Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts / vids

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Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts / vids

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:45 pm

ADD: This came up on a blog I like and thought it was a good place to start...
What are winter tyres?
Winter tyres exist because it’s unreasonable to expect a ‘summer’ tyre to deliver the same results from temperatures ranging from +30°C to -15°C. A winter tyre differs from a normal tyre in three simple ways – its tread compound, tread pattern and sipes. What sticks best to snow? Well, as every child who has ever built a snowman knows, the answer is more snow! Winter tyres use this simple scientific fact and work in the following ways:

1.Tread compound: At temperatures below 7°C the tread compound in a standard tyre begins to harden and lose grip. Winter tyres remain flexible and grippy at even the harshest temperatures thanks to a higher proportion of rubber content. The good people at Continental demonstrated this by placing a section of winter and standard tyres in a beer fridge. The difference was startling – it was nigh-on impossible to bend the standard tyre. In simple terms, this means that the standard tyre will glide across the road surface rather than digging in. Grip is reduced and safety is compromised.
2.Tread pattern: The pattern on a winter tyre is designed specifically to pick up snow and slush, therefore giving additional traction.
3.Sipes: These are the tiny lines you see in the tread pattern of a tyre. A higher number of sipes create a number of biting edges that grip the wintry surface, improving stability and braking.
Source and full article: PetrolBlog’s somewhat simple guide to Winter Tyres
Well worth a read... as is PetrolBlog in general.

I saw a video, below, that I was going to post about winter tyres as it is an increasingly popular topic. I couldn't see an obvious thread to add it to, despite there being many, so thought I'd start a thread and pull some of the previous info together.

I apologise if anyone has made a valuable contribution that I've missed, feel free to add quotes from other posts. It all sounds biased toward winter tyres, but I don't think I've seen anything negative!

Anyway, to start, here's another good video...

Goodyear Dunlop take the Ultragrip 8 and Winter Sport 4D to a snow dome and compares them directly to their summer tyre

equivalents.

Demo starts at 1:10


Plus some others...
Tire Rack Tire Test - Winter/Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires on Ice


Do winter tyres work? by autocar.co.uk


Effectiveness of Winter Tyres / Tires in the Frozen Britain


Update 7/10/11

Parkers: A guide to winter tyres

Taken from the above...
Parkers.co.uk wrote:The first is a car fitted with summer tyres on a ‘kick plate’ which is used to simulate a skid on black ice. The second is a car with winter tyres in exactly the same situation.

Car 1 (summer tyres):


Car 2 (winter tyres):
ADD:
SMMT Cold Weather Tyres - Media Test Day
Last edited by PawnSacrifice on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:45 pm

Z4 Snow Tyre Media (show where they've been used):

Blue on Vred Wintracs
Image

A11y on Kuhmo KW27 Winters
Image

Darren M on ?
Image

aerobod on Pirelli SottoZero
Image
Image

WLH - Winter wheels / tyres going on...
Image

WLH - Winters on...
Image

And a video (again)...
Last edited by PawnSacrifice on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:46 pm

Last edited by PawnSacrifice on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:46 pm

Thought this was a good article from Tire Rack, seems to answer a lot of the questions people have had on here.

Winter Tire FAQs
Source: www.tirerack.com

But Do I Really Need Winter Tires?
The primary concern that our customers express is that they don't want to get "stuck" in the snow (or in the ditch) during the winter.

While in cities like Atlantic City, Memphis and Seattle located at the extreme edges of the snow belt, relatively new All-Season tires will probably work just fine. But the odds change as you move further into the snow belt or the All-Season tires have a few years of wear on them. And who wants to gamble...especially when their collision deductible and future insurance premiums are on the table.

We all know that tires are a compromise. One tire can't be the fastest on the track, most controllable in the snow, and longest wearing. The Ultra High Performance tire that grips the track with tread temperatures of 200° is incompetent as its tread compound becomes like "hard plastic" at below 32°. Today's 80,000-mile tires require tread designs and compounds that maximize long, even wear... not winter traction. And while many of today's all-season tires (Original Equipment, touring and performance) address some of these issues, they still emphasize longer wear, a quieter ride or greater performance...not winter traction.

Only winter tires are designed to excel in the colder temperatures, slush, snow and ice that many parts of the country experience for three or more months a year.

It's also important to note that the recent advancements in electronic driver aids, such as ABS and traction control don't provide more traction. They only help prevent drivers from over braking or overpowering the available traction of their tires. The only thing the driver can do to increase traction...to actually get more grip and control... is install better tires.

