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Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth #5330337 01/23/20 02:05 PM
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Cressida Offline OP
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Has anyone else noted the increasing number of tires with waffle sipes but they are only extending for the first ~ 2/32" (at best) in the tread surface. Like this example:

[Linked Image]

I read the marketing material and it goes like this: "Engineered for traction on ice, with tiny waffle sipes creating thousands of small gripping edges"

It looks and sounds good but those shallow sipes will disappear relatively quickly during the tire life and then there will be no sipe at all for that tread block. So when you may need more of the features that this sipe is suppose to provide (because the tread depth is reduced) it will not even be there.

Is this because they do not have the technology to make the sipes extend down into the tread (like Michelin does as an example) or is it a matter of not spending the money to make a better mold; or what ? ?

Probably their marketing department figures people will buy based on the first look without really thinking about it.


Last edited by Cressida; 01/23/20 02:22 PM.
Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330362 01/23/20 02:33 PM
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supton Offline
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I'm sure it costs money to do it right and go down further--and if done poorly it makes for a flexible tread block.

To some degree, on a winter tire like this, while I'd like for siping to go all the way down, does it really need to go more than halfway? Tire is no good in snow around that point, well maybe not nearly as good. "Most" tires probably have had a few seasons by that point and aren't as soft&flexible either, so, is it a real problem?


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330364 01/23/20 02:33 PM
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Astro14 Offline
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They already told you why the waffle sipes - snow traction. They go deeper than your estimate, but you're right, they don't go all the way through the block.

Any snow tire will begin to lose traction below 6/32" - so why have the sipes go any deeper? Once they're worn to that depth, you can run them for summer tires, or pitch them in favor of new snow tires.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330378 01/23/20 02:48 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline
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Originally Posted by Cressida
Is this because they do not have the technology to make the sipes extend down into the tread (like Michelin does as an example) or is it a matter of not spending the money to make a better mold; or what ? ?

I think it's because doing deep sipes so closely to each other would cause the thread to become too squirmy/unstable while in operation, possibly generating excessive heat and maybe also causing undesired road feel issues.




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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330391 01/23/20 02:59 PM
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tcp71 Offline
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The nokians we run here go all the way down. They have a treat depth molded in that shows 8,6,4 and 2mm of depth left.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330396 01/23/20 03:04 PM
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Cujet Offline
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Michelin LTX-M/S2 and it's newer flavor have similar sipes that are full depth. They seem to perform very well on wet Florida roads.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330404 01/23/20 03:11 PM
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I had a set of Nokian RSi winter tires. About 3 generations from the current stuff. Probably the best pure winter tire I have ever used, with full depth sipes thru every tread block. They made this weird sizzle sound on wet pavement ...

And they absolutely SUCKED on a warmish day ( above freezing ) on a bare highway. The tire was borderline unsafe at speeds above about 65 mph. It would wander and wallow, and just felt REALLY unstable.

I wonder if the numerous full depth sipes, a super soft compound and an R speed rating made it so unstable ?


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cujet] #5330420 01/23/20 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Cujet
Michelin LTX-M/S2 and it's newer flavor have similar sipes that are full depth. They seem to perform very well on wet Florida roads.


Yes, I have read that Michelin has perfected the art of tire siping.

Speaking of the LTX-M/S2's, I have them on my '17 Chevy Colorado and they are amazing. Quiet, responsive and really grip. So good I put a set of the LTX-M/S2's on my son's 2010 Explorer Sport Trac. The perform well on his truck other that they are loud. Road growl if you will?


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Astro14] #5330496 01/23/20 04:55 PM
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edyvw Offline
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Originally Posted by Astro14
They already told you why the waffle sipes - snow traction. They go deeper than your estimate, but you're right, they don't go all the way through the block.

Any snow tire will begin to lose traction below 6/32" - so why have the sipes go any deeper? Once they're worn to that depth, you can run them for summer tires, or pitch them in favor of new snow tires.

Most dedicated snow tires go all the way down.
Bridgestone, some models do not. Apparently new WS90 goes all the way down.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cujet] #5330498 01/23/20 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cujet
Michelin LTX-M/S2 and it's newer flavor have similar sipes that are full depth. They seem to perform very well on wet Florida roads.

Most go all the way down. I cannot remember owning snow tire that did not go all the way down, except Bridgestone, and that is only some models.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330510 01/23/20 05:20 PM
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I'm sure they did durability testing with their choice of rubber compound to decide how deep the sipes can be for the best balance of grip, squirm, treadwear, and resistance to chunking off.

Just looking at the picture I can tell that those are easily deeper than 2/32". I have never seen any that are only 2/32" on a new tire.

Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: supton] #5330512 01/23/20 05:22 PM
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Cressida Offline OP
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Originally Posted by supton

To some degree, on a winter tire like this, while I'd like for siping to go all the way down, does it really need to go more than halfway? Tire is no good in snow around that point, well maybe not nearly as good. "Most" tires probably have had a few seasons by that point and aren't as soft&flexible either, so, is it a real problem?


Understand your point in regards to a winter tire, however I'm seeing it on all season touring tires (here is one example the Kumho Solus TA11 - image credit to discount tire).


[Linked Image]

These type of all season tires are being purchased and used year around so any advantage of the sipes will be lost well before the tire goes out of service.
In addition, I just looked at a Walmart Goodyear Viva 3 . They have extended the sipes all the way down in the tread block.




Last edited by Cressida; 01/23/20 05:32 PM.
Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330518 01/23/20 05:26 PM
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The first time I tried Blizzaks I attributed their dry road behavior to all the siping. I took them off before I discovered if they had full depth or not. I had a set of Cooper winter truck tires like that too. Way too much squirm in the tread blocks that way.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330606 01/23/20 07:11 PM
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I have Blizzak LT's on my '08 Dodge that I use for RV transport. The sipes go all the way down. The first run I made on the Blizzaks, the tread squirm was bad enough that I thought that the rear suspension was broken. After about 1000 miles, they got better. The tread wear rate is very high, and I had to rotate them after a month. I don't know if they will have enough tread to get through the winter. Last year I ran in snow until May 20. But the snow traction of the Blizzaks is just incredible, and I wouldn't use any other tire to run the northern routes in winter. In December I ran back from Grand Junction, CO across the Eisenhower pass and over Copper Mountain. In about 3 hours of driving through heavy snow, the truck didn't slip once, and I was not overstressed to keep control.


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Re: Why Waffle Sipes - but very little depth [Re: Cressida] #5330618 01/23/20 07:24 PM
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Many of the zigzag sipes only go halfway for handling reasons.

3d sipes are much better at providing all the positives and less of the negatives(of siping)


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