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Idiots without / who can't put on chains & think winter tyres will be ok

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Should also say it’s on the tires it came out of factory on
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hils68 wrote:
I like the look of those zip ties. They look easy to put on and easy to pack in luggage. May raid the kids amazon vouchers - much more practical than Lego.... Although Lego stuck onto a zip tie may work too! Same principle, more hassle to make though! Smile
just ordered the zip ties from amazon. For £12 you can’t go far wrong!
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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?
Saw a Hummer on 75 Paris plates in Chatel the other day, inching down a gentle incline in 2 inches of slush, with the front wheels fully locked (no ABS?) and going sideways. It had massive, off-road tires.

I guess you'd call a Hummer a proper 4x4, but they appear to be awful in snow.

I agree up to a point with @DJL. Lots of Skoda and Audi estate 4x4s around here. I have a Skoda Superb V6 4x4 (it's the non-permanent type of 4x4). I'd say it's ok in snow, but a bit heavy/clumsy downhill. Great for comfort though. Best car I had for snow, but awful for comfort, was a Honda HRV, which were also very popular with locals at the time.

In 12 years I only used chains once and then I think it was for the novelty.
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@foxtrotzulu, I don’t know about that generation of the XC90 but the XC70 was certainly available in front wheel drive only in some markets. As for the XC90, I believe it utilises a Haldex clutch to couple the rear wheels to the front and that generally means it gets classified as AWD rather than 4x4. In any event, it doesn’t matter wrt the chains; they should only be fitted to the fronts, so the Volvo shown in the photo is set up correctly (as we have both said ) Smile
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snoozeboy wrote:

I guess you'd call a Hummer a proper 4x4, but they appear to be awful in snow.


Real 4x4s? Too heavy for snow in general

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You'll need to Register first of course.
@davidof, you're assuming that's stuck, rather than simply parked.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Alastair wrote:
@davidof, you're assuming that's stuck, rather than simply parked.


it is certainly stuck now.

Here is a handy instructional video for 4x4 owners


http://youtube.com/v/pSrHp2-tmy0
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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!
Watched it over and over Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
What I can’t understand I suppose on seeing something like that Volvo is why have a vehicle like that and bring it out to the mountains and still keep summer tyres on, if indeed they were summer tyres.

Even when I was not spending the whole season out here I’d have a set of winter tyres I’d switch over to?

Think it’s a classic Chelsea Tractor, and they of course can be driven by the worst numpties of all as they think because they have a pucker Swedish 4x4 / Range Rover / Discovery they are invincible even with summer tyres, hence my photo.

Maybe I ruffled a few feathers for people on here Toofy Grin
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Weathercam, for most people in Northern France, Holland, U.K. Summer tyres are perfectly fine 99% of the time and chains do the trick for final 1%

I am a big fan of winter tyres, but a lot of people in uk still not aware of them. Prior to being a SH nor was I and drove numerous times to Alps with no issues on summer tyres

Once you've used them, I doubt anyone would stop using them. But for most people in uk there is no compelling reason to change.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Weathercam wrote:
What I can’t understand I suppose on seeing something like that Volvo is why have a vehicle like that and bring it out to the mountains and still keep summer tyres on, if indeed they were summer tyres.

Even when I was not spending the whole season out here I’d have a set of winter tyres I’d switch over to?

Think it’s a classic Chelsea Tractor, and they of course can be driven by the worst numpties of all as they think because they have a pucker Swedish 4x4 / Range Rover / Discovery they are invincible even with summer tyres, hence my photo.

Maybe I ruffled a few feathers for people on here Toofy Grin


As you say, we don’t know if they were summer or winter tyres. By your own admission, winter tyres were not good enough to get going without a push so I would have thought chains were the right approach regardless of the tyres. Why might he not have winter tyres? Cost/benefit ratio. If you come to the Alps for one week a year and nine times out of ten you don’t need additional traction then a £120 set of chains seems like a good idea compared to a £600 set of winters that cost you £150+ per year to keep getting changed over and still aren’t sufficient in deep snow.

Yes, it’s a classic Chelsea tractor, or a St Germain tracteur in this case, but it seems you’ve picked on the wrong person. We don’t know if he’s git winter tyres, but he HAS got chains. Full marks for getting it right. Now, the Defender that looks more as if he’s fallen into a ditch than got stuck is certainly worth your ire. He doesn’t have chains and I’m 99% sure those tyres aren’t winter rated. Very, very few off-road tyres are winter rated.
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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.
snoozeboy wrote:
Saw a Hummer on 75 Paris plates in Chatel the other day, inching down a gentle incline in 2 inches of slush, with the front wheels fully locked (no ABS?) and going sideways. It had massive, off-road tires.

