Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northeastern BC
Tire Siping Report
I just had my tires siped last week, and I thought I'd post a little recommendation.
I have two sets of tires for my B4000. A set of offroad rims, which are great, but not so good on ice and hard-packed snow. The other are the stock Goodyear Wranglers, which probably more than a few of us have.
The Wranglers are decent enough tires for dry pavement. They have a long treadlife, a good ride, and they are quiet. Other than that, they're pretty so-so. Since I've already got a second set of tires, it didn't seem practical or economical to buy a third set for winter just now. I'd rather use up what I've already got.
So, I brought the Wranglers on the stock Mazda rims to a tire shop in town and got sipes cut into them. They charged me $30/tire. I'm sure you could get it done for less, as most services are expensive, generally, where I live. I think I got my money's worth, though, as I'm sure many of you are aware that the Wranglers pick up little rocks in the treads like crazy. I left my tires overnight, but I'll bet some poor schmuck had to spend a few hours picking out the pebbles.
Final result: well worth it. Stopping distance on ice, glazed pavement, and hard packed snow is pretty much half. I think the traction on acceleration from a stop is improved a little, too. This will also have benefits in improving stopping distance on wet pavement in the summer.
The sipes themselves are almost invisible. You really have to look closely and run a thumbnail over the rubber to detect them, but they are there. From what I've read. There is no down side to siping. It doesn't affect the durability of the tires, apparently.
So, for anyone who can't afford dedicated winter tires, I would say siping is the next best thing, for a lot less money, and it's also helpful in the summer. I think this is a good thing to have done for the tires on any vehicle -- not just trucks. It is a real and noticable improvement for the mediocre traction on the stock Goodyear Wrangler RT tires. Definitely bang for the buck.
If Princess Auto were a real girl, I'd ask her to marry me.