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14" Tire Options - Fall 2022


dlhoovler
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Yes, another 14" tire thread--but the last one I could find was a couple of years old, and focused on E30-fitments.

 

The 185/65 Sumitomo all-seasons on my 14x5.5 2000CS wheels are becoming geriatric by current tire guidelines, with 2013 and 2014 date stamps, so I'm looking into replacements. Treadwear isn't much of a concern, since tires age out on this car well before the tread is used up. I'm not opposed to all-seasons, but I'd like to get more performance-oriented tires while there might still be some available in 14" sizes. Obviously winter use isn't a concern--the car is stored from November through early April most years, with only the possibility of a short drive in colder weather to get it into storage. And while I don't often take the car out if significant rain is forecast, I still want something that's reasonable in the wet for when I'm inevitably caught out (especially on trips).

 

I've seen good feedback on here about the Falken Azenis RT 615K+, which is available in 195/60-14 for about $120. Its wet behavior isn't extraordinary (as to be expected given its "extreme performance" class, though the "plus" update seems to have helped in that regard), and while I try not to be vain about my tires, the tread pattern is more visually appropriate for a Civic Type R than a mostly stock 2002.

 

Second, I've heard positive things about Vredesteins generally, and the Quatrac 5 is available in 185/65-14 for about $90. While it gets high marks for dry and wet handling, that's in the context of a touring "all-weather" tire, and I wonder if I would regret not going with a more performance-focused option. They do sell it in 185/60 as well, and that one is H-rated (the 185/65 is T-rated).

 

In further searching, I discovered that Longstone Tyre has the Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 in 185/60-14. That size is a bit short but still OK for an '02. It's a V-rated summer performance tire, and like most of Longstone's offerings it's a continuation or re-release of an older design in sizes for classic applications. The model overall appears to have been well reviewed, and it's about the same price as the Vredesteins.

 

Does anyone have recent experience with any of these three, or can you recommend other currently available performance-oriented 14" options in 185/60, 185/65 or 195/60?

 

 

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I am in the same boat as you.  I have been looking at the BF Goodrich Advantage Control and the General Altimax RT45.  I was also looking at the Dunlop Direzza and the Falken Azenis, but as UHP Summer Tire, they warn against even storing the tires in freezing temperatures, so that eliminates those for me.

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It may not be apples to apples,

but I've got the Altismax RT45's on my daily.  They're good for a 'spirited street'

car.  Their wet weather was initially excellent, but last winter (year 4) fell off a cliff

(I did not)

at about 35,000 miles.  Still plenty of tread left, little aquaplaning.

 

t

 

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17 minutes ago, bergie33 said:

they warn against even storing the tires in freezing temperatures

 

No desire to derail my own thread, but I'm convinced that this storage warning by Tire Rack and other distributors is more for their own legal coverage than realistic concern.

 

I've seen statements from Michelin and other manufacturers that below about 20 degrees F, flexing summer tires can introduce cracking (but isn't guaranteed to)--so driving them in January would carry a risk, as could trying to mount them. But those manufacturer statements indicate that stable storage (even on the car) in an unheated garage is fine, as long as it heats up to 40 F or higher before moving the car at all. And that's my use case, so I'm considering summer-tire options.

 

But I won't fault anyone, or get into an argument, over choosing to follow the more restrictive warnings.

 

Also, maybe it's a recent change, but Tire Rack doesn't show an appropriate 14" size for the BF Goodrich Advantage Control...

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2 minutes ago, dlhoovler said:

 

Also, maybe it's a recent change, but Tire Rack doesn't show an appropriate 14" size for the BF Goodrich Advantage Control...

 

I found them on Ebay in 185/65-14.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/354241859087

 

 

On the summer tire, I would love to hear real-world experiences.  I may hit the tarmac when it's 20 degrees outside periodically.  Am I risking utter destruction with Direeza's or Azenis'?

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I believe Longstone does have the CN36 185/70 14's in stock (check though) and they really aren't crazy expensive (but likely more than the others you noted), surprisingly, they seem to get them across the pond for not an extreme amount of pain.  Likely there are less expensive options, not necessarily better though.  No personal experience but folks sure seem to like the Pirelli's.

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50 minutes ago, markmac said:

I believe Longstone does have the CN36 185/70 14's in stock

 

Yes, but I'm afraid 185/70r14 is an inch too tall for a 2002, which is even less likely to work on my slightly lowered car. The Pirellis don't appear to be available in an '02-appropriate 14" size. The 13" CN36 tempts me, but I want to go 14" this round.

 

1 hour ago, bergie33 said:

 

I found them on Ebay in 185/65-14.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/354241859087

 

 

On the summer tire, I would love to hear real-world experiences.  I may hit the tarmac when it's 20 degrees outside periodically.  Am I risking utter destruction with Direeza's or Azenis'?

 

I'd be concerned about the age of those eBay tires, since it's "N/A" in the listing.

 

But for your situation of occasional cold-weather driving, just ignore my summer tire statements--this is a good excuse to get both summer tires AND a second set of wheels and all-seasons for safe storage and driving in late fall/winter/early spring. It's for safety! And you can never have too many wheels!*

 

 

 

 

* This claim has not been evaluated by your spouse. Purchase of additional wheels is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any compulsions and/or pursuit of happiness. Your mileage, like the comfort of couches, may vary.

Edited by dlhoovler
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My Falken Azenis 615Ks (in 205/40-16) are quite stiff and very slidey in freezing temps. Not recommended for doing much driving on them when it’s that cold.

 

And their compound, plus nylon cords combo will indeed flat-spot left unmoved on an icy cold floor (so get a set of blocks, tire cradles or roll/rotate frequently). If you keep them properly inflated and your garage floor doesn’t see those temps, there’s no issues. Even then, when it’s cooler, they do have a detectable last-parked memory, which quickly goes away once they’re moving.


Super fun 3-season tire tho’. Gumball good when warmer.  They wear evenly but rather quickly (200A). I believe the Azenis 660 is newer model…

 

Tom-too

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5 hours ago, zinz said:

Check for when the Pirelli CN-36 comes back in stock. I have them on the 14” wheels of the 2000CS and they are great, wet or dry. 

 

D4B968F0-E84F-4B9B-9B20-1A8C010F62A8.thumb.jpeg.d293d4caa168ff08bb1e10cf525db95c.jpeg
 

Ed Z

Tried ordering 185-70-13 from Longstone (UK) and Lucas Classic Tires (CA). Lucas called me today after I placed my order with them Friday saying these won’t be available until end of 2022/beginning of 2023. They are made in Argentina.  

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I am not really impressed with my general tire altimax rt 43s--- I got them when I was just getting my feet wet again and getting things sorted out.  They are round and do roll, but I feel the wet handling is sub par - and I barely do any driving in weather.

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7 hours ago, dlhoovler said:

No desire to derail my own thread, but I'm convinced that this storage warning by Tire Rack and other distributors is more for their own legal coverage than realistic concern.

The latest UHP summer tire compounds WILL take a permanent set and/or crack at low temps.

 

Basically the rubber’s material properties change from a pliable elastic to an inflexible plastic as temps drop. As it loses elasticity it can even crack. Even when you get the tires themselves warm, if the road is icy temps, it’s bad.

 

Seems prudent to warn folks…especially those who’d doubt such things.


Tom-too

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