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Old 10-10-2018, 09:01 PM   #1
tmontague
 
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Location: Hamilton Ont.
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Ling Long HP 010 tires review - Cheap Chinese tires

Here's the back story as to why I decided to order cheap Chinese tires. My wife's car (our family car) is an awd '05 Vibe that sees a lot of city and highway driving. We bought it cheap and I put a bunch of work into it and now it is a safe, reliable and comfortable family hauler. It had some good General tire Altimax HP 440TW on it when we purchased the car 3 years ago. They were pretty sticky for a family car and were good in the wet but wore down fairly quickly and since the Vibe is AWD it is a bear on tires. This is a known issue that tires on some of Toyota's (Vibe and Matrix is the same car) AWD vehicles - the tires need to be rotated every oil change (8k km) as they wear very unevenly.

We have a good set of brand new 15" BFG T/A KSI wintrer tires that we spent decent money on to get a good tires, and they are awesome. However when it comes to an "all season" tire for the other 3 seasons I didn't want a tire that had all the sipes for snow and ice traction as I don't use them in snow and ice and that leads to a more squirmy tire. I wanted a summer tire type tread for better handling and something with good grooves for driving in water. I was looking for something that was not as soft and grippy as a 440TW that was on the car now but also not something as hard as a 800TW tire that I had on my Yaris and was downright treacherous when it wore down a bit and I was driving in the rain.

This car will likely only be in our family for another 2 years at the most so I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on tires. I was hoping to get this year out of them before buying something new for next year, but one of them had a slow leak I had to fill every 3 days and one of them was showing some chord. The sidewalls were also showing some bumps which was not good nor safe for our family vehicle. Long story short, we needed summer tires at a time where we didn't really have nor want to spend the cash on them.

Locally it would cost $425 all in for a cheap set of Chinese all seasons with a bunch of squiggly sipes in them and no known TW. For a brand name all season tire it would be well North of $500 and again, not really a tread I wanted. Keep in mind the summer rims are 16".

I looked for summer tires online to have them shipped from the States. However, it would still be between $450 and $550 for me once I had them mounted and brought them over the border. Plus the TW's were around 300-450 which was a bit on the low side for a family car that is hard on tires.

I ended up finding a tire made by Ling Long called the HP010 which was a 540tw and has a tread that was exactly what I was looking for. A lot of vertical grooves for water but none of the squiggly sipes seen in winter tires. They were $170 USD for all 4 16" tires. With cross border taxes and mounting at a local cheap shop it came to $300 CAD.

I wanted to write a review as not many people actually use cheap Chinese tires and there are not many reviews online about them. However, there are a lot of claims about how dangerous they are and how many blowouts they can cause - again, not any real world experience. My General Tire tires has messed up side walls after 4 years of use and they were not curbed ever. These are brand name tires as well. My Pirelli winter tires blew a belt hitting a mild pothole on their 5th year so needless to say brand name tires are not immune to these issues.

These tires are not as refined as brand name tires in terms of quality control nor are the rubber compounds as good as most brand name tires. They tend to not have silica and other additives in the rubber ans therefore less performance than an equivalent tw brand name tire. There are a fair amount of online testing comparing Chinese tires and they tend to not perform nearly as well as brand name tires.

Here's my thoughts on the tires. There was a slight steering wheel vibration at 100km/h +/- 5km/h for the first 3 weeks of having these tires. This was due to 2 of the 4 tires having high spots which the tire installer could see on the balancer which the tire was spun. This wasn't crazy off and it wore itself out within the first couple weeks of driving.

Dry grip is very good and seems to be what you would expect of a 540 tw tire. It probably is not as good as a brand name 540 tw tire but it can be pushed pretty hard and will not prematurely start squealing. In fact these are actually really hard tires to make squeal in the dry and they seem to break away during under steer fairly predictably and safely. They have a perfect amount of performance that I wanted in a family car.

Wet grip is where these tires start to show their "Chinese cheapness". I am assuming this is due to cheaper rubber compounds being used which lack things like silica and lead to less bite in the wet. These tires break away pretty quickly in the wet, they don't fully let go but they definitely do not grab to find grip. Once they start to let go they do not find grip again until your speed slows and they will keep drifting. Now the Vibe is a fairly well balanced car and is your typical under steer at the limit commuter car so when the tires let go in the wet it is not really a bit deal as all 4 tires starts to drift out of the corner which is easy to handle.

They don't let go as abruptly or dangerously as my yokohama 800tw all seasons did when I had them on my Yaris. Granted that car was set up to oversteer at the limit and that it did, but the tires were downright treacherous in the wet, and they still had a fair amount of tread on them.

