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Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac- Edit :NLA
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:55 pm    Post subject: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac- Edit :NLA Reply with quote

So, I'm reeeaaaaallllllyyy picky about my tires and have been looking for over a year casually as various 14" tires are discussed here. My top choice was the BFG KO but only because there was not much else from top tier tire makers. My beef with this tire though it that it's too much an offroad tread and that affects onroad stability and other things like noise and fuel economy though those are lesser concerns.

I want a tough van tire that has a heavy load rated carcass for stable highway driving on our curvy, mountain roads, but I want a more open tread design than the typical highway-oriented tread patterns that go with that carcass. I have even considered 14" tires only available in Europe because I have easy access through contacts for that kind of stuff.

Enter Samba user "Danfromsyr" who mentioned the Vredestein Comtrac All Season in a random January thread here. I looked them up and my ears perked up like a dog hearing a whistle. What - 106 load rated to 2000lbs? Dual steel belts? A curb bashing sidewall structure? With an open tread pattern like that? Perfect!!!

So I ordered a set a few months ago, painted my factory alloys and had them mounted up. I've only got one freeway drive on them but I'm a former vehicle evaluation guy and these are stupendous. They track like the van's on rails at high speed. They're so quiet they have the decibel rating right on the tire spec and I can't even hear them underway.

I don't like most of the current crop of 14" tires because they are from China, India and other countries not known for tire technology. This is a respected European name and they are made in the Netherlands - a place few realize has industrial standards that rival Germany and exceeds them in many areas. So definitely top tier quality and material control.

Here's a shot on my van:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And the sidewall ratings and load stuff for ya:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Doug
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bobbyblack Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Those Comtrac's have been in my gaze for a while too, since that post you mentioned. They also come in 15" and 16" versions. For now, I will have to try to wear off some of the tread on my BFG's while I get a few other projects funded. My 16" Merc rims and T3 mounting hardware will have to wait a little longer. But the wait will be worth it when I get a set like yours mounted! Glad to hear of your findings!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

This comes as no surprise whatsoever. Vredestein tires are very well respected within the greater classic car community.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Been running the non all season version for years on my 2wd. Great tire that handles surprisingly well when pushing corners down mountain roads.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Good to know. Like Doug, I like my stock alloys and want to keep them, so good 14" choices are always welcome. They look sharp too. Please share your experience when the weather turns ugly. For now, I'm still in love with my 225 Cooper snow tires, even in the desert.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Don't have a clue why it is so hard to find a 185/195-75r14 in an all weather tread. The Hankooks so hyped here on TS seem to be a pretty second rate tire to me, poor traction and questionable handling in my experience, and now several have experienced weird catastrophic sidewall blowout. Maybe these Vredestein Comtrac All Season will prove to be a much better alternative.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Yes, I hope so as well. They're tough as nails and very stable at speed. Our freeways have a "feature" that exposes a less stable tread design instantly. It's shallow grooves in the pavement from winter time steel stud use. Like faint ruts. If a tire like an M/T or A/T is driven on them the vehicle constantly nibbles back and forth faintly and when you cross them you get a feel much like tramlining. These barely respond - much like the D rated Michelins I just took off.

When it gets nasty, I have a set of winter specific tires since we use this vehicle as a snowshoe base camp. But I'll deliberately wait to swap them so I can report on the snow ability. The open tread and lots of lateral biting edges should also prove much more dirt/gravel worthy in traction than typical "van rated tires". And I hope the tough carcass withstands the sharp granite strewn forest roads we love to travel here and in Montana and British Columbia.

Here's where I got mine and my experience with them was very good. Quick delivery, a follow up to check on me, and they had the 195 I wanted in stock. A definite A rating: https://www.tires-easy.com/brands/vredestein-tires/comtrac-all-season

Doug
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:50 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Those tyres look great, but they are out of stock for the 14" 195s.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

I too have been looking at this tire for my 15" wheels and I will likely buy a set next year.

A word about tires-easy.com: I recently bought two Nokian C-Line van tires from them and they both separated prematurely (they are manufactured in Finland). It didn't take me long to find other web complaints about that supplier--that they were possibly selling subpar tire stocks. I don't know how the tire industry works, so I can't attribute any truth to those speculations. Tires-easy.com did have excellent prices, fast shipping, and an easy website. The tires had recent date codes and looked authentic to me... and I'm still trying to determine if I did something wrong (over or under inflation) to make the tires fail.

