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Old 10-09-2007, 03:34 PM
 
13 posts, read 76,025 times
Reputation: 17
Default Tire chains / When Do I Need Them / Where to Buy

The title of the thread says it all. I know I am supposed to travel the route through Nevada, Utah, into Wyoming, and then down into Colorado.

I have a 4 wheel drive SUV, but I just want to make sure I am prepared.

Oh yes - we are leaving Oct 31 and hoping to arrive November 2.

Thanks!

Last edited by silliemillie; 10-09-2007 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Monument,CO
1,093 posts, read 2,692,324 times
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Best bet is to be prepared. Chains are relatively cheap. No one can accurately tell you what the weather will be along the route 3 weeks in advance. Maybe ask a couple days out
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:06 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
67,277 posts, read 54,864,175 times
Reputation: 18700
Quote:
Originally Posted by vfrpilot View Post
Best bet is to be prepared. Chains are relatively cheap. No one can accurately tell you what the weather will be along the route 3 weeks in advance. Maybe ask a couple days out
It seems to always snow around Halloween!

Seriously, you can watch the forecast on www.accuweather.com two weeks out.

It gets more accurate as the time gets closer.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
Reputation: 16192
Quote:
Originally Posted by silliemillie View Post
The title of the thread says it all. I know I am supposed to travel the route through Nevada, Utah, into Wyoming, and then down into Colorado.

I have a 4 wheel drive SUV, but I just want to make sure I am prepared.

Oh yes - we are leaving Oct 31 and hoping to arrive November 2.

Thanks!

I used to rent chains in LA before I drove up to Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. Maybe consider renting for this one drive.
Another thing to consider, reserve hotel rooms at strategic locations along the route just in case the roads close. You can always cancel if you don't need them.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:46 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 1,468,810 times
Reputation: 1328
Default Where can I get tire chains?

I got 2002 Ford Focus and plan on making some trips to the ski resorts. Where can I find some chains for my tires in the Colorado Springs area?

On another note, is taking route 24 to Breckenridge in a front wheel drive car wise? Despite the traffic, I feel it might be a bit wiser to take i-70(despite the traffic). I don't feel confident taking a front wheel drive car on mountain roads. Granted, this is my first winter out here, I may just have some myths stuck in my head.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,313 posts, read 4,679,276 times
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Brill - I used to drive up to Breckenridge all the time in my Hondas and even when I had my VW Jetta up Highway 24 to Highway 9 through Alma. Never have I ever purchased chains. Been driving Colorado highways for 23 years now.

You shouldn't use chains unless it's absolutely necessary. Dry pavement (which you will find a lot of pockets of on the highways in the winter) and chains don't mix. It's rare that a passenger car needs them unless CDOT requires it (which isn't often) or during a blizzard like we had last winter. But the usage of them are very brief when needed.

Anyhow, most auto supply stores and tire stores will have them. I highly recommend you talk to a tire dealer about proper use of chains, putting them on and taking them off.

Outside of that, if you are that concerned, look at getting snow tires (studded if you are that nervous but I don't recommend them for dry pavement either). You can cycle your snows or studded snows from about Nov. to March and then put on your all-seasons. My friend used to do that and store his studs in the garage.

(I worked at Big-O Tires for a few years in the early 90s and while I was a credit manager I learned a lot from the guys.)

I forgot: Yes, take 24 to 9 up to Breck...you will add another half hour or so to your drive if you go 25 to 70 not counting (as you mentioned) the traffic. It's a safe drive through Hartsel, Fairplay and Alma. Plus you don't have to deal with the big rigs up Eisenhower which can be a royal pain in the patooty.

Last edited by COflower; 11-01-2007 at 11:16 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
Reputation: 16192
Now this is cool. Most of the school buses have these.

If I had the money I'd get these.

Insta-Chain, the Automatic Ice Chain | Instachain Insta Chain

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Old 11-04-2007, 10:46 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 1,468,810 times
Reputation: 1328
Thanks for the info. The chains are just a precaution. People I've talked to said they rarely need chains but I should have them just in case.

I just got a set of all season tires, the guys at Big O said they will be good enough for where I will be heading. Realistically, if it snowed bad enough to the point where I felt I needed studded tires, I'd probably just not drive that day.

The route 24 vs i70: Basically having a front wheel drive car I feel I will be limited. Going route 24 is more a "fear of the unknown" than anything else. I was figuring i-70 would most likely be plowed before route 24 in the event of snow. Despite the traffic, 70 might be a bit safer for a small car. In all honesty I am speaking in ignorance. I think I will try to make a trip on route 24 before the snow does fall. Once I familiarize myself with the road I'm sure I would be fine. I grew up in Cleveland, we got our share of lake effect snow. Driving in snow is something I've always done.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,313 posts, read 4,679,276 times
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24 to 9 is a great drive. Granted it's two lane the entire way but it's far more scenic, less traveled and the high mountain plains through South Park and seeing the Collegiates (or those near the Collegiate mountains anyway on the west) is incredible.

The road is very well maintained and with the winds up there, the snow doesn't stay on the road much unless there's a really bad storm. I've traveled it hundreds of times and it's far better than up 25 to 70 and south on 9.

Every so often you will find people stopped on the side of the road because there is a big herd of bison on the south side of 24 after Wilkerson Pass.

Cell phone service is a bit spotty but it's not bad at all. You will encounter some "blind" spots mainly from just past Divide through to Wilkerson Pass.

Seriously, take a road trip up there and get a feel for the road. Between Wilkerson and Fairplay, it's fairly flat sort of. Once you take the turn from 24 to 9 just a mile or so past Hartsel, it gets a little hilly but it's neat to see the farm houses along that route. Also, once you clear that part which goes down a hill to another flat stretch, on the right you can see the gold mill tailings/hills on the north/east side of 9.

Oh, one thing to keep in mind...never, ever speed through Fairplay or Alma. They don't take kindly to speeders in either town. It's been a while since I have driven up there but the speed limit in Fairplay is 25 and I think in Alma it's 20.

Hoosier Pass on the southside is a pretty gradual grade while the north side (the pass is somewhere in the 11,000 range) is steep and twisty. You learn some skills there but like I said, they maintain the roadway pretty well. Oh and the scenery while going up Hoosier is unmatched in the area.

Good luck and do try it on a dry day. This weekend might be a good time to test your car's ability. According to Accuweather.com the long range forcast for Alma is mostly sunny and mild for Saturday and Sun giving way to increasing clouds...highs look to be in the 40s.

Last edited by COflower; 11-05-2007 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: Day of typos for me...not sure I got them all
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:34 PM
 
1,085 posts, read 1,468,810 times
Reputation: 1328
coflower

Once again, thanks for the info. I had no problem getting there or back. Does Hoosier pass get alot of snow? My only concern would be a snow covered road on the north side of Hoosier. I can handle driving in snow, but snow and hills concern me.

Other drivers were the only annoyance. I don't see why people get so mad when they get passed. One guy started flashing his brights at me. If someone wants to pass me I could care less.
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