Won't All-Season Tires Work Just Fine?
By design, All-Season tires are a compromise intended to provide acceptable traits under a wide variety of conditions. However, that compromised goal prevents them from being a master of any one of them. The All-Season tire tread designs and compounds that are engineered to provide extended mileages and durability under the summer's sun are less effective in winter's freezing temperatures, and through snow and on ice. Specific winter tires deliver much better snow and ice performance than All-Season tires because their tread designs and tread compounds are engineered to master those conditions, while summer tires are engineered to deliver better handling in the rain and on dry roads. Why not have the best tires for each of the conditions you'll encounter?

Why Four Winter Tires? I Thought I Would Only Need Two.
Today's winter tires are better at providing ice and snow traction than ever before. The technology used to develop the tread designs and tread compounds has evolved beyond what you may have used previously. Every one of our tire manufacturers and 7 out of 10 vehicle manufacturers recommend four winter tires be used on rear wheel, front wheel or four wheel drive vehicles. This is because if you use two dissimilar types of tires on your vehicle, you'll have a vehicle that has a "split" personality. One end of the vehicle won't react and perform the same as the other in the dry, wet, slush and snow conditions you'll encounter before the end of winter. Especially in emergency situations, you'll find that your vehicle will probably understeer in one condition and oversteer in another. It is preferable to keep your vehicles handling as consistently as possible by "matching" all four tires. Our customers who have matched their tires tell us they're glad they made the extra investment in four winter tires (and wheels) so they can accelerate, brake, handle and better control their vehicle through winter's challenges.

What If My Car Has Traction Control?
While traction control will help keep you from overpowering your tires, it doesn't actually improve your tire's traction; it simply limits your car's acceleration to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle's winter performance is to provide your traction control with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.

What If My Car Has ABS Brakes?
While ABS brakes will help keep you from locking up your tires, it doesn't actually improve your tire's traction; it simply limits your cars braking to the traction level of your tires. The only way to maximize your vehicle's winter performance is to provide your ABS brakes with more grip to work with by using tires specifically designed for your driving conditions.

What If My Car Has Front-Wheel Drive?
Front wheel drive is certainly an advantage...but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you'll encounter. Part of a front wheel drive car's acceleration advantage is because it has 60% of its weight over the drive wheels. And while this helps you get started, it does nothing to help you stop. And a front wheel drive car's weight distribution is not the best for handling and cornering. Many of the reasons that encouraged you to select a front wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car's braking, handling and cornering traits.

What If My Car Has All-Wheel Drive?
All-wheel drive is certainly an advantage...but its advantage can be multiplied by using winter tires designed for the road conditions you'll encounter. While more tires share the torque of your vehicle, think of the ice and snow performance that winter tires provide. All of the reasons that encouraged you to select an all-wheel drive car are the same reasons that dedicated winter tires will make your winter driving more enjoyable and enhance your car's braking, handling and cornering traits.

Isn't It Better To Stay Off the Roads If It's Really Bad?
While it's great to have the luxury of staying off the roads when it's snowing, it's even better to have the freedom of movement that winter tires provide. Because it is difficult to accurately predict winter storms just ask any weatherman if he's willing to place a bet. How do you know where you will be when one hits...maybe at home...or at work...or out of town visiting relatives for the holidays. And who ever had an emergency that they could schedule around the weather?

Won't It Help If I Just Drive Slowly and Carefully?
That very question verifies that you recognize the risk you feel when you don't use winter tires. Why not take some of the tension out of your winter driving and provide yourself with a greater margin of control to avoid the unexpected...or dodge an accident. And if you aren't able to keep up with the flow of traffic as you accelerate from a traffic light or up a hill, you pose a risk to yourself and all of the other vehicles around you.

Aren't Winter Tires Expensive?
Winter tires and wheels may be one of the most economical purchases you can make.

We have excellent prices on tires, alloy wheels, steel wheels and complete Winter Tire & Wheel Packages. Using winter tires will extend the life of your summer tires. The summer tires won't "wear out" sitting in the garage or basement while the winter tires and wheels are on the vehicle. Using winter wheels will protect Original Equipment or aftermarket alloy wheels from the harsh realities of winter...the salt, slush and grime that attack the alloy.
Last edited by PawnSacrifice on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Quotes
Ref E85 / E86...
mmm-five wrote:The 'official' BMW winter spec for your car states 225/45r17 all round. If you stick to that size then the insurance company have nothing to complain about.

Ref the ///M...
mmm-five wrote:
Daffy wrote:Anyone know of any Tyres in stock that would fit standard M wheels?
Mytyres is showing availability of Pirelli Sottozero tyres in the 225/45 and 255/40 sizes for the ///M - but they're about £200 a corner.

