Snow, Wind, Waves, and Snow Tires!

Yesterday and overnight we had an impressive “nor’easter” – a storm sitting out over the Atlantic Ocean, spinning moisture off the water back over the land as falling snow. Coupled with high winds, we have perhaps 8″ or more of snow, sculpted into pretty patterns, drifts, etc:

After digging out GBMINI I decided to drive to the nearby coast at Bass Rocks – but Police had closed the road due to dangerous waves – so I headed round to Good Harbor Beach instead (normally a bit more sheltered); normally this footbridge crosses a stream and leads to the sandy beach – today all is inundated with ocean!

During my drive, I experimented as much as possible with the performance of GBMINIs new tires. Most of the roads were plowed but still had a layer of packed & slippery snow; in these conditions, GBMINI performed quite well and very predictably. DSC was kept busy but I found that unless I was very aggressive in braking, ABS did not cut in.
I was not able to drive GBMINI from a standing start up a steep driveway – for that I guess you need snow tires at a minimum.

Overall, I will be confident in these tires through the sort of weather we have here – if the roads are not plowed a MINI is no use anyway (I heard snow against the bottom of GBMINI regularly today), and the tires gave me a useful level of grip today.
This is a summary I sent to a friend a week or so back:
Overall I am happy with the tires.
Their dry performance is probably a little better than the runflats, but I can still trip DSC if I push GBMINI.
Their wet performance is definitely better than the runflats, which often hydro-planed in very wet conditions.
Yesterdays snow performance seemed good. On a test on black ice, I had to brake quite hard before the ABS kicked in, and they never surprised me by letting go unexpectedly on the snow.
They don’t improve the ride massively compared with the runflats, which is my only disappointment. I think they help to smooth out the normal small irregularities on the road, but they don’t do anything with bigger ruts and potholes. I guess in the end the MINIs suspension is just very stiff.
They are definitely quieter than my old runflats – but I don’t know how quiet brand new runflats would be (mine were awfully noisy at 20K+ miles).

5 thoughts on “Snow, Wind, Waves, and Snow Tires!

  1. I saw 3-5 cars spin out on the way to work this morning at 4am…and there I was cruising along unplowed I95/128 and I93 with no issues. I LOVE SNOW TIRES. I don’t know how I did it the first year when I didn’t have them.
    I think they are worth it even if you don’t have strict “summer” tires.

  2. Good Harbor looks pretty nice, that’s our usual beach up there…haven’t taken my car out, like you I washed it the other day as this snow wasn’t in the 4cast…but it’ll have to get dirty tmrw. Shoulda taken it out today to try the snows tho’.

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