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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Halfords!
https://www.halfordsautocentres.com/advice/tyres-advice/summer-tyres-are-they-worth-buying
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
johnE wrote:
Where can you get summer tyres from? I've never seen them for sale.


Shh. you are not allowed to talk about them on here rolling eyes , unless it's in the most disparaging terms Laughing
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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?
@Rareperk, I bought some tyres from Halfords a couple years ago and they didn't sell summer tyres then. They tend to be more expensive than my usual tyre supplier.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Aren't "summer" tyres just... tyres. As in the default type of tyre used (certainly here in the UK anyway).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Layne, I'm guessing that's @johnE,'s point. But it is a commonly used term as evidenced by the halford's link
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
johnE wrote:
Where can you get summer tyres from? I've never seen them for sale.


In the main, summer tyres are the tyres fitted as standard to UK cars from the manufacturer. They are biased towards warmer conditions, nominally down to 7°C. They'll have a fairly solid tread and rubber compounds that work best as temperatures rise above the 7°C. Go to your car dealer and mention that you're interested in buying winter tyres from them, and you'll often find they suddenly start talking about 'summer' tyres even though these were never mentioned when you bought the car (why complicate the sale?).

Winter tyres have an official specification of conformance, designated by the 'three peaks and snowflake' symbol, and have rubber compounds that perform increasingly better than summer tyres as the temperature falls below 7°C. They also have a lot more small grooves called 'sipes' that make the tread squirm and warm up more than the solid tread on summer tyres. They usually also have a higher proportion of the contact area given over to large drainage channels. These will noticeably be at an angle of 20°-40° to the direction of travel. These two elements mean that many winter tyres are much more resistant to aquaplaning vs summers - something that is of value for a UK driver, even if they never see snow or many days of sub-zero temperatures.

In recent years, 'all season' tyres have increasingly been fitted ex-factory to SUVs and 4x4s and become popular with a lot of car owners. They're not as good as summers in peak summer, nor as good as winters in snow. But they do address the problem that in many areas, 'shoulder conditions' apply for protracted periods i.e. where one day/week winter tyres will be ideal, then the next summers, then winters again etc. All-seasons are also attractive for people who perhaps only go to the Alps once a year. There's no official definition of 'all seasons'

M+S or Mud-and-Snow is a substantially meaningless term and something of a historical legacy. Most winter tyres will be labelled 'M+S' as well as having the 3-Peaks-and-Snowflake symbol, just for completeness.

You did ask ....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@LaForet, there are times when a bit of geekiness is most welcome. Thanks.
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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!
@LaForet, So the term "summer tyres" is used by tyre sales people to try and make you buy "winter tyres" rather than a class in themselves.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
johnE wrote:
@LaForet, So the term "summer tyres" is used by tyre sales people to try and make you buy "winter tyres" rather than a class in themselves.


More a case that a UK car sales person will never say "Summer tyres and low-profile wheels are the only option ex-factory. You can't spec' all-seasons or winters out of the factory." unlike some other countries, where you do have the choice. Summer tyres are a meaningful term because they reflect a real bias in rubber compound and tread design. It's just that historically, UK car retailers have never even mentioned there's an alternative - because you couldn't have it. So what was the point? It'd just complicate the sale.

When I bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee a few years back, it came with summer tyres and a low-profile wheel spec' that couldn't take chains. No mention of any of this until I went back after buying it and enquired about winter tyres and chains. The response was that "We don't offer any other option ex-factory because there's no demand from UK buyers." Something of a circular argument ...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ooh. A chains and tyres thread. Let me leap on.

I’ve just bought a fancy X5 with 315/35r21 tyres at the back and 275/40r21 at the front. Used to take my M5 with a full winter setup but can’t get clearance to buy a set for the new car.

Do I get full chains all round (front fixing of course!)? Full chains at the rear and socks up front? Or just full chains at the rear? (Or even full chains at the front only)

Full chains all round is £700 by the way so I might just go for winters at £2k if that is needed.

Anyone?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@AndrewBailey, check the owner's manual - I don't know about the X5 but my X3 says chains on the rear only.
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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.
Thx @Alastair. Pg 347. It says in pairs on the rear wheels. So how do I steer?

Chances are it will be ok. Only needed chains once in a decade anyway. Half term here we come!
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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
@AndrewBailey On my previous BMW 330d xDrive Touring it was chains only on the rear wheels, explicitly not the fronts. As mentioned, see your Owner's Manual or ask your garage, quoting your VIN. And yes, in snow, summers on the front is slightly problematic if the rears are chained.

Of course, on snow, make sure your TRACTION is engaged i.e. DTC=ON (press car-with-wiggly-lines button for a few seconds, until TRACTION is displayed on instruments. Then repeat press until TRACTION disappears to disengage when back on tarmac). Look at the manual, though, as the X5 may be different to the 3 Touring and my current M235i.

As you intimate, the ideal minimum is to replace current tyres with winters. Then get something like the Spike Spider EASY Sport front-fitting chains (going to be £300+ for an SUV).

My only thought is that usually, the BMW recommended winter spec' is for smaller-diameter wheels with smaller-width tyres. Perhaps I was lucky, but for the 330d xDrive Touring, my local BMW dealer made the difference between tyres alone and tyres and wheels plus storage small enough to make the latter a no-brainer. But that may have been a one-off.

I assume you're using the BMW UK Winter Wheels & Tyres Configurator to look at your BMW Retrofit options?:

https://shop.bmw.co.uk/INTERSHOP/web/WFS/BMWUK-21972-Site/en_GB/-/GBP/ViewStandardCatalog-Browse?CategoryDomainName=BMW-Zubehoer_Welt-UK&CatalogID=Zubehoer_Welt-UK&CategoryName=StructureGroup_903886542955302

in which you enter your VIN and it'll give you an idea of specifically what's available, with prices. If not, worth a look.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 17-01-20 23:07; edited 5 times in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@AndrewBailey, steer and drive gently uphill. If it refuses to go uphill (Mercs are enthusiastic about this possibility, not sure about BMs yet), select the 'Traction' option. Steer and drive gently down hill, with Hill Descent Control selected. If the chains on the rears control your speed, the fronts will provide the steering.

If in any doubt fit the chains. Spikes Spiders have been my favourite for many years and I would need a very good argument to separate me from them. They work and are very quick and easy to fit. I'm sure I can beat the 30 seconds per wheel they advertise, but I've had them for years.

(FYI I've been in Val Thorens for two seasons and Les Arcs for three seasons (so far). In all cases with RWD I've needed chains for getting into and out of car parks and (in VT) sometimes on the local roads. Since I bought the X3 I haven't needed chains at all - it's been far better than I expected.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@laforet. It’s £1000 a corner for wheels from BMW. We are going with summer tyres and the Konig K-summit XXL K67 snow chain option. (Plus some snow socks for the front just in case). Ordered on line now so I can practice at home.

@ALastair - V.helpful. Thx. Steer gently it is. After all if we have chains on the chances of going quickly are zero.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
AndrewBailey Also be careful not to let you right front get dragged over the edge of the tarmac so it sinks into a soft substrate on any roads that don't have a clear edging/pavement. I know, how can you tell if the snow to your right is on tarmac vs soil or worse, a drainage channel? Sorry, no answer to that one, but just be aware. I've seen an X5 stuck this way - not his fault, wasn't obvious, a largr snowplough came towards him from the other carriageway and he moved to the right to avoid it and the car just sunk into the deep snow at the side of the road. I almost did the same 'oncoming snowplough pushes you into drift snow' thing the year before last on the Jura Mts. : https://i.imgur.com/MXE8EyO.mp4
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