Cold weather sets in, and the question arises for drivers: which winter tyres to choose? If you’re not under budget constraints, it’s best to get a new rubber that will perform flawlessly for several seasons. If you want to save money, you can pick up used tyres for 1-2 seasons. However, in the latter case, you need to look at the state of the tread carefully.
What types of tyres are there?
Metal “teeth” bite into hard ice or tightly packed snow, improving grip. So, you keep driving in extreme situations. However, even the best-studded winter tyres lose their advantage on asphalt. They are inferior to Velcro in stopping distance and manoeuvrability and are also noisier. Also, the risk of losing some of the studs on uneven surfaces is very high. Please note – it is forbidden to install studded tyres on only one axle. Also, you cannot combine summer tyres with winter ones.
But the difference in tread patterns is not regulated by law. You can choose different rubber models for each wheel separately, but you should expect a deterioration in handling in this case.
These models answer the question of which winter tyres are best for a relatively mild climate. The particular chemical composition allows them to remain elastic in the most severe frosts. They adhere excellently to asphalt, loose snow, gravel and dirt, also called “friction”. Such rubber is very quiet and reliable. However, on smooth ice and frozen snow, she will be almost helpless.
Besides, you need to follow the recommendations for its proper storage in the summer. Tyres on disks are stored inflated in stacks of no more than four wheels or suspended. Tyres without discs are stacked on a rack and rotated 45 ° every two weeks.
Some drivers think the best winter tyres are all-season tyres. In part, they are right – such rubber does not need to be changed with significant temperature changes; it wears out evenly at any time of the year. But its main advantage is its versatility. In the warm season, all-season tyres behave worse than summer tyres, and in the cold season, they are inferior to winter tyres in most parameters.
The best winter tyres of 2020 for temperate climates are characterised by directional tread pattern, an abundance of thin sipes and reinforced blocks along the edges. Their primary purpose is to drain excess water during thaws and to maintain vehicle stability on clean asphalt.
They are ideal for most cars that rarely leave public roads. These tyres last longer due to their rigidity. But you need to remember that rubber has a shelf life – if used correctly, it does not exceed five years from the date of issue indicated on the sidewall, among other indices.
For harsh climates, it is better to choose studless winter tyres with a sparse tread pattern consisting of many square or rectangular blocks. Another feature is soft rubber, which deforms relatively easily during acceleration and deceleration. Such tyres improve traction on ice and increase cross-country ability in a deep layer of loose snow. You should choose them for SUVs and crossovers, which are often used in adverse conditions.
Looking closely at the tyre’s sidewall, you will see many designations, among which the dimensions stand out. Usually, they are indicated in the largest font and are highlighted with a contrasting shade, so you cannot miss them.
Physical dimensions are shown in XXX / YY R ZZ format, where XXX is the tread width in millimetres, YY is the profile height as a percentage of the width, and ZZ is the rim diameter in inches. For example, 195/65 R15. Knowing which winter studded tyres to choose makes it worth checking the car’s manual – serious deviations will affect the car’s handling and safety. However, we will explain what these parameters mean.
The wide tread improves grip on rough surfaces by providing a larger contact patch. But the same feature makes it “float” on smooth ice, causing drifts.
Attention: it doesn’t matter what kind of car you have, what matters is the tyre. Equip your vehicle with the correct tyres; be it commercial light truck tyres, SUV tyres, etc.
The high profile of the wheel increases the level of comfort through better shock absorption but reduces stability. The low profile allows the machine to take turns with confidence at high speeds but has less shock absorption.