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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I’d jot this down before the Hotchkis bars go on Saturday. This is just a quick evaluation after 256 miles. Bear in mind this was 256, dry weather, city and highway miles, and no track or autocross events. Other than being a tad aggressive in some cornering, this was all driven at or near posted limits... well for the most part anyway, you know how it is.:sneaky:

These are the run-flat Potenza RE050A’s in the stock size, 245/45/18, with pressure at 33 cold. (Oh and I do have the FG2 shocks installed.) First thing I noticed was how quiet they are, a significant difference compared to the well-worn F1’s they replaced. The next thing I noticed was steering difference. With the five-oh-A’s, there’s a noticeable decrease in effort. I could feel it both in slow and high-speed conditions. Whether cruising on the freeway or in parking maneuvers, with the decreased effort, I have to remember to lessen my steering inputs slightly. The audio clue that these phenomena were not a product of my imagination was the first time I drove out of my garage. It’s a typical suburban garage with a sealed concrete slab for a floor. With the F1’s the initial rollout was always accompanied by the sound of two balloons rubbing together. The 50A’s are dead quiet at rollout.

OK… have we all come to the same conclusion? Less rolling resistance means less noise, ergo less grip. But I’m not convinced they’re a lot less grippy than F1’s. Here’s why… these have incredible corner cut in, and in a sweeper when you feel the slip angle increase, you just back the tiniest bit off the throttle and they snap back to the line pronto.

This set may still be a bit green at only 256 miles, and I haven’t pushed them hard nor driven in rain, so I’m not coming to any dramatic conclusions yet. But so far... I Like! It will be interesting to see how the new anti-roll bars affect handling with these tires. Then the real test will come on the 11th with the first autocross. I’ll keep you posted.
 

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With a wear rating of 140 vs the 220 on supercars, it will be interesting to see how long these puppies last.

Keep us posted. We need alternatives to the F1's.

Tony
 

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Good review... some random comments:

If the 256 miles were *hard* miles, the tires a fully "broken in"... if it was cruzing freeway miles, they need a few more miles.

I wouldn't concluded "Less rolling resistance means less noise, ergo less grip". Modern tire design uses the shape of the tread blocks to cut down on noise (constuctive interference cancels out the sound waves). So noise is not related to rolling resistance, nor less grip. Grip is related to the stickyness of the rubber used for the tire.

Stiffer roll bars mean more weight transfer (in autocrosses, i'm sure you've seen the VW GTIs with the stiff roll bars completely lift the outside rear tire off the ground... thus 100% weight transfer to the inside wheels)... so all this means the tires work harder... the stickier the tire, the better it works with stiffer bars.

Keep us posted... very interested of what your think of the bars in your autocross...
 

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Good to hear some feedback on that tire. I've been surprised that noone has used them until now.

Also, can anyone answer? How large are our stock swaybars and how large will the Hotchkis be? I'm curious if Hotchkis will make different sizes to accomodate people doing staggered setups.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
thebigjimsho said:
Good to hear some feedback on that tire. I've been surprised that noone has used them until now.

Also, can anyone answer? How large are our stock swaybars and how large will the Hotchkis be? I'm curious if Hotchkis will make different sizes to accomodate people doing staggered setups.
I think KGoch has 50A's installed. I recall he thought they lent more body roll. I did not find that but I've got FG2 shocks and now with the Hotchkis bars the ride is more flat.

I installed the Hotchkis bars yesterday. (I'll do a separate thread about that adventure.) Here's the specs from the Hotchkis site on their dimensions:
Specs:
1 1/4" (32mm) Hollow Front
1" (25mm) Solid Rear
Stiffness:
Front 70% Stiffer than stock.
Rear 90% Stiffer than stock
The stock front bar is 26.6 mm. Can't find the spec on the stock rear. By looks, the dimension difference between Hotchkis and stock rear appears about the same as the front. Didn't have time to snap a pic of rear side-by-side but here's one of the front. (That's the rear bar still in plastic at top of frame.) The Hotchkis bars are non-adjustable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quick update- It's been raining here in Northern California quite a bit lately so more wet miles have been logged. Impressions on the RE050A RFTs... they very much display high-performance tire behavior. When cold they feel a little skatey. Once they warm up a bit (enough to increase pressure by two pounds or so), they settle in. Still you must be judicious with the accelerator from a standing stop and consider using second gear starts.

