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Winter tyres - would you bother now?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ok, usually we put winters on our cars in october, however last year we didn't as we changed cars so weren't going to spend the £50 to swap them over on a car we'd sold and then the weather this winter as we all know has been relatively warm.

So here we are March and we've not put them on.

However, next week we're off to the land of mountains and snow for a month, and i can't decide whether to put the winter tyres on or not, bearing in mind that as soon as we're back we'll be swapping back to summer tyres.

Obviously we have a good set of chains and know how to use them and can get them on/off in a matter of minutes (ex-transfer driver so plenty of practice)

So, what does everyone think, winter tyres for 4 weeks or just use chains if needed???
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Have you already got rims with tires on? If yes then it is a no brainer.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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Depends where you are heading. If your base is low, then you should be ok with summers and chains.
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Quote:

Have you already got rims with tires on? If yes then it is a no brainer.

+1
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Agree that would be a no brainer, but not got a spare set of wheels, would need to put winter tyres on current wheels and then swap them back.

Going to; Alpe d'huez, Les Deux Alpes, Meribel, Courchevel, La Tania, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Chamonix, Morzine, St Gervais, Les Carroz plus a couple of others.
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Well, if you're going off piste in the car then I'd suggest you take any advantage you can get Wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's a no brainer anyway, rims or not.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ok if I were you I'd just rely on chains
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@marcellus, don't bother putting the snowies on Toofy Grin


You can be one of the sacrificial lambs in order to get that late March dump Cool
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Where are you driving @marcellus, ? I'd still fit them peace of mind and all that.

Mind you, I have done my fair share of scooting round the Scottish highlands in snow in various classic rwd British sportscars, with no particular issues, other than getting stuck and sideways Happy
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under a new name wrote:
Where are you driving @marcellus, ? I'd still fit them peace of mind and all that.

Mind you, I have done my fair share of scooting round the Scottish highlands in snow in various classic rwd British sportscars, with no particular issues, other than getting stuck and sideways Happy


marcellus wrote:


Going to; Alpe d'huez, Les Deux Alpes, Meribel, Courchevel, La Tania, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Tignes, Val D'Isere, Chamonix, Morzine, St Gervais, Les Carroz plus a couple of others.



OKOKOK, I'll stop being a cheapskate and add getting them fitted to the list of things to be done before the weekend then!

Guess you'll need to find another sacrificial lamb @weathercam
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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 took my winters off a week or so back as the MOT was due and as I massively overload the car the state of the inside edges on the rear meant that I didn't think it would pass.

We've another week in the Alps this season and my current plan is to use the summer tyres. We only need to get up (and down) the hill to Tignes once, and if it looks dodgy on the way up I'll find some socks - chains are not an option due to clearance.
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@marcellus, I'm so used to having them I think I'd over stress about not having them.

For the cost involved and the likelihood of temps below 7C?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
+1 to put them on

And while you at it get in eBay and sort a set of second hand rims. I have sets for both my steeds and it makes life so much easier. Given the recurring cost of flipping tyres on the same rims, it's also pretty economical in the long run
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If you put your winters on, you can guarantee that the weather will be great, and they won't be needed.

If you leave your summers on, you can be sure that it'll suddenly be cold and snowy, and you'll get stuck.

So obviously, you should put the winters on to guarantee good weather Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We've got a thumping great Chrysler estate which is automatic - not great for snow driving - and I chopped off my little finger to pay for a second set of rims - makes life so much easier as we store them in the garage and when the time comes we just get our friendly local garage to swap them over for us.

Driving to Morzine in a few days and the car is presently in for the change to winter. Better safe than sorry and all that - besides which I can't remember the finer points of the french law about snow chains beyond the road sign...
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@msej449, Ive just bought a snow shovel in a Tesco clearance sale for £1.50 so that's the snow done for this part of the UK. Is it safe to swap to summers tyres now or do tyres trump shovels ??/
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Quote:

we store them in the garage and when the time comes we just get our friendly local garage to swap them over for us.


my friendly local garage swaps my tyres for me. In the days when we had rims we did it ourselves. Tedious, but very good practice for when you get a puncture up a mountain road in the dusk.
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@marcellus,
Winters on, you know it makes sense.
If you leave the summers on, you'll just worry about it snowing instead of enjoying it snowing, completely spoiling the holiday.
I don't care how good you are at putting chains on and taking them off it's always a pain and complete waste of holiday time.

