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Old 10-01-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
3,176 posts, read 1,558,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayinAK View Post
For snow alone winter tires are fine, but studs help on ice.
When they're new they probably do, but how do studs that have been driven on pavement for months work on ice? Around here as soon as it's legal some people start putting on their studded tires and then spend 5 months a year driving on pavement with maybe 1 day every 2 or 3 years where studs might actually help (if they were new). So most of the time they end up driving around on "studs" that have been ground down to smooth nubs barely sticking out of the rubber.

Personally I've never found any need for studded tires. In Minnesota where there are essentially no hills and they do a good job clearing the roads a 2 wheel drive car with all season tires was fine. In the NW where there are a lot of hills and occasionally anywhere from 1 to 20 inches or more of snow a 4x4 and AT tires has worked well for me.

Around Seattle it seems most of the people who put studded tires on their cars are the same people who have no business driving on snow and ice at all.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,905 posts, read 13,843,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
When they're new they probably do, but how do studs that have been driven on pavement for months work on ice? Around here as soon as it's legal some people start putting on their studded tires and then spend 5 months a year driving on pavement with maybe 1 day every 2 or 3 years where studs might actually help (if they were new). So most of the time they end up driving around on "studs" that have been ground down to smooth nubs barely sticking out of the rubber.

Personally I've never found any need for studded tires. In Minnesota where there are essentially no hills and they do a good job clearing the roads a 2 wheel drive car with all season tires was fine. In the NW where there are a lot of hills and occasionally anywhere from 1 to 20 inches or more of snow a 4x4 and AT tires has worked well for me.

Around Seattle it seems most of the people who put studded tires on their cars are the same people who have no business driving on snow and ice at all.
Studs are designed for driving on icy roads, and very popular in the interior of Alaska, but are usually good for a couple of seasons. At that time you can have the tires re-studded. All depends on how expensive the tires are, because re-studding is not cheap. FWD and real will drive automobiles benefit the most from studded tires, but newer AWD vehicles with traction control do very well with regular snow tires, and even all-season tires, or tires with with soft tread. Blizzak winter tires are extremely popular in the interior of Alaska. These tires have a soft rubber compound on the treads, and offer a lot of traction without studs. But these are winter tires, so if you drive on pavement during the summer the tires wear out real fast. These are my favorite tires for driving on snow and ice up here.

Bare pavement wears the studs. The studs also damage pavement surfaces, and that's why studded tires are only legal for a short season (October-April up here).

Last edited by RayinAK; 10-01-2011 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:00 PM
 
8,464 posts, read 11,826,146 times
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Studs get longer as the tire wears, not shorter in my experience. they are harder than the road and a lot harder than the tire. I could show you worn down snows with studs protruding like new. Maybe others have found some soft studs but I don't see it.

They do tear up the road. I have studded tires on the heaviest Mercedes of recent vintage, a 1988 300SEL and if the weather gets warm and windows are down I am pretty self conscious driving down the street with those studs eating the asphalt. You can hear the grinding a half block away.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:24 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,521 times
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Default This may surprise you

Hey SmithGreat,

It just may surprise you to know that modern-day studless snow tires actually have been proven to do all the following (accelerate/corner/stop) better than studded tires on a pure sheet of ice (hockey rink).

Modern-day compounds used in studless winter treads are miles ahead of its studded counterpart.

Watch the following to find out more:


Tire Rack Tire Testing - Ice Traction: Studded vs. Studless - YouTube


I will be in the market this month for Blizzak DM-V1 studless winter tires in 265/70/16 to be used in an SUV that is RWD and has no traction control for the harsh winters of northern Wisconsin.

This will be the first time I've ever purchased snow tires and now accept the fact that they will be more of an investment for the safety of my family and I and peace of mind.

Stay safe and warm this winter everyone
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:34 PM
 
8,464 posts, read 11,826,146 times
Reputation: 6044
The nokian hakkapeliitta is IMO a better tire than the Blizzak. I have had two sets of four Blizzaks and have four nokian hakkapeliittas on my 300TE now. I have seen the tire rack video before and I am sure that they reported their findings correctly. But even they did not say "miles ahead." I am sure on that skating rink the advantages were marginal. That was a very smooth surface allowing for a whole lot of that special tread compound on the ice. Not like real conditions at all. In real life nothing beats studs.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,466 posts, read 5,020,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
The nokian hakkapeliitta is IMO a better tire than the Blizzak. I have had two sets of four Blizzaks and have four nokian hakkapeliittas on my 300TE now. I have seen the tire rack video before and I am sure that they reported their findings correctly. But even they did not say "miles ahead." I am sure on that skating rink the advantages were marginal. That was a very smooth surface allowing for a whole lot of that special tread compound on the ice. Not like real conditions at all. In real life nothing beats studs.
Though I do agree with your assessment, studs do provide slightly better traction on polished ice, and occasionally more stopping power on the same surface, they are inferior to stud less tires on everything else, including ice that hasn't been polished by sun or other conditions (morons spinning their wheels etc).

Studless, as I'm sure you know, does require a significant change in driving technique over studded tires and they do require some maintenance to maintain proper grip functions, but if they work in all regions of Norway, even all the way up north, though studded obviously is more prevalent there, they'll work in most conditions in the US, even Alaska.