I guess you'd call a Hummer a proper 4x4, but they appear to be awful in snow.

I agree up to a point with @DJL. Lots of Skoda and Audi estate 4x4s around here. I have a Skoda Superb V6 4x4 (it's the non-permanent type of 4x4). I'd say it's ok in snow, but a bit heavy/clumsy downhill. Great for comfort though. Best car I had for snow, but awful for comfort, was a Honda HRV, which were also very popular with locals at the time.

In 12 years I only used chains once and then I think it was for the novelty.


I think Hummers are pretty average off-road generally. It’s a question of brute force over ignorance. Not much in the way of clever electronics. The massive off-road tyres would probably have made things even worse.
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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
Been having a reckon up, I have unused chains for 4 different cars, an unused set of spikes spiders for an XC90,( with some judicious buying of spares could make them fit current car) a set of rims for a VW , and a few lots of tyres knocking around the garage. It's enough to pay for a holiday!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I am curious about the plastic chains mentioned

While probably not as effective as metal conventional chains

they have benefits, light , easy to pack into luggage , easy to fit, flexible wheel size

Has anyone here used them , are they effective , snap easily etc ?



ZipGripGo:
https://zipgripgo.com/

Sunsky Anti-Skid:
https://www.sunsky-online.com/product/default!view.do?subject.itemNo=CMS7931Y
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I wouldn’t bother buying socks @Hils68, if you need to use them then you should probably be using chains. Personally though, I’d park in Aosta and take the gondola up if the roads aren’t clear. Driving up isn’t that bad, driving down can be awful
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@dublin2, I’ve just ordered some for emergencies, but the reviews are very mixed with many saying that they just break within the first rotation of the wheel. Others think they are good.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

@dublin2, I’ve just ordered some for emergencies, but the reviews are very mixed with many saying that they just break within the first rotation of the wheel. Others think they are good.



Ive just checked a few reviews, I think they snap easily with steel rims, and less so with Alloys. ...So with Alloys should be fine for emergencies. They are certainly worth buying as easily packed and adaptable for car hires. If for use with car hires, it might be worth asking at the car hire desk for alloy equipped car .

The Nylon rope idea seems plausible , and of course rope can be handy for towing/ being towed

I would guess neither as effective as metal chains, but from my POV, worth having in the flight bag
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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 have just invested in a full set of winter tyres for my BMW 320d Xdrive. Have made a huge difference to the handling in the recent cold weather. Planning a road trip to the Alps in 2019 so will have them on for that backed up with a set of chains as well. Sure the initial investment is quite substantial but I certainly feel the tyres have improved the feel of the car and the way it drives. As @boris mentions I am not sure that many people in the UK have heard of winter tyres let alone fitted them - certainly seems to be more the norm on the continent. My experience to date has been nothing but positive.
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Consensus of most people on here driving regularly in the mountains seems to be if you’ve got a 4*4 and proper winter tyres don’t bother with chains. Anyone disagree?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Griggs wrote:
I have just invested in a full set of winter tyres for my BMW 320d Xdrive. Have made a huge difference to the handling in the recent cold weather. Planning a road trip to the Alps in 2019 so will have them on for that backed up with a set of chains as well. Sure the initial investment is quite substantial but I certainly feel the tyres have improved the feel of the car and the way it drives. As @boris mentions I am not sure that many people in the UK have heard of winter tyres let alone fitted them - certainly seems to be more the norm on the continent. My experience to date has been nothing but positive.


With xdrive and winter tyres you do not need chains
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BobinCH wrote:
Consensus of most people on here driving regularly in the mountains seems to be if you’ve got a 4*4 and proper winter tyres don’t bother with chains. Anyone disagree?
Never needed to fit chains to my AWD fitted with winter tyres to make progress up hill. Have a set of snow socks in with the spare tyre as an insurance policy, but can't imagine having to use them as various snowmageddon type situations have not caused a problem so far.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Worth re-posting this video showing the effectiveness of winter tyres


http://youtube.com/v/mfuE00qdhLA
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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!
I've got a 4*4 and winter tyres, but I still always carry chains - never needed them! I'd hate to actually need them one day and not have them and surely they're still a legal requirement to carry?
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BobinCH wrote:
Consensus of most people on here driving regularly in the mountains seems to be if you’ve got a 4*4 and proper winter tyres don’t bother with chains. Anyone disagree?


