16 Feb 2006 18:22:13
funkraum@hotmail. com
Snow chain question

>Ace wrote:
>
>FWIW I've never needed chains[1] since I've had snow tyres fitted, so
>my recomendation for anyone doing this on a regular basis would be to
>get winter tyres. All else apart, they will work much better in cold
>temperatures anyway, so I think I'd fit them now even if I lived in
>the UK.
>
>
>[1] Although there were some roads this morning which might have been
>passable with chains (although they were actually closed). Black ice
>city, it was, with a cm or so of snow almost, but not quite, melting
>last night and freezing in places. Interesting journey in, it was.
>


The issue of winter tires for tourists is filled with false
premises.

There is no free lunch: Winter tires are less safe than 'summer
tires' on dry asphalt and slicks are more safe than summer tires.

(1) When tourists drive across Europe to the Alps, most of their
journey is on fast dry asphalt. There might be some 'winter'
conditions on the approach to the resort and their might even be
snow but the fact is they and other road users are best served by
'summer' tires since this give the most grip on dry asphalt.

(2) Both winter and summer tires will not grip on ice. You need
chains so that the weight of the car will press the chain into the
surface of the ice. You may well find tires which will grip better
when ascending/descending through snow but once you are on ice
there is nothing to hold you.

I have had off-road equipped 4x4 loose traction on an even layer
of fresh dry snow (not even ice) while descending slower than
walking pace. The tires did not respond to the brakes, and our
progress was the same speed with wheels locked or rolling.
Fortunatly there was nothing in the way of our descent and I could
just steer while allowing the wheels to rotate as slowly as I
could make them. Only chains would have given me control. If I had
had to stop I could not and the only thing I could have done was
steer one set of wheels up the snowbank. If it had been rock/Armco
either side then I could not even have done that.


So: Winter=chains in the Alps. This much we know.

But 'winter' tires are no use unless you live in a country called
winter. They will not provide as much grip as 'summer' tires at
high speeds on dry asphalt or even low speeds on dry asphalt for
that matter.

If you have driven across fast dry Europe and find that the
approach is covered in snow, stop and put the goddamned chains on.
Winter or any other tires will not save you if you round the
corner and find some snow compacted into ice or find a line of
stopped cars which have stopped on ice.




16 Feb 2006 19:29:17
Ace
Re: Snow chain question

On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 18:22:13 +0000, "funkraum@hotmail. com"
<funkraum@hotmail. com > wrote:

>The issue of winter tires for tourists is filled with false
>premises.
>
>There is no free lunch: Winter tires are less safe than 'summer
>tires' on dry asphalt and slicks are more safe than summer tires.

Not so. In cold conditions winter tyres will give considerably more
grip than summer ones even on good dry surfaces. That's why they're
generally referred to as winter tyres, not simply snow tyres.

>(2) Both winter and summer tires will not grip on ice. You need
>chains so that the weight of the car will press the chain into the
>surface of the ice. You may well find tires which will grip better
>when ascending/descending through snow but once you are on ice
>there is nothing to hold you.

Sure, but it's really very unusual to encounter these conditions. But
yes, I always make sure I have my chains in the car.

>So: Winter=chains in the Alps. This much we know.
>
>But 'winter' tires are no use unless you live in a country called
>winter.

Well yeah, but anywhere that's consistently cold over the winter
period will benefit, not just those places that get a lot of snow.

>They will not provide as much grip as 'summer' tires at
>high speeds on dry asphalt or even low speeds on dry asphalt for
>that matter.

As I've said, that is simply not correct.

--
Ace (brucedotrogers a.t rochedotcom)
Ski Club of Great Britain - http://www.skiclub.co.uk
All opinions expressed are personal and in no way represent those of the Ski Club.


16 Feb 2006 19:32:46
Mike Clark
Re: Snow chain question

In message <rfg9v19qrvj3mucqe5doog42p5i5k1mu4f@4ax.com >
"funkraum@hotmail. com" <funkraum@hotmail. com > wrote:

