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Okay I know there are many posts on this site and lots of ideas out there. Need to replace my tyres and I am so confused on the way to go. I have standard TR steel rims and from workshop manual see that original spec was 165HR-15SP or XAS (UK injection model that is what I have). Seen info on internet that suggest originals were 185, which was specified for US carb models.

Thinking of Pirelli brand although open to any suggestions.

I am not bound by originality as safety (me and car) is more important to me.

Any comments appreciated.

 

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I fitted four Pirelli Cinturato 165 x 15 ca67’s from Longstones 6 months ago.  I love them, compliant, good grip (for the width) and very progressive. No road noise to hear off and they look right on the car. The downside is they aren’t cheap, but I have no reservations. I hear the XAS is a good Tyre as well.

A8716205-604C-46BC-9FF2-D14492752E77.jpeg

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Yes, I bought them with Michelin inner tubes. I don’t do many miles either. If you are sticking with stock width, then either the XAS or CA67 will be good for you. I think the XAS was standard at the factory, but the technology is much better now. In the end the thing that did it for me was, I preferred how the Pirelli looked.

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I put safety first and have just replaced the Michelin XAS I had on my TR4a with a set of the Vredesteen T-track 2 in 165/80 15, these are very popular with the TR4 crowd, and give superb feel on the road and much better grip (to me) than the Michelin ever did with a much more modern tread pattern.  I know the Michelin and Pirelli along with the Vredesteen Classic have a more 'authentic' look, but that is no comfort when going through a hedge backwards.  

The way I rationalise these things now is not 'What did they fit?' but 'What would they fit today?'.  Tread patterns changed for a reason.

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2 hours ago, Colin Symonds said:

I put safety first and have just replaced the Michelin XAS I had on my TR4a with a set of the Vredesteen T-track 2 in 165/80 15, these are very popular with the TR4 crowd, and give superb feel on the road and much better grip (to me) than the Michelin ever did with a much more modern tread pattern.  I know the Michelin and Pirelli along with the Vredesteen Classic have a more 'authentic' look, but that is no comfort when going through a hedge backwards.  

The way I rationalise these things now is not 'What did they fit?' but 'What would they fit today?'.  Tread patterns changed for a reason.

Hi Colin, how old were your XAS tyres? I find the grip in the wet and dry very good with very spirited driving, the XAS as I believe had the traditional tread pattern but with a modern compound.

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They were three years old with about 4k miles on them.  Yes a modern compound, the same compound I believe that is used in their Pilot Sport  which I use on my BMW Z3M  (over 320bhp) but the Pilot Sport have a modern design with the industry standard continuous grooves round the tyre circumference, which give much better lateral control.   If the XAS had the tread design of the Pilot Sport I'd have bought them in a shot even at their inflated price.  I have found that the Vredesteen T-Track 2 are much more stable round the country roads I drive on than the XAS were.  If I were selling tyres though I'd be recommending the XAS at 4 times the price.

By the way I bought the T-Track 2 tyres as they were by far the most popular recommendation on the TR4/4A section of this forum when I asked about tyres back in July, XAS not being very popular there it seems.  They may be better suited to the TR6 than the TR4A.  XAS were quite nice on my GT6, but still not as good as the Continental CT22 I replaced them with, again another modern tread pattern.  

I'm afraid I'm just no a fan of the older 'classic' tread patterns, I think it's not by chance that no one uses them on a current tyre design.

Edited by Colin Symonds
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My experience with XAS is similar to Kevo’s ie it’s a excellent tyre with very safe and predictable handling characteristics.  Certainly ranks up there as the best improvement on my car compared to the over wide tyres it used to have. 
cheers

dave

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11 hours ago, Mick Forey said:

I chose 165/80 R15 Vredestein Sprint Classic. Hold the road very well in the wet and look the part, very pleased. Again, not cheap.

Mick

I really rate the vredestiens sprint classics

very reliable in the wet and look the part. It’s a modern compound together with a classic style tread  

 

but any modern safe tyre is better than any very old top make tyre. 

Edited by Hamish
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+1 for T Track 2. I replaced my ancient Pirellis 185's with 165 version of these. I took a bit of a gamble on them but at a quarter of the price of the Michelins, I figured I could bin them after a year & go for something else, however I'm very pleased with them. Its a different car. If your annual milage is low its likely your tyres will age harden long before they wear out. 

