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Old 10-22-2019, 08:46 PM
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Can we talk tires?

What is your personal preference for aggressive looking AT all season AND winter tires?

I will be upgrading the stock tires on my Sahara Unlimited, but we are downsizing to 17" wheels, so they will remain close to stock (255/75/R17) until the NEXT set of tires, when the lift is likely to happen.

So far it's a bit of a toss up between KO2's and wrangler duratecs (which I think I prefer the looks of). As for winter tires (we get about 5 months of heavy snow) I'm leaning towards Toyos GSI5, but I would like some opinions on what other people use.

TIA!

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Old 10-22-2019, 08:52 PM   #2
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Out of those two I would pick KO2s. I had them on my 16 and they awesome. Ice they werenít so great. I have Falken Wildpeak AT3 on my 18 JLU and I love them. Good on ice, and great on everything else. A little louder than. The KO2S but worth it.
Everything Iíve read on Duratrac is good. Only that they are soft and wear out quicker.. but that usually makes a better snow and wet weather tire.
Check out 255/80 17s too. Thatís what I have and no lift needed.


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Old 10-22-2019, 09:59 PM
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I should mention that I live in Northern BC, where we get about 5 months of snow. And a LOT of snow, at that.

Sorry. I can't edit my OP.

I've been reading that the KO2's are good in the winter, but in what KIND of winter? I'm a bit concerned about this as they're not a dedicated winter tire. I often have to go on unplowed roads to get to where I want to go (usually for snowshoeing or winter hiking), and we do get a lot of snow here. Sometimes as much as a foot in one day.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:33 AM   #4
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The KO2 rides better on pavement and has a stronger sidewall for sure. IMO they're equal in mud/dirt. The Duratracs are substantially better than the KO2s in snowy/slushy conditions. The Duratracs are amazing in snow and might fool you for a dedicated winter tire they perform so well. For your use the Duratracs are the way to go.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Strommen95 View Post
The Duratracs are amazing in snow and might fool you for a dedicated winter tire they perform so well. For your use the Duratracs are the way to go.
But they’re still an all season, right? It sounds like the Duratecs would be better if I were to use them all year long, but I’m pretty set on having an all season AND a winter tire. So it looks like the K02 is the one for for me for summer/mud use, but what’s a good winter tire?

I currently use Toyo GSI5 for the winter. I like them a lot, but I was hoping for more opinions on availability and popularity for Jeeps.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:01 AM   #6
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A True winter tire has a compound that works in subzero temps.
A standard AT does not have a compound that works in subzero temps.
Being you are in BC and probably see subzero temps for what a few days for 2-3 weeks, I see the same in Maine.
Is a dedicated winter tire worth those few days where you see subzero, thats up to you.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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Both the KO2 and Duratrac are snow rated tires. I think you will be impressed with both. The Duratrac being softer will perform better I. Snow and ice.
If you want a dedicated snow tire youíll need two sets of tires.


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Old 10-23-2019, 11:14 AM   #8
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Plus the Duratracs have provisions for adding metal studs. (There are little holes in the tread.. See image below)

Tungsten tipped studs enhance traction on ice.. But, they aren't legal everywhere because they cause damage to roads. And, in places where they are legal, they are only allowed to be used in the winter. This means you have to have them off in the summer.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:26 AM   #9
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Get the Duratrac! So I can live vicariously through you. Iíll be honest the Falken is a better winter tire than the KO2. So go with the Duratrac if you really want winter performance in an AT tire. KO2s are amazing in wet weather but wasnít ďgood enoughĒ for ice conditions for my liking. Especially when I found a tire that performs better.


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Old 10-23-2019, 11:46 AM
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Being you are in BC and probably see subzero temps for what a few days for 2-3 weeks, I see the same in Maine.
Weeks? LOL

It's already snowed (and melted) here, but the real snow starts in mid November and doesn't fully melt until late April, or even May. Where I go hiking, I've seen snow in June.

In the off seasons (Sept/Oct, and April/May) is it very common to have sub zero temps, especially in the mornings and at night. For a few weeks now, we've been waking up to -6 or 7 C in the mornings (and maybe +4 or 5 during the day).

