Both the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and the Continental WinterContact SI are winter tires that are built to offer effective performance in extreme weather conditions. SI, however, is built to perform better on ice due to its lower void ratio causing higher contact with the road, hence, providing extra grip on icy roads.
On the other hand, WS 80 is better equipped to tract snow since it has a higher void ratio comparatively, therefore, its grooves are much wider which are necessary for biting and grabbing the snow. To gain an explicit understanding of both tires, keep reading till the end.
Comparing WS80 with Continental WinterContact SI
When it comes to the Bridgestone’s tires, the Blizzak WS80 has always stood out due to its unique tread design. The multi tread cell design of the tire allows the drivers to drive in extreme winter conditions without losing control. The WS80 is equipped with a larger number of sipes that are quite deep. As a result, they play an effective role in improving its grip over wet roads. Since it features a high void ratio, its traction in soft snow terrain becomes excellent. The wide grooves of the tire can effectively slush out snow by throwing it backward and helping the tire move forward. Other than that, the higher void ratio of the tire also results in a lower contact patch. This is what makes its rolling resistance lower as compared to the SI tire. Due to the lower rolling resistance, the fuel efficiency is increased and treadwear is reduced.
Just like the Blizzak WS80, the WinterContact SI is also a winter tire that is designed to offer optimized performance in harsh weather conditions. Featuring narrower grooves as compared to its competitor, you get a higher contact patch with these tires. This is what makes their performance superior on dry and icy roads. Talking about the dry and wet handling of the SI, it is also better than the WS80. The main reason behind its effective handling is the closely packed shoulder lugs which increase the biting edge of the tire. As a result, the driver gets a premium handling on both the dry and wet roads. The hydroplaning resistance of the SI is also better than its competitor. That’s because the circumferential grooves and deep sipes play a major role in the effective evacuation of water from the tread.
When compared to the SI, the WS80 offers less grip on dry roads due to its higher void ratio. The wide grooves of the tire on the shoulder and central part reduce its contact patch. As a result, you will get a relatively reduced dry grip. The wet grip of a winter tire is also an essential factor that you need to consider before making a final decision. The deeper sipes of the WS80 play an effective role in increasing its effectiveness over wet roads. As a result, its traction over wet roads increases. In addition to this, the multi tread cell compound allows the drivers to drive even in harsh winter conditions without worrying about the control. The high void ratio of the tire also aids it in driving around snow-covered areas as its wide grooves can easily slush out the snow and help the tire move forward. However, the grip on ice is not as effective as the SI due to the lower contact patch.
On the other hand, the Continental WinterContact SI features narrower grooves around the shoulder and central ribs. This is what offers the users a higher contact patch resulting in a superior grip on dry and icy roads. The asymmetric tread pattern of the tire further enhances its traction on both tracks. However, when we talk about the wet grip, the WinterContact SI’s braking distance is longer than the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. The main reason behind this is its lesser number of sipes. The lower void ratio of the tire also results in an inefficient performance over soft snow. So, the tire will not perform as effectively as its competitor on soft snow surfaces.
Handling Comparison of the Tires
When it comes to handling on dry roads, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 loses to the SI due to the position of its shoulder blocks which reduces the contact patch. That’s because the farther placed blocks are unable to maintain traction efficiently while driving on dry roads. The same is the case with wet and icy roads. However, the deep and frequent sipes play an important role in improving the traction over wet roads to some extent.
In comparison, the dry handling of the SI is remarkable due to its closely packed shoulder lugs. As a result, the biting edge is increased which allows the drivers to have premium handling. In addition to this, the higher contact patch and power sipes increase the block rigidity. They provide enough space for easy removal of water. This in turn offers excellent handling over wet and icy terrains.
Comparison of Hydroplaning Resistance
To put it in simple words, the formation of a thin film of water that results in the loss of traction is known as hydroplaning. This can also lead to the sliding or skidding of a vehicle. The performance of both tires in terms of hydroplaning resistance is excellent due to their unique tread designs. The wide grooves, deep sipes, and efficient design of the WS80’s central rib are responsible for wiping away water and resisting hydroplaning. It is more effective than its counterpart in the respective domain.
When we compared both of the tires, we noticed that the SI lacks hydroplaning resistance with its wide lateral circumferential grooves and deep sipes that promote quick evacuation of water, mud, and slush from the tread. So, if you are looking for a winter tire that also offers resistance in the areas where there are chances of hydroplaning, the WinterContact SI is not worth considering.
Comparison of Rolling Resistance
The rolling resistance of a tire is the energy that is required to sustain the motion of the tire over any surface. Simply put, it is the required effort to keep a tire rolling. The WS80 has a high void ratio which reduces the surface area of tread that comes in contact with the road. In addition to this, the WS80 also incorporates notch and variable thickness sipes. When you combine them with Bridgestone’s multicell technology, you get a reduced rolling resistance as compared to the SI. As a result, it also requires less energy to roll on the road which makes it more fuel-efficient.
In contrast, the SI has a low void ratio which makes its contact patch higher. Therefore, the tread faces more rolling resistance as compared to that of WS80. So, the tire will require more fuel to overcome the higher rolling resistance.
Durability and Treadwear
Based on the tread design and the rolling resistance of the WS80, we have concluded that it will wear out slower than the SI. Additionally, the Blizzak also offers a 5-year warranty to its customers that extends from the date the tire was manufactured. But, it does not provide any mileage warranty. However, in case the tire becomes unusable for purposes outside Bridgestone’s influence, you can get a replacement of an identical tire at a pro-rated retail price.
On the other hand, due to the higher rolling resistance of the SI, the chances of faster treadwear increase. But, on the brighter side, the Continental offers a 6-year tread warranty and a free replacement on 2/32 of wear or for the first year. In addition to this, the customers also get a 60-day trial period and a free 3-year flat change.
Talking about the price of both tires, the difference is very minor. The WS80 comes on the higher side of the price due to its strong grip over wet roads, improved traction over soft snow, lower rolling resistance, and better-built strength. On the other hand, SI offers excellent handling over dry and wet roads, increased hydroplaning resistance, and a superior grip over dry and icy terrains at a reduced price. So, you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
- Both WS80 and SI are winter tires.
- The dry grip of WinterContact SI is better whereas, the wet grip of WS80 is superior.
- WS80 performs better on soft snow terrains.
- Winter Contact SI’s performance is more efficient on icy terrains.
- The dry and wet handling of the WS80 is not as effective as the SI.
- The hydroplaning resistance of the SI is better.
- The rolling resistance of the WS80 is lower making it more fuel-efficient.