Point to note, if you have a uk car & go for 185's your speedo will be out. When I last looked I couldn't get 175 or 185's of any make to match the profile of the original 165's

Alan 

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I agree, of the three main 'classic' tyres the Vredesteen Sprint Classic has the closest to the modern design with its semi continuous groove running round the tyre, and it's a more realistic price.  Their T-Trac 2, just takes it the one step more.  But yes the Sprint Classic is a very good option for a modernish safe tyre.

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Jonathon, any of these tyres will be a considerable improvement over what the factory fitted in the 60’s and 70’s.  The XAS and CA67 because they use modern construction and materials, but true to the original tread and design (I think the CA67’s even come out of the same mold). The Vreds are a modern take on older tyres, well liked and quite a lot cheaper. I don’t ‘hooly’ around these days, preferring a brisk cross country pace and any of these are more than up top that task without any safety issues at all. Everybody has a different set of ‘drivers’ (excuse the bad pun) but any of these tyres would be a great choice.

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There’s a lot of talk about tread pattern but we shouldn’t forget about tyre shape (I don’t mean round).  Modern tyres have a square profile meaning the breakaway point is sharp.  The classic tyres have a rounded profile meaning that the breakaway point is less sharp and more predictable. we shouldn’t forget that our suspension geometry was designed around the tyres used in the 60’s and 70’s. 

I don’t think you can say that a modern tyre design is superior to a classic tread pattern tyre which uses modern materials.  If that was the case then there would be no market for XAS, CA67 and the like.  Often modern isn’t better - look at nos parts versus eastern pattern parts.  
 

what I’m saying is that all new tyres sold on the market today are safe regardless of whether they have a modern tread pattern or a classic pattern.  One type will suit the handling characteristics of the car better whereas the other type won’t.  It’s personal preference at the end of the day.   

:ph34r:

 

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With the risk of being counter to everyone on the thread so far..

I would consider the fact that you don’t do too many miles.. It means that your tyres will go hard and hence become unsafe well before you wear them out.. might be upsettting if you have paid top dollar for these expensive tyres that simulate original equipment.

I have modern 195s at less than half the price.. slightly heavier steering at parking speeds.. But great grip in the dry and wet (modern tread pattern... There is a reason why we don’t use the tread patterns like the Vredenstieds and XAS any more).

We’ve driven them on spirited laps of Spa and Le Mans and done the Round britain reliability run and 10 countries. this included below zero on damp alpine passes and late night monsoon on the Cheviots. 

They are not low profile and don’t snap away, very progressive.. You have to go low profile before this becomes a problem..

All this with a supercharger running 7psi.. which means A LOT of low down torque..

 

But perhaps more important to consider,  I don’t mind changing them when they get hard (because they are cheap) even when they are not fully worn..

if I had the costly OEM simulating tyres I’d be tempted to keep them on too long and that is dangerous..

 

Just my 2 penny worth...

Cheers

Tim

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Tim, I took 195’s off my car, they weren’t low profile and I would say a mid-range Tyre. Steering very heavy at low speeds, not progressive at all, but yes, good grip. Looks like your 6 is tuned for performance and so I totally understand where you are coming from, but for more ‘Normal’ driving, I fully agree with aardvarks sentiments. That’s the fun of this forum, so may different views.

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8 hours ago, Tim D. said:

With the risk of being counter to everyone on the thread so far..

I would consider the fact that you don’t do too many miles.. It means that your tyres will go hard and hence become unsafe well before you wear them out.. might be upsettting if you have paid top dollar for these expensive tyres that simulate original equipment.

I have modern 195s at less than half the price.. slightly heavier steering at parking speeds.. But great grip in the dry and wet (modern tread pattern... There is a reason why we don’t use the tread patterns like the Vredenstieds and XAS any more).

We’ve driven them on spirited laps of Spa and Le Mans and done the Round britain reliability run and 10 countries. this included below zero on damp alpine passes and late night monsoon on the Cheviots. 

They are not low profile and don’t snap away, very progressive.. You have to go low profile before this becomes a problem..

All this with a supercharger running 7psi.. which means A LOT of low down torque..