If you're happy to go with 225/40r18 all round then you can get either the Pirelli Sottozero for £140/corner from Tyretraders.com or Vredestein Wintrac xtreme for £140 a corner from Mytyres.co.uk.
mmm-five wrote:
Daffy wrote:Surely 225s all round simply wont fit on the rear rims?
That's the size BMW offer for winter tyres for the Z4M!

They'll 'fit', but you won't get any protection from light scuffs with that narrow a tyre.

You could always by a 2nd hand set of slightly narrower 18" wheels just for winter tyres.


WLH wrote:If you have the performance summer tire fitted they do not do well when temps drop down near freezing. It is usually suggested to switch to a winter tire when temps are running around 5 C or colder. Loss of traction on even dry pavement is the result and is very noticeable.
Last edited by PawnSacrifice on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:47 pm

a11y wrote:Depends where in the UK you live, but for me winter tyres are a complete no-brainer given the average temps

for Nov-Mar and the chance of serious snowfall.

To summarise without going into massive detail:
- winter tyres are a different rubber compound that works better than "summer" tyres below 7degC
- smaller wheels, i.e. bigger sidewalls, is great when the roads become more pothole than tarmac - less risk of

cracking/damaging a bigger alloy
- bigger sidewalls means more protection if you DO slide and clip a kerb (for example)
- having older/crappy winter wheels means you don't have to worry as much about possible salt damage/corrosion

A RWD car with winter tyres will out-perform a 4WD car with summer tyres, let along a FWD. evo magazine had an awesome

video on their website of a Jag XFR on winter rubber vs a Mitsubishi Evo X on summer rubber, around Bedford. The Jag

annailated the evo...

Lap times:
Jag XFR normal tyres = 2m35s
Jag XFR winter tyres = 2m04s
Evo X normal tyres = 2m35s

Braking 60-0mph (and this is the scariest bit):
Jag XFR normal tyres = 239m in 18.5s
Jag XFR winter tyres = 101m in 7.8s

http://www.evo.co.uk/news/evonews/24852 ... ested.html (vid's gone but the article's still there)
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:48 pm

Darren M wrote:
Hark wrote: Only thing with the 225 width is I picked up two kerb marks from pot holes. I do use mine daily though.
On inspection of mine (225 all round) at the end of winter,and noticed before this time, an observation I made was that my rear wheels picked up a few decent sized stone chips on the exposed rim, visible of course when quite close up only but now I know they're there it catches my eye :). However, note that I covered many miles with the tyres on at high speeds (90% motorway, the other 10% mostly fast country roads). So using the narrower rears 'could' result in more frequent refurbs needed, or ideally have a second set of wheels for the winter only using the narrower tyres. Another general interesting observation I made was this. When I first fitted the Winter tyres it seemed to improve the ride comfort when compared to the worn Conti M3's I took off. However as the winter tyres wore down (and as the temps rose - might or might not be related)I noticed more vibration, sometimes as if I could feel the individual sipes during rotation on some road surfaces (grainy kind of feel?). In fact I also started hearing an annoying vibration coming from the boot.WHen I replaced the winter tyres which by this time the rears had about 3.5mm tread left and all the winter tread had gone, the ride comfort was much better with new Conti M3's on and the annoying boot vibration has completely gone and has never come back! I had my boot replaced during the year and thought this was the cause of the annoying vibration in the boot but at actually it wasn't, the noise disappeared with the Conti M3's back on.

If anyone only has one set of wheels I would be tempted to use winter tyres in the summer tyre size (225 and 255), or possible one profile down, so same sizes as the 3.0Si 18" normal tyre sizes (225*40 and 255*35).If have two sets of OEM sized wheels then have one set with the BMW recommended winter tyre size. ANother option would be to have a set of 8" wide wheels all round (preferably using an offset not requiring the need for spacers) and run the BMW recommended winter tyre size on those.

I highly recommend winter tyres though! This year I might just run the Conti M3's through winter as I won't need to be so mobile. I have two Conti 830P tyres in the BMW recommended size (225*40*18) that I used on the front of my car that have plently of tread left (approx 3.5mm to 4mm winter tread equalling about 7.5mm total tread!), anyone fancy taking these off my hands for a reasonable price and can collect from my Mon-Fri home in West Berkshire please let me know.Alternatively I could deliver or meet along the M4 corridor between say Newbury and Bristol Mon-Fri. Not managed to transport them back to main home so taking up space in the corner of my kitchen at the moment!
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:48 pm

bcworkz wrote:Quite honestly, I think winter traction tyre technology has progressed enough that you can't really go wrong with the product from any major manufacturer. It's really more a matter of matching your driving needs to the design goals of the various products available. Do you want the very best snow traction or reasonable performance on cold, dry or wet roadways? (You can't have it all) Do you encounter lots of fresh snow, or mostly snow pack, or mostly ice, or maybe mostly cold, dry roadway? Do you still want good handling, or will you give that up for the winter?

