Kelly Edge A/S Review
Confession time: When I went to review these tires I had never even heard of Kelly. But once I knew about them, suddenly they were everywhere. I saw them in tire shops. I saw them on cars. I saw them in ads. Normally i’d shrug it off. It’s not entirely unusual for me to remain oblivious to things that are woven into the fabric of reality. When a company comes out of nowhere and just blasts our lives full of their products my natural assumption is that I just missed all the hype leading up to it. But in this case, I was actually surprised. Because I know how it happened.
I’m sure you’ve heard of GoodYear. They make fantastic tires and focus mainly on the high end. For a lot of vehicles, Goodyear is the best you can get. They’ve built that reputation, and their clients come to expect that from them. Sure, they charge a little more. But this is one of the ways they keep expectations high, and customer loyalty follows. It takes years to build and maintain a reputation like this, and for several decades it worked great. But not so much for the last few years.
Main problem: not as many people want premium tires anymore. People don’t want to shovel cash into their vehicles. A study analyzed what metrics millennials used to choose new tires. I’m sure you can guess how that study started out. Millennials are cheap. And that study states that the number factor in selecting a tire is price. And the internet had a little hayday with that factoid. I’m almost inclined to agree, buying the absolutely cheapest tires you can find is probably a poor decision. But what the Memes forgot was the second factor in choosing a tire: Treadlife. So it’s not about being the cheapest, it’s about having the lowest cost over the lifespan of the tire. Not the worst system if you ask me, and people seem to agree too. The demand for low cost high mileage tires is increasing.
That brings us back to Goodyear, a brand that’s supposed to produce top tier tires with premium price, create a set of econorubber without cheapening their brand? Easy, they just make up a new name. And that name is Kelly. So now that my unnecessarily long into is over, let’s see if these all season Kelly tires have any of that Goodyear charm, or is it just a quick hack job to attract a new and growing client base?
The Year Round Tires on a Budget
All seasons are a bit of a mixed bag sometimes. I’ve driven all season tires that I wouldn’t even consider fall tires. And it IS true that a proper winter tire is the only way to drive in extreme conditions. But the Kelly Edge A/S is a bit of a jack of all trades. They’re surprisingly decent in the snow. I probably wouldn’t venture down an abandoned rural road or risk it up a mountain pass, but for commuting even in heavy snow they are just fine. If you’re coming from high end winters, just use a little more caution in the snow when compared with dedicated snow tires.
Most street tires can’t go off-road. But these ones certanly can! And by can, I mean you will leave the road. You will drive on grass or maybe even a trail. Mud bogging? Don’t even think about it. Rock climbing? These are tires, not a lift kit. Of course, I was trying to find my limit, and I did quite easily. If you’re the type of person that wants to be prepared for everything – have the BESt gear and the BEST blan and be ready to take on any challenge, then you’re going to want more from these tires. These are more for the opportunist. The guy who takes an impulse trip up to the ski hill, or brings his family down to his favorite camping spot. These are the tires for the guy that might drive 8 hours up to North Dakota to see his family for Christmas. You’ll certainly be able to do it. Will you be as well equipped as they guy with the lifted truck running 38’s? Maybe not. But the job got done, and the job was never really your focus anyway.
Want to Read Other Tire Reviews?
I’d like to assume that everyone still reading this is doing so because they are generally interested in these tires. But i’m sure that a few of you wrote these tires off paragraphs ago and are just trying to skim to the part where I get to my point. And here it is! Maybe these tires aren’t for you, but there are plenty of other tires to choose from here. We’d already written so many individual reviews, we decided to put together a final round up that compares them all to help our readers find out which option best suits their needs. And now back to whatever this is.
When they say these tires fit every vehicle, they weren’t kidding. From 185/65R14 all the way up to 255/65R18, you can throw these vehicles on everything from a Fiat 500 to a Ford F350. Speed and weight ratings vary from size to size, but are generally appropriate for the size. Overall, these tires cover 85% of the entire market, with only a few oddly porportioned vehicles being left out. One example would be the iconic westfalia camper – a van that has a wheel size common to small cars, but needs a very high weight rating.
That aside, both common economy cars and sports sedans are covered, as well as most standard trucks. Even some exotic cars (that are excluded by the V speed rating) can technically use the tires, as long as you keep your foot out of it. After all, do you really plan to be travelling above 149 Mph anytime soon?
The Kelly Edge tires are among the cheapest on the market. Of course, when you’ve got as many different models as this tire does you’re going to see a bit of variation. But most common sizes are in the $80 to $100 range, with only a few high speed or load tires commanding a premium.
As an all season tire, they offer above average performance in dry conditions. Our Kelly Edge a/s review found that the biting treadblock edges help to grip the road, keeping handling and traction exactly where we wanted them. Because the design is kept consistent from one size to another, your performance will depend a bit on your vehicle. Small, fuel effecient, lightweight vehicles will have excellent performance, as these are not very demanding platforms. Heavy, high performance cars will have average at best performance, as your vehicle demands a little more from the tire.
These tires use the solid tread block design with directional grooves that we like to see in an all season tire. This allows them to maintain contact with the ground while going through puddles, removing water from the contact area as necessary. There is little risk in hydroplaning, and handling / traction remains consistent in these conditions.
Snow and Ice Performance
We’re not very enthusiastic about the idea of using all season tires in the snow. With the exception of a few specially designed models, they usually offer underwhelming performance. These tires are not great in the cold, as the rubber hardens and becomes smooth. They’re particularly bad in deep, heavy snow, so if you live in a snowy climate you’ll want to get a dedicated winter. But a pleasant surprise for us was how well they performed when braking on ice. The outer tread blocks have an aggressive grooved pattern to them, so starting and stopping on ice was surprisingly responsive.
If you live in a coastal region, or any mild climate where snow is more of an occasion than a fact of life, you’ll be fine to leave these tires on all year. But in colder climates, you’ll want real winters on.
These are a reasonably soft tire, which makes for a smooth, airy ride. You don’t ‘feel the road’ like you do with many other budged branded tires, although this does increase the rolling resistance a little. There are a few first generation electric cars that require low rolling resistance tires to compensate for motor inefficiencies, so this might not be the best option. But for most users, our Kelly Edge A/S review found that they are a pretty smooth and enjoyable ride.
Since these tires are entry level priced, we didn’t expect much in terms of a tread warranty. Impressively, Goodyear offers a 55,000 mile warranty on them. This is an average warranty for more expensive tires, but a great find in this situation. Generally, softer, smoother tires provide a better ride, but wear out quicker. But if yours get below average durability, you’ll get them replaced.
How It Compares To Our Other All Season Tire Reviews
Overall, the Kelly Edge A/S is an incredibly cheap tire with surprisingly good performance. We’d usually recommend that anyone stay away from tires in this price range, but there are a few gems like the Kelly Edge in there. While they don’t offer the same ride comfort as a $200 tire, they were more than adequate in almost every regard. Thanks to their large inventory, we’re pretty confident that you’ll be able to find a pair for your car.