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Ice Blok Snow Chains - A Load of **** - What Should I Get Next?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I bought Halfords Ice Blok chains just under a year ago to cover the last two snow-covered and very hilly miles to Weardale ski area in the north Pennines.

Just back from a great afternoon there today (decent snow cover, if a little thin in places) and, having been there twice in the last 3 days, the chains have now gone from bad to total nightmare.

I've used them 4 times so far - never without incident. From day one they have come apart in use - the metal used for construction is so soft that bits that should be nipped together just undo themselves and have had to be fixed using pliers. Over the last two uses, one of the b******* will now not stay together. Despite more plier nippings, the push-together bit on the plastic hoop keeps undoing itself and the whole chain falls off - great fun on a steep section of snowpacked, singletrack road Sad

And finally.....the one that keeps falling off has gone and snapped - together with my patience. My plan is to go back to Halfords and ask for my money back. (I know, I know, I should have gone back straight away.....!!) They have covered a total of about 8 miles and are completely useless Shocked ! To get back from the skiing today I had to bodge the snapped one using a bungee - effective for the first mile, then it all fell off again leaving us to struggle down the hill on one chain. Imagine if we'd been relying on them to climb a 20 mile alpine road Skullie !!

In case anyone is wondering, yes they are the right size and yes they are fitted correctly. Can someone recommend some decent chains please? Having had the experience from Hell with the Ice Bloks, I can only dream of a trouble free, reliable set..... Puzzled

The chains were £50-odd - have I just got what I paid for?? Do I just need to spend more?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
mountainaddict, maybe chose something from near the top of this list? I've got the second ones down (bought at a time when the exchange rate was much more favourable Skullie). Although i've only used them for short periods they seem ok. Can't imagine bits bending etc


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Tue 22-12-09 23:31; edited 1 time in total
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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?
A couple of years ago I paid ~£100 for some RUD Power ones from http://www.roofbox.co.uk - a bit fiddly to fit the first time around but easy once you've done one. Worked on the vague principal that RUD seem to be a good make and although these were relatively cheap within their range they still seem to be quality. Worked well so far for the few times I've used them.
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Another vote for RUD chains, straightforward to put on, well made and do what they are supposed too. I have been using them for 15 years and havent had a failure yet.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mountainaddict, .... I bought some of these ... for a Land Rover Discovery TD5 - I was an imbecile of course, as everyone knows that a Land Rover Discovery TD5 doesn't need chains ... Toofy Grin

New & Unused SIMAKA ARTIK Size 245 (255/55X18), if anyone wants them let me know - my beloved Sally B, that beautiful Green Land Rover with the Pixie Steps, has been retired .. Crying or Very sad
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mountainaddict, I too have a few sets of chains sitting in the garage - what size are your tyres?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
BernardC, you don't mean...... Shocked
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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 bought a Halfords set last year but they were much more expensive than the OP's even with my mate's staff discount. They have done about 20 miles and seem to have survived OK.

They don't fit my new car (A6) so I'm letting my friend have them for his New Year trip to Scotland.

I hope they work ok for him.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I've used the weissenfells Clack&Go chains from http://www.snowchains.co.uk/main/klack_and_go_pro_tech.htm and they have been excellent.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Another vote for Rud, I've had the basic Rud Compact grip for many years. (Not had to use them over the last few years as now snow tyred up Toofy Grin )
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Boris wrote:
I've used the weissenfells Clack&Go chains from http://www.snowchains.co.uk/main/klack_and_go_pro_tech.htm and they have been excellent.


Another vote for Klack'n'Go 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.
BernardC wrote:

that beautiful Green Land Rover with the Pixie Steps, has been retired .. Crying or Very sad


Not side steps Shocked wink If you drive over anything, they buckle and you can't get the doors open. Laughing They're the first things we rip off. Decent set of rock sliders with jacking points in them next time. 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
The cains should be welded throughout, they aren't fit for purpose if the links open. I did look at Halfords last year, but then checked with a real snowchain supplier* and found out what I needed, then I bought a pair, used once, on eBay.

I've got RUD Starmatic, which I think are now RUD Classic. As others say, a bit fiddly to fit, it looks easy on the video on the website. Konig look easier to fit,

These new mesh things look promising. Easy to fit, I think. Someone put a link to some eaby sellers in one of the Snowchains threads.

*Actually the big supplier said there were no chains for a Citroen Berlingo and I had to have the expensive stuff, then I phoned back with a disguised voice and asked for chains for a Peugeot Partner, no problem!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yoda wrote:
BernardC, you don't mean...... Shocked


Yoda ... P.M.... en-route .. Land Rover has been replaced with another Land Rover .. ! though not Green like Sally B.

Spyderman, ... no such Chelsea frivolities on any of my Land Rovers ... Laughing ... these are two of my prized Land Rover accessories ...

Pixie Steps ...... by the grace of Yoda, 's 900 year wisedom - he imparted this knowledge in Ste. Foy in the year 2007





.. and my prized "Anti-Intemperate Belgian & Italian Drivers Road Enforcement Device."





mountainaddict .... do ask Santa Claus for a really good set of chains - you may not need them often, but when you do, they need to work
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just spotted this thread on my return from NE England, also for a coupleof days at Weardale. I bought my Ice Blok chains thru Halfords Cambridge about two years ago (for Vauxhall Zafira, about £70), took them to the Alps 2 or 3 times but with the far superior snow clearance services there, never needed to use them, though fitted them a couple of times in the underground car park before being told the snow had stopped! My experiences with them for Weardale over the last two days were almost identical to mountainaddict's. The torpedo coupler on one pulled through in the same way on the second ascent. After fixing this it still came off twice, the second time getting crushed beyond repair, leaving us with just one chain for the descent on a snowy Saturday. The other is showing significant wear, again after only about 8 miles use on snow-covered roads. They are scrap as far as I'm concerned.

Does anyone have any good experiences of Maggi Trak chains? These are technically quite complicated, but claim to self-adjust automatically once put on - seen at http://www.roofbox.co.uk/snow-chains/ .
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yet another vote for Clack n Go. Fitted em 3 times no problems -self adjusting so you don't have to get them on perfectly aligned. Getting them off is harder than putting them on with my v.limited wheel arch clearance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Cheap chains are not worth it.

My cheap set are sitting in a bin somewhere in the Tarantaise valley. They got me out of the resort, but are not durable. Started snapping all over the place.

Will spend the money next time and probably never use them again.
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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?
Picked up a set of Ottinger chains off E-bay a couple of seasons back. Used a couple of days last week. Madeye-Smiley They seem a quality item . Well put together and fairly easy to fit.

ps, just googled them. good/recommended in loads of german tests. www.ottinger.de
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Wifey can do Klack and go in under a minute per wheel,they are that easy and also have a good demo on Youtube.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Cheap chains are not worth it.


+1 I think mine cost around 90 euros. 5 years, and quite a few uses ago.
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Original Poster reporting back!!

After taking into account all the responses I decided that I would Klack n Go.....However I was unable to find any UK online supplier with any in stock. In fact I struggled to find any online chains - ended up phoning just about all the main ones who come up when you Google "snowchains" to find they were all just about cleared out of all chains for the next 2 weeks until new stock arrived.

Anyway, a ski kit specialist firm called Edge2Edge came up trumps - I ended up with Thule TG 12 chains which arrived within 2 days. Tried them out at the weekend - easy to fit and brilliant results. I got up to the Weardale ski area easily in my trusty old Laguna + chains while 2 or 3 4x4s didn't (including a shiny new BMW X5 thingy NehNeh ).
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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 ve got Thuile. Very good mid price and clears Subaru wheel arch.
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