The average temps during Dec-Mar almost never raise above -5, and we can have weeks at a time of -25 temps. Average daytime temps I would say are somewhere between -9 and -15, and nighttime temps being closer to -20.

We get snow, but we also get ice. I need a dedicated winter tire. If there aren't any recommendations for one then I will likely stick to my trusted GSi5's.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:49 AM
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As for the All Season tires, I think I've pretty much decided (based on the above comments) on the KO2. The Duratecs DO sound better for an all YEAR tire, but that is not what I need. Thanks, everyone!

Now for winters... Suggestions welcome.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:40 PM   #12
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I have a set of DuraTracs on my pickup. They did three years in Upstate NY in the snowbelt off of Lake Ontario (average 5 to 8 feet a year of snow) They are very very good in the snow and they have far exceeded my expectation for tread wear. They are four years old with about 35K miles on them. Tread is still good.
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:47 PM
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They are very very good in the snow and they have far exceeded my expectation for tread wear.
NICE! How are they on ice (we get a pretty nasty melt/freeze season in the spring)? And did you use them all year long, or just for winter?
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:53 PM
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Also, to flip my question, how are the DuraTracs in the summer on pavement and in mud? I won't be adding a lift kit to my Sahara for several years (until such a time when I need to replace the tires), so it would be REALLY nice to have one tire that functions well both on pavement/mud, and snow/ice.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:18 PM   #15
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Out of those two I would pick KO2s. I had them on my 16 and they awesome. Ice they werenít so great. I have Falken Wildpeak AT3 on my 18 JLU and I love them. Good on ice, and great on everything else. A little louder than. The KO2S but worth it.
Everything Iíve read on Duratrac is good. Only that they are soft and wear out quicker.. but that usually makes a better snow and wet weather tire.
Check out 255/80 17s too. Thatís what I have and no lift needed.


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Duratracs donít wear out fast IMO. Buddy had 70k on his before he bought new. I have had a few sets but only had the vehicles for a short time. No problems with them at all.


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Old 10-24-2019, 11:37 AM
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Thank you everyone! We have decided on KO2's for all season tires, and we are still trying to find a good dedicated winter tire. As mentioned, we will be going with the Toyo GSi5 if no one has any other suggestions.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:49 PM   #17
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I never had a problem with the K02's in the winter. I also know how to drive in the snow and I'm not a baby about it. They're a bit shitty on ice and slush, but if you live in BC you should have learned how to drive in the winter. I live in western NY and we get plenty of winter weather. I hardly ever even go into 4WD.
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Old 10-24-2019, 02:43 PM   #18
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I just bought a set of Duratracs for my dedicated winter tires. Let it snow!!! They are super soft with really deep lugs.

Sounds like you want a set of hankook Pikes peak or Bridgestone bizzacs.


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Old 10-24-2019, 02:52 PM   #19
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The bizzacs are basically ice skates for cars, I've always said that.
I had a set on an old Mazda3 and that thing was awesome all winter.
I miss the shifts in that car, so butter smooth.
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Old 10-24-2019, 03:02 PM
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I never had a problem with the K02's in the winter. I also know how to drive in the snow and I'm not a baby about it. They're a bit shitty on ice and slush, but if you live in BC you should have learned how to drive in the winter. I live in western NY and we get plenty of winter weather. I hardly ever even go into 4WD.
Well that was rude. Thanks for your opinion!


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The bizzacs are basically ice skates for cars, I've always said that.
I've heard that a lot about Blizzaks. We do get an obscene amount of ice here, so maybe I'll have to give them a second thought. Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:04 PM   #21
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The 18 years I lived in North Pole Alaska I bought many brands of winter tires. With temperatures well into the minus 40 f . The Blizzark did very well on hard pack snow (ice) but did not wear well. Liked the Duratrac the best. Tried Green Diamond one winter. Never again to costly and did not last the winter.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:03 PM   #22
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NICE! How are they on ice (we get a pretty nasty melt/freeze season in the spring)? And did you use them all year long, or just for winter?
I use the DuraTracs all year. They are good on the dry, slush and mud. Not so much on ice. I will strongly consider them for my Jeep when I do a tire / wheel replacement.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:06 PM   #23
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The 18 years I lived in North Pole Alaska I bought many brands of winter tires. With temperatures well into the minus 40 f . The Blizzark did very well on hard pack snow (ice) but did not wear well. Liked the Duratrac the best. Tried Green Diamond one winter. Never again to costly and did not last the winter.