 

But perhaps more important to consider,  I don’t mind changing them when they get hard (because they are cheap) even when they are not fully worn..

if I had the costly OEM simulating tyres I’d be tempted to keep them on too long and that is dangerous..

 

Just my 2 penny worth...

Cheers

Tim

I use 195/65 Pirelli P6 Cinturato's for pretty much the same reasons. My tires reach their use by date before they physically wear out. And the Pirelli's provide pretty good performance with my suspension set up.

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13 hours ago, Mike C said:

I use 195/65 Pirelli P6 Cinturato's for pretty much the same reasons. My tires reach their use by date before they physically wear out. And the Pirelli's provide pretty good performance with my suspension set up.

Had Cinturatos last time.. worked very well

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21 hours ago, Tim D. said:

There is a reason why we don’t use the tread patterns like the Vredenstieds and XAS any more).

I don’t understand your point here Tim.  Clearly the old tread patterns are still being used (because you can buy them).   Modern Snow tyres have a more similar tread pattern to the classics than to summer tyres, the main difference being rubber compound.  Michelin wouldn’t sell classic tyres if they were in any way unsafe or less safe than modern tread shape.

 

If tyres are old (in age terms) they will not be as safe as new tyres regardless of tread pattern type - that’s obvious.  It’s strange that you think that there are people that will hold on to their tyres beyond the safe date because they are expensive tyres.  It’s probably more because they don’t know better.

 

One other thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that tyres not only contribute to grip, but also handling.  Having the tyres with the most grip doesn’t automatically make them the best handling.

 

I know that we own our cars for different reasons.  In my case it’s because I want to drive a car that I remember from my youth but wasn’t able to afford then.  I don’t want it to be faster than it was from new, more luxurious, handle differently etc etc.  If I wanted that then I would buy a modern sports car.  The one thing I do know is that when I changed my 195 modern tyres to 165 XAS (who knows whether other 165 tyres would be the same), the car was transformed.  It became lighter on its feet and more balanced in a way I wasn’t expecting.  It no doubt has less grip now, but in no way feels unsafe.  It surely handles better though.

 

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1 hour ago, aardvark said:

I don’t understand your point here Tim.  Clearly the old tread patterns are still being used (because you can buy them).   Modern Snow tyres have a more similar tread pattern to the classics than to summer tyres, the main difference being rubber compound.  Michelin wouldn’t sell classic tyres if they were in any way unsafe or less safe than modern tread shape.

 

If tyres are old (in age terms) they will not be as safe as new tyres regardless of tread pattern type - that’s obvious.  It’s strange that you think that there are people that will hold on to their tyres beyond the safe date because they are expensive tyres.  It’s probably more because they don’t know better.

 

One other thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is that tyres not only contribute to grip, but also handling.  Having the tyres with the most grip doesn’t automatically make them the best handling.

 

I know that we own our cars for different reasons.  In my case it’s because I want to drive a car that I remember from my youth but wasn’t able to afford then.  I don’t want it to be faster than it was from new, more luxurious, handle differently etc etc.  If I wanted that then I would buy a modern sports car.  The one thing I do know is that when I changed my 195 modern tyres to 165 XAS (who knows whether other 165 tyres would be the same), the car was transformed.  It became lighter on its feet and more balanced in a way I wasn’t expecting.  It no doubt has less grip now, but in no way feels unsafe.  It surely handles better though.

 

Aardvark, 

As ever with our hobby its all about what you personally want in your car. That's the fun of the thing. I tried a 6 with XAS and Vriedenstien and for me they felt loose compared to modern tyres. But I agree they were much lighter on the steering. 

I wasn't really saying that these old style tyres were unsafe. Just that they may not be the best performing ones out there. Agree regarding handling and road holding. 

However there is plenty of evidence of tyre companies selling vanity tyres that look good but do not perform optimally. 

You can still by crossplies:-)

Cheers

Tim

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You might like the 185-70 Michelin XWX with exactly the same diameter as the 165 XAS. Much faster than the TR the inimitable period look and fabulous performance merit a look:

https://www.cokertire.com/tires/michelin-xwx.html

I've had the NLA 185-15 XAS on one of my Webered '250s and no other contenders came close. When they aged out ( good tread left after 40K miles ) I went with the XVS. The 3.45:1 diff in the other one pictured below made for the smaller diameter 185/70.

 

Tom

XWX1.JPG

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