This morning there was a post on bmwlt.com asking about Metzeler and Bridgestone tires looking for comparisons and opinions on mixing the two brands. I replied to the post trying to hit all the points the original poster asked about. Then I thought it would make a good blog post so here it is!
I’m currently running a Metzeler ME880 front and a Bridgestone BT020 rear and love it. (it’s my 2nd time with this combo).
I tried the BT020 front and it wore out way too quick, being shot at about 7,000 miles. Meanwhile my current front ME880 has 15,000 miles on it, yes 15,000 and has some good miles left. The cost comparison between the front Metzeler and Bridgestone in negligible so the Metzeler is the clear value here.
When I bought my first rear Bridgestone it was because of price. The Bridgestone was significantly lower in price than the Metzeler. From reading here, I knew the mileage would be less but not really that much less. I figured I could buy 3 Bridgestones for the eventual cost of 2 Metzelers and still have money left over. In between I did put a rear Metzeler on and was quite happy with it (the Magic Carpet had Metzelers on it when I bought it). That particular Metzeler needed to be replaced because of a road hazard damage and I just happened to replace it with a Bridgestone because Metzelers were backordered at the time. My current rear Bridgestone has about 10,000 miles on it and has plenty of good miles left. I had put 13,000 miles on a previous one and it was only replaced because of a previous puncture repair that had begun to leak.
I can not tell any difference in grip between the two when on dry roads. I had the bike “slip” on the rear once while fully loaded in a right turn at an intersection with the nearly new Metzeler. I was not on any of the painted lines. On tar snakes in the summer I do notice a difference. The front Metzeler sometimes feel like it’s on snow or ice when it hits them and I noticed the same with the rear. I don’t notice it as much with the rear Bridgestone.
I have noticed that the rear Metzeler looks like it gives more “rim to road” distance than the rear Bridgestone when both are new.
Most of my riding is two up and pressures are 42 and 46/48.