Tyres - a headache!

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MULLEY
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by MULLEY »

The 25 degrees i believe is the ambient air temperature, not tyre temperature. It's no wonder that the rating system for winter tyres makes them look shite especially in the rain, when in actual fact they are far superior when the ambient air temperature is below 7 degrees in the wet compared to summer tyres. There was a load of vids on youtube, i'll have a look for some & post up some links to demonstrate the benefits of fitting winter rubber even if there isn't a snowflake in sight :)
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

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Here you go: " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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MULLEY
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by MULLEY »

This should help with deciding whether to fit 2 or 4 winter tyres to your car: " onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2002 C5 2.0 HDI Estate - Jasmine - Now SORN
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1992 TXD - Scrapped in March 2014
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Thread Bear
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Thread Bear »

To be split hairs - Are there not the choice of 'Muck and Shit' tyres (What happened to Town and Country?) or full Snow tyres, great for Scandinavians (Scots, Welsh?). I have a set of snow tyres for my Goggomobil but have never used them as it working and snow have never managed to coincide. The Goggo hails from Bavaria, and many sold down there, so its not surprising many Goggos came with a spare set of snow tyres, often on spare rims. The Germans actually enact the use of these in poor conditions. Perhaps Snow tyres is going a bit far for central Britain? M&S would be a choice though.
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by mat_fenwick »

As I understand it, there's the following categories although there may be more and like many things, boundaries can get blurred:
  • Summer tyres
    All season tyres
    M+S tyres
    Winter tyres (with snowflake)
    Snow tyres (studded)
Winter tyres aren't just for the snow, as one of the video shows. M+S just means a more chunky tread pattern, and doesn't necessarily say anything about the rubber compound and suitability for cold weather. At a guess, I'd say M+S tyres would work most effectively in wet virgin snow, although whether they'd be better than winter tyres is another matter. (Speculation based on braking performance in my winter tyred Focus versus the Discovery, which has chunky tread but not winter tyres. Obviously vehicle weight is also a factor).

All seasons would probably be best for the UK typical climate although arguably for optimum safety in the grip/lifespan trade-off, winter tyres would probably be best all year round. Might get a bit squirmy on a hot summer's day but ultimate levels of grip are much higher then anyway. Some people categorise M+S and all season tyres as the same, some don't. Who knows? Who cares? ;)
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by BX Bandit »

That' such a cavalier attitude young man! :mrgreen:
Interesting vids Mulley, I err, currently have two winters on the front and err summers on the rear :oops: now you've made me embarrassed! :wink:
I would of thought though, that with no snow, two winters is better than no winters?
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by mat_fenwick »

Personally, I think that if you drive as you would with 4 summer tyres (and just rely on the winter tyres for extra traction rather than braking) even in the snow I'd prefer having winter tyres on the drive wheels than 4 summer tyres. The danger of the rear wheels locking too early under braking, as seen on some of the 'Two winter tyres = bad' videos should be stopped by an ABS system. Likewise, in the rain - drive to the limits of the weakest link and I don't see a problem. But the danger is you get over confident with the grip available at the front, and drive differently, or you get into an emergency situation where you have to perform a violent manoeuvre.

Lana had just two winter tyres last year, and was fine in the snow (and the rain) as she drove accordingly. But she was caught out by a patch of ice, which made the car oversteer heavily. She span it across the road and scuffed a fence - fortunately there was nobody coming the opposite way and that there was no more damage.
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Thread Bear »

The 'snow' tyres I have had are not studded, though some have holes for studs. Anyway quite whatever their terminology they are not much cop in above freezing conditions as they are a soft compound and do not last long. These are really meant for places they probably do not bother with treating the roads but clear the drifts and leave you to get on with it. That is extreme weather for us Brits, though with cut backs and a bad winter in the hills.....

Its all interesting stuff. What I would like is a tow/winter weather vehicle because I now live far enough out of town to warrant one and can probably afford one instead of the van. So the BX becomes tucked up in bad conditions, lucky old devil. But there is always the unexpected, like Cricceth, so you can never be 100% right.
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Tinkley »

That's why I have a set of snow chains in the car in winter!. Round here (N Hants Surrey border) there was half a meter of snow in 2010. Partner had to be at work a day later. Took council 8 days to clear road, 4 wheel drive or snow chains were the only options, C4 got its chains put on. The only time I have witnessed trees breaking branches or collapsing from the pure weight of snow. It was worse than where I lived in '63.

