These are tyres that were designed specifically to deal with winter weather conditions.
Winter tyres have a higher natural rubber content which gives them a softer structure. The interplay between the tyres’ rubber compound and the road changes as temperatures rise. This affects the tyres’ grip. Summer tyres harden below +7 degrees C while winter tyres’ specially developed compound guarantees flexibility, even below +7 degrees C.
What are winter tyres’ benefits?
Winter tyres are excellent at gripping cold roads, whether they’re wet, dry, snowy or icy.
Nothing grips snow like snow. So, in the case of compact snow, winter tyres fill their tread grooves with snow and this grips the snow on the road.
Their extra deep treads are capable of dispersing more water, helping to reduce aquaplaning and improve handling.
Because they offer greater safety in the cold, and maintain their flexibility, they are harder wearing than summer tyres and are therefore more cost effective.
What are winter tyres’ disadvantages?
Just as winter tyres are better in cold temperatures than summer tyres, summer tyres are better in warmer and more moderate conditions. Once temperatures rise above +7 degrees C you will need to be replace your winter tyres with summer tyres.
Having a full set of winter tyres and a full set of summer tyres, including spares, can be costly – not only to buy but to store. In some countries, you have no option, while in others an all-season tyre may be suitable.
Winter tyres are an excellent investment, if you live somewhere with extreme weather. For milder temperatures, or in countries where winter tyres are not compulsory, you may prefer to consider summer or all-weather tyres.
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