Winter or All Season Tyres?

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  • Winter or All Season Tyres?
  • The motor needs some new boots on and I was thinking of getting some winter tyres put on but the garage I use are recommending something like Vredestein Quatrac Pro’s or Pirelli Scorpion Verde saying they are nearly as good in snow, but you can leave them on all year.

    Tyre life is also meant to be very good.

    Has anyone any experience of either of these?

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    If you live south of Perth and north of Paris then Michelin CrossClimates all year round.

    phil5556
    Member

    Never used all seasons but I wouldn’t run full winters in the summer. We have 2 sets of wheels and swap them over in November ish and back in March ish.

    Luckily have space to store them and got them cheap so no more expensive in the long run.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    We have Scorpion Verdes on our Kuga.  Make sure they are the “All Season”, without that the other version is older and and not as good.   It’s not a winter tyre, and is average in snow so I wouldn’t buy it for that reason.  IMO it provides a bit of extra surety on cold wet days and a little extra grip getting off a wet grass muddy bike event car park.  It has many sipes and lasts a long time and I’m guessing that’s the issue – the compound is likely compromised for true winter use.

    couchy
    Member

    I swap to winters some time in October and back again about March. Not supposed to use them above 10c but they’ve been fine on the warm days we occasionally get. They are on my 250hp RWD bus which has no TC and are amazing in the snow, takes a proper effort to spin them up 😀

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Last 4 sets have been all seasons, the compromise of a 4 season or even winter in summer is smaller than the compromise of a summer tyre in the cold and wet.

    If you have the ability to swap, then of course the right tool for the job is even better, but we don’t all have the luxury

    Cross climate ftw, and swap so the better grip is on the rear.

    scotroutes
    Member

    Full Winters.

    All year.

    North of Perth.

    regenesis
    Member

    Really does depend on where you are and what you want them for.
    I run 2 sets because I have to be able to get somewhere unless its the end of the world.
    Moved from Sottozero’s purely because they wouldn’t fit the new smaller car

    The eternally damp west of Scotland, cross climates are brilliant.

    Premier Icon P20
    Subscriber

    We swap between full winters and summers with two sets of wheels. Cross Climates are a good all season, we use them at work. I wouldn’t use winters all year though.

    piemonster
    Member

    What about “in the vicinity of Perth, often north of it, occasionally 500 miles south of it with frequent driving on those roads through the Ochils, including the wiggly untreated ones”?

    Any Michelin Agilis Cross Climate users care to comment on road noise levels?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    If you’ve got space then winters and normal tyres is still the best option imo. Especially since it’s so easy to pick up used wheels and tyres- people usually sell their winter wheels seperately when they sell a car.

    But the allseasons have got really good. We have crossclimates on the work car and while they’re definitely not as good as my wintersports, or my old icebears, they do make a massive difference in bad weather and they have a lot of the same benefits in cold-wet-but-not-freezing conditions which you see a lot more of than actual outright snow and ice.

    (one thing that seems pretty different is mud, winters do vary on this but I got the work car absolutely stuck on soft ground, and was able to pull it out with my own car then drive the same bit that had glued the work car up. Pretty useful for mountain biking I’ve found, there’s no feeling quite like towing a landrover out of a field with a focus)

    Premier Icon beinbhan
    Subscriber

    I’ve been running Vredestein Quatrac 5 all seasons for a couple of years. Find them good in all conditions and not particularly noisy. I live in Perth so get all sorts of road conditions. Quite often out at 0530 on winter mornings on untreated roads and never been stuck or felt like I had no grip.

    jimw
    Member

    and swap so the better grip is on the rear

    The advice from most people is to have the best grip on the front whether fwd or rwd as it is safer to have best braking and turning effect on steering axle

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    jimw

    Member

    The advice from most people is to have the best grip on the front whether fwd or rwd as it is safer to have best braking and turning effect on steering axle

    I don’t think that it’s correct that most people recommend this. Tyre companies don’t, IIRC. But it’s how I used to do it with 2 winter tyres up front and 2 sensible allrounders on the back, and for me it worked great. People say “more grip on the back is better because understeer is safer” and that’s sort of true but it’s not a straight swap, more grip on the front can mean you don’t lose traction at all, rather than going from under to oversteer. If it’s a direct choice on a fwd car then of course you want understeer but you’d rather have neither.