> >Ace wrote:
> >
> >FWIW I've never needed chains[1] since I've had snow tyres fitted, so
> >my recomendation for anyone doing this on a regular basis would be to
> >get winter tyres. All else apart, they will work much better in cold
> >temperatures anyway, so I think I'd fit them now even if I lived in
> >the UK.
> >
> >
> >[1] Although there were some roads this morning which might have been
> >passable with chains (although they were actually closed). Black ice
> >city, it was, with a cm or so of snow almost, but not quite, melting
> >last night and freezing in places. Interesting journey in, it was.
> >
>
>
> The issue of winter tires for tourists is filled with false
> premises.
>
> There is no free lunch: Winter tires are less safe than 'summer
> tires' on dry asphalt and slicks are more safe than summer tires.
>
> (1) When tourists drive across Europe to the Alps, most of their
> journey is on fast dry asphalt. There might be some 'winter'
> conditions on the approach to the resort and their might even be
> snow but the fact is they and other road users are best served by
> 'summer' tires since this give the most grip on dry asphalt.
>
> (2) Both winter and summer tires will not grip on ice. You need
> chains so that the weight of the car will press the chain into the
> surface of the ice. You may well find tires which will grip better
> when ascending/descending through snow but once you are on ice
> there is nothing to hold you.
>
> I have had off-road equipped 4x4 loose traction on an even layer
> of fresh dry snow (not even ice) while descending slower than
> walking pace. The tires did not respond to the brakes, and our
> progress was the same speed with wheels locked or rolling.
> Fortunatly there was nothing in the way of our descent and I could
> just steer while allowing the wheels to rotate as slowly as I
> could make them. Only chains would have given me control. If I had
> had to stop I could not and the only thing I could have done was
> steer one set of wheels up the snowbank. If it had been rock/Armco
> either side then I could not even have done that.
>
>
> So: Winter=chains in the Alps. This much we know.
>
> But 'winter' tires are no use unless you live in a country called
> winter. They will not provide as much grip as 'summer' tires at
> high speeds on dry asphalt or even low speeds on dry asphalt for
> that matter.
>
> If you have driven across fast dry Europe and find that the
> approach is covered in snow, stop and put the goddamned chains on.
> Winter or any other tires will not save you if you round the
> corner and find some snow compacted into ice or find a line of
> stopped cars which have stopped on ice.
>
>

A quick search on Google with the keywords of winter tyres and sites
from the UK quickly throws up several official tyre manufacturers and
distributors that have technical documents showing why winter tyres are
also good for the winter conditions found in the UK and ireland.

Modern winter tyres use compounds and treads that are designed for cold
weather, cold wet weather, as well as snow and icy conditions. Where
they don't perform well is in hot dry conditions.

see for example

http://www.etyres.co.uk/bad-weather-tyres

http://www.michelin.co.uk/uk/auto/auto_cons_bib_pqr_pne_hvr.jsp

http://www.tyres-online.co.uk/techinfo/winter.asp

as just three of the links thrown up.



Mike
--
o/ \ // | ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\ // __o | / /, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
" > || _`<,_ |__ > | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | corn computer user"


16 Feb 2006 22:19:05
Alun Jenkins
Re: Snow chain question

Mike Clark wrote:
> In message <rfg9v19qrvj3mucqe5doog42p5i5k1mu4f@4ax.com>
> "funkraum@hotmail. com" <funkraum@hotmail. com> wrote:
>
>
>>>Ace wrote:
>>>
>>>FWIW I've never needed chains[1] since I've had snow tyres fitted, so
>>>my recomendation for anyone doing this on a regular basis would be to
>>>get winter tyres. All else apart, they will work much better in cold
>>>temperatures anyway, so I think I'd fit them now even if I lived in
>>>the UK.

I can concur. Just got a set of Nokian WR SUV tyres for my VW Caravelle.
Did a fantastic job in 20 cm of fresh at 6 am new years day !
They also make a huge difference back home in the UK
Most Summer tyres dont grip well below 6C and most winter tyres do.
I guess we shouldnt confuse winter tyres with real hard core snow tyres

E.g.
http://www.nokiantyres.com/suv_product_en?product=610502&name=NOKIAN+WR+SUV
Fantasic winter tyre even H rated so you can blast all day on the autoroute.

http://www.nokiantyres.com/suv_product_en?product=610500&name=NOKIAN+HAKKAPELIITTA+SUV

Serious snow/ice tyre with studs.

But yes you will need chains too.



17 Feb 2006 15:05:51
Champ
Re: Snow chain question

On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 18:22:13 +0000, "funkraum@hotmail. com"
<funkraum@hotmail. com > wrote:

>But 'winter' tires are no use unless you live in a country called
>winter. They will not provide as much grip as 'summer' tires at
>high speeds on dry asphalt or even low speeds on dry asphalt for
>that matter.

Everything you know is wrong.
--
Champ


18 Feb 2006 22:03:43
Turan Fettahoglu
Re: Snow chain question

> Serious snow/ice tyre with studs.

Studs are not allowed in several countries, e.g. Germany.

> But yes you will need chains too.

Take my advice, you very well might need chains in the Alps. Perhaps not on
a motorway, but on the last kilometers to your skiing resort.

The alternative might be an accident!

Turan



19 Feb 2006 00:27:19
Re: Snow chain question

my advice: do not even think to go into the alps without the chains...
some regions can easily get three feet of snow in like a day... you do
the math...

esp


======================
Get a desert job w/out a gun:
http://www.dubai-ski.com/jobs.html
======================



20 Feb 2006 09:26:58
Steve Pardoe
Re: Snow chain question

<funkraum@hotmail. com > wrote in message
news:rfg9v19qrvj3mucqe5doog42p5i5k1mu4f@4ax.com...
<snip >

> So: Winter=chains in the Alps. This much we know.

