tyres, cars though. not bikes!

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  • tyres, cars though. not bikes!
  • Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Winter tyres wear significantly quicker when the temperature raises. Not an issue if it’s constantly below about 10 degrees, but once above that you’ll start to notice they wear a lot quicker. They also don’t grip as well on bone dry roads as summer tyres do, the extra grooves and sipes in the tread means the tread blocks move around a lot more (which also generates more heat) and grip drops.

    You might think that having a set of winter wheels/tyres and a set for summer is an excessive expense. But if you pick up a set of wheels 2nd hand cheaply on ebay, fit winter tyres to that set and use them from October til March, then move over to your summer tyres for the rest of the year, you’ll find you probably get 3-4 years out of each set of tyres, which will mean that ultimately the expense will be less (providing you keep the car long enough etc.). It’s well worth doing if you keep cars long enough anyway.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Tyre manufacturers say if you can benefit from M&S tyres, and can only have one set, then it’s best to have them year round. That’s exactly what I’d do, if I didn’t have the luxury of 2 sets.

    Some winter tyres wear very fast I gather, but not all… there’s only a small difference in wear between my snowproxes and my ventuses- pretty equivalent tyres on a heavy car driven by a lead-footed idiot. Lets say, oh, 10%, handwavily. My old icebears wore just a little faster, but still not terribly so (cheaper tyres, I suspect they were just not as well made tbh)

    The grip difference does exist, but, it’s at its biggest under perfect driving conditions where a difference in grip is least troublesome. As driving conditions get worse, the tyres get better, I’m happy with that- if you want to think of it as “average performance”, the benefit outweighs the loss by a big margin. I get an increase in noise and a marginal drop in economy though…

    But yep, I reckon it is still better to have 2 sets of wheels (and remember, though it’s an upfront cost, if you sell the car you can also sell the wheels and recover the investment). Probably more significant is that winter tyres work best when new, all those clever sipes etc fade faster than the rest of the tyre- doesn’t make them useless but does make them past their best. None of this is gamechanging but still worthwhile IMO.

    From a mountain biker’s point of view, when I did a summer on the icebears I loved the extra offroad grip (when I swapped cars and went with 2 sets of wheels, I forgot all about it and instantly got stuck in a ditch!). Muddy dirt roads, race parking in fields and everyday parking in verges and the like can all be handy. Towed a freelander out of a very muddy pitmedden once, with my focus, that was worth the price of admission alone!

    thanks for the input guys, i’m on ebay looking for winter wheels now… ah, the mind is racing with options 😀

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Aargh, I typed a massive essay and didn’t say the main bit… Everyone says “I can’t afford it”, I got my 4 (ugly) alloys and 4 nearly-new snowproxes (in an expensive size) for £110 delivered to my door. I could get by without winter tyres without much bother, but at that price, it’d make no sense. So, rather than just looking for cheap steelies, shop around for wheels with decent winter tyres, lots of folks have them. Oh and look up alternative fitments if you can be bothered, frinstance standard mondeo ones for mine were expensive, but (iirc) jaguar wheels were cheap and fitted.

    has anyone run winter tyres all year round?

    if so, how did you find them?

    i know it sounds a bit daft, but surely no dafter than running summer tyres all year round

    i’m aware that the performance of a winter tyre comes into it’s own under 7 degrees C, but are they a nightmare driving above 7 degrees? and for the record, i just drive like the “average joe”… but i have a RWD for the first time ever in 20 years of driving, car and if we have a repeat performance of last year’s winter, summer tyres are gonna be bad news!

    as for having a set of tyres (and wheels) for winter, well, that just seems a little excessive for my wallet tbf

    gotcha… thanks man

    fubar
    Member

    has anyone run winter tyres all year round?

    yes

    if so, how did you find them?

    fine, didn’t notice any issues and not significantly worn.

