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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like I am going to replace my tires soon due to them being 10+ years old.

I am very familiar with the name brand tires (Pirelli, Dunlop, Yokohama, Continental, etc.).

Just browsing on Discount Tire Direct and they have tires that I have never heard of, but many come back with very good reviews (Westlake, Milestar, Sentury, etc.)

Anyone go with the non-branded tires?

When I had my Saab I opted to go with a non-name brand tire (Fulda), German tire that was probably the best tire I ever owned.

I only put on about 1,000 - 2,000 miles a year and never drive in bad weather.

Thanks
 

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Frankly, I would stick with the known brands that are familiar to us. I certainly do.
 

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It's a bit of a shell game with tires.....I have well known German tires made in Brazil and little known tires made in Holland! And Japanese Brand tires made in Korea [I think!] on my latest car!
All seem to work well, althou prices vary a lot. Best to get recomendations from currant owners and get what fits your needs, not just on brand.
Lots of Alfa racer types use fine Korean tires with great results and low costs!!
 

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Just browsing on Discount Tire Direct and they have tires that I have never heard of, but many come back with very good reviews (Westlake, Milestar, Sentury, etc.)
Please define "very good reviews". Were they:

1) I just bought a set for my minivan yesterday. They're round, they're black, the're cheap - what's not to like?

OR

2) I bought a set for my Cobra 30,000 miles ago. Since then I've used them for spirited street and track use. Yea, the guys in the Cobra club laugh at the name Westlake / Milestar / Sentury, but they shut up after I've blown their doors off.

There is some snob appeal in installing a European brand tire (even though they are probably manufactured in Alabama or Azerbaijan) on a European marque car.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Please define "very good reviews". Were they:

1) I just bought a set for my minivan yesterday. They're round, they're black, they were cheap - what's not to like?

OR

2) I bought a set for my Cobra 30,000 miles ago. Since then I've used them for spirited street and track use. Yea, the guys in the Cobra club laugh at the name Westlake / Milestar / Sentury, but after I've blown their doors off, they shut up.

There is some snob appeal in installing a European brand tire (even though they are probably manufactured in Alabama or Azerbaijan) on a European marque car.
I did not actually go through all the reviews.

I looked at the ratings given based on stars.

Regardless, have you had experience with the non-name brands?

I care little about what other people think if I decide to go with a non-name branded tire, as long as it is a good tire.

Thanks
 

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Regardless, have you had experience with the non-name brands?
Sure. I've used Asian brands with obscure names, as well as tires private labeled by the big chain stores. For a daily driver, they're fine. But would I put a Black Lion tire on one of my Alfas? No, I don't think so.

Keep in mind that here in the US, all tires have to pass some sort of a certification process, so in theory, nothing can be too terrible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Keep in mind that here in the US, all tires have to pass some sort of a certification process, so in theory, nothing can be too terrible.
Point well taken on this statement.

I'll do some more research on the off-brand tires.

I would consider doing the opposite of what you said.

I don't think I would use them on a daily driver, but possibly on a weekend car.

Thanks
 

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The Sumitomo HTR is a decent tire in the stock S4 phonedial alloy size
 

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Vredestein [Dutch] make a great tire at a nice price. I use them.
 

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Fulda was a German subsidiary of The Goodyear Rubber Company. I had a set of Fulda tire; used them on two cars for almost 20 years and they still had over 50% tread when they were changed.

It is hard to beat Michelin tires. When I tried other brands, I usually regretted it and returned to Michelin. Now I just buy Michelin tires and enjoy the smooth ride. I have heard good things about Vredestein tires. One car came to me with Pirelli tires and they seem to be alright although I had a bad experience with Pirelli P-4000's being out of round, looong ago.

Mark
 

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Fulda was a German subsidiary of The Goodyear Rubber Company. I had a set of Fulda tire; used them on two cars for almost 20 years and they still had over 50% tread when they were changed.

