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      01-14-2020, 07:37 PM   #1
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Are UHP summer tires better in wet conditions than All-Season?

Hey all,

Sorry for the spam recently, but I'm getting conflicting information from my local tire supplier versus online/community knowledge. I was told by the supplier today that ultra high performance summer tires should not be used in wet conditions/rain...?

My understanding was that summer tires perform better in wet and dry conditions as compared to all season. Summer tires should just not be use in snow/ice and temps below 40'ish. Here are my references.

https://www.lesschwab.com/article/su...t-for-you.html

https://tires.tirerack.com/tires/Sum...es%20In%20Rain

Notably:
  • "While it may come as news to many that summer tires outperform all-season tires when it comes to both wet and dry traction[...]"
  • "If you live in a warm climate and need the best wet traction, definitely consider a summer tire."

That said, I live in Portland, Oregon where it rains a lot and temps can be on the cool side. I wanted to purchase either some General GMax RS or Indy 500's, to which my local tire supplier said this was a terrible idea due to the wet weather. Are they on crack or am I? Can I get these tires without worrying about driving in the rain and occasional moderately cool temps?

Thanks!!
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      01-14-2020, 07:56 PM   #2
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What are moderately cool temps. Also really matters what your output is. Reason I mention this is at 500tq and 50deg in the wet, you're gonna snap out no matter what tire you have on if you goose it.

70 deg wet and stockish tq? Yeah. Summer tires with adequate ribbing are better.

But, time for real talk. If you're concerned about wet performance you shouldn't be looking anywhere but Michelin PS4S or Yokohama AD08R.
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      01-14-2020, 08:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
What are moderately cool temps. Also really matters what your output is. Reason I mention this is at 500tq and 50deg in the wet, you're gonna snap out no matter what tire you have on if you goose it.

70 deg wet and stockish tq? Yeah. Summer tires with adequate ribbing are better.

But, time for real talk. If you're concerned about wet performance you shouldn't be looking anywhere but Michelin PS4S or Yokohama AD08R.
Temps in the winter are typically 40-50 degrees. Spring/Summer is usually 60-90. I'm probably around 400 tq right now. I have a Subaru and won't drive the 135 in snow/near freezing temps. I'd love some PS4S or AD08R's but I'm somewhat on a budget and many reviews/forums suggested the Indy 500's or GMax RS's would be the next runners up.

PS4S are $860 whereas GMax's are $510
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      01-14-2020, 08:44 PM   #4
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For things like braking distances, I'd check out some Consumer Reports copies. I wouldn't suggest them for everything but if it's something you can run an instrumented test on (i.e. braking distances w/ different tires) then I'd totally say check them out.

What sort of performance do you need? Track days? Spirited driving around on-ramps on the way to work?
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      01-14-2020, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer bullet View Post
For things like braking distances, I'd check out some Consumer Reports copies. I wouldn't suggest them for everything but if it's something you can run an instrumented test on (i.e. braking distances w/ different tires) then I'd totally say check them out.

What sort of performance do you need? Track days? Spirited driving around on-ramps on the way to work?
OK thanks, I'll look into it. I'm just looking for spirited daily and driving through canyons nearby. I was hoping I could just throw either of the above summer tires on year round and call it good while using my Subaru in the snow.
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      01-14-2020, 10:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colinoscopy View Post
Temps in the winter are typically 40-50 degrees. Spring/Summer is usually 60-90. I'm probably around 400 tq right now. I have a Subaru and won't drive the 135 in snow/near freezing temps. I'd love some PS4S or AD08R's but I'm somewhat on a budget and many reviews/forums suggested the Indy 500's or GMax RS's would be the next runners up.

PS4S are $860 whereas GMax's are $510
Conti or Firestones. Only budget tire I'd ever recommend is the federal 595 rs-rr and that's a totally different ballgame. If youre sitting on some gold review of the generals please share it, we all love a bargain but everything has trade-offs.
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      01-14-2020, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
Conti or Firestones. Only budget tire I'd ever recommend is the federal 595 rs-rr and that's a totally different ballgame. If youre sitting on some gold review of the generals please share it, we all love a bargain but everything has trade-offs.
rs-rr was surprisingly fair in the rain. I thought it'd be all over but they aren't.
but with portland weather, I wouldn't run them. Or the Indys ... I have both on separate wheels right now.

I would go Conti DWS-06. For an all around tire it seems to always be in the conversation, even when neither the indy or rs-rr are mentioned. That tells me it crosses lines that other tires don't.

