The Pzero Nero M+S had good grip on dry and wet, and for the first couple winters worked great in light snow. These tires still had more than 4/32" tread depth and while they didn't stick as well as they did when new the Pzero Nero M+S still had plenty of life. So why did I replace them, now? My reasons were three-fold:
- In the span of 3.5 years and 31k miles I've had at least two flats, the first caused by a nail, and the second, who knows. Recently I noticed that I had slow leaks in both my front tires: within one month I lost 12 psi on my driver-front tire and 7 psi on my passenger-front, compared to losing 3 psi in each of my rear tires, the latter in my experience being normal. Instead of wasting time and money verifying then fixing the slow leaks, I thought I should invest that money on new tires.
- I was stuck one day in the snow last winter, to my surprise and disappointment. I know the Pirellis were only all-seasons, and I was on an incline with thick ice beneath snow, and there's no guarantee that different tires would have helped, but nevertheless I thought a change would be nice.
- Recently I've noticed the Pirellis squealed during certain maneuvers in which they never squealed previously.
The Bridgestones I purchased are ultra-high performance all-season Potenza RE960AS Pole Positions (225/40R18 88W). I picked these because they were in my affordable range, rated #1 in their category by customers on Tire Rack, I recalled reading positive recommendations on VWVortex, and they were in stock (as I mentioned above, I wanted to get them before being forced to repair my leaking Pirellis).
In addition to having the Potenzas mounted and balanced I also had a 4-wheel alignment. My fronts' "Turning" (see R32 stock alignment specs) were set at -2.3 or -2.4, if memory serves. I was told the only way to get them closer to stock specs would be to install control arms. Anywhoo, with this setting I was informed that there shouldn't be any excess tire wear or changes in handling so I left it at that.
The recommended Volkswagen tire pressures are 35 psi in the front, 44 psi in the rear. For the F1s I ran 40 f / 46 r because I was worried about the soft sidewalls and this carried over for a while to the Pirellis. More recently with the Pirellis, and now with the Potenzas, I'm running at 37 f / 46 r. I'll see how that goes. The 500 mile break-in period can't be finished quickly enough. :o)
Update 18SEP2007: If I judge by how much gunk has been coming off the Bridgestones and dirtying up the Aristos then the break in period was over after 300 miles. Still, I'm going to take it easy for another 200 just to be safe.