It is hard to beat Michelin tires. When I tried other brands, I usually regretted it and returned to Michelin. Now I just buy Michelin tires and enjoy the smooth ride. I have heard good things about Vredestein tires. One car came to me with Pirelli tires and they seem to be alright although I had a bad experience with Pirelli P-4000's being out of round, looong ago.

Mark
Fulda is a very good name in tires in Europe.. I would definitely stay away from any company with a China connection.. Blacklion comes to mind. Sometimes it is hard to find the company of origin even on the internet. Many just open up shell companies and call themselves Blacklion of North America thus hiding their true country where the money goes and the product might come from Mongolia.
 

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There is a saying: "The worst car built today is better than the best car built 10 years ago" (IMO a general statement for passenger cars only) and this might also apply to tires. I always check the Tire Rack website since they have their own test track and, in my opinion, are the best resource for tire information https://www.tirerack.com

There are always the bottom feeder dregs of any product. IE: the "China Bomb" reputation of some tires sold for the RV market. My personal designation is "Rim Protector"; tires only suitable for keeping the vehicle rims from touching the pavement.
 
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I don't think I would use them on a daily driver, but possibly on a weekend car.
Yea, I see your point. Why pay for a Michelin to get a 60,000 mile warranty when you're going to install it on a weekend car that only goes a few thousand miles a year? If it takes 20 years to reach 60,000 miles, you're not getting your money's worth.

On the other hand, if you enter your Alfa in concours, you're going to look pretty silly with your $20,000 paint, $7,000 interior, and $200 set of tires (Yea, I know - many BB readers are concours bigots, but believe me, to be competitive, a car is supposed to be consistent.)
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Yea, I see your point. Why pay for a Michelin to get a 60,000 mile warranty when you're going to install it on a weekend car that only goes a few thousand miles a year? If it takes 20 years to reach 60,000 miles, you're not getting your money's worth.

On the other hand, if you enter your Alfa in concours, you're going to look pretty silly with your $20,000 paint, $7,000 interior, and $200 set of tires (Yea, I know - many BB readers are concours bigots, but believe me, to be competitive, a car is supposed to be consistent.)
As nice as my car is, I do not enter it into car shows like I did in the past.

Being concours and winning trophies is not the goal.

Finding a nice scenic road is.

The car use to be a garage queen but now I like to drive it every few weeks (weather permitting).

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Some of the consumer issues I have read about (but not extensively), with such off brand tires out of China, are related to difficulties with warranty claims, or with communications and liability questions with these shell companies they have set up. At least, if you buy a set of General, BF Goodrich, Cooper or other well known brand, you will have clear and accountable recourse in case of tire problems.

There are many smaller tire companies that produce quality, recognized brands. I have a great set of Kumho Ecstas on my Spider, molded in a South Korean plant. But I will not be replacing them with a brand I am unfamiliar with. If I get the urge to push the limits and/or the speed limit, I want known quality rubber under my butt, properly inflated.
 

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I had 165 70 14 Michelins on a set of Carrol Shelby rims on my Duetto. I switched them back to Vredestein 155 SR 15' s on the original steel wheels. I love them. The steering is light, and the car is easier to drive. They handle almost as well as the fat Michelins for the way I drive, but I can pull into a parking space without pulling a bicep. I would recommend them. I bought them from Tire Rack.
 

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My only comments are these. I run funky brands on all of my cars as they are not on the track or at excessive speeds.
Stay away from Michelins on any vehicles that are not driven a lot of miles. You can put many miles on them but they dry rot faster than any other tire I have found.
I have asked this question at Michelin and while they know it, they have never said why.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My only comments are these. I run funky brands on all of my cars as they are not on the track or at excessive speeds.
Stay away from Michelins on any vehicles that are not driven a lot of miles. You can put many miles on them but they dry rot faster than any other tire I have found.
I have asked this question at Michelin and while they know it, they have never said why.
Which off brands have you used?

Thanks
 
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