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Old Feb 22, 2005, 01:08 PM   #1
Lord Blackadder
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Bridgestone or Falken?

I've been doing some shopping lately to replace the awful BFGoodrich Touring TAs on my '99 Nissan Altima (they were on the car when I bought it). The tread is not wearing much but the tires have no grip anymore and a marshmallow-weak sidewall. Tire size: 195/65 15

I've done some research, and have narrowed the field down to two Ultra High Performance All Season tires: the Falken ZE Ziex 512 and the Bridgestone Potenza RE950.

The Bridgestones have a stiff sidewall and excellent dry/wet weather traction. A friend of mine let my drive his newly RE950-shod A4 V6 Quattro, and I was super impressed in the difference it made over the crap Continental touring tires he had before. However, reviews on the internet suggest that these Potenzas are a bit borderline in the snow, which could be a problem where I live. Other reviews have stated otherwise, but I've seen enough to be concerned. I can get a discount (store cost+10%) on any Bridgestone product, which might lower the cost close to the Falkens.

The Falkens have very positive reviews and are significantly cheaper, but I've heard of treadware issues. The Altima is not a light car (~2900lbs), but it isn't a total pig (by US standards) either. I'd like to put something on it that is higher performance than a touring all season tire, but still usable all year. Both these tires claim to do this, but the Falkens appear to do better in the snow.

Anybody ever buy one or the other? comments?
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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Falken have generally been lower cost realisations of Dunlop designs and Bridgestone, in my history, have some of the worst tires I've ever used, along with their quality issues.

I would choose Falken pretty easily, in fact, I looked to get some but Sears was the only local place and they were constantly out of stock. I ended up with Dunlops.

You might try http://www.tirerack.com/ to see if they have opinions, as they seem to be genuine experiences.
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 02:46 PM   #3
Lord Blackadder
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I read the reviews on Tire Rack, and they were pretty helpful. Unfortunately Tire Rack does not stock Falken tires so I couldn't do a direct comparison.

I can get the Falkens from the internet (Edge Racing was one site with good prices) for cheap compared to the Potenzas. In fact, I can order the Falkens from the 'net, have them shipped, mounted and balanced at a local tire shop, and I will save around $80 over buying/mounting the same tires at Sears.

Which Bridgestones did you have? I have heard that the Potenza RE92 was awful, but the RE950 is supposed to be very grippy except in snow. I have to say that I'm leaning toward the Falkens, since they are $20-30+ cheaper.
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 02:56 PM   #4
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Things have changed, I'm sure, over the intervening decade plus, but I had Bridgestone Potenzas on my 1993 Mazda MX-6, and they were amazingly good - the car was more or less glued to the road. Their endurance wasn't so great, and I changed them out around, I think, 30K miles (again, though, 12-13 years ago, tires didn't last as long as now). The exact model escapes me, and, of course, the composition might be completely different now. I ended up trading the car for family reasons (one of my greater mistakes) and sold it with the snow tires mounted, so I never got new performance tires for it.

I only say this to point out that, at least in the distant past, the Potenzas were good tires.
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 05:33 PM   #5
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I don't know if they are available for your tire size, but I'd recommend the Pirelli PZero Nero M+S. They have an excellent rating in the rain and snow, and I can atest to the fact that they drive well in both dry and rain with all the rain we've been getting in SoCal lately.
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 06:08 PM   #6
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I just bought a 2001 Mazda Protege ES with Bridgestone Blizzaks on them.
I love it. It makes for a little more reassuring feeling of driving; especially this New England winter. My 1993 Pontiac finally met its end this winter. Fishtailed and lost it into cableguards. I had crappy Pep Boys Futuras on the Pontiac. Friggin' Poop Boys.
Once these wear out I may get the all-season performance Bridgestones for my new car.
It's great on gas! And that 4 cylinder loves being revved!
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 06:09 PM   #7
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Bridgestone has won the last five F1 championships beating Michelin in every condition. They are the tire of all new ferraris including the Enzo, so if you look for top performance I think this is the way to go
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