    The problem with doing it with winters is that if you drive to the capability of the front tyres, you’re going to bin it sooner or later, and I reckon that’s a really easy trap to fall into. If you see it as raising the capability of the car a bit, and driving to that capability, then it’s better than 4 normal tyres ime. Especially since I’ve only done it on Fords with weak back brakes. But I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone else, I can only say it worked for me.

    Now I have 4 winters and 4 normal tyres and that’s as far as I’m concerned the best of all worlds.

    (one thing that seems pretty different is mud,

    The SUV version of Crossclimates are M+S rated as well as the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake.

    I’ve taken my Outlander through a few muddy fields and building sites and they’ve been much better than the original summer tyres

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    The advice from most people is to have the best grip on the front whether fwd or rwd as it is safer to have best braking and turning effect on steering axle

    I was one of those most people, but it turns out most people are wrong. As above, if the rear gives up before the front then most people won’t be able to deal with it; other way round and you might have a chance.

    Obviously if it’s snow or ice you can’t just drive like a tit because you have all season tyres!

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    Theres a video on you tube of someone on snow with winters on the front and summers on the back. Undriveable on snow as the back just comes round.

    jimw
    Member

    I can see the point about oversteer Vs understeer, seems I’m out of date on this one.I would never put winters on the front or rear axle only
    Having 4wd and winter tyres and that I drive very warily in poor conditions and I have had skid pan training perhaps I have got complacent.. thought provoking, might look into a refresher course

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    csb

    Subscriber

    Theres a video on you tube of someone on snow with winters on the front and summers on the back. Undriveable on snow as the back just comes round.

    If it’s the same video I’ve seen, they’re intentionally provoking it to explain the point more clearly. It isn’t undriveable at all- in fact, the rear end obviously performs exactly the same whether you have winter tyres or normal tyres on the back. The problem is that with more grip at the front, it’s way easier to get to the point where the rear lets go.

    But like I say it’s all about the gap after the front tyres would have let go but now don’t, but before the rear tyres let go. And on my cars that was a pretty healthy margin, as long as you have the sense and self control to stay in it.

    Vader
    Member

    Like Scotroutes I am north of Perth and run winter’s all year round. In fact I have done for the last ten years or so. Annual mileage in that time has varied from circa 25k to currently about 8k, ive easily got at least 25k out of a pair and mpg has varied but normally matches or is just below the summer tyre averages. IME they are quieter than summer’s but it depends on the tyre.

    Im sold on them and can’t see me changing unless I lived in the south of england, in which case i’d switch to all season. But do the research, there are good tyres and bad tyres, eg winters that are very very poor in non winter conditions, and all seasons that are less good than either summer or winter tyres in either condition.

    As far as running winters on the front axle and not the other, ive done it and wouldn’t recommend it. Youll not get stuck in snow but you’ll spin the car very easily and once you’ve done that, youll soil yourself in snow and ice conditions going down hill. But it does take the sting out of buying four tyres at once.

    My new motor has just been fitted with a new set of winter contacts so as someone mentioned earlier, I’m now selling the old alloys and winter tyres.

    We run Vredestein all- seasons on the van (Trannie) and the car (RAV4) right the way through the year. I work as an outdoor instructor, so tend to be driving about on some lairy surfaces and have never had a problem.

    bsims
    Member

    As already mentioned it is easier to control a front wheel skid than rear wheel skid so grippiest tyres go on the back. I wouldnt think mixing All season/ Winter/ Summer tyres is a good idea in winter due to considerable variation in grip during certain conditions – by the time you’ve realised the less grippy end is sliding it will be bouncing off the hedge/ on the wrong side of the road.

    We have Winter/ Summer on one car and all seaon on the other*. The only advantage in Central England of the winter over all season is in the slush, the Winters are considerably better. In snow they are better and on cold damp tarmac I can’t tell any difference. If I got though tyres quickly I would just put All seasons tyres on both cars.

