Nokian SeasonProof vs Kleber Quadraxer 3

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In the world of grand touring all-season tires, two standout contenders are the Nokian SeasonProof and the Kleber Quadraxer 3. Both these all-weather tires promise a blend of comfort, durability, and year-round performance. But which one is for you? Well, you’re about to find out.

Nokian SeasonProof on Rouge
Nokian SeasonProof looking cool on Rogue.

Main Highlights

So overall, the SeasonProof excels in:

  • Winter Performance: Superior grip, shorter braking on ice, and faster acceleration in snow.
  • Wet Traction: Offers better hydroplaning resistance and wet handling, though it lacks in wet braking.
  • Noise Comfort: Quieter ride due to its narrower, heavier build, and softer rubber compound.

Detailed Review of Nokian SeasonProof.

Whereas the Quadraxer 3 takes the lead in:

  • Overall Dry Performance: Due to its lighter weight and compact tread design.
  • Tread Wear Rate: More durable with less weight loss per mile, indicating longer tread life.
  • Wet Braking: Despite being slightly slower in handling lap times, it offers more precise directional control, resulting in shorter wet braking distances.
  • Dry Braking: Enhanced due to reduced structural weight and higher rubber-to-void ratio.

Detailed Review of Kleber Quadraxer 3.

Tread Features

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 tire features a more streamlined, directional tread pattern (compared to Nokian tire).

Kleber Quadraxer 3
Kleber Quadraxer 3 is not as voided up compared to Seasonproof.

It’s tread is distinctly divided into five sections.

This is because of the longitudinal and slanted cuts/voids on its V shaped swooping lugs.

These cuts are basically multi-functional, they act as in-groove notches providing lateral bite, predominately.

And they also join up with the V shaped grooves, aiding hydroplaning resistance.

Though it only goes for the voids towards the edges, because they become narrower towards the center, and serve as linear sipes there.

Speaking of which, you get a more densely packed lugs in the middle, where they form an interlocking design with each other.

And due to this, you also see a zigzag circumferential channel, right in the heart of the tire.

Internally, the tire comes with 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and dual nylon cap plies.

In comparison, the SeasonProof offers a tread design which is more reminiscent of winter tires.

Nokian SeasonProof tread
Nokian SeasonProof more aggressive tread pattern makes it better for snowy terrains.

Although it features directional tread pattern just like the Kleber tire, its a bit more aggressive.

The shoulder lugs display a sharp, zigzag or saw-toothed edge, known as snow-vices in tire terminology.

And its tread also features broader longitudinal slits and sharp, vertically aligned notches, enhancing its design.

This tire also offers extensive siping across the tread, including interlocking sipes.

All these design elements contribute to the tire’s exceptional winter performance, earning it a place on my list of top grand touring all-season tires.

However, it slightly underperforms on dry roads, likely due to its more voided structure.

I mean see how central lugs, especially are more voided up and don’t interlock with each other, unlike the Kleber.

Though you do get similar reinforced foundations underneath all lugs.

Info on Sizes

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 comes in 107 sizes, in 15 to 20 inches rims, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 18 to 34 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10.5/32″ on all.
  • UTQG: 600 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: None.
  • All sizes have the Tri Peak ratings, along with M+S.

Nokian SeasonProof comes in 63 total sizes in 14 to 19 inches rims, and they have the following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H, V, W and Y.
  • Load ratings: SL/XL.
  • Weight range: 19 to 38 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 9 to 10/32″ on almost all sizes.

Winter Performance

Key indicators of a tire’s winter performance include its road grip, steering reaction, and efficiency in varied snowy or icy scenarios.

And in my evaluations and tests, the Nokian SeasonProof not only surpasses its Kleber counterpart but also ranks as one of the top grand touring tires for overall winter performance.

While both (all-weather) tires are excellent, each with a 3-peak mountain snowflake rating, it’s the Nokian that stands out with 5 feet shorter braking on ice, half a second quicker in snow acceleration, and an average of nearly 2 mph faster on tracks with slush, ice, and snow.

This success can be credited to its sophisticated design, featuring a complex pattern of sipes and ribs armed with snow claws for reliable grip on icy and snowy surfaces.

The sipes and grooves maintain their flexibility in low temperatures due to their innovative multi-directional layout and the tread’s polymers that respond to temperature changes, enhancing traction.

And on softer, powdery snow, the tire’s directional tread design efficiently sheds snow, enhancing both motion and acceleration in snow, more effectively. Significantly, its snow claws primarily improve snow-to-snow “contact”, capturing and holding snow particles.

This contact is more effective in creating friction than rubber-to-snow contact because snow particles naturally adhere better to one another.

Wet Performance

When we talk about wet traction, we’re looking at the tire’s steering and gripping performance, plus how it stands up to hydroplaning. Let’s break these down one at a time.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Wet conditions necessitate rapid water evacuation from the tire to prevent hydroplaning (or floating of the tire). This is crucial because water is incompressible, which means failure to displace it quickly can result in it getting trapped between the tread and the road, leading to slippage and reduced traction.

To address this, tires are designed with grooves that channel most of the water out.

And in this scenario, both tires feature a directional tread design that effectively disperses water. The design channels water from the center outward through V-shaped grooves towards the shoulders and then out of the tire.