Nope.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Yes, a UK-only driver will probably have a difficult choice as to whether winter tyres are worth it or not. But my view is that if you take your car to the Alps even once a year, then that swings the decision greatly in favour of having a set of winter tyres. Remember, they're useful in the cold and wet UK winter - snow performance is an additional benefit - and the cost is really only that of the twice-a-year switch-over, as the other set remain unused.

Re.chains: After building-up a pile of chains from different cars, I swapped to the front-fitting Spikes Spiders. Not only do they genuinely only take a few minutes to fit, but they fit a much wider range of sizes than most conventional chains. Although more expensive (£299 mine) as you change your car over time, they're much more likely to fit your new one, so can work out competitive over time. Others include the Spikes Spider Easy Alpine (for SUVs), Thule K-Summit, Weissenfels Quattro and Rud Centrax.

As for a 4x4 + winters needing chains - I'd say yes. It's a cost/benefit/risk analysis of course, but there are conditions (surely, as illustrated by the OP?) where your otherwise fine 4x4+winters needs them. When we visited our apartment pre-Christmas, after a lot of snowfall, clearing last done early morning, an icy substrate, and a steep turn on the exit meant even 4x4s + winters were having to reverse back down to the car park, fit their chains, and then go up again. Probably an unlikely combination of circumstances but there you are.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Tue 20-07-21 15:32; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
BobinCH wrote:
Consensus of most people on here driving regularly in the mountains seems to be if you’ve got a 4*4 and proper winter tyres don’t bother with chains. Anyone disagree?
I'm certainly not a regular driver in the mountains so feel free to dismiss my opinion..... It certainly sounds like you are very unlikely to need chains if you have the right tyres (and that probably means specialist snow tyres, not just winter rated, and certainly not m+s) and you are used to driving on snow. Having said that, I've spent a fair amount of time over the years driving on other dodgy surfaces (deep mud, slippery clay, soft sand etc.) and I've come to believe that you really don't want to rely on just about having enough traction, you want to have plenty. As someone else below said, I can't help feeling that while Pierre the bar owner might charm himself past a police control point, Kevin the holidaying Brit won't be so lucky.
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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.
@LaForet, That's a good guide you've written. The only bit I'd take issue with is this " In addition, the much chunkier tread
design of winters improves water-clearing ability significantly, whatever the temperature." In my experience, winter tyres don't have chunkier tread tyres. It's extremely hard to find an off-road winter tyre for this reason. The differences between summer and winter tyres, if you'll forgive me for teaching granny to suck eggs is a combination of a much softer rubber compound (another reason why you don't often get winter off-road tyres), and the 'sipes' that grip the snow. I'm not entirely convinced that winter tyres are better in the wet, other than the fact that they are generally better at everything when the temperature is low enough. In fact, Michelin has this to say on the subject .... "Summer tyres guarantee the maximum safety performance during summer either on dry and wet roads. As an illustration, breaking from 80 to 0 kph between 11 to 26°C, on wet roads will take 4m shorter with summer tyres than with winter tyres. On dry road, braking from 50 to 0 kph under the same temperature condition will take 1.5m shorter with summer tyres than with winter tyre."
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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, IME in 11 years of living in CH and in the mountains most weekends, albeit usually Chamonix, Samöens or Morzine so not usually at great altitude (actually, often in Champoluc which is around 1,600m I suppose)

a. chains are dis-advised by Nissan (both models we’ve had) and there is confusion as to which axle to apply them if you really feel you need them depending on whether your car speaks English or French

b. I have never felt the need. And frequently ascend/descend a couple of rather steep hills.

That said, getting into our drive currently requires care, as straight an approach as possible and an awareness that some unplanned lateral positioning might occur.

@foxtrotzulu, as far as I know, the next grade of speciality above what we have (standard pneus de neige as fitted by Swiss main dealer - key symbol being “Mountain and Snowflake”) have studs or semi studs.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@under a new name Well, individual experiences will differ, obviously. I have been driving to the Alps in winter for over 15 years and have absolutely needed chains only three times. So that's 1 year in 6, on average. Personally, given the cost of my vehicle, and of my set of winter wheels and tyres, an additional small outlay for that 1-in-6 possibility seems reasonable. Not everyone feels the same.