Different tyres will work better on one condition than others. What you probably cannot do is go by what works well for someone else, as their needs and conditions probably do not match yours.

A few final thoughts: narrower tyres are good when encountering fresh or lightly tracked snow, on the more typical packed snow, width doesn't make that much difference. You also shouldn't put anything narrower than 225s on 8 inch rims. For the record, I get an average of 175 inches of snowfall each year at my house, much more in the mountains, so unsurprisingly, I've made a bit of a study on this topic.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:49 pm

dgm wrote:I've spent the last 2 winters using Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme's which are available in your normal 18" sizes. My winters are 265/30/19 and 235/35/19 and have been excellent in the worst weather this winter threw at us. I know the BMW recommendations are for smaller, narrower tyres but I don't think it's necessary to go down that line based on my experience. Save yourself buying a second set of wheels and just change your tyres over when the time comes would be my advice.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:49 pm

Darren M wrote:For those considering winter tyres in the future here is a quick update.
i've had winter tyres on the car since end of October. I have covered an absolute minimum of 13,000 miles albeit mostly motorway I must embarrassingly confess( ie, not the best territory for the M).

Front tyres are 7 8 7 mm (outer/middle/inner)
Rear tyres are either 6mm or 5mm evenly across (5mm one being the Left rear)

The winter tyres have lasted very well (Conti Sport Contact 830P's)

Oh and I must drive the car harder :). My brakes are apparently 10% worn fronts and 20% worn on the rears at 48k miles!! . Odd that the rears are more worn than the fronts though or is that normal? Maybe previous owner replaced the fronts. But I don't tend to be a heavy braker on the road.

Must admit since fitting the winter tyres I have been taking it easy to ensure they lasted but now need to burn up the rears at least! With the warmer temps I'm finding the traction control is kicking in at 80mpg in sixth pretty easily on the M4 motorway if the road surface is even just a little bumpy. Bear in mind though that the rears are 3cm narrower than they should be (have 225's fitted).
Have been very impressed with the winter tyres in all winter conditions, but am now looking foward to putting the normal tyres back on soon also :)
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:49 pm

aerobod wrote:I've run 225/45-18 Pirelli Sottozero 240 winter tyres all around, for two and a half winters over about 28,000km (17,000 miles). They have been rotated each winter to even out tread wear, they are now at the advisable minimum for a winter tyre of 4 to 5mm tread depth. I'd expect about 20,000km (12,000 miles) from a maximum performance summer tyre on the same car (although the rear standard Contis only lasted 10,000km due to some heavy use including half a dozen drag-strip runs).
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:50 pm

nicko wrote:from a recent Goodyear press release

December 28, 2010 – Goodyear wants to ensure that all truck, bus and coach operators who have vehicles operating on German roads, including transit traffic, are aware of current new tire safety regulations. These cover all trucks over 3.5 tonnes and buses with more than eight seats operating in winter conditions on German roads. Such vehicles now must have M+S marked tires on their drive axles or their drivers face penalties.
The change to German traffic regulations came into force on December 4 and covers conditions where a road is covered with hard-packed snow, ice or slush. In these conditions M+S marked tires must be fitted to drive axles. Failure to do so will result in fines and driver penalty points.
All current Goodyear drive axle tires available in Europe for such vehicles are M+S marked but drivers and operators should check other brands to ensure they are not only legal but safe, and that tread depth is sufficient. Goodyear recommends a minimum of 6mm tread depth in these conditions unless local regulations state otherwise.
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:50 pm

Guiseley wrote:After trying winter tyres for the first time this year myself, I was plesently surprised at the grip and traction in the snow & slush - better than all the front wheel drive cars in the 'getting out of the company car park' stakes - and I wonder if you might be able to get away without socks / chains with the new set up.
Mine are also wider tyres and a more powerful car - so you already have an advantage over me in snow / slush!
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by PawnSacrifice » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:52 pm

As mentioned at the top, please feel free to add any info that you feel relevant, quotes or links to other posts.

Hope this is helpful - slightly took over my lunch break :roll:
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Re: Winter Tyre Information - info / threads / posts

Post by WLH » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:59 pm

PawnSacrifice, nice work... :thumbsup:
I also made this a "Sticky"...
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