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drees
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Road Hugger GT Eco (aka Kumho Ecowing KH30)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:08 am

After a bit more than 32k miles, it was finally time to retire the Ecopias. Contrary to some rather vocal opinions of the tire, I never found them all that objectionable - smooth ride, quiet and efficient. Yeah, the shoulders wear fast at stock pressures (and it looks worse than it really is because the shoulder blocks don't have full tread depth sipes), but inflated to ~42 PSI and rotating the tires every 5000-7500 miles worked for me even though I do enjoy taking corners a bit spiritedly. After 32k miles they were just over the wear bars and with "winter" approaching I thought it wise to pick up some new rubber with a bit of time to break in the new tires before cooler temps really hit.

I nearly always get tires from the local Discount Tire and with the 11th capacity bar nearly gone I wanted efficient tires, so I had narrowed down the selection to the following:

Road Hugger GT Eco $91/ea
Good Year Fuel Max: $109/ea
Michelin Premier A/S: $147/ea

The Premier would have been my top choice, but it was just too expensive to justify given that it didn't seem to be all that efficient compared to the Ecopia.

I was confident the Fuel Max would be pretty efficient and similar to the Ecopia after breaking in based on my previous experience with the tire on my Prius, but I had a number of issues with the Fuel Max when I got them - a couple tires were out of round which required early replacement - and they developed scalloping easily which made them very, very noisy and generally unpleasant. Also, at higher tire pressures the ride seems to be a bit unnecessarily harsh. Finally, they were a special order which indicated to me that availability wasn't all that great which ended up eliminating them.

So I ended up with the GT Eco. So far I have found them to be very smooth riding and quiet. Not too different from the Ecopias when they were new. Grip levels are fine, though I don't push them all that hard. They do seem a bit squirmy, but all tires with full tread depth are that way to some extent when new.

As for efficiency, so far it is down about 10%. One might expect a decent amount of that to be due to simple diameter difference of new tires, but I can't see more than a 1% difference in odometer readings over a 30 mile commute (0.2 mi odometer reading difference max).

After 2 weeks and 500 miles it seems to be slowly improving, so I'll have to check tire pressures again. I'm fairly confident that efficiency will get to within 5% of the Ecopias - we'll see!

The whole process really made me wish that there was some independent rolling resistance data on tires so that one could make informed choices on tires!
'11 LEAF SL Powered By 3.24 kW Enphase Solar PV

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drees
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:51 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Road Hugger GT Eco (aka Kumho Ecowing KH30)

Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:17 am

2 month, 2,000 mile update.

I ran some data and found that on the old tires I was averaging 210 Wh/mile. Immediately after the new tires I was averaging 250 Wh/mile. After a couple thousand miles, I'm now averaging around 235 Wh/mile, but it is cooler now. So the initial hit was about 15% worse in efficiency and now it's around 10% worse. I'm hoping that they will continue to improve.

Tires are still smooth and quiet. Grip is OK, but nothing to write home about.
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MDKline
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:40 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Dec 2016

Re: Road Hugger GT Eco (aka Kumho Ecowing KH30)

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:42 pm

So, how are they holding up long term? Would you recommend them to other Leaf owners?

johnlocke
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:47 pm
Delivery Date: 14 Dec 2015
Leaf Number: 300582

Re: Road Hugger GT Eco (aka Kumho Ecowing KH30)

Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:38 pm

I bought Michelin Defenders nearly a year ago now. the initial hit to mileage was 14% but now after 15,000 miles the difference is about 5%. They are 225's as opposed to the original 215's Tread wear is rated for 90,000 miles and they seem to be holding up, Tire pressure is 44 psi in the winter and 42 psi in the summer. Tread seems to wear fairly evenly so far. Wet and dry handling is improved and I haven't noticed any change in ride. They are expensive but if they wear as expected worth the price.
2016 SV, New battery at 45K mi.
Jamul, CA
San Diego East County

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