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Tyres Tyres Tyres

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
don't know if this is the best part of the forum to put this but here goes....
Driving a Discovery from UK to Les Arc 1800 so 850 miles of English and French wet roads and then 10 miles up the hill with lots of snow and possibly the police checking for snow chains. Bit of up and down the hill for shopping etc and possibly a day in Tignes.

Any recommendations for tyres as I need 4 for the trip. I dont want hardcore off road as most of my driving is on roads and the occasional field plus a couple of ski trips.

I have favoured Pirelli on my cars so far, but feel that I'm looking for a good, nice and quiet, road tyre that will handle over ankle deep snow - possibly something that doesn't exist
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I have favoured Pirelli on my cars so far, but feel that I'm looking for a good, nice and quiet, road tyre that will handle over ankle deep snow

I'm not sure where you will find ankle deep snow. On my multiple visits to Les Arcs I have only encountered snow on the road twice and one of those was at 3:00 in the morning. A brief stop to put chains on was all that was required.
Quote:

and then 10 miles up the hill with lots of snow

The resort requires lots of trucks, vans, busses and cars to serve it. They spend a lot of effort keeping the road clear. In 40 or 50 drives in winter upto Les Arcs I have only come across snow on the road twice and on both occaisions it was less than a few cm deep. It will be very very unusual to find lots of snow on the road. If there is then may I reccomend simply waiting until it is cleared
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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?
I've driven through ankle deep snow, on minor roads when it's snowing heavily, between passes of the snowplough. But I agree it's unusual and most unlikely on the road up to a major resort!

IME good snow tyres cope better with ankle deep fresh snow (as long as the gradient is not too steep) than they do with a cm or so of really wet slush stuff.
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But I have absolutely failed to get the car through 18" of snow, even downhill..... shouldn't have tried. rolling eyes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I use the Nokian WR A4s but they also do a slightly heftier SUV/4x4 tyre. A very good winter tyre which I run all year round. I live in Austria for the winter and haved never failed to get up a road in a Scooby Forester, even when the ski buses are having to put chains on.
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pam w wrote:
But I have absolutely failed to get the car through 18" of snow, even downhill..... shouldn't have tried. rolling eyes


Snow traction can be a weird thing when it comes to unconsolidated snow. I've driven on a FWD M&S tyre literally hundreds of miles on snow and ice covered roads without noticeable loss of traction then got bogged down after parking in a few inches on a friend's flat but unploughed drive. Momentum plays a big role sometimes.

If the snow is touching the underside of your vehicle no matter how soft and fluffy you're on borrowed time IME.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Momentum plays a big role sometimes

Yeah. I thought I could take a run at the slope down from the garage at the apartment - which had not been ploughed by the private contractor who does the private areas. And I had put the chains on, for good measure. But I was desperately over-ambitious (trying to get grand-daughters round for their ski lesson). Got hopelessly stuck. Which meant that when the guy did arrive he had to get me out of the way before he could do the job. I felt embarassed - but also irritated that he'd not got the job done earlier. Even after many years experience I found it difficult to judge when I needed to put chains on - and tended to err on the side of caution. You can be driving OK along a partially-cleared road, but then come across somebody stuck and have to drive round them, moving onto the uncleared edge of the road, and much deeper snow. And there's nothing quite so horrible as trying to put chains on when you're stuck with piles of mucky snow round the wheels.
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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!
@ipken, we have Nokian winter tyres and have them on from early October to Mid-April. Usually buy them from mytyres. We have them on separated wheels.
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I've used Michelin Cross Climate on both 4x4 and cars in the UK, France and Switzerland for the last few years (all year round) and been very happy with a) running quietly b) grip in dry c) grip in wet & snow when compared to Pirelli Scorpions. I would consider changing the spare tyre in addition however - handling could be interesting with a summer tyre on one corner ...
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Dependant on vehicle size, fitment etc you may be outside some of the conventional car size and weight category recommendations. If so, as follows.

I've used "Michelin Latitude Cross" for this type of vehicle which have been used for the last four years and out to the Tarentaise valley 3 trips. They are a really quiet tire in general use but have a really good performance across so many surfaces. We carry chains but have never used them as it just doesn't have a grip problem on all of the surfaces we've encountered.

I accept they would be unlikely to perform in mud or clay type mud as they don't have the drive lugs tires of that requirement do. But the trade off is very good outside that. They've still not met anything that stops them yet even given that limitation.
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I have Vredesrein Wintrac Extrem S tyres on my Duster. Way overkill in terms of road performance (rated for 180+mph and M5 type vehicles), and have worked perfectly in some pretty extreme snow conditions when local taxis couldn’t get anywhere.
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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'm a Nokian fan too. I keep them on all winter in the UK as well. Was waived through a chains road block up to Tignes a couple of years ago in a snowstorm. Felt very smug going past all the French lying in puddles trying to put their chains on. We sailed up without any problems at all.
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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
I'm in a similar situation my car is a d4 discovery i've run vredestein quatrac 5 for a while now and found them to be excellent, Not a full winter tyre like the ones clarky999 mentions (which are brilliant in snow) They have more of a road bias
but do carry the snowflake/mountain marking so ok in Austria & Germany as well.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Michelin Crossclimate for car or Michelin Alpin for 4x4 and vans. Great all season tyres. Have the Alpin+ on my T5 and have covered circa 15K miles and still have 8mm on the fronts and 9mm on the back. I think they start with 10 or 12mm of tread depth.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Yet another Nokian fan here, they go on in November and come off after our last trip in March. Don't get seriously tested here in the UK but they have kept us safe and moving in the Alps and on one awful journey a few years back when it was snowing all the way from Northern France to the resort.