    * On Mrs Sims car with all season I bought 4 Cross Climates last October and have run the reaminaing two Summer tyres on the front this summer and will continue to do so between April and October untill they wear out. Then stick with the Cross Climates, they’re as grippy in summer the Pirelli P7 Cinturatos.

    Edit:
    The Bridgestone LM 35s with a banded design were much much better on cold tarmac and much more stable at speed than the current Conti TS860s which feel squirmy when the temp goes above 7 degrees. I feel like I want to take them off in spring whereas the Bridgestones felt like I could have left on all year.

    hodgynd
    Member

    Funnily enough ..I’ve got some Vredestein Quartrac pro’s on order ..being delivered to my local tyre fitter ( currently in transit) ..
    This is for a 20″ wheel ..bought them online through Oponeo ..£316.00 for the pair..which I was well happy with ..
    I’ve never used them before ..so cant offer a verdict ..but have Michelin Crossclimate’s on the other car which I cant fault..

    hodgynd
    Member

    Bsims..Just seen your comment about mixing tyres ..I’ve got crossclimates on the front and Maxxis Victra’s on the rear of my front wheel drive car ..which I had through last winter ( in snowy conditions ) ..
    They never flickered ..

    bsims
    Member

    @ hodgynd – I will recind my comment, for some combinations at least. I found having LM 35s (3mm) on the front and the TS860s (new) on the back was sh!t scary in wet weather on the twisty duel carriageway home. There are often streams of water running across it and when I hit them the rear would twitch and move around.

    Edit: I suppose that having good all season tyres like Michelins will narrow the gap. Having some winters on the front and summers on the back will be entertaining if you are lucky!!

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Another Perth dweller here. I’m just considering putting full winters on Mrs OTS’ zoé. We live at the top of a steep hill that isn’t always gritted, so I’m considering them over all seasons.

    I’ve run winter/summer tyres on most of our cars over the last 10yrs in sunny Aberdeenshire and can state the following:

    Winter tyres seem to wear excessively if left on during summer.

    You never seem to change them at the right time but always get a cold snap or a heatwave immediately after putting summer or winter tyres on.

    CHanging is a PITA even though I can do a car in 15 minutes with trolley jack and cordless impact driver.

    Brand new OEM steel wheels start corroding about five minutes after fitting.

    The winter wheels often muck up your pressure monitoring system or similar.

    When you change cars you often end up with a spare set of wheels for that car that you then have to stick on eBay/Gumtree or leave in the shed. (Miraculously though, my Volvo S80 alloys with winter tyres fitted exactly on our new Ford Galaxy)

    TBH the number of times I’ve really been glad to have had winter tyres on I could count on one hand – but maybe that’s coz I’m comfortable driving in wintry conditions.

    I used some Nokian WeatherProofs and they were great. All year round. Will probably use them on both vehicles once the existing tyres are used up.

    Premier Icon Mugboo
    Subscriber

    I ran my T4 for one winter with snow tyre on the front and it was mostly ok apart from inching down my icy street where the back end wouldn’t stay in line. On actual snow I didn’t notice a problem but safe to say I added a pair on the rear the following winter.

    bsims
    Member

    @ Mugboo – I guess if you are sensible you will have a very different experience than if you arn’t. Also I think the issue will arise when you performe a violent manouver in a high strees situation. I have found that tyres let go suddenly in the snow and a heavier vehicle takes longer to reach that point.

    @ namastebuzz – How did your summer tyres wear in winter? I found taking measure ments that over 10K using just summer tyres they would wear approx 1mm in the warmest 6 months and 2mm in the coldest. Now using summer/ winter they wear about 1 mm each. The winters are on for less time so a higher wear reate but I would expect that as softer. The summer tyres from my unscientific research seem to wear more when harder.

    I think this might me because the summer tyres rely more on adhesion from the rubber compound and th winter because of the sipes ‘digging’ into the tarmac.

    Edit: experience most probably counts for a lot especially when being sensible, growing up in Cornwall and experienceing snow twice in 20 years then moving to Central England doesnt give enough time to practise developing nesicary skills.

    irc
    Member

    Autoexpress tests show good All Seasons getting 95-98% of winter tyre performance in snow. So I can’t see any argument for snow tyres for almost all conditions. I had the Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons on my fwd Octavia during the Beast from the East a few years ago. I was the only person who got their car out the estate. It was going through snow at bumper level on the flat.

