Are studded snow tires and chains obsolete with today's FWD and computer technology

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by 70 Mach 1, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. mango

    mango Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    On a log in a bog
    Whatever floats your boat, I'm more utitity driven, couldn't give a toss about looks for winter wheels.
  2. ellsworthman

    ellsworthman Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2014
    You will pry my studded snow tires from my cold dead hands.
    DK207, aynirar27 and lefort_1 like this.
  3. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    AWD and big treads don't really make a difference when sliding down a hill. We used to go to this one spot on Lincoln in Spokane where all the arrogant H2 drivers thought their land beasts gave them super powers over the icy roads to watch them slowly slide down the hill and crash into everything in their paths. It was a comedy show of sorts and highly entertaining. AFAIK, it's still happens every winter there.

    Studded snow tires work BTW; I used them every year up there and they make icy roads bearable and relatively safe.
  4. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    As mentioned before, AWD, 4WD, TC etc do not substitute for an increase in friction between rotating wheel and the road. If you live in a relatively flat area, with low winds (under 40-50 mph), and/or have fluffy, dry snow, then you are blessed with a relatively simple task when it comes to winter driving.

    When you have wet/re-freezing snow conditions, or just a simple 1 or so of ice with wet stuff coming down, you have situation that AWD and aggressive tires will not suffice... add in 5-7% grades all over the place, a plethora of micro climates that vary 5-10 degrees by going over a ridge or venturing into a gorge, or the added vexation of days of high winds while on ice.... there are times and locations here where they wont even let you drive with chains.
    - PDX folks, we can all say "Germantown Road is Closed", can't we?
    If it's not landslides up there, it's ice on switchbacks on 5% grades.
    - Or I-84? try an inch or two of ice and winds of 60+ mph... that was just a week or two ago here.
    (don't question the winds... this is the windsurfing Mecca of the entire world, and the winds are worse in the winter when the surfers scat off for warmer climes. The winds will last for days if not weeks at a time.
    - Or the McKenzie Hwy in the middle of winter? They just close it from November to June due to snow and impossible traction conditions *
    - Even upper Burnside in PDX gets closed down at times, and for good reason.

    Just for fun:

    80 mph winds ... now put ice on the road and lets see where your Blizzaks and AWD will get you.
    ANS: the leeward ditch.

    My answer to the OP is: there are locations and conditions that no one should be driving on, even WITH studs or chains.
    Driving in two feet of snow with traction tires and 4WD is a piece o cake compared to some of the situations that are really out there... I've been in a bunch. I know when to park it. Designer tires and the smartest of AWD will not get you through some of the stuff out there. If you don't think so, you haven't driven under truly difficult conditions.

    * For grins, here's a downhiil video of the McKenzie pass in the summer.... try this in 8-12 feet of snow.
    Studs and chains and 4WD just ain't good enough.
  5. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2012
    I still see (mostly hear) some studded tires here in CT. My father still puts them on his cars. I don't. We don't get enough ice to warrant it, especially with the loss of traction you get in dry and wet road conditions. And that noise, agh, I hate it.

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