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Thread: Winter tires and Wheel sets for Abarth?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Carlisle, PA
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    Winter tires and Wheel sets for Abarth?

    After experiencing a decent winter last year, then getting caught in the sudden snowstorm in the east coast in March, I have decided that my Michelin Sport AS are not quite up to the task in crossing powdery drifting snow with wind or ice-encrusted roads, although they worked fine in regular snowfall or slush. Spinning out twice on a road with several pieces of fender and tire laying about like road mines isn't the funnest of experiences when you're trying to drive to work!

    Are there any suggestions you guys have on winter tires or rims? I currently have stock 16" rims and it has been a trial trying to find some cheap steelies in the required fit. The 16" size seems to have very limited tires for it, while the 17" has much more available, but I would hate to ruin a brand new (expensive) set of rims by throwing studded tires on them, although I'm unsure of the fit and finish of the cheaper aluminum rims from tirerack.

  2. #2

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    Mar 2017
    Lewis Center, OH
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    I have two sets of wheels, summer tires on one, and all seasons on the other, and I have a set of "Snow Control" tires as well, though they are not mounted on any rims.

    Cheap rims are not too difficult to find. Look for a set of used rims for your winter set, there is almost always at least one set of wheels for less than $300 here on the forum.
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  4. #4
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    I highly recommend to buy off the category studless snow & ice type tires. I have Pirelli Snow Control 3 and I am very disappointing with their performance on snow! Their category is 'performance', which means you can still drive your sports car spirited, without erasing a soft rubber compound of something like the Blizzak WS 80.

    I had Blizzaks on a Mazda 3 before and I loved their grip. I could pull off lots of AWD cars on all seasons. And ... honestly, I like showing off what a little car can do on snow with the right tires. So, look out for 'studless ice & snow' and buy Blizzak WS80 if you find them.

  5. #5
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    I second what SVAGO 1. For the price of just buying new tires you can get a pair of used rims for about the same price. Yeah, there's a up charge since you haven't bought winter tires yet, but it's so much more convenient to have a another set of rims to just slap on when winter comes. Personally, I don't care what my winter rims look like so long as they are in good working condition. Ohio has been pretty mild these past two year, but can be a bear when it gets bad.

  6. #6
    Enthusiastically Slow Lifetime Member Ando's Avatar
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    Nov 2016
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Unpopular opinion time: I hate Blizzak WS80s. I find them over-priced, noisy, and fast wearing.

    My favorite winter tire has been the Pirelli Sottozero III which we have run on two different Minis with great results. Please note: while still considered "Winter Performance" by TireRack these are NOT the same tires as Pirelli's SnowControl tire. They have real siping.

    I'm still upset that they aren't offered in 205/45R/17 as that size points me back towards the awful WS80s as essentially the only choice.

    Admittedly the WS80s outperform the SZIIIs on ice and packed snow, but by too small of a margin for me to put up with the price/wear/noise for the other 95% of their useful life. If I lived deep in Canada, maybe, but MN winters have been pathetic recently.

    I just figured I would add another data point before you swear off Pirelli for life. =]

    Oh, and +1 to the separate wheel sets for summer/winter. Being in control of when you switch rubber compounds will save you time and unnecessary wear.
    Last edited by Ando; 10-02-2017 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Member OnTheFenceAbarth's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    +1 for dedicated winter rims with dedicated studless tires. I run Blizzak WS80s myself since they're practically the only option for the upgraded 17" rims. I agree that there is some more road noise as Ando said, but given how loud our exhaust is, it's really not enough to be a problem for me. They perform great in the snow and for that alone, I'll stick to them. I've got a set of NEUF rims for summer and the upgraded stock rims for winter.
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  8. #8
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    not to revive an old thread but, i only run front 15" snows on my abarth and i ran into a fan boy saying that it was 'pointless' that i only run snows on the front and not the rear. i can see where not having them in the rear will mess with trailing of the car in deep snow but to me it isnt a big deal. Am i the only one that runs front snows only?

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