Keep us posted on your experience, and thanks for the writeup. This Dutch American looks forward to buying Dutch tires.

kourt
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Winter tires from north Western Europe will probably come back into stock sometime around September, they don't want to carry winter tire inventory into summer when the tire consumers are fussy over date stamps.
IoWesty wrote:
Those tyres look great, but they are out of stock for the 14" 195s.



you may have just bought a portion of a bad production run, unfortunately, can (does) happen in most any industry
kourt wrote:
I too have been looking at this tire for my 15" wheels and I will likely buy a set next year.

A word about tires-easy.com: I recently bought two Nokian C-Line van tires from them and they both separated prematurely (they are manufactured in Finland). It didn't take me long to find other web complaints about that supplier--that they were possibly selling subpar tire stocks. I don't know how the tire industry works, so I can't attribute any truth to those speculations. Tires-easy.com did have excellent prices, fast shipping, and an easy website. The tires had recent date codes and looked authentic to me... and I'm still trying to determine if I did something wrong (over or under inflation) to make the tires fail.

Keep us posted on your experience, and thanks for the writeup. This Dutch American looks forward to buying Dutch tires.

kourt

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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
A word about tires-easy.com: I recently bought two Nokian C-Line van tires from them and they both separated prematurely (they are manufactured in Finland). It didn't take me long to find other web complaints about that supplier--that they were possibly selling subpar tire stocks. I don't know how the tire industry works, so I can't attribute any truth to those speculations. Tires-easy.com did have excellent prices, fast shipping, and an easy website. The tires had recent date codes and looked authentic to me... and I'm still trying to determine if I did something wrong (over or under inflation) to make the tires fail.


There are several grades of tires out there, but all should be safe. New cars get an "A" grade tire as do branded tire dealers. There is a pecking order for the remaining tires with bulk suppliers being apt to get a higher percentage of lower rated tires. Don't know how the rating info is shown on the tires.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

The Vredestein Comtrac's were the first 15" tires I ran when I changed over to the 15" wheels.
Fantastic tire, however I was a little bit disappointed in how quickly they wore out.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

These will be the next tires for my van. I have Yokohama tires now on my stock 14 rims. They are nice tires but they are summer only and don't inspire confidence for any dirt/gravel road...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

the USA distributor.


Apollo Vredestein Tires Inc.
13 Bridge Street
Metuchen N.J. 08840
U.S.A.
Telephone: 1 732 549 2440/800 221 3422
Fax: 1 732 549 2450

[email protected]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Not much info on their website.

Are they directional Doug?
What are they saying about tire wear life?
Any info regarding diameter?
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Steve,

They are directional. The tread blocks are also a continuously varying size to avoid the "wah wah" tread harmonics. Europe has tire noise regs and these meet the standard.

As for size, I agree there is piss poor data on that, and some other tire tech. The US distributor should be drawn and quartered for the poor sales job. I put them next to my D rated 185R Michelins and accounting for the reduced tire wear on the old tires would say they are about 3/4 inch larger in diameter. On the vehicle they seem larger for some reason - visually filling the wheel wells. The speedometer is 10% off at 60 mph off and it used to be accurate with the Michelins. I'll have to do the math on that but that's all I've done is observe. I considered the 185s for a while but decided I wanted the extra beef of the 195 and am glad I did.

On wear, I didn't even research any user comments. I figured its a commercial duty tire and they even mention design considerations like repeat turning, stop and go delivery duty, and hitting curbs dozens of times a day with a heavily laden urban delivery vehicle. So I decided they attended to wear and the upsize to the 195 will further extend its service life for me vs stock 185 size. Check out the tread depth too - I can't recall the numbers but a lot more depth than some of the other tires I was considering. These are "D" rated, so in my usual preference they are overkill, but there will be days this girl will be at her GVWR. Over Christmas, we rolled over a truck scale in our new Subaru and I found we were 40lbs under GVWR. So we tend to travel heavily at times.....
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

I had the summer season ones. They were good, quiet, strong but a bit hard to my expectations. Maybe these all season ones have softer material.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

I think so - its a modern silica-based rubber compound. Love the ride on broken pavement and such.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Shoot. Now I wish I'd ordered these. The place I took the van to for the shaking issue I was having can get me the Yokohoma 356s, which were currently on the van, today. Camping trip planned for Saturday and I don't want to drive any more than I have to on my current tire with the broken band that's all wonky.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: Outstanding 14" tire choice - Vredestein Comtrac. Reply with quote

Yah. Those are nice! I'll look at them when I need to replace the ones on my RIVI. I have nice tread now, but they must be 11 years old.
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