As for personal experience, I've driven on studless winter tires for roughly 6 months of the year 7 years running, I've done so in a wide array of vehicles, including but not limited to compacts, sedans, full size sedans, various SUVs and Vans, the only vehicle I would say with absolute certainty needed studded tires was a RWD Van that was routinely driven with very little equipment in the back, I only got it stuck once, and in all fairness, that wasn't really my doing, but it didn't go anywhere in a straight line, fun, yes, safe, not so much.

The only other vehicles I can think of that absolutely needed studded tires were the wheel driven excavators (technically it was aggressively studded chains), because they needed the stationary grip and the tractors used for plowing, due to the massive amounts of snow they were moving, most of the trucks (semis) that plowed were actually only fitted with winter tires, and very rarely chains.

EDIT: Oh and the Nokian is a very accomplished tire, but I wouldn't discount the Continental Viking Contact 5 either, if you can find it, they tend to be better on FWD vehicles due to a more aggressive grip pattern, expect to replace at least two every other year though, if used half the year.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:34 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 12,010,717 times
Reputation: 7064
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJWVPhan View Post
Hey SmithGreat,

It just may surprise you to know that modern-day studless snow tires actually have been proven to do all the following (accelerate/corner/stop) better than studded tires on a pure sheet of ice (hockey rink).

Modern-day compounds used in studless winter treads are miles ahead of its studded counterpart.

Watch the following to find out more:


Tire Rack Tire Testing - Ice Traction: Studded vs. Studless - YouTube


I will be in the market this month for Blizzak DM-V1 studless winter tires in 265/70/16 to be used in an SUV that is RWD and has no traction control for the harsh winters of northern Wisconsin.

This will be the first time I've ever purchased snow tires and now accept the fact that they will be more of an investment for the safety of my family and I and peace of mind.

Stay safe and warm this winter everyone
We had the stud/studless debate on this forum before and I was dismissed as a heretic for saying the new compounds of snow tires could outperform studs, despite my experience testing winter tires as a professional driver.

A lot of the newer snow tires have siping that when the tread rolls over ground, the siping spreads out as a bunch of tiny fingers to grab the ice and provide traction. Also the rubber compound is like a sponge that absorbs water and wicks it away. On a warmer day you can squeeze the tread block on a Blizzak or similar tire with your fingers and little droplets of water will come out.

The studs don't really allow the tread compound to work as well and as the engineers told me, weakens the tread block as well.

Manufacturers moved in the direction of developing the technology for studless winter tires as the market has grown less due to states and some countries either banning studded tires or limiting their use.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:38 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 12,010,717 times
Reputation: 7064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
The nokian hakkapeliitta is IMO a better tire than the Blizzak. I have had two sets of four Blizzaks and have four nokian hakkapeliittas on my 300TE now. I have seen the tire rack video before and I am sure that they reported their findings correctly. But even they did not say "miles ahead." I am sure on that skating rink the advantages were marginal. That was a very smooth surface allowing for a whole lot of that special tread compound on the ice. Not like real conditions at all. In real life nothing beats studs.
I have some amazing Nokian stories and they are top dog.

However I think the Bridgestone tires are right there and perhaps in some parameters the Blizzak will outperform a Nokian.

In real conditions in my experience I will take the studless tire.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:41 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 12,010,717 times
Reputation: 7064
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
The only other vehicles I can think of that absolutely needed studded tires were the wheel driven excavators (technically it was aggressively studded chains), because they needed the stationary grip and the tractors used for plowing, due to the massive amounts of snow they were moving, most of the trucks (semis) that plowed were actually only fitted with winter tires, and very rarely chains.

EDIT: Oh and the Nokian is a very accomplished tire, but I wouldn't discount the Continental Viking Contact 5 either, if you can find it, they tend to be better on FWD vehicles due to a more aggressive grip pattern, expect to replace at least two every other year though, if used half the year.
There are a perhaps a few extreme cases people could make a case for studs and most don't apply to your average driver that might live in some of the western states or the eastern coast of the USA.

The Continental Viking tire is one I have no experience with, although the Extreme Contact RWS tires I found to be very good.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,056 posts, read 55,947,661 times
Reputation: 24721
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
We had the stud/studless debate on this forum before and I was dismissed as a heretic for saying the new compounds of snow tires could outperform studs, despite my experience testing winter tires as a professional driver.

A lot of the newer snow tires have siping that when the tread rolls over ground, the siping spreads out as a bunch of tiny fingers to grab the ice and provide traction. Also the rubber compound is like a sponge that absorbs water and wicks it away. On a warmer day you can squeeze the tread block on a Blizzak or similar tire with your fingers and little droplets of water will come out.

The studs don't really allow the tread compound to work as well and as the engineers told me, weakens the tread block as well.

Manufacturers moved in the direction of developing the technology for studless winter tires as the market has grown less due to states and some countries either banning studded tires or limiting their use.
I still see it every ice trial season, in real cold-weather driving conditions (as in, not in a heated ice rink where the ambient temperature is 60-something degrees and the ice is jell-o soft): studs outperform snow tires by a huge margin, which is why they're put in their own class. When I start seeing the snow-tire class entrants perform anywhere near as well as the studded class, then I'll believe snow tires might, some day, outperform studs on ice.
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