With the hills round here there is no option, not even studded snow tyres would grip on the slopes. Having also been skiing in the French Alps you need the chains there as a massive blizzard will cover the road and at -20° C it is not likely to melt... :lol:

Strange how there were so many abandoned Mercs and Beemers and Audis.... fine German machines not suited to a bit of white stuff... :lol:

Can't afford special tyres just for winter so it is the summer/all round ones and just drive inside the limits. Fresh snow gives some grip but once it's polished, it's a skid pan. Many a time I've got my bike home in bad snow when cars have been off the road, turned upside down, smashed into trees etc, least you can brake with your feet!.... :D

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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Defender110 »

Tinkley wrote:. Many a time I've got my bike home in bad snow when cars have been off the road, turned upside down, smashed into trees etc, least you can brake with your feet!.... :D
Push bike or motorbike?

Can anybody give advice on pushbikes and moped / motorbikes in the snow, how suitable are they for snow travelling?
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by electrokid »

The 25 degrees i believe is the ambient air temperature, not tyre temperature.
Probably far too many variables for the tests to have any real meaning then. A valver is capable of putting much more heat onto its tyres than my 1.9 n/a diesel so the point where winter-tyres-in-summer problems arise would depend on how much extra heat is generated - so it's both vehicle and driving style dependent. And there will be the more obvious differences between tread patterns and tyre composition as well.

I fitted a set of Vredestein Snowtrac 3 on fully refurbished wheels in (IIRC) 2009 and they've not been off the car since then. Only on one occasion I lost grip - it was a hot summer day and I drove over a wet surface - probably a water main leak - so there were hot snow tyres on a wet road surface where there was probably some dust / mud in the mix because there had been no recent rain to wash the road surface clean. The MOT tester used to note "snow tyres fitted" as an advisory (the MOT is in May) but even he has given up bothering to do that :lol:

Overall I get excellent levels of grip and, I'm sure partly because the BX suspension is so good and looks after the tyres well, I haven't noticed any excess wear related to the softer composition. Very pleasant to drive on - not noticed any "squirmy" in summer: brilliant on snow as you'd expect but much more improvement in directional control than in braking - I think that's pretty normal but it seems that the difference just feels that much more exaggerated and can take you by surprise if you're not ready for it.

Didn't get to see the videos - there is a particular build of WinXP that crashes if you try to run flash - and muggins here happens to have that build of XP :-x

I think whatever the tyre choice I wouldn't have anything but the same make and type all round and preferably similar, or at least sufficient, tread depth. The other set of wheels have Michelins on and the fronts wear faster than the rears of course in which case it's preferably time to replace the fronts when the tread gets down to around 4mm and not wait until it gets to the legal minimum. You start to lose grip more significantly when it gets below 4mm.
Strange how there were so many abandoned Mercs and Beemers and Audis.... fine German machines not suited to a bit of white stuff...
And MK2 Granadas (also German built) :lol: all the horsepower at the lighter end and all the brakes at the other rnd - excellent in the dry but only suitable for driving in a straight line in snow :lol:
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Tinkley »

I don't actually recommend motorcycling in snow but if you ride all year round at some point you will be on snow. It is only possible to ride in fresh snow, anything else and you WILL fall off. Use feet for brakes and take it very easy, slip clutch a little sometimes to get away and change up early. Key thing is to keep feet almost on ground to correct any tipping and for braking as the real brakes work but lock the tyres so they just slide. Usually I have only ridden in this stuff when caught out at work ie in London with 26-50 miles to get home, it is a slow long trip. Powder snow blows off visor, the wet stuff sticks and is a pain to keep wiping off. TBH it is the ice conditions that are worst, you soon become 'expert' at reading a wet or frozen surface from looks, feel through the steering and rear wheel. Note that in v cold conditions fly overs and bridges will be that 1 or 2°C colder and they are the worst for catching you out. Maybe I've been lucky but I have only fallen off once down to ice and there were over 10 cars that went off at the same (slow speed) bend in the next 20 minutes. :lol:


There are actually studded snow tyres made for bikes, Dave Minton (DLM) did a trip into the Arctic Circle in Norway in winter on a BMW (I think) and wrote a very interesting article on how the light and reflections in complete darkness mesmerise one brain and how he got seriously fast, 70-80mph on sheet snow roads...

