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2003 Forester X
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216 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since all terrain tires aren't really great in mud, and that's about all I ever see offroad, I'm looking for alternatives.

BFG makes a mud terrain that might fit on my SG (215/75) and Kuhmo makes an M/T in 205/80. Both are $110-$140 a tire. Which is pricey for me, not to mention I'm not particularly interested in the road noise.

Anybody used snow tires in mud and how do they perform? How about hydroplaning, etc?


----------- Update ---------------
Bought Winterforce. See this post for pics.
 

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2001 Forester
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1,140 Posts
snow tires are going to wear VERY QUICKLY if they are driven on the road at regular highway speed with no snow on the ground.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,008 Posts
I've used my Winterforce snow tires several times when offroading. I know many rallyX racers use them too. They are cheap and are rated as a Mud and Snow tire, just most people dont think to use them in the mud/dirt.
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
They'll work but not as good as an M/T in the mud and if your driving on pavement in the summer on them they will wear fast.
 

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I've used my Winterforce snow tires several times when offroading. I know many rallyX racers use them too. They are cheap and are rated as a Mud and Snow tire, just most people dont think to use them in the mud/dirt.
+1, they're quite good offroad actually. My gf has them on her jeep year round currently and they're wearing no faster than any other tire (they're going to last far longer than the ones on my forester did, but mostly because shes not out drifting all winter lol).

For mud you want something with a pretty open but aggressive tread. Some snow tires will end up acting more like an all terrain, but most of the "studdable ice/snow" style tires will be great, the higher performance snow tires probably won't work that well though.

I doubt that any of the true M/T's will fit the forester. The biggest mud tire you could probably fit is 215/65/16 as the tread is quite deep on them.
 

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2003 Forester X
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216 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate all the input. This is a bit of a gamble, but less so than the >$130/tire for the M/Ts or A/Ts I would otherwise get.

Tirerack has some General Altimax Arctics for $83/tire right now. I'd like a deeper tread, but it looks like it will self clear with the directional design. And the generous siping will help with the frequent rain we get.

Almost anything is better than the aging, rock hard touring tires I have now.

Anyone have experience with the General Arctics?
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,484 Posts
I have the winterforce as my winter tire. Which means, they have seen offroad and mud. They definitely do better in the mud than my Grabber AT2s. We don't get too much mud around here, so for me an A/T tire is best.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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I ran Winterforce for 5 winters, 90% of that pavement driving and whey I sold them they still had over 8/32 left of tread. They do not wear all that fast and they were incredible offroading.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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Many modern "winter tires" no longer wear nearly as fast as those of us who've grown-up accustomed to previous-generation tire technologies remember them wearing. :smile:

Just as with any tire, there's winter tires of every sub-genre that are designed to be better wearing, with a little trade-off somewhere else.

At the same time, there can also be very fast-wearing "All Season" tires, too.

---

I honestly haven't gone off-road, so I cannot say this, unfortunately, from any kind of experience. :redface: However, based on my understanding of tires, otherwise, I believe that while most of today's winter tires will suffice for light off-roading, given their tread-pattern and void-area (determinants of the antiquated "M+S" rating), one should not get unreasonably or unexpectedly "stuck." Nevertheless, based on the same, as well as on the lack of dedicated sidewall protection and differences in compounding between such a tire and a dedicated A/T or a mudslinger, I'd well think that the winters - even in terms of an aggressive "studdable" or "studless ice & snow" tire (both typically with taller treadblocks, more void area, and with more aggressive snow-brakes/breaks that could be likened to an off-road tread-pattern) - would certainly be compromised, too.
 

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But those would need 15" wheels and the calipers ground down on an SG. Both of those would be pretty good in mud, but really for the type of mud that the forester can handle IMHO they're a bit overkill.

Of all the snow tires I think the winterforce will be the cheapest and best option for some mud use. They have very deep aggressive treads in a pretty open directional design.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #15
Alright, I think I'm sold on the Winterforce. And I can get them at a local shop for the below prices. Size/fitment suggestions anyone... should I go "+0"?

$82 - 215/60R16
$90 - 225/60R16
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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What offset wheels will they be going on? 225 will fit fine as long as you have +50 or lower offset wheels (Forester stockers are +48). If your running Impreza wheels which are +55, the 225 will most likely rub the strut.

If you want taller a 215/65/16 will work.
 

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2003 Forester X
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Discussion Starter #17
What offset wheels will they be going on? 225 will fit fine as long as you have +50 or lower offset wheels (Forester stockers are +48). If your running Impreza wheels which are +55, the 225 will most likely rub the strut.

If you want taller a 215/65/16 will work.
Running stockers, sea-scooby. Figure I'll go with a little larger if for nothing more than looks. I know I shouldn't, but who doesn't like some fat rubber! (that and I have occasion to ride in sand every now and then)

Thanks for the info.
 

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2003 XS MT
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go with 215/65/16, that's what I run. They don't give you that much height really, but visually they look much taller.
 

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go with 215/65/16, that's what I run. They don't give you that much height really, but visually they look much taller.
+1 perfect size for offroad tires that won't rub. I ran the 215/65/16 winterforce on my XT for a few winters, even with it lowered 2-3 inches. Almost wish I hadn't sold off that set of wheels/tires! They don't look much bigger than stock, but it was enough to save me from some curbs one winter!
 

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2009 forrester
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19 Posts
Winter Force?

Who makes the winter force.
What is the tallest tire size I can use on 09 ,2.5X forester.
Thanks
Readgriff
 
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