TIRES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GAS
At Metropolitan Garage we don’t pull punches about tires: They are the most important safety feature on your car. Period.
COMMUTING IS THE MOST DANGEROUS THING YOU DO
Unless you fish Bristol Bay on a crab boat, set chokers for a helicopter logging outfit, or work on defense in the Middle East, chances are the most dangerous thing you do is drive around Fairbanks!
Your car is nothing but a 4,000-pound rocket hurtling through space. If it weren’t for some gravity and the tiny patches of rubber that we call tires, there is really nothing connecting you to earth! Sound scary? It is! The only thing keeping your rocket pointed in the right direction is friction. And friction on sub-zero ice is tricky.
WE TEST TIRES
Personally. Rigorously. On a lake behind the airport or on lonely icy roads around Fairbanks, we can be found with a tape and GPS, slamming on the brakes or throwing cars into slides. If we sell it, we have driven it. It is the only way we can feel comfortable making recommendations to our neighbors about such an important subject.
THE BEST-SELLING TIRES ARE NOT THE SAFEST (OR CHEAPEST!)
We research tire technology, performance characteristics, safety, and wear history. We only market what we like, not the "lines we carry." It's the beauty of being "independent!"
THE TIRE SHOP RE-INVENTED
Go ahead and plan your day, because Metro Garage has renovated the tire shopping experience. If you are here, we are working on your car because we install the tires we sell by appointment. This means you are out of here in under an hour!
TIRE MEGA-STORE MYTH
Car owners have been marketed into believing that a fair deal on tires requires the sacrifice of a day at the megastore. Not true! Metropolitan Garage pricing on tires is routinely at or below our competition. The main difference is that you have to think ahead and book an appointment.
WINTER STOCK RECOMMENDATIONS
1) Hakkapeliitta Series
In our ice tests, this tire stops in half the distance of friction tires. It handles safer than any tire currently available. Entirely different from Asian and North American studded tires, this Finnish product is studded at the factory using a multi faceted carbide stud. The rubber is compounded for cold climates and it lasts 4-6 years. Click here for more info.
2) Best Friction Tires
For customers who don’t want a studded tire, we recommend the Toyo Observe (best price point) or Hakkapeliitta R2 (best in class but expensive). Like the familiar Blizzak, Toyo uses a soft compound and highly siped tread. Unlike the Blizzak, the Observe depends on microbit technology that lasts longer and provides greater lateral stability than the Blizzak.
3) Budget Studs
Not to be confused with the Hakkapeliitta, the Nokian Nordman line is a budget studded tire that outperforms other North American and Asian studded products. It lacks the pliability in Fairbanks cold of its much bigger brother the Hakkapeliitta. While it lags a little behind friction products in traction tests, the Nordman has greater longevity than friction tires and comes with a high quality Nokian carbide stud.