Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 vs WS90

WS80 and WS90 are two versions of Bridgestone’s well-known winter tire series; Blizzak tires. Their tread patterns are optimized for enhanced traction while rolling over on a snow-covered pathway as well as when traveling over an icy road.

WS80 offers maximized resistance against hydroplaning, resulting in a firm and stable traction on a wet road. Along with that, Bridgestone patented Multicell tread composition further enhances its winter performance.

WS90 specifies a stiffer and stronger tread compound with improved biting ability. Its unique design enables both efficient road grip and better ice traction. Moreover, this tire comes with the long-term benefit of increased tread life.

Compared with WS80, the tread of Blizzak WS90 shows better dry grip, more responsive steering, and superior ice traction, but its hydroplaning resistance and snow traction are relatively lesser, and the price is higher.

Quick Comparison table

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Tire typeWinter tireWinter tire
UsagePassenger carsPassenger cars
Snow service ratedYesYes
Tested size225/55R17225/55R17
Tread depth12/32’’12/32’’
Section width9.2’’9.1’’
Maximum inflation pressure44 psi44 psi
Maximum load capacity1609 Ibs1609 Ibs
Load/ speed rating97H SL97H SL BSW

Tread pattern Comparison

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 vs WS90

WS80 shows an aggressive tread design in which small polygonal blocks are placed in close proximity to create a central rib between two circumferential grooves. There are narrow horizontal channels between central and shoulder blocks. Its shoulders are comparatively bulkier, and a semi-continuous longitudinal groove also runs through them, which is created by traction notches. Moreover, its sipes are more prominent than its competitor.

As WS90 is actually an improved version of WS80, so it shows a similar tread pattern with just a few changes. Firstly, its central rib is uninterrupted and does not specify separate blocks or horizontal grooves. Secondly, its shoulder blocks are smaller and lateral grooves among them are relatively wider. Each of its shoulders also has a circumferentially oriented semi-continuous groove. Its siping pattern shows 3D but relatively less prominent sipes. Its blocks’ rigidity and biting edges are enhanced by 30% and 15%, respectively, as compared to the contestant. However, tread depth is the same for both tires.,

Tire Performance Comparison

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Hydroplaning resistanceModerate-HighModerate
Rolling resistanceModerate-HighModerate-High
Off-roading abilityModerate (Only in colder regions)Moderate-high (Only in colder regions)
DurabilityModerateHigh

Road Grip

Ws90 shows a better grip on the dry road as its central rib features a higher contact patch. In comparison, more surface area of its tread touches the road because the central rib runs circumferentially without any lateral grooves. 15% increase in block edges makes its road grip even stronger and reduces braking distances. However, the absence of lateral grooves in the central portion of the tire makes its wet grip a bit lesser than its competitor because it reduces the efficiency to cope with water standing on the road.

WS80 also provides a good dry grip due to its compact central rib, but its contact patch is reduced as its blocks are separate and have narrow spacing between them. Due to this feature, it ranks below its competitor for dry grip. Nevertheless, these lateral spaces account for an enhanced hydroplaning resistance, making its wet grip superior to the competitor. Relatively prominent sipes also contribute to making its wet grip firm and stable.

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Dry on-road GripModerateHigh
Wet on-road GripHighModerate-high

Steer Handling

WS80 gets a lesser score for steering management on a dry road than the contestant due to the softer composition of its tread blocks. The traction abilities of its shoulders are comparatively reduced as they are relatively less rigid than its competitor. As a result, it shows a less firm steering response while taking turns. When it comes to cornering on wet pavement, its relatively narrow lateral channels and lesser stiffness of shoulder blocks again make its handling efficiency lesser than its competitor.

On the other side, WS90 shows better handling performance on a dry road because its shoulder blocks are stiffer and provide enhanced stability due to 15% increased biting edges. When your vehicle turns along a corner over wet pavement, it gets the additional benefit of wide lateral grooves among shoulder blocks which accounts for optimized hydroplaning resistance. Thus, you can turn your vehicle during rainy conditions without the fear of slipping off due to standing water.

