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SPRING SHOES SALE

An overview of road tire and rim offers.

Maxim Sachkov

In order not to drown in the rubber-steel ocean of wheels, tire and wheel sellers quite clearly divide their goods into groups - in terms of quality, price, demand. We will follow their example.

Tires are domestic. The rating is headed by the products of three colossuses - Nizhnekamsk, Bobruisk and Belotserkovsky tire plants, which supply their products both to spare parts and to conveyors of auto giants. Prices of popular thirteen-inch tires range from 500 to 750 rubles. The lower limit of this price range is Nizhnekamsk BL-85, the upper limit is Belotserkovsky BTs-20 and BTs-6. The obsolete I-151 chamber tire can be bought very cheaply - for only 300 rubles. On "Moskvich 2141" full-time tires are slightly more expensive. For example, the same BL-85 will cost 550 rubles, and for the modern L-5 model on the market will be asked on average a hundred more. For fourteen-inch Volgov wheels, an inexpensive ID-220 for 600 or BTs-1 is suitable for a price of 950 rubles. A fifteen-inch tire is even more expensive: the relatively cheap Bobruisk L-8 will be given for about 750 wooden ones, and the Kama-501 will pull a good thousand.

The second place among domestic manufacturers in the “quality-price” category is occupied by the Volzhsky, Kirovsky and Moscow tire plants at the trading counters, suppliers of VAZ, GAZ and Moskvich, respectively. In terms of value, their products are practically not inferior to the leaders, but the market estimates its advantages lower. For example, the M-229 Moskovia for Svyatora costs 550 rubles, and the M-248 is sold for 700. The same situation is with the Volga plant: the price of I-151 of local production and Nizhnekamsk is almost the same.

We will separately name the NIISHPA Experimental Tire Plant with small volumes of production (as a rule, new tire models). Its products are in no way inferior to the Big Three, but the price is slightly higher. I-394 will cost the buyer a hundred (sometimes more) more than a similar Nizhnekamsk one.

Next are the Yaroslavl tire and Omsk "Matador". The first supplies a large assortment of chamber and tubeless tires for spare parts. In terms of comfort and driving quality they are not inferior to Nizhnekamsk, Bobruisk or Belotserkovsky, but if you believe the sellers (they refer to their customers), they wear out faster. Price level - as with the leaders. About the same money they sell the domestic Matador.

Another group includes Voronezh, Omsk (not to be confused with Matador), Ural and Dnepropetrovsk plants. Their main products are mediocre tires designed for the penny and designed for the poorest part of customers. For example, the aforementioned I-151 is made in Voronezh, and in Dnepropetrovsk, and in the Urals; In addition to Nizhnekamsk and these three plants, “Zhiguli” tires M-100 and M-145 also produce Omsk. Prices for the products of these enterprises are on average 10–20% lower than those of competitors.

Tires are imported. The leading positions here are Michelin, Continental, and Pirelli. Following are Gislaved, Nokia, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Barum. Depending on the model, the price ranges from 1000 to 2000 rubles for thirteen-inch tires. An import tire for a full-time Muscovite wheel will cost the owner 1400-2400 rubles, for the Volga GAZ 3110 - 2000-3000 rubles, but some elite models cost 4000 rubles or more, for example, Pirelli P6000.

The second group is the Korean Kumkho, Hankuk, and the Slovak Matador. The first two are better, but they cost 20-30% more than a European classmate. For example, on a Zhiguli and Samara, one Korean tire will cost 900 rubles, for the forty-first and Volga with the same size wheels - 1, 400, on a barge with large wheels - 1, 700 rubles for a “cylinder”.

Disks. Stamped steel - the leaders in sales, because they are inexpensive - no more than 500 rubles per wheel. The Kremenchug plant, the leader in this group at prices, offers its products for almost all domestic models. About 250 rubles are being asked on the market for a “Zhiguli” drive, a figure-eight is more expensive for a couple of chervonets, for a VAZ all-terrain vehicle the price is about 450 rubles. "Volgovsky" 15-inch drive costs an average of 320, and a smaller inch - 20-30 rubles cheaper. The Svyatora wheel will cost the owner about 400 rubles.

The next in this group is the actual products of car factories. Tolyatti and Nizhny Novgorod disks are approximately 5–10% more expensive than Kremenchug ones. Rumor has it that the original wheels "go" longer.

Finished list of imported stamped wheels. Products of German companies KFZ and Mefro are intended for Lada, Samar and Volga. The price compared to the original parts is one and a half times higher. Approximately as much as factory workers, foreigners resist corrosion.

The next group is alloy wheels. From the Russian goods presented on the shelves, we single out products that have become quite popular from Belaya Kalitva, Verkhnyaya Salda, as well as the Moscow company Vils and Krasnoyarsk. The latter, according to sellers and buyers, is slightly worse - and therefore cheaper. The cost of the rest of our cast alloy wheels ranges from 800–1200 rubles per 13-inch, 1000–1300 - 14-inch, 1500–2000 –15-inch. In the post-crisis time, domestic products greatly squeezed foreign ones. Perhaps only Italians survived with their high-quality expensive goods for very wealthy buyers - from 2, 300 rubles per wheel or more, depending on the dimension. There are Turkish discs, slightly inferior in quality to domestic ones, but almost the same in price.

The third group - forged wheels. They are lighter than cast ones, they better hold impact, and resist corrosion for longer. Foreign companies do not offer such a product - only domestic manufacturers compete in this niche. Most buyers prefer forged wheels from Stupino near Moscow; the mentioned products are delivered by Belaya Kalitva and Verkhnyaya Salda. Prices for models of the same diameter are almost the same for all manufacturers and almost do not differ from those offered for the "cast" counterparts.

It is difficult to give any special advice in choosing tires and wheels. From the domestic assortment, it is better to prefer what is supplied to the conveyor of car factories. If only because these tires and wheels have passed additional rigorous tests and have been approved by car manufacturers. The competitors may have something better, but it is difficult to judge this without factory approval. As for the quality … Undoubtedly, the expensive imported tires and wheels are superior to the domestic ones - they paid for that. Alas, not everyone can afford it. Only the cheapest wheels are available to many - well, and they will roll, but do not demand something outstanding from them.

And the last - when going to the market, refer to the tire tests of the magazine - for example, ЗР, 1999, No. 3. By the way, we will publish the next report on road tire tests in the next issues.

Perhaps the best examples of modern domestic all-season and road tires are BI-391 (aka I-391, in other dimensions - L-5, L-8), "Kama-205", BTs-20. The price is 600-700 rubles.