However, getting into more details, the Nokian Seasonproof comes out a little better, primarily due to its more effective groove structure, (with a more open structure and better inter-connectivity).

This means that as water is expelled laterally through the tire’s (arrow-shaped) voids, it’s also channeled longitudinally, thanks to the interconnected nature of these voids.

This dual-direction evacuation makes the Nokian’s tire particularly allows it to achieve greater float speeds on tests.

Insider’s tip: Before you pick your tires, make sure to visit my main all-season tire page for the must-read recommendations.

Wet Traction

Now since the SeasonProof tire excels in hydroplaning resistance, with its grooves adeptly channeling away more water, in comparison, it lessens the burden on sipes to begin with.

But why is this significant?

Well because sipes, the tiny cuts in the tread, play a crucial role in absorbing any lingering water the grooves miss. As the tire meets the road, these cuts expand, creating a suction effect that pulls in remaining moisture, effectively “embracing” the road for enhanced traction.

And this is where the Nokain takes the upper hand, with its more effective siping structure, while the Kleber Quadarxer 3’s linear sipes tend to stiffen under heavy stress, reducing their capacity to absorb water compared to its counterpart.

However, it’s worth noting that the overall handling disparity between the two tires is minimal. This is partly due to the SeasonProof tire’s less precise directional control, which leads to longer wet braking distances, (on average 9 feet more), despite it being slightly faster by half a second in total wet handling lap times.

Tread Wear Rate

Figuring out tire wear is tricky, but I’ve got a method that works. I take a common tire size (225/55R17) used in all-season tires and weigh a set of four before testing.

After testing them in dry and wet conditions and checking how comfy they are, I weigh them again to see how much weight they’ve lost.

This tells me how fast each tire wears down.

Now here, the Kleber tire does better, losing about 10 grams less for every 1,000 miles. In simpler words, the Quadraxer offers longer tread life.

And this difference mostly comes from how much they weigh and what the rubber is made of.

On the other hand, it makes sense why the Nokian tire lacks here.

Basically SeasonProof, being heavier and with softer rubber, bends more when it hits the road. And this not only wears it out faster but also can use up more fuel.

Noise Comfort

Noise in tires is a complex mixture of tread pattern resonance, cavity echo, and the sound produced by rubber interacting with the road surface. And here a major contributor is the air interacting with the tire’s tread walls.

In simpler terms, as the tire rotates, air is pushed in and out, primarily through the shoulders. And with more aggressive tread pattern, usually tires get to be noisier.

Yet, out of both tires here, the Nokian tire comes out as a quieter option.

Why? Well, because this tire offers a narrower, heavier, and softer rubber (compound) build.

A narrower and heavier tire makes less noise because it doesn’t squeeze and release air particles as much. Plus, softer rubber absorbs sound better than harder types like in the Kleber tire.

So, the SeasonProof is usually over 2 decibels quieter than the Quadraxer 3.

For Your Info: From what I’ve seen before, tires that are good in winter are usually quieter on the road.

Overall Dry Performance

The key to a tire’s success on dry surfaces lies in its grip, both when moving forward and sideways, and its cornering performance. Let’s delve into these aspects.

Linear Grip

Essential factors influencing directional traction include tread composition, the rubber’s contact surface with the road, tire weight, and rolling resistance.

All of these elements contribute significantly to the superior performance of the Kleber Quadraxer 3.

Sure, both tires, featuring aerodynamic, directional patterns and soft rubber compounds, deliver excellent road adhesion.

But, the Kleber still has the upper hand here, primarily due to its reduced structural weight and more compact tread design. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple actually.

A lighter tire generates less momentum, leading to faster and more efficient stopping. Additionally, a higher rubber-to-void ratio means the Kleber offers improved grip.

That’s why in comparative tests, the Quadraxer 3 consistently outperformed the Seasonproof, stopping more than 20 feet shorter on average from 60 mph.

For Your Info: Braking is SeasonProof’s weakest performance aspect.

Overall Handling

Certain handling aspects are slightly better with the Nokian tire. However, as anticipated from its braking performance, it still falls short in overall handling proficiency.

That’s why, in average dry handling lap time tests, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 consistently outperforms the SeasonProof by 0.7 seconds. This advantage is attributed to its quicker steering response and superior braking, allowing it to approach corners more rapidly.

And here, the enhanced steering feedback of the Kleber is due to its lighter weight and comparatively firmer rubber compound.

This combination basically causes the tire lugs to bend less, enabling them to return to their original shape more quickly.

This aspect is crucial because the “time” it takes for the lugs to revert affects the “delay” between steering inputs and response from wheels. And needless to say, the shorter this delay, the more responsive and effective the steering becomes.

To Conclude

In conclusion, after rigorous testing and thorough analysis, it’s evident that the SeasonProof excels in various aspects of winter and wet performance, offering shorter braking distances on ice, quicker snow acceleration, and superior hydroplaning resistance due to its sophisticated sipe and groove design.

While it may not be as durable in terms of tread wear as the Quadraxer 3, its quieter ride and effective traction in challenging conditions make it a commendable choice.

On the other hand, the Kleber excels in dry performance with better grip and braking, highlighting the importance of selecting a tire that aligns with your specific needs and driving conditions.

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