@RobW, If there's that little tread left on them then they won't be any good in the snow, I think they reckon 4mm tread minimum for best effect. Once mine get to 4mm I just run them on through the summer to get maximum life for my money.

Can't wait to get out there again this week.

Winters come off after I get home.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@marcellus, So you are off to the Alpes in mid March for a month. Many residents of the Alpes are thinking of switching back to all season or summer tyres now and will certainly swap before mid April. The temperatures you will be facing will range from + a few degrees to the mid 20s on your return and the bulk of your journey will be on motorways. You may need the extra warm weather performance summer or all season tyres give.

Personally I wouldn't bother but remember the snow chains
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I wouldn't bother either- and if it's wet and warmish your much safer with summer/all season tyres steaming down the motorway anyway.
Chains in car to compy with local law, and socks to put on if you actually need anything (£30 on line) should cover it I'd say.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Whatever you choose, in 4 weeks at some point you will be on the wrong tyres and the question is:-

Do you want to be on winters when it's to warm or summers when it's too cold ?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Radz wrote:
and I chopped off my little finger to pay for a second set of rims - makes life so much easier as we store them in the garage and when the time comes we just get our friendly local garage to swap them over for us..


Have you seen the price of Mercedes Wheels, I'd be chopping off more than just my little finger Laughing
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We got these second hand off FleaBay so hubby's extremities are still safe.... for the moment! Cool
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@johnE, "Many residents of the Alpes are thinking of switching back to all season or summer tyres now"

Do you think so? No-one I know really switches back till the season end, e.g. Mid-April. We certainly won't till after April 15.

I was under the impression that winter tyres performance didn't degrade so quickly with increasing T to make them such a problem as it got warmer unlike summer tyres with decreasing T. (Based on no facts whatsoever, just my impression!)


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 10-03-15 17:14; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

Have you seen the price of Mercedes Wheels, I'd be chopping off more than just my little finger



why on earth would you buy Mercedes wheels? Just get some cheapo black steel ones for your winters. They will be much cheaper and better - you can run smaller/narrower rims with higher profile and narrower winters which gives better grip (and a better ride) than the expensive low profile ones fitted to your expensive alloys.
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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.
@under a new name, +1 I leave mine on until the beginning of May as I'm still in the mountains throughout April. Nothing being offered in terms of "switchover deals" being posted yet either through the media or my letterbox. Toofy Grin
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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
marcellus wrote:
Radz wrote:
and I chopped off my little finger to pay for a second set of rims - makes life so much easier as we store them in the garage and when the time comes we just get our friendly local garage to swap them over for us..


Have you seen the price of Mercedes Wheels, I'd be chopping off more than just my little finger Laughing


What Mercedes have you got? I'm on my 3rd ML and haven't needed winter tyres on any of 'em. (24 mth Leased so haven't had one needing new tyres either)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some snow forecast for the Tarentaise Sat-Tue (although confidence is low). Freezing levels at lunchtime somewhere between 1200 and 1500m so snow level 1500-1800m. Simples!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
chocksaway wrote:
Freezing levels at lunchtime somewhere between 1200 and 1500m so snow level 1500-1800m. Simples!


erm no. If the FL is 1200 m you could get snow down to 800-900m.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boredsurfin wrote:
What Mercedes have you got? I'm on my 3rd ML and haven't needed winter tyres on any of 'em. (24 mth Leased so haven't had one needing new tyres either)


A C-Class... And as for the steelie option/suggestion... But sorry i think they look sh@@e!

Usually i don't bat an eye at £40 in November and then another in May... But as we've not done it yet it's the £80 in 5 weeks that is making me question.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@marcellus, £80 in 5 weeks can sound a lot but in reality it is £80 a year, still just think how much cheaper the holiday will be now the euro is at 1.40.
You are on a winner anyway as by not putting the winters on until now you will get at least another winter on them.

