results here. Although it finished second in their comparison, the g-Force Super Sport A/S produced the dry performance numbers. It didn’t have the wet grip of the Bridgestone Potenza RE960AS Pole Position tire (another tire I was considering at $150 each) or the ride comfort, but I figured most of the miles I would accumulate would be on dry tarmac. Thus, I decided to sacrifice road manners for better handling (after all, I’m still young, right?).
If that’s not enough to convince you of what an excellent tire this is, Car and Driver also plays host to a BFGoodrich Tires Virtual Test Drive (Adobe Flash required) mini-site. There you can learn more about BFGoodrich tires including the g-Force Super Sport A/S. Four-time SCCA Trans Am champion and host of SPEED Test Drive and SETUP, Tommy Kendall, will talk, or rather, drive, you through the features and construction of the tire. You can even ride along with Tommy as he drives a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX on the track at Miller Motorsports Park.
Here’s a cool did you know (dyk): BFGoodrich is owned by Michelin (FRA) like Firestone (USA) is owned by Bridgestone (JPN)
With old man winter now upon us–or right around the corner–there isn’t a better time than the present to make sure your vehicle’s shoes will keep you and your loved ones safe in inclement weather. If your tires’ tread depths are less than 4/32 of an inch you should consider replacing them as soon as possible. 2/32″ is the legal limit, but grooves shallower than 4/32″ are less resistant to hydroplaning.
Not sure how to measure your tires’ tread depths? Here’s an excellent article you may find useful. Remember to keep your tires properly inflated as well!