I thought I was getting by just fine with all-season tires year-round, but a recent incident made me realize the merit of bothering with winter tires, their replacement, and their storage (or else make sure I never climb from stopping on a hill after snowfall—even all-season tires are useless in that scenario).
Now I'm trying to decide whether to pair winter tires with all-season tires or with summer tires for the remaining eight to nine months, based on the following criteria.
- Are summer tires the same as road tires, speed tires, etc? Are there finer gradations there as well or are these just synonyms?
- From my last experience driving all-season tires on the highway in the summer I am starting to suspect that all-season tires are not just lousy for some winter driving, they are also not the right tires for pleasant country-road driving. There one wants to enjoy some nice music with the sun shining, meanwhile the tires make a drumming sound. Is this accurate, or did I just end up with a poor choice of tires (the F- brand)? Are all-season tires expected to be noisy compared to summer tires?
- If one is going to be switching back-and-forth from-to winter tires, is there actually any advantage to all-season tires? Do they, for example, handle better during spring and autumn rain? Are summer tires as good as all-season tires during rain? (It would be useful to know if folks with more storage space, time for the tire shop, and money, actually use three sets of tires, reserving the all-season ones for spring and fall, even though I will not fall in that category—for all three reasons, in case you're wondering.)
So my question really is: Is there any reason to consider all-season tires if one will be putting winter tires on for some months of the year?