Winter is around the corner and it’s time for new winter tires! Before purchasing your new set of winter tires this year there is one question you may want to consider; “Do I need studded tires for my winter driving?”
For those of you wondering, but are afraid to ask; “What is a studded tire?” No, it’s not what you are thinking. It doesn’t have anything to do with earrings, building walls, or that muscle-bound guy at the beach.
A studded tire has many specially engineered pins inserted into the tread for traction. They are made from metal alloy or aluminum. They provide better traction on ice and hard packed snow over standard winter tires by “clawing” into the ice.
This type of tire is not for everyone. It depends on your driving conditions. If the area you live in hardly sees any snow, these may not be the tires for you. However, if you constantly drive on ice and hard packed snow and want the added security of extra traction for acceleration and braking, these may be the tires for you. Keep in mind, you still have to drive for the conditions, no drag racing! A tire is only as good as the driver.
Lets look at some things to be aware of when owning studded tires:
• On bare roads they are noisier than studless tires & tend to cause more wear on the roads.
• The studs will wear out quicker on bare roads vs. when they are driven in the snow (that’s the same for non-studded winter tires as well though).
• Excesessive spinning of your tires may eject the studs.
• Studded tires generally cost more due to the additional material used in the tire.
• Some provinces have restrictions on when studded tires can be used on the vehicle, if at all.
Now here are some of the benefits. We’ll use a next generation, premium studded tire, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 as the example on how Nokian has addressed these issues:
• On bare pavement, Nokian has added “air claw” technology to soften the impact of the stud. This helps to lessen the noise as well as lessen wear on the stud itself and the pavement.
• Nokian has added biting edges to the studwhich not only helps the grip on ice, but they also added it to the base to ensure the stud stays solidly in the tread.
• The Hakkapeliitta’s tread pattern has been designed to work in harmony with the stud to produce a tire that will perform well under all winter conditions.
• On ice and compact snow the traction can’t be beat. It’s by far the safest option.
No matter what city you live in, if you find yourself driving in winter conditions, in mountain passes, or if you keep spinning your tires at icy intersections, studded tires may be the best option to get the grip you need. Remember though, no tire will make up for poor driving decisions in the winter.
Let us help you find the perfect tire for you and your driving conditions. Avoid the lineups, contact us from the warmth of your home with a hot chocolate in hand! www.kaltire.com