Studded vs non-studded Nokian LT2/3 - calling fellow northerners & Canadians

Jwestpro

Explorer
Northern folks with yrs of experience using true winter tires and studded on HD vehicles (not sedans/cars) I would like your use experience and opinion on choosing studded vs non-studded of same model. For example Nokian offers several models in both versions. I have used the LT2 studded a couple seasons and in the narrow 245/75-17 it provides incredible tracking through the slop as well as great traction on hard pack due to the increased ground pressure from it's narrow width.

I am considering a new set and am biting on the marketing of their even better new stud tech in the LT3. Now they are also making it in an almost ideal size of 265/70-18 though it would be giving up some of the narrow benefits of the above profile. 1" on width while gaining ground clearance but honestly, the clearance is not an issue because there's so much to begin with and when the snow is deep, it's generally just too deep regardless.

As for the idea of super wide tundra type flotation, I don't think that's going to happen on my 7400 lb lr3 with it's inability to fit a huge width tire anyway. Plus, in the US you're not out on Iceland type terrain anyway.


Main question here is studs vs not.

I have the luxury of using different vehicles for different outings such that a the studded vehicle wouldn't need to be used to go out around the low lands on daily basis and would be left parked for use only when traveling into the mtns and/or during storms or on a north/winter specific trip. For people who live somewhere less fluctuating that can be hard to understand. In Seattle area you can stay out of snow all winter honestly unless there's a freak lowland storm or you can drive in it every weekend or the whole time on a trip north/inland to BC, Idaho, etc.


If you want to post that you love Blizzacks or don't see the need for studs, just don't post.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Todays winter tires are sooo good studs are not an advantage. In many cases, like dry pavement studs offer worse traction.
I'd go studless and not worry about having to remove them if you live were studs are illegal from April thru November.

Go skinny, not wide, floatation is the last thing you want thru slush and standing water.
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
They don’t help much. And are noisy and make dry traction poor.
LOL says someone who's never lived in northern climes ? (EDIT: well fuk, you're in Calgary..?? They DO help when conditions are right) Maybe you've never driven with them in the conditions they are designed for but when it's hard pack and icy, there is no comparison to the non-studded option.

The Nokian version are actually less noisy than a mud terrain. There is a big difference b/n the Nokian design and other crap out there in regard to dry traction and noise. However, I am considering getting non-studded for wider range of use on longer trips.
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
Try again.
Ok, post your actual experience, not just some off the cuff opinion. I've used both, studs absolutely help when conditions are correct. When dry but winter, it seems one should be a bit slower anyway. I'm leaning toward non-stud but I'm not a fan of blanket posts like "don't help much".
 

billiebob

Well-known member
you've never driven with them in the conditions they are designed for but when it's hard pack and icy, there is no comparison to the non-studded option.
lol ... you are thinking about studded tires 40 years ago. todays winter tires are excellent. The trade off for better ice traction 1% of the time vs worse dry traction 50% of the time makes studless the clear winner....

oh you are right tho, what would a Canadian living in the Kootenays know. We only got 14" of snow last night.

Experience studded vs studless
The Subaru Legacy 3.6R we just sold ran studded tires for 4 years.
The Subaru we just bought is on the same Nokian Tires without studs.
From experience..... studless IS better.

ps, Red90 has even better experience since Calgary can go from 40 below to 10 above overnite... and back to 40 below the next day called a Chinook.

We Canadians tend to shoot from the hip eh.

78376775_2608219645891717_1642408520626208768_n.jpg

That was fun 😂
 
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Red90

Adventurer
Yep. I own a variety of cars and drive them side by side in the same conditions. You can see how different tires behave. I’ve driven modern studded and studless back to back. The difference is not enough to justify the bad dry traction and noise. On top of that they wear out faster than the tread so tire life is poor.

If we are talking off road then V bar chains are the only way to go.
 

Nathansharkey80

Active member
Studded are better when the weather is minus 20 degrees or colder and you are driving on ice. If it is about snow, studded or non-studded are the same. If it is ice and the weather is warmer than minus 20, then studded and a true modern winter tire are the same.


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billiebob

Well-known member
Studded are better when the weather is minus 20 degrees or colder and you are driving on ice. If it is about snow, studded or non-studded are the same. If it is ice and the weather is warmer than minus 20, then studded and a true modern winter tire are the same.


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I respectfully disagree, studs only work on warm ice. At -20 pure rubber winter tires are better. Ice is as hard as steel at -20 and steel on steel is slipperier than rubber on steel.... or ice.... But that is not to say studs are ever better than the new studless winter tires today.
 
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