    I only did it out of laziness as they we were still seeing low temperatures (and snow ?) through to around April and then I didn’t drive much over the summer (Still a few thousand miles but not commuting every day). Temperatures are pretty low on average here and often wet where the tyres probably perform better than ‘summer’ tyres. Think mine are these http://www.blackcircles.com/tyres/brands/hankook/icept-evo-w310

    If I was driving every day then I’d have probably swapped them over through the summer.

    mikertroid
    Member

    Yes. Wear rate was no worse than normal.

    I’m going to go for All Season tyres when the next batch need replacing.

    I generally have a fairly powerful car parked on the drive (as in actually powerful, not just a diesel torque monster) and I’ve seen a significant difference in grip/confidence using the “wrong” tyres for the weather.

    Not sure how it translates to your average family hatchback, but it’s certainly been enough to pursuede me to have two sets of wheels, one with summer tyres and one with winter.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    What car have you got?

    Winter tyres wont drive as well as ‘normal’ tyres in the summer, mpg will be up, stopping distances will be longer.

    Depends how safe you want to be, and how much your cash is more important than your safety/other peoples safety.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    After seeing winter tyres in action in Finland last march, I am a convert.
    Bought a set of spare alloys, had them powdercoated and ready to fit this winter.

    The snow melted two days after this picture and prompted our glorious summer. I like to think my tyres were a talisman for the fine weather!

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    Depends how safe you want to be, and how much your cash is more important than your safety/other peoples safety.

    I left my Bridgestone winter tyres on all this year just to see how long they last and how they grip in warmer weather. I do 400+ miles a week and they’ve not worn a lot more than a normal tyre would and even in 30 degree heat they were grippier than a £25 a corner ditchfinder that plenty of people drive around on 😉

    Just off out for a drive now to put my own & other people’s safety at risk 😆

    stumpy01
    Member

    You can get all season tyres that are Jack of all trades.
    Might be worth a look as a compromise!?

    Edukator
    Member

    My new car has come with ContiEcoContacts (no doubt to get under a CO2 tax threshold). Compared with the Michelin Alpins on my previous car the grip under any conditions is worse, as in awful, lousy, including when the tarmac is too hot to walk barefoot on. I won’t be buying a set of wheels for the new Winter tyres, they can stay on all year.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Depends how safe you want to be, and how much your cash is more important than your safety/other peoples safety.

    Which is arguably a better line to tell someone who only has summer tyres 12 months a year imo.

    I went the separate winter and summer wheels route. The other thing to consider is that winter tyres really only work properly in proper winter conditions if they have a good bit of tread left – more than you would run a summer tyre down to. It would be a bit sad to have a set of winters, chew them up in the summer so they are not that effective in the winter. Ours are about to go into their 3rd winter and look good (we probably do less miles in the winter) and are on the second set of summers in the same time period. I’ll probably have used 3 sets of tyres in the same time I’d have used 3 sets in the old summer only days so apart from the extra alloys it’s not really been a cost.

    wrightyson
    Member

    Winter tyres are as useful as the tool infront of you who gets stuck and closes the road…..

    Edukator
    Member

    If the tool in front of you has Winter tyres and you don’t then you’re in trouble if he applies the brakes and you haven’t assumed he’s capable of stopping in half the distance you can. Downhill the difference in stopping distances you read in the tests is amplified. On my local hill it’s sometimes impossible to stop on Summer tyres but a controlled descent is possible on Winter tyres. The Gendarmes stop everyone and those without Winter tyres, chains or socks have to turn back.

    Edit: I’ve used Winter tyres down to just over 3mm and they were fine. It’s the compound and sipes that are important on ice.

    tinybits
    Member

    Funkyduncs sort of right, but a decent set of winters is as good as a poor set of summers. And when it rains they are a whole lot better. So far I think the op gets the picture…

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    I look forward to driving though Harrogate in my little Audi A2 with winter tyres on, while all the eejits with auto BMW’s and fat summer tyres can move no more than a few inches.