One problem for many Snowheads readers is that they can't choose when they're travelling, so whilst a local may opt to stay at home or go out in a suitable 'window' many readers just have to travel because of flight or ferry/tunnel bookings. Moreover, if you live locally, then getting stuck isn't such as big deal compared to a UK visitor.

SUV and performance car owners do have the complication that even if money is no object, their wheels may be just too wide to carry conventional chains, as the anterior links can foul the suspension, steering or pipes. This is actually more of a problem for UK owners, as UK vehicles often get fitted with lower profile tyres / wider wheels than in Europe, on the assumption that a UK owners is more likely to want optimal wet-weather rather than snow setup. Their Owners Manual is quite likely to explicitly say they can't fit chains.

@foxtrotzulu Yes, in tyre terms all you could do is to fit studded tyres - which aren't suitable outside of permanently-snowed Nordic roads. Your only next option is to put chains on.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Fri 29-12-17 12:26; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Also a world of difference between one person in a car and a family with the car stuffed full of everything for a weeks holiday - is going to take the edge of any performance and make it slide more when traction is lost
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@LaForet, I don’t think I have ever elected not to drive because of the conditions. Not even that 11hour drive to Zürich.

I have never got stuck.

And Sunday evening, Monday morning, sometimes I have to get to my desk, or at any time to the airport, etc. so just being quasi-local doesn’t mean I am free of constraints Crying or Very sad

And as said, chains strongly not recommended for vehicle. I asked the dealer when I bought the first one about chains and he looked at me like I had three heads.

But I think you are higher up than we are and I think the Valais tends to get colder weather and more snow at lower altitudes, so I could well just be lucky with the microclimates I tend to be in.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:
Confession time, I completely forgot I got a new car this year....
A strange sort of thing to 'completely forget' 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?
And another thing: Traction Settings ......

I am myself guilty of not reading-up and testing the correct setting for optimum traction in snow when I got a new car. For my BMW, the manual is badly translated and ambiguous, with a load of acronyms and contradictory instructions. Made worse if your Owners Manual is only in its fullest form online, as is the case with some of the latest vehicles. An extract:

'DTC is a variant of the DSC optimised for forward momentum .. Press the button TRACTION is displayed and the DSC OFF indicator light is illuminated' .. 'If indicator light is illuminated DSC has failed. DSC OFF Driving stability during acceleration and cornering is restricted .. press and hold down the button until DSC OFF is displayed' and so on - WTF?

So a bit of preparatory reading in the comfort of the UK is worthwhile ....
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foxtrotzulu wrote:

Yes, it’s a classic Chelsea tractor, or a St Germain tracteur in this case,


The Volvo? It is Corsica registered.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@davidof, nice video, though i am sure if it was in a genuine situation there would be a queue of blokes a mile long to help her out, me included, but don't tell the missus Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin, you could probably even lie us down side by side to form a carpet for her to drive on!!!
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BobinCH wrote:
Consensus of most people on here driving regularly in the mountains seems to be if you’ve got a 4*4 and proper winter tyres don’t bother with chains. Anyone disagree?


With you there. Even standing starts in steep icy lanes have been fine for me, and Arlberg Pass in multiple blizzards has been (touch wood etc) more fun than scary.

But if you ever DO need a little something extra, just re-purpose your rope Kashmiri style 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...
I recommend snow socks over chains to clients coming out to resort. So much easier to fit than chains. The michelins hybrid "easy grip' chains are good.

4x4 Subaru Outback with 4 snow tyres. Never use chains. If I need chains, then I'd rather walk, because I'd only get stuck behind the proverbial Numpty.

Looking forward to one of the busiest change-over days of the year tomorrow with 30cm of snow forecast !!!
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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, traction settings, oh yes.

Mistranslated manuals, indeed, that too Shocked

EN (?FR) “only ever fit chains to the rear wheels otherwise risk of serious transmission damage”

FR (?EN) “only ever fit chains to the front wheels otherwise risk of serious transmission damage”

Ridiculous.
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That Defender in Val just needs to do a JFK with the the short gear lever ( back and to the left ), engage difflock, and they'll be outta there quicker than you can say "Mal-garé ... moi ?"
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
volfy wrote:
I recommend snow socks over chains to clients coming out to resort. So much easier to fit than chains.


Snow socks don't even perform as well as winter tyres, they aren't a sustitute for chains.


http://youtube.com/v/qvPXqLoWaHY


http://youtube.com/v/UIN5zYcpq9A
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