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Winter Tyres...how essential?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
midgetbiker wrote:
Quote:

@LaForet, As I say, if it's a problem having winters on the front and summers on the back of a fwd vehicle then it would be carnage with all the fwd vehicles that have chains or socks on the front and summers on the rear.

But as soon as anyone fits chains or socks they immediately moderate their driving to allow for the fact they have done so and acknowledge the fact their vehicles ability to perform is restricted despite its greater traction on a couple of wheels. They slow down, they brake very cautiously, they are aware (or should be) of the disparate grip levels between the two axles. I guess if you're happy enough to drive like that 100% of the time (on any roads regardless of snow cover) then you will be ok on a winter/summer mix. Personally I wouldn't be keen on driving to/from the UK at 40kmh.

Anyway, like @Welshcakes I did promise myself I wouldn't get involved in these debates so that's my last word.

Whatever you all drive, just stay safe, common sense is the best winter driving aid Very Happy


That's exactly it, your driving IS moderated in chains and is meant to be under 30mph max. So comparing using snow chains on the front tyres and not rear tyres vs winter tyres on front and summer on rear is not a fair analogy.

I spoke to a tyre fitter in Italy when changing mine a few years ago and asked the same question about using just 2 winters, he told me it was not allowed and unsafe. They tyres run different compounds and would cause an unbalanced car under hard braking. The video linked above seems to validate that!

If price is an issue, there are plenty of part worn good winters on ebay or with part worn tyre bays, Just check the ages on the dot markings on the side and check for any damage before buying.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
And winter/M&S are better anywhere at temps below 7C even if no snow and ice etc.
Chains are OK for slow traffic on snow. Even a short burst on tarmac can lead to sudden failure and thrashing chain ends trashing suspension, hydraulics and ABS sensors.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
duncansarmy wrote:
Ok so after digesting all this good advice and experiences i've decided to bite the bullet and get a full set of winters. I found a place an hour from me in Bury that has a set with 7mm tread on so i've driven the motorhome there and stopping the night ready to get them changed in the morning. Ironically it's snowed here and i've just had a very scary experience getting stuck half way up a steep hill, having carefully reversed all the way back down i am now certain i am making the correct decision. Having read @Caspar story i think i'll only be driving on clear days when i get to the alps! Thanks all.


Do not underestimate the benefit of winters even without snow on the road!!
They are made from a different mix which gives significantly higher grip when temps drop below around 9c
So make slides less likely in ordinary albeit
colder conditions
Which is why it would have been a really dumb idea to mix winters and summers!!!!
Unless you enjoy a good walk across the road😳
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
admin wrote:

Chains are for when you're stuck - Winter tyres are for when you're driving, in the cold and the wet as well as on snow and ice.


Great advice, that. On the weekend up at Sestriere, a mate in an Audi Quattro got stuck even with 4 winter tyres. Luckily, my track chains fitted and bang, he was away.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just used Michelin Easy Grip snow chains, except they are kevlar rope and not chain. Excellent. Very easy to put on and take off quickly with no fiddly fastenings.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
colinstone wrote:
And winter/M&S are better anywhere at temps below 7C even if no snow and ice etc.


I think that advice is a little misleading. M+S will not necessarily be better at low temperatures, unless they are actually winter tyres. A great many M+S tyres are NOT winter rated, mainly because the features you need for mud (and melting snow) are big blocky treads and, because they tend to be off-road tyres, a hard compound that can take some abuse from rocks etc.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 29-01-18 7:04; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
beachbum101 wrote:
admin wrote:

Chains are for when you're stuck - Winter tyres are for when you're driving, in the cold and the wet as well as on snow and ice.


Great advice, that. On the weekend up at Sestriere, a mate in an Audi Quattro got stuck even with 4 winter tyres. Luckily, my track chains fitted and bang, he was away.


Far be it for me to disagree with admin, our esteemed leader, but I think that is pants advice. If you wait until you are actually stuck then you will either be fitting chains on a steep narrow stretch and blocking everyone else, or while half the car is buried in a snow drift (or at the bottom of a ravine). Chains are not for when you are stuck, but for when you think you might get stuck or lose grip. The idea that they are only for when you can’t make progress perpetuates the idea that traction is only needed when going up the mountain. Personally, I quite like to have it when descending as well.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@foxtrotzulu, sorry but you are wrong.

If I were to do what I think you are advising I would be fitting chains 30-40 times a season to end up not really having to use them!

When you are driving in the mountains in snowy conditions throughout the season on winters you make calculated educated decisions that you will be able to drive without chains, sometimes on very very rare occasions you mess up and out have to come the chains.

I'm just back from Japan and bearing in mind many of the Hiace mini buses used are rear wheel drives I did not see one using chains in uber deep snow, that said maybe it's the type of cold snow they get there?

I'm going to have to ask the question @foxtrotzulu, how often / frequently do you drive in the mountains ?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I don’t drive in the mountains anything like as often as you do, and I do bow to your superior experience. However, you say that “When you are driving in the mountains in snowy conditions throughout the season on winters you make calculated educated decisions that you will be able to drive without chains, sometimes on very very rare occasions you mess up and out have to come the chains”. Your approach makes perfect sense to me and fits with what I was suggesting, but what Admin is proposing that you don’t make ANY decisions, calculated or otherwise. He’s arguing that you just drive without chains, regardless of the conditions and only fit the chains when you’ve got stuck. How can you ‘mess up’ if you haven’t taken a decision to mess up in the first place?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@foxtrotzulu, I'm sure Admin is coming at it like what I was alluding to, maybe there was an element of lost in translation.

For the record whilst back in the UK currently due to coming back to fly out to Japan I've taken the 4 seasons off the front wheels of the van and put some gnarly snow grabber plus on.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Weathercam, Makes sense. Very Happy Very Happy
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I reckon @Admin's anecdote is saying: even if you have winters then carry chains.

I reckon @Weathercam by saying he fits his chains when he has wrongly judged that he can make it on his winters is agreeing.

& I reckon @foxtrotzulu by saying that your chains are for when you think you might get stuck is agreeing also.

So you're all agreeing, which is harmonious, and lovely. Very Happy
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Yeah @midgetbiker that's how I saw it, admin (at least I thought..) was saying that you need to carry chains, not just get by with winter tyres, and use them in situations when you're likely to get stuck
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