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Hi, I've been looking for winter tires to put on my Speed6 for some time now. I have a set of OEM Mazda 17" wheels. I seem to be fond of Nokians because they're one of the only tires I can find that doesn't turn into an all-season after about a year.

Anyway, I spoke to a couple of local dealers, most of which said the Nokian WR is a good tire to use. I'm a little wary about that because it is an all-season tire. When I spoke to another local dealer who is specifically a Nokian dealer and who is the self-proclaimed "huge tire fanatic" he mentioned that the WR is a waste of time for winter.

He mentioned that I should go with the Nokian Rsi. Unfortunately, the WR is the only tire Nokian makes in 215/50/17. If I wanted the Rsi, I'd have to either go with 205/50/17 or 215/55/17. I'd probably lean more towards the 205's. He said there should be no problem at all putting a 205 on the wheel.

He said the Rsi is a great tire and it will be good on ice until the last 1/32 of the tire but it'll begin to lose its snow grip around half of the tread being worn. Sidenote, with the Blizzak and other such winter tires, you get a different compound after approximately half the tread is worn. He also mentioned that you could wear trhough an Rsi in like 15k miles. I think I'd rather have something that lasted longer. He said Hakkapelliita 2's would last forever but I'd hate them.

By the way, he quoted me $175/tire mounted and balanced. Is that a little high? Is there anywhere to get the tires cheaper online somewhere? I might have a friend that can mount and balance them for me.

Any comments on what I should do about rubber for these bare wheels? Lookin to do something during the week. Some opinions would be much appreciated.

Jeff
 

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I ran Nokian WR's on my Jetta wagon for 2 years when I lived in VT and they were pretty awesome in the snow, ice, and wet while still being useful in the warm weather / summer months when I was back in VA.
So I respectfully disagree with the WR's are a waste thing. They aren't as good as a studded hakkapelita but those things are like tank treads and spooky to drive on when it's warm out.
YMMV

Nokian availability is tough around here in VA so there's not alot of price comparision to do.


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