Iíve got the hankook winter tires on the wifeís Infiniti for winter and anything over 40*F, they need to come off or start feathering really bad. Winter tires are made for winter only!



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Old 10-24-2019, 08:37 PM   #24
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That was two months of 48 below 0 on the average. Most tires start out flat on the bottom for the first mile or so at those temperatures
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:26 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=TrailJoy;34559563]Well that was rude. Thanks for your opinion!



I'm sorry, I had to laugh. That did sound really rude. It wasn't meant to. I just meant that I just drive in the snow and know how to do it. For me, I just don't care about the tires. I'll just get through. My apologies.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:19 AM
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I'm sorry, I had to laugh. That did sound really rude. It wasn't meant to. I just meant that I just drive in the snow and know how to do it. For me, I just don't care about the tires. I'll just get through. My apologies.
All good! I appreciate the apology, and I totally got your point (and I feel the same way, to a point).

When I moved to Northern BC (from Vancouver, where they get ice and slush, and slushy ice, often with something that resembles {wet} snow on top), I learned how to drive in the REAL snow. And honestly, I'm pretty darn good at it. I know I would do just fine with all seasons, but having winters is a choice - and honestly one that's mostly to appease my husband. haha We have kids and while I can drive well on the snow, not everyone one else can. I need to be able to stop quickly (or quicker than I would if I had all seasons), and because I go offroad a lot (usually to go snowshoeing or skiing) I would just like a good tire. And a GOOD winter tire isn't suitable for the hot summer, and vice versa. It's also the reason I'm getting a Sahara and not a Rubicon (that selec-trac is REALLY nice to have up here).

I've done a LOT of research on the Duratracs, and the one thing that bothers me is that they're studdable. Many tires would get a top winter rating too if they were studdable, and I definitely do NOT want studs. I think they're unnecessary and I just don't need them.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:21 AM
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The 18 years I lived in North Pole Alaska I bought many brands of winter tires. With temperatures well into the minus 40 f . The Blizzark did very well on hard pack snow (ice) but did not wear well. Liked the Duratrac the best. Tried Green Diamond one winter. Never again to costly and did not last the winter.
Did you stud them? (The Duratracs)
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:07 PM   #28
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No studs. Didn’t like them for two reasons. In sub zero weather they tend to come out and you hear them pinging off the wheel wells. 2nd reason people think they can stop better. Not true the studs will make you slide (like ice skates) I felt the same way until I saw many vehicles slide through intersections with studs. IMHO the sipping helps more. But the best safety factor is between a persons ears. Slow down and think
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:28 PM   #29
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Duratracs here in Northwestern Ontario ... all 3 of our Jeeps and 2 trucks on them. Overall best tire for year round.


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Old 10-27-2019, 09:23 PM   #30
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For winters, I currently run Bridgestone Blizzak DMV2's in 265/70 on steelies on my JKU and previously ran Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 SUV's (studded) on my FJ Cruiser. My summers on the FJC were K02's, which I also ran briefly in the winter the first year I had them. I have also run Duratrac's during the winter in a different part of the country before I moved here.

Around here, I prefer a dedicated winter tire, mainly for the mountain roads. It only took one icy, snow packed trip through the National Park passes to convince me. Before that, I had never had winter tires. Both the Bridgestone and Nokian's are great tires. When the time comes to replace mine again, I will likely go back to the studded Nokians for that extra peace of mind. Nokians are also available in studless if that's your preference.

For perspective, we are now required to run 'winter' capable tires from Oct 1 to April 30th in this part of BC. Winter capable includes snowflake and M+S rated tires, so a number of all terrains would be legal - at least in the sizes a manufacturer has tested and labelled. It's my personal preference to run dedicated winters as I feel they perform better in the winter conditions around here.

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