    They were also far quiter than the OE summer Bridgestones and great in the wet. No more wheelslip pulling away from lights on wet roads.

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/accessories-tyres/92873/all-season-tyre-test-20182019-results-by-category

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/accessories-tyres/92869/goodyear-vector-4seasons-gen-2

    I’ll be putting a set on my Superb when the current tyres wear out. They are Continental Winter Contact TS815s. OK but not as good on snow as the Goodyears and no better anywhere else.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Continental Winter Contact TS860 (Winter Tyre) are supposed to be nearly as good as an all season all year round but superb in the winter. I can’t be arsed to change tyres so I leave my Hankook full winters on and drive accordingly in warmer weather. Wear is quite good, had them on a year and the fronts are down a little but the backs are barely touched. Next tyres will be all season with a snow bias.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    irc

    Member

    Autoexpress tests show good All Seasons getting 95-98% of winter tyre performance in snow. So I can’t see any argument for snow tyres for almost all conditions. I

    Snow isn’t all it’s about though. I’ve never seen allseasons come close to winters in ice testing and that’s harder to moderate when driving- you can always slow down in snow, you can’t really do that when you come round a corner and find sheet ice/refrozen slush laminate

    And it’s not all about winter, either. Sure a crossclimate isn’t drastically far off the day to day performance of my touranzas… But it costs 50% more for starters.

    (tbh historically the big difference has been in the “sub 6 degrees but not frozen” conditions that you drive in much more than outright horrible winter, but I’d definitely agree that crossclimates and maybe others have closed that gap)

    Vader
    Member

    Last two years in the alps, everyone in the village bar 4×4 was defeated by fresh snowfall on tarmac. Chains were the only way til snowplough cleared or snow packed down. That’s with full winter tyres.

    bsims
    Member

    Following on from Northwind’s comments. Winter tyres are brilliant on ice, you can feel what is going on and steer appropriately as well as still providing forwards traction. That’s not to say they will save you at any speed every time.

    I’ve not experienced ice with the Cross Climates yet.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    London dweller here, though holiday in cold/hilly places including at xmas

    Rear drive merc estate here, have cross climates on the rear, normal summers on the front. Waiting for me to need to change the fronts, will then put cross climates on there too. Only had a year with this set up, no snow or ice encountered so far!

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    As others have said, depends entirely on where you live. I drove in snow/ice twice this year, my crossclimates coped fine. It be be utterly stupid in my situation to have a dedicated set of winter wheels/tyres. For others, much further up north then it could make a lot of sense to have them.

    Premier Icon downshep
    Subscriber

    I’m west of Glasgow, with cool, often wet conditions, occasional frost and infrequent snow. My wife’s last car had summer tyres on alloys and winter tyres on steel wheels, changed every Oct / March. The difference is marked as conditions worsen. We found true winter tyres to be massively better on cold tarmac that has water, frost, snow or slush on it. They are slightly better on cold tarmac and slightly worse as things go above 10 degrees. It was a pain in the hoop to remove, clean and store a set of wheels in the loft so she has a 4×4 now.

    My own car is a fwd diesel estate. I changed the original P7 Cinturatos to Cross Climate+ and won’t be going back. They are better at everything except warm dry conditions, a rarity round here. They are slightly noisier than the P7s and are perhaps a marginally stiffer ride but the safety improvements, particularly in snow, more than compensate.

    I don’t understand why UK cars are fitted with summer tyres by default when all season tyres suit our maritime climate far better for much of the year. Why fit something designed to cope with a Greek summer then drive about on tarmac that needs occasional gritting for 4 months of the year? Horses for courses.

    Malvern area here.

    I have Falken Euroalls on the CRV. Previously had Bridgestone Dueller all seasons. Both have been fine. On the odd snowy day, just drive (within sensible limits etc), no sitting and spinning or messing about trying to dig out or babying it away from a standing start.

    No downsides during summer as far as I can tell – wear rate is close enough to not spot any difference and any loss in outright grip in the terrible heat of a baking British summer is far less of a concern than the extra grip on wet, cold and slippy stuff.

    I’ll not fit summers again.

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