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Dry HandlingModerateHigh
Wet HandlingModerateHigh

Winter Performance

When we compare tread grip on snow, WS80 seems to win as its central rib has small lateral grooves making its traction on the snow-covered surface more stable. Its bold sipes also increase its biting ability on snow. Moreover, softer tread compounds perform better on light snow. However, the scenario is reversed when you get your vehicle over a frozen pathway. Because the contact patch of the central rib is relatively lesser than the contestant due to lateral voids, resultantly its grip on rigid surface is also reduced.

WS90 presents a reliable but comparatively lesser performance on soft snow because its biting ability on snow is decreased by the absence of lateral grooves in the central portion. Nevertheless, it takes the lead over its competitor on ice because its tread is more rigid, and has more biting edges. Plus, its tread composition is optimized to provide superior ice traction.

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Snow tractionHighModerate
Ice tractionModerateHigh

 

Hydroplaning Resistance 

Each of these tires shows reliable hydroplaning resistance owing to different tread qualities. However, WS80 gets the better score because its siping pattern is more prominent and it also has lateral grooves between central blocks. These hollow spaces enable its tread to wipe off water from a wet or icy road within a moment so that its tread could maintain a consistent grip as it rolls forward.

Conversely, reliable aquaplaning resistance of WS90 is credited to its broad shoulder grooves and circumferential channels. However, as its central rib lacks lateral spaces and zigzag sipes are less prominent, its efficacy to resist slipping on a wet or icy track becomes lesser in comparison.

Rolling Resistance

Both Blizzak tires face nearly a similar amount of rolling resistance because there is only a little difference in their contact patches. On one side, the central portion of WS90 has a continuous rib with an increased patch and on the other side, the shoulder lugs of WS80 are relatively bulkier. Hence, overall, their surface area connected with the ground is almost equal, making their fuel requirements and tread wear against road friction also very similar.

Noise and Comfort Comparison

Driving experiences on a dry road are more comfortable with WS90 due to its higher dry traction. However, on wet pathways, it provides lesser comfort than its competitor due to relatively lower aquaplaning resistivity. For noise production, it stands as a louder tire in comparison because its wide lateral grooves allow easy circulation of wind.

WS80 provides lesser comfort on a dry road as its dry traction is comparatively minor. However, efficient slip resistance leads to an upper ranking for driving comfort on the wet path. Likewise, this tire makes lesser noise as air particles find a small vacuum to move and collide among narrow lateral channels.

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Driving comfort on dry roadModerateHigh
Driving comfort on a wet roadHighModerate
Noise productionModerateModerate-high

Durability and treadwear

Both these tires are molded from the same Bridgestone’s patented tread compounds. These tires specify a double layer structure in which the upper layer (55%) contains MultiCell NanoPro particles that are hydrophilic in nature and provide enhanced traction on ice. The lower portion (45%) is made from a standard winter compound by Bridgestone tires. After 55% consumption, a wear indicator becomes visible that signals that the tread is reaching its end.

For durability comparison, WS90 gets a higher score because its MultiCell polymer is improved and relatively rigid. However, none of these has a mileage warranty from the manufacturer.

               Blizzak WS80              Blizzak WS90
Tread composition55% NanoPro tech. Multicell compound, 45% Bridgestone’s standard winter compound55% NanoPro tech. Multicell compound, 45% Bridgestone’s standard winter compound
Mileage warrantyNoneNone
Uniformity warrantyfirst 2/32’’first 2/32’’

Quick Summary

Both these Blizzak tires are specialized for winter weather.

Blizzak WS90

  • provides enhanced dry traction on paved surfaces.
  • Show better handling efficiency on the paved surface.
  • Provides superior ice traction in comparison.
  • Wears down relatively slowly than its competitor.

Blizzak WS80

  • Presents improved grip on the wet pavement.
  • Resists hydroplaning more efficiently.
  • Offer quieter rides in comparison.
  • comes for a relatively smaller amount.