And with the Conti you get a good treadware warranty, tire replacement and I thought I'd seen something about roadside all included in the cost.
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Last edited by iminhell1; 01-14-2020 at 11:24 PM..
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      01-15-2020, 01:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
Conti or Firestones. Only budget tire I'd ever recommend is the federal 595 rs-rr and that's a totally different ballgame. If youre sitting on some gold review of the generals please share it, we all love a bargain but everything has trade-offs.
Anecdotally the GMax RS has a great reputation across multiple platforms. Also, TireRack did this track test comparison of 4 different tires in similar class (Including Indy 500's) here:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests...y.jsp?ttid=235

On this test they raved about the performance of the GMax RS in wet conditions and still fantastic in dry. Additionally, this tire won "Best new Tire" at SEMA in 2017, (Not that that necessarily means anything lol, but still). But I guess if nobody else in Portland is running UHP summer tires year round then neither should I....
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      01-15-2020, 01:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iminhell1 View Post
rs-rr was surprisingly fair in the rain. I thought it'd be all over but they aren't.
but with portland weather, I wouldn't run them. Or the Indys ... I have both on separate wheels right now.

I would go Conti DWS-06. For an all around tire it seems to always be in the conversation, even when neither the indy or rs-rr are mentioned. That tells me it crosses lines that other tires don't.

And with the Conti you get a good treadware warranty, tire replacement and I thought I'd seen something about roadside all included in the cost.
I ran these for some time and was pleased. But I was hoping for something just a little more price friendly and for that better handling that is supposed to come with summer tires in dry and wet conditions.
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      01-15-2020, 08:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colinoscopy View Post
Anecdotally the GMax RS has a great reputation across multiple platforms. Also, TireRack did this track test comparison of 4 different tires in similar class (Including Indy 500's) here:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests...y.jsp?ttid=235

On this test they raved about the performance of the GMax RS in wet conditions and still fantastic in dry. Additionally, this tire won "Best new Tire" at SEMA in 2017, (Not that that necessarily means anything lol, but still). But I guess if nobody else in Portland is running UHP summer tires year round then neither should I....
If you stay down below 50 for 3-4mos I'd probably just go with A/S on a separate set.

That said, generals look decent. Biggest thing with tires is failure rate which anecdotally is higher outside the top tier makes.
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      01-15-2020, 12:18 PM   #11
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Indy 500's are merely acceptable in the wet. Good hydroplaning resistance (10+mm of tread depth helps) but they just don't stick on a damp road. You'll be all over the place. When they wear, though, they're horribly sketchy. Fun, but sketchy.

Not sure about the GMax RS, it's a new-ish tire.

I had Kumho Ecsta PS-31's for a while and they were really good in the wet even when worn.

PS4's are where it's at though. They're worth their weight in gold, just about.
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      01-15-2020, 01:23 PM   #12
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If I saw any real amount of rain but still wanted to drive spiritedly or had a RWD car with some serious power, I'd go with PS4S. Ridiculously good in the wet (and dry too). I bet the generals and any other mid tier summer tire will be just fine as long as you're not pushing it past about 7/10s or so (daily driver) and the car isn't really a sports car.

Remember, horses for courses.
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      01-15-2020, 04:15 PM   #13
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Your tire supplier is an idiot. The downfall of UHP summer vs UHP all-season is temperature, not moisture. Since the coldest months also happen to be the wettest months, they still right in their one-size-fits-all recommendation for the unwashed masses...But they're right for the wrong reason.

While UHP are not recommended for use below 40 degrees, their performance does also start falling off above that still. In the PNW the UHP summer will probably perform better more of the time for a bit more than half the year, and the UHP A/S will probably perform better more of the time for a bit less than half the year. However, UHP A/S will also typically do better in the warm than UHP summer will do in the cold. The question you have to answer for yourself is which you are more willing to compromise on, and how often would you rather be better off in the Subaru.

By all available accounts it sounds like the G-Max RS should be the better wet tire than the Indy 500, and looking at the tread design would intuitively support this, but there is also a more limited real-world data set for it too. On the other hand, I do tend to prefer non-directional tires, especially on staggered setups, and it looks to be the better dry option. Either should be a perfectly acceptable 3-season tire as long as you have reasonable expectations of them.

For something in between the Indy 500 and PS4S, the Conti ECS is another recommended option.

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      01-17-2020, 02:21 PM   #14
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I'm running Pirelli PZero All Season Plus tires for three seasons - great wet performance. Look at Tireracks tests.
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