Once you're out of the low gears the tires feel very solid. Lane change maneuvers and firm braking can be done with confidence. Cornering is also solid but smooth transition is a must. Same with downshifting. Severe imbalance will disrupt the contact patch. Weight transfer rules in the rain!

Conscientious and disciplined driving on these tires in your V will reward you with the ability to slice a dice through the rest of those morons like a Hatori Hanzu blade. Whatever your tire choice, be safe out there!
 

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I am now putting my 2nd set of Potenza RE50A on. My orig f1s got 7k miles - we got 19K out of the Potenzas. The tradeoff in performance for me is nil, as I don't run this car at the track and generally use it as the GT it was intended to be. Plenty of performance from these tires in the dry (but certainly not at the F1 level) and good wet performance as well. $269 plus shipping from the tire rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am now putting my 2nd set of Potenza RE50A on. My orig f1s got 7k miles - we got 19K out of the Potenzas. The tradeoff in performance for me is nil, as I don't run this car at the track and generally use it as the GT it was intended to be. Plenty of performance from these tires in the dry (but certainly not at the F1 level) and good wet performance as well. $269 plus shipping from the tire rack.
You got exactly the same mileage on F1's as I did. Just turned 5k miles on the 050A's. Tread shows 8/32nds at all four corners (new depth is 10-11/32nds). Sounds like I'm on track to match your results.
 

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Just passed 1,000 miles on the RE050A's 245/275 combos.

They're great. I'm very pleased. All positive comments above are spot on. Maybe slightly less grippy than the F1's - but it is ever so slight and they're so much more quiet and comfortable I can't complain.

In "drag starts" they have a little less traction, but it is minimal. I especially like the sound of the 2nd and 3rd gear scratch :)

WW
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just passed 1,000 miles on the RE050A's 245/275 combos.

They're great. I'm very pleased. All positive comments above are spot on. Maybe slightly less grippy than the F1's - but it is ever so slight and they're so much more quiet and comfortable I can't complain.

In "drag starts" they have a little less traction, but it is minimal. I especially like the sound of the 2nd and 3rd gear scratch :)

WW
Do be careful when it starts to get wet and snowy up there. When they're cold, on rain slick streets, I found the 050A's as slippery as the F1's. Once they're up to temperature, they're fine and far exceed the F1 wet traction.

I don't think I'll ever go back to F1's. But, as much as I like these Potenzas, I may not go with runflats of any sort in the future. I picked up a nail recently. Took it to two different places and got the same story... "We won't repair runflats. You may find someone who will but it is not recommended." We're talking a tiny nail here like something you'd hang a picture with. I'll have to see what kind of luck I have with the remaing life of these tires.
 

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I am running RE050s (no A) and have about 4000 miles on the tires. The traction is just as good as the F1s on dry pavement, and the wet traction is considerably better. Also, it would appear that the tread life is also going to be much better. The only downside is that they tend to flat spot a little when sitting overnight, but a few miles of driving takes care of that.

As far as service of run-flats is concerned, as I have stated before in other threads on this forum, I only use the dealer. I have seen too many horror stories about tire shops that do not have the proper equipment or training for servicing run-flats. Eventually, all tires will be run-flats, and the after market shops will have no choice but to deal with them using proper equipment and training. Until then stick with your Cadillac dealer (and use the Vogue tire unit if possible).
 

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I have 14,000 on my RE050A's and will get apporx. 4-5000 more. The handling was very consistant through the life of the tire. I got 8,000 out of the F1 and they slid all over the place.
 

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i have these tires on my car and when they were new there was alittle wheel hop, but not that they are gone after 3,000 miles they hoped less...
tell me why..............
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i have these tires on my car and when they were new there was alittle wheel hop, but not that they are gone after 3,000 miles they hoped less...
tell me why..............
I assume because they are less sticky as they age, whereas the F1 compound was more consistant across their lifespan.
 
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