    wrightyson
    Member

    However Edukator 8/10 in front of you don’t have winter tyres, and done know how to drive in “wintry” weather. My van is a pile of shit in the snow but I’ve still managed to make it home. However I was born in deepest Derbyshire in a hint village and was driving my dads car in the snow from probably age 10. I see some folk around not so deepest Derbyshire now, who at the first sign of a snowflake bottle it and drive everywhere at 5mph. I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to get the mrs out of this habit..,,

    Edukator
    Member

    No amount of driving ability improves the coefficient of friction. Modern cars have ABS so anyone who can hit the brakes and press the clutch down can stop as well as you – better if they have Winter tyres and you don’t.

    rickt
    Member

    I could type for hours on this subject…

    In summary.. A decent premium brand winter tyre will out perform a cheaper summer tyre above 7’c.

    Wear rate is not a massive issue on more premium tyres now.

    Once you run winter tyres you won’t look back, I ruin them on both cars mounted to their own set of wheels, currently running Michelin alpins and Dunlop winter sport 3ds.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Ive ran all season tyres on my mondeo with great results all yr round. Fit and forget. Better to have 4 all season tyres with a bias towards snow than two winter tyres on the front and normal ones on the back.

    wrightyson
    Member

    I totally agree Edukator but hardly anyone fits them. Only folk who lurk on places like this seem to see the light through the advice of others. The car is due two new fronts but I’m not sure what to put on as I’ve no room for a “spare set” and when it snows it genuinely doesn’t get moved.

    Winter tyres have significantly less grip in summer and vica versa. The rubber compounds are different. I’m sure you’d get away with it but whats the point? So you’re going to choose to run your cars on a tyre that is only needed for 5% of the year? Why not run summer tyres all year round like the vast majority of us have done forever?

    My brother lived in Norway for a while and there, come November the temperature drops and stays low till march – winter tyres are a no-brainer. in the UK we have a far more temperate climate where, even through the winter the temperature is variable so you have warm days and cold days. Summer tyres are perfectly fine if you adjust your driving to suit the conditions (a concept that seems lost on most of british drivers on the road – just look at the recent 100+ car pile up as an example). Winter tyres make much more sense if you live in a country that has proper winters, or if you live in a part of the country where the extra grip of winter tyres is useful on those cold winter days, but for most of us summer tyres are perfectly fine when coupled with sensible driving.

    Edukator
    Member

    There are a vast range of compounds of Summer tyres. The hardness is often given on the side wall. Manufacturers trade off dry grip, wet grip, wear and fuel economy on Summer tyres. With more and more cars being fitted with tyres that are hard and inflexible to optimise wear and fuel economy I can assure you that Winter tyres offer comparable grip with much more forgiving characteristics.

    trail_rat
    Member

    I find that by not driving like a clown in summer i dont ever find the limits of my winter tires.

    Drove to the alps and back on them too. They didnt wear significantly.

    But thats the most miles ive done in 1 year in the van i think – the van also sticks to the main roads in winter.

    Never got stuck by the tool infront yet. Have had to drive in the ditch to get round folk trying to negotiate the back roads in a foot of snow in a clio and have had to get out and dig and pull car out the way. Was an eye opener moving up here tbh – back home on the coast we never got more than a couple of inches snow for more than a couple of days- up here its measured in feet and weeks :/

    trail_rat
    Member

    And yes wrightyson i agree , my dad wont put winter tires on his van. Regularly gets it stuck or has to turn round and go home in winter. Doesnt believe winter tires make that much diference.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Mark your winter tyres wont stop your car as quick as summer tyres will, in summer conditions, the same winter tyres in winter.

    Ive got Pirreli P7’s on our cars, wouldn’t out them on a sports car, but for avg driving they are great, plus they are quite incredible in snow.

    trail_rat
    Member

    How ever will the winter tires actually stop you in summer ? Not uncommon to watch folks on summer tires not stop in winter 😉

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    I’v kept my winters on all year (they have previously done 2 winters) and there appears to be very little difference in either grip, fuel consumption or wear compared to summer tyres. They have also been a bonus on the occasional wet country track and muddy campsite.