One thing a journey like that shows up is that while snow clearing in the Alps is brilliant as soon as you get into parts of France that don't get snow very often the ability to clear it starts to approach UK standards.

No-one's yet mentioned that it is quite good fun to drive in poor conditions with winter tyres.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nokian is nice, but any quality winter tyres will do the job. But snow/ice are can be very different from place to place and time of the year.

But I use winter tyres mainly because of low temperature - not snow or ice - but they also do that job.

Now using cont. wintercontact ts860 (have not put them on this year yet).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
thanks for all the responses
On the getting up the hill front, I've had family members in 4x4 stopped by the police with winter tyres but no chains and others who haven't made it up with winter tyres, admittedly in a car.

Some of it is when you hit the hill

Some of the issue is the uncertainty of getting up and then getting out which is more of my concern with the weight/momentum of a Discovery pushing itself down the hill
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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?
I had Nokian on renault clio, in general tyres are fine. Also, dont expect from winter tyres too much. We been driving in Switzerland and snowfall just has started, we could not get into the road uphill even with winter tyres, needed to put the snowchains anyway. Also on icy roads it wont help a lot either, I remember one morning in N Yorkshire when temp hit -1 and going downhill road that turns, completely lost control, the car started living its own life, still dont understand how It managed to avoid hitting anything and stopped down the road on the side.
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@ed48, winters are not a panacea, you do need to know how to drive ... not saying you don’t but our house is up a very steep hill and I’ve gone up on someone’s crappy summers with a car on very good winters stuck...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've found Vredstein Quatrac S very effective in deep snow on steep hills. They're all-season and I've not noticed any extra noise or performance issues in summer. My car is a Skoda Kodiaq 4WD, so slightly smaller than a Disco but I'd expect they'd work well for you if they do the size you need.
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I find this thread very interesting, we're driving to the alps (Samoens most likely) in Feb half term. We will take the Mrs 2wd SUV, so I got a spare set of wheels and I'm looking at what tyres to buy. The intention was to get some winter tyres but I've heard good things about Michelin cross climate tyres. I have some autosocks to put on the tyres if need be so my question is...

Would cross climate do the job or should i go full winter?

Last couple of trips (different car) there hasn't been much snow on the road to talk of, mainly cold rain Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'd split the difference as it's not your only set of wheels and go for "Falken Euroall Season AS200" more toward full winter type but with really good all round performance.

We've run them on a VW Touran for three years now as the only set of tires for that vehicle, they really do just work. Without four wheel drive they probably hold a small advantage if you get significant snow.
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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!
@The_Mac_Daddy,
It seems to me that if you have the wheels already and are committed to changing wheels each season then why choose a compromise tyre because should you get really serious weather in February, as has happened before, snowmageddon etc, you will really appreciate the additional grip and control full winters give over cross climate.

There is some good discussion and links on this thread http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=139381#3295503

Having been a Nokian fan for a few years, due to changing my car I am now researching winter tyres again and at the moment currently favour buying the Pirelli Scorpion Winter so any feedback on those would be welcome.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Couple of videos re: Winter Tyres......


http://youtube.com/v/VlzvY3Ld8Es

And....All season tyres......


http://youtube.com/v/pe-gkTCOs7E&t=401s
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I think there are two scenarios here. But first, as always, see what your Owners Manual or Service Dept says are the wheels recommended for winter outfitting. They will usually be less diameter (typically by 1" e.g. 18" go down to 17") and narrower (similarly, say down from 245mm to 225mm). The narrower width will allow a wide variety of conventional chains to be fitted, and also give you better snow traction plus (useful even in the UK) reduced tendency to aquaplane.

The first scenario is if you are happy to get a separate set of winter wheels. If that's the case, then my view is there's no point in opting for all-season tyres, as they won't be as good as winters, even when its warmer. I have Pirelli Winter Sottozero S3 full winters and I've been happy with them even back home in waremer early autumn and late spring, just before I switch to summers. These are just one of many good winter tyres.

The second scenario is where you decide not to go for separate winter wheels. In that case, all-seasons come into the frame. Our other car has Michelin CrossClimates and these have been very good. They replaced a situation where we had separate summer and winter tyres. But this is only used in the UK and is a small 80BHP car, so the difference between the all-seasons and summers-in-summer and winters-in-winter was very small.

As for chains, the main car has Spike Spider EASY which is of the type that has no anterior chain - the chains are secured on the front (external) of the wheel and sit on the tread, but not behind it. These are more expensive (£300) but more adjustable, so are more likely to fit another or future vehicle. You can also fit them in a couple of minutes, which is an attraction. If you opt for the same summer wheels, then you may find that you'll need this type as there's not enough space behind the wheel for chains (especially if they're a bit loose) to fit.
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A good point well made Timc Happy

I'll go for full winter tyres
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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.
@247snowman wrote:
Couple of videos re: Winter Tyres......


http://youtube.com/v/VlzvY3Ld8Es

And....All season tyres......


http://youtube.com/v/pe-gkTCOs7E&t=401s


Two very good videos, I ran Goodyear Vectors all year round on an S-max, compared to the Continental sport contacts that were on before, the vectors gave about 5% less mileage but snow grip was massively improved, as was wet grip & aquaplaning resistance. Wet grip when near the treadwear limit was also much better. A shame that I cant get them for my van.
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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
LaForet wrote:
I think there are two scenarios here....

All of that.

My own manufacturer's winter wheels come with M&S tyres on them plus clearance for chains where you'd expect it.
Their compromise is then M&S plus chains for emergencies, which is your first scenario. It just depends where you choose to make the compromise: it's a personal choice.
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