Cheers ElectroKid, I agree with the Michelin though I would put the Michelin clearance at 3mm when they start to loose their water clearing properties to your detriment. Only a mm but a few thousand more miles hehe, and my 1.4 definitely aquaplaned with legal tyres!. About 2.5mm. Not had a problem at 3mm with the 1.6.

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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by Thread Bear »

I think tyre development has moved ahead greatly on the 'cold' weather tyres in my lifetime. The old snow tyres had variations on a block tread, often quite crude. This is what I inherited. Secondly it was old rubber, so not greatly to be trusted. But when your skint you use what you have. They were pretty good in the mud and we did 'Go Buy Goggo', The Ridgeway. Well most of it. Took 5 tyres on my car, one terminal puncture due to getting tangled in discarded barbed wire. All very naughty now but in those days no great concern. Surprisingly capable little cars, Goggos.

There is very much skill and practice in winter driving. I claim no great, skill as I live in about the least snowy place inland. But I had a visitor over from Michigan, USA where they have snow down for a good proportion of the year. He was happily collecting small cars he had bought on eBay during the snow we had the other year. Did not stop him at all. This in a rental VW LT LWB. I was very impressed by his total confidence in getting through, including traversing a closed and 'blocked' motorway. The Police did not chase him claiming it was impossible to drive safely, I suspect, and assuming they would collect him stuck somewhere, so he got away with it. Seen them do this on TV 'Police, Camera, Action.' type progs. Makes sense, why should the put themselves in danger? I would not have done the same. But there was i walking to the shops and automotively house bound while he covered some 1,200 miles in this country before calmly pointing himself toward Germany to do the same thing over there.

Brings out my right wing credentials on Driving Licences. Still believe just qualified, not under instruction, drivers should be restricted to marked 1,000cc car for two years and there should be an advanced test to qualify for powerful cars. This gives a three tear system. Shear costs of ownership used to do this for most people. It forces drivers to understand there are vehicles about that have not got humongous amounts of power etc. Perhaps when they achieve the status of being able to have the power they might have the responsibility to use it. Missdomeeners can be dealt with be a retraction of privileges and a bust back to the ranks. Snow driving could be included, however the weather does not comply with the law, so I have no idea how you pull that one off. But idiots doing the school run in wide low profile shod 4 x 4 'My kid is safe but a ran over three to achieve it' Tonkas Toys should be chucked off the road. I live surrounded by schools and its bedlam at the best of times. Add snow and I hide round the back. I cannot watch! Not just the ladies either!!!
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MULLEY
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by MULLEY »

Confidence & skill is a real bonus when driving in the Winter, even with winter tyres you can still have an accident if you don't know what you're doing. On my commute i regularly do a brake test so that i can feel the grip levels, its quite hard to tell during daylight what the road conditions are doing, let alone at night when its snowing. The lack of grip of summer tyres is often hilarious, you've got to remember that the vast majority of people won't be drinving on brand new 7-8mm summer tyres, so with even less tread they are practically useless. Most people can't even get their car to move on a flat road, now thats a lack of grip.

Ultimately those people who say they don't need them have never driven a car on winter tyres, because if they had, they wouldn't come out with the usual comments which frankly are bolloxs. I'd rather be safe & spend some money on an extra set of tyres, i value my life & the occupants more highly than saving £250 for a set of tyres for the BX. That doesn't sound all that expensive for a safety feature in my book.
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Re: Tyres - a headache!

Post by electrokid »

But I had a visitor over from Michigan, USA where they have snow down for a good proportion of the year.
I used to chat at length by email with a guy from Wisconsin - he explained that they had 4 seasons just like everyone else - but they had different names... 'nearly winter', 'winter', 'still winter', and 'road construction' :lol:
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