    I’m going to swap front and rear before this winter to keep the largest tread on the front and depending on how much is left come spring, they will either be swapped for ‘summers’ and kept for another winter or just used until they die.

    For me they are essential, as I have a big hill to negotiate to get to and from work, which would not be possible without them, especially as my car, Saab9-5 auto, is very bad in snow.

    Edukator
    Member

    A quality sporting tyre such as the P7 will stop you shorter than a new Winter tyre in Summer, wet or dry, Funkydunk. However, even if you find the P7s “incredible in the snow” they will only have 1/3 the traction a Winter tyre will offer according to ADAC.

    Also according to ADAC, leaving worn (4mm) Winter tyres on in Summer will give you wet stopping distances very close to new Summer tyres and better than new “all-season” tyres.

    As for “energy savers”, they get poor marks for wet braking in ADAC tests but I haven’t seen any stopping distances published so I have to go on my own verdict which is “lousy” all year round.

    I can’t link anything from ADAC at present as their site isn’t responding.

    A winter tyre in summer has a tad less grip in summer, but a summer tyre in winter has lots less grip. If it’s one tyre all year then all-season or winters are the sensible choice.

    We run Kleber Quadraxers all year, quite unique as they are a four season/all-season tyre but still qualify for the winter snow flake. My wife has done over 40k on hers over two years before replacing the fronts, rear ones still have their winter sipes.

    Handling is a little more ‘rubbery’ compared to the standard rubber, but it’s quite a hard ride anyway so you could say it’s an improvement.

    If I lived somewhere where winter was actually cold I would invest in a set of winter tires for sure, they really do make a difference. However I live in the south of the UK so for the 2 days a year it might be snowy just don’t go out in the car.

    Winter tyres had nothing to do with tread pattern. It’s a tyre compound that works within a certain temp range. Using them in summer means the tyres will not be working at their optimum temp so will not perform as well as a summer tyre. That is a simple fact. That’s not to say you will die if on winter tyres, but to suggest winter tyres are as good as summer tyres in the summer is just wrong. Use them if you want, but don’t kid yourself that they’re as grippy, as long lasting or as robust.

    trail_rat
    Member

    But if you dont drive like a cock then winters in summer will be fine.

    How ever its very easy to come a cropper in winter even at slow speeds hence if i could only have one set itll be winters.

    I am how ever in the north east of scotland

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Conti Winter Contacts on mine. Run all year round.
    Easily got 50,000km on mine so far, compared to about 20,000km per set of Pirelli P6000’s summer tyres. Will swap them this winter probably, cos they did start to struggle on the steep icy hairpins in the Dolomites last winter.

    Maybe a bit noisier on the autobahn, especially when wet. Significantly more usable on icy and snowy roads.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    wobbliscott – Member

    Winter tyres have significantly less grip in summer and vica versa. The rubber compounds are different. I’m sure you’d get away with it but whats the point? So you’re going to choose to run your cars on a tyre that is only needed for 5% of the year?

    5%? The last time I drove in snow and ice was April, in Wales. And last year I think the first time I drove in snow and ice was November. And of course, it doesn’t have to be snow and ice, those winter tyres were functioning better in low temperature weight conditions for much of that period.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Said this a few times on here- there are some ‘best of both worlds’ tyres out there.
    We run Hankook Optimo 4season tyres – great in snow and ice, and really noticeably good on cold/nearly frosty typical Highland winter day, but have worked year round. Just replaced a front set on the Touran after 1year/25,000miles. Other brand 4season tyres are available.
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/tyre-guides/45314/hankook-optimo-4s
    On the Yaris, I also run winter tyres all year round, and so far have not replaced them after 3.5years and 20,000mls.
    We do live in Scotland, have been in proper Highlands on untreated or ploughed roads for the last 4.5 years. It was a revelation after first winter to put winter tyres on the cars.

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    but to suggest winter tyres are as good as summer tyres in the summer is just wrong.

    Not in all cases. A premium brand winter tyre has much better grip than crappy budget tyre in pretty much any conditions.

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