My only time on summers in the alps was in March when even with snow chains on we could not get up the last 200 metres, never doing that again, carrying the family's gear up that last hill spoiled my week.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@davidof, Oooops I added 300 rather than subtracted. Too much Stella!
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We run winters all year. No degradation these days. That was in days of yore. Why have winter tyres if you're not going to use them? It's like have a transceiver but keeping it in the rucksack. £50 is a small price to pay for the possibility of smugly steaming past those that wouldn't fork it out and are consequently trying to recall how to fit chains.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

A C-Class... And as for the steelie option/suggestion... But sorry i think they look sh@@e!


I know what you mean but I'm obviously getting beyond all that in my middle age. Form follows function etc. After all I'm in the process of replacing my 535D M-sport with a Skoda Octavia Very Happy That pretty much shows my attitude.

Even that (Scout) comes with sub-optimally sized wheels for winter so I'm going to get a set of smaller ones.

Seriously though anyone who knows anything about car design will tell you that the low profile tyre / wheel combinations on modern cars are silly from a performance stand point. The 18 inch wheels on our bimmer do nothing for performance, make the ride less comfortable and cost more to run. They do look nice though.
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Nah don't bother. It never snows in Alps in March, so you will be fine. And even if it does, it's no big deal if you crash car sliding around the road in 1cm of wet snow. I'm sure all the troubles you will have and all the damage will be less then £50. So if I would be you, I wouldn't even bother taking chains, they just take space.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Move to The Piste as this is not about off-piste skiing (unless you're planning to shuttle with the car Very Happy )
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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!
marcellus wrote:
boredsurfin wrote:
What Mercedes have you got? I'm on my 3rd ML and haven't needed winter tyres on any of 'em. (24 mth Leased so haven't had one needing new tyres either)


A C-Class... And as for the steelie option/suggestion... But sorry i think they look sh@@e!

Usually i don't bat an eye at £40 in November and then another in May... But as we've not done it yet it's the £80 in 5 weeks that is making me question.


I have to agree that basic steel wheels are not great. However, if you look at Switzerland and Germany even those with BMWs and Mercs tend to use steel wheels in the winter.

In saying that when I was getting Mrs Gaza a set of rims and tyres for her Kuga I used www.mytyres.co.uk and bought a complete set. Her car has 19" rims and there was no way was I putting 19s or even 18s on as the cost was enormous. In the end I settled on these in 16" (they are winter spec) with Nokian WR-A3 235/60 R16 104 H tyres. The total, including delivery, was £606.



I though they might look a bit small but was pleasantly surprised.

As a comparison I've just ordered 4 x Goodyear EfficientGrip 235/45 R19s as the summer tyres are down to 2-3mm. Those cost £566 exclusing fitting.

The way I am looking at it is that with 4 virtually new winter tyres and 4 new summer tyres we are unlikely to need to buy new tyres for many years.

The changeover to the winters took me less than an hour.

It is also worth noting that tyres are never meant to be taken on and off a rim and this can lead to leaks around the bead.
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Holy Thread Hijack!

I have a 2002 BMW m5 and have a set of wheels with winter tyres on that I bought last year.

Since owning them I have yet to encounter ice, let alone snow so I am unsure as to their efficacy in the Alps.

What do the experienced folk of Snowheads suggest? Will 400+ hp through the rear tyres cope with snow?

I would buy chains as well in case it got seriously snowy.
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Badbobby wrote:
Holy Thread Hijack!

I have a 2002 BMW m5 and have a set of wheels with winter tyres on that I bought last year.

Since owning them I have yet to encounter ice, let alone snow so I am unsure as to their efficacy in the Alps.

What do the experienced folk of Snowheads suggest? Will 400+ hp through the rear tyres cope with snow?

I would buy chains as well in case it got seriously snowy.


400+ hp is more like asking for problems even wit a good set of winter tyres ... driving on snow/cold road surface or black ice - slow and steady, no harch acceleration/braking/cornering is the golden rule
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