All in all I am happy with this purchase and they are what I would expect from a tire at this price point. I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again if I was lacking the finances and really needed tires. I would never use these "all seasons" in the winter, ever. But if you have dedicated winter tires and you need summer tires, these are a solid budget option. That said, if I had the extra cash for tires I would next time opt for a brand name all season (summer like tread) and pay the extra couple hundred $ for them, this way I could depend on them more in the wet.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:11 AM   #2
06YarisRS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmontague View Post
Here's the back story as to why I decided to order cheap Chinese tires. My wife's car (our family car) is an awd '05 Vibe that sees a lot of city and highway driving. We bought it cheap and I put a bunch of work into it and now it is a safe, reliable and comfortable family hauler. It had some good General tire Altimax HP 440TW on it when we purchased the car 3 years ago. They were pretty sticky for a family car and were good in the wet but wore down fairly quickly and since the Vibe is AWD it is a bear on tires. This is a known issue that tires on some of Toyota's (Vibe and Matrix is the same car) AWD vehicles - the tires need to be rotated every oil change (8k km) as they wear very unevenly.

We have a good set of brand new 15" BFG T/A KSI wintrer tires that we spent decent money on to get a good tires, and they are awesome. However when it comes to an "all season" tire for the other 3 seasons I didn't want a tire that had all the sipes for snow and ice traction as I don't use them in snow and ice and that leads to a more squirmy tire. I wanted a summer tire type tread for better handling and something with good grooves for driving in water. I was looking for something that was not as soft and grippy as a 440TW that was on the car now but also not something as hard as a 800TW tire that I had on my Yaris and was downright treacherous when it wore down a bit and I was driving in the rain.

This car will likely only be in our family for another 2 years at the most so I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on tires. I was hoping to get this year out of them before buying something new for next year, but one of them had a slow leak I had to fill every 3 days and one of them was showing some chord. The sidewalls were also showing some bumps which was not good nor safe for our family vehicle. Long story short, we needed summer tires at a time where we didn't really have nor want to spend the cash on them.

Locally it would cost $425 all in for a cheap set of Chinese all seasons with a bunch of squiggly sipes in them and no known TW. For a brand name all season tire it would be well North of $500 and again, not really a tread I wanted. Keep in mind the summer rims are 16".

I looked for summer tires online to have them shipped from the States. However, it would still be between $450 and $550 for me once I had them mounted and brought them over the border. Plus the TW's were around 300-450 which was a bit on the low side for a family car that is hard on tires.

I ended up finding a tire made by Ling Long called the HP010 which was a 540tw and has a tread that was exactly what I was looking for. A lot of vertical grooves for water but none of the squiggly sipes seen in winter tires. They were $170 USD for all 4 16" tires. With cross border taxes and mounting at a local cheap shop it came to $300 CAD.

I wanted to write a review as not many people actually use cheap Chinese tires and there are not many reviews online about them. However, there are a lot of claims about how dangerous they are and how many blowouts they can cause - again, not any real world experience. My General Tire tires has messed up side walls after 4 years of use and they were not curbed ever. These are brand name tires as well. My Pirelli winter tires blew a belt hitting a mild pothole on their 5th year so needless to say brand name tires are not immune to these issues.

These tires are not as refined as brand name tires in terms of quality control nor are the rubber compounds as good as most brand name tires. They tend to not have silica and other additives in the rubber ans therefore less performance than an equivalent tw brand name tire. There are a fair amount of online testing comparing Chinese tires and they tend to not perform nearly as well as brand name tires.

Here's my thoughts on the tires. There was a slight steering wheel vibration at 100km/h +/- 5km/h for the first 3 weeks of having these tires. This was due to 2 of the 4 tires having high spots which the tire installer could see on the balancer which the tire was spun. This wasn't crazy off and it wore itself out within the first couple weeks of driving.

Dry grip is very good and seems to be what you would expect of a 540 tw tire. It probably is not as good as a brand name 540 tw tire but it can be pushed pretty hard and will not prematurely start squealing. In fact these are actually really hard tires to make squeal in the dry and they seem to break away during under steer fairly predictably and safely. They have a perfect amount of performance that I wanted in a family car.

Wet grip is where these tires start to show their "Chinese cheapness". I am assuming this is due to cheaper rubber compounds being used which lack things like silica and lead to less bite in the wet. These tires break away pretty quickly in the wet, they don't fully let go but they definitely do not grab to find grip. Once they start to let go they do not find grip again until your speed slows and they will keep drifting. Now the Vibe is a fairly well balanced car and is your typical under steer at the limit commuter car so when the tires let go in the wet it is not really a bit deal as all 4 tires starts to drift out of the corner which is easy to handle.

They don't let go as abruptly or dangerously as my yokohama 800tw all seasons did when I had them on my Yaris. Granted that car was set up to oversteer at the limit and that it did, but the tires were downright treacherous in the wet, and they still had a fair amount of tread on them.

All in all I am happy with this purchase and they are what I would expect from a tire at this price point. I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again if I was lacking the finances and really needed tires. I would never use these "all seasons" in the winter, ever. But if you have dedicated winter tires and you need summer tires, these are a solid budget option. That said, if I had the extra cash for tires I would next time opt for a brand name all season (summer like tread) and pay the extra couple hundred $ for them, this way I could depend on them more in the wet.
$300.00 on the road is a great price. I've had good luck with Chinese brand tires. I had a set of Westlakes on my old van. They drove well and lasted a decent amount of time. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to try any of the Chinese brands.
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