I've seen road-signs which I take to mean that carrying snow chains is
compulsory in some areas in winter.

Can you recommend a brand that's (relatively) easy to fit, and not too
expensive, since they'd only be for occasional / emergency use? Where's a
good place to buy them (I'm in the UK, but driving to La Clusaz / Grand
Bornand area in March)?

TIA,
Steve P




20 Feb 2006 09:55:18
Adrian D. Shaw
Re: Snow chain question

Felly sgrifennodd Steve Pardoe <steveSP@AMpardoes.com >:
>Can you recommend a brand that's (relatively) easy to fit, and not too
>expensive, since they'd only be for occasional / emergency use? Where's a
>good place to buy them (I'm in the UK, but driving to La Clusaz / Grand
>Bornand area in March)?

I got mine online. They're Rudd, the cheapest model at around GBP50 (I
forget exactly). They're the easiest to fit that I've used; with practice,
1 minute (each) on, and half a minute off - in ideal conditions of course.

The side of a freezing road in the Alps with air temperatures well below
obviously does not give ideal conditions... if you want chains that are
easier still to fit, you have to pay more.

Just do a web search, you'll find them.

Adrian
--
Adrian Shaw ais@
Adran Cyfrifiadureg, Prifysgol Cymru, aber.
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Cymru ac.
http://users.aber.ac.uk/ais uk


20 Feb 2006 14:06:34
Steve Pardoe
Re: Snow chain question

"Adrian D. Shaw" <ais@aber.ac.uk > wrote in message
news:dtc3m6$ks0$1@central.aber.ac.uk...
> I got mine online. They're Rudd, the cheapest model at around GBP50 (I
> forget exactly). They're the easiest to fit that I've used; with practice,
> 1 minute (each) on, and half a minute off - in ideal conditions of course.

That seems pretty impressive!

> The side of a freezing road in the Alps with air temperatures well below
> obviously does not give ideal conditions...

I can imagine. Some climbing friends of mine found that they really, really
needed to fit their chains inside one of the tunnels leading up to La
Berarde, with oncoming traffic. Then found that the car rental company had
lied about the chains being supplied.

> if you want chains that are
> easier still to fit, you have to pay more.
>
> Just do a web search, you'll find them.

Thanks, I'll do just that.
Steve P

PS Sorry I don't know how to say thanks in Welsh ;-)




20 Feb 2006 16:28:53
Mike Clark
Re: Snow chain question

In message <1140337639.567414.137020@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com >
elezarsimeonpapo@yahoo.com wrote:

> my advice: do not even think to go into the alps without the chains...
> some regions can easily get three feet of snow in like a day... you do
> the math...
>
> esp
>

I have a Subaru Forestor AWD which copes reasonably well with snow, but
I also carry chains. I've only needed to use the chains once to get
through an uphill section of a road blocked by a snowdrift and that was
in the UK!

Last year at the end of our ski touring trip in late March early April
we were returning to the UK from Argentiere when it snowed very heavily
overnight. There was about a foot of snow in the village and the main
route out of the Chamonix valley was covered in snow and ice all the way
out past Geneva. Because it was so late in the year many of the locals
had already changed to summer tyres or had left their chains at home.
The result was chaos with cars spinning our of control and crashing into
the barriers at relatively slow speed of less than 50kph. As a result of
this we were delayed and then missed our crossing to the UK by several
hours.

Given the fickle nature of the weather it makes sense to carry chains.
Even if you only need them occasionally, when you do it makes a huge
difference to your ability to cope safely.

Mike
--
o/ \ // | ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\ // __o | / /, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
" > || _`<,_ |__ > | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | corn computer user"


20 Feb 2006 16:42:40
Mike Clark
Re: Snow chain question

In message <pr-dnSPxN6xyUWTeRVnysg@pipex.net >
"Steve Pardoe" <steveSP@AMpardoes.com > wrote:

> "Adrian D. Shaw" <ais@aber.ac.uk> wrote in message
> news:dtc3m6$ks0$1@central.aber.ac.uk...
> > I got mine online. They're Rudd, the cheapest model at around GBP50
> > (I forget exactly). They're the easiest to fit that I've used; with
> > practice, 1 minute (each) on, and half a minute off - in ideal
> > conditions of course.
>
> That seems pretty impressive!
>
> > The side of a freezing road in the Alps with air temperatures well
> > below obviously does not give ideal conditions...
>
> I can imagine. Some climbing friends of mine found that they really,
> really needed to fit their chains inside one of the tunnels leading
> up to La Berarde, with oncoming traffic. Then found that the car
> rental company had lied about the chains being supplied.
>

For many of the major alpine resorts you'll find that there are regular
lay-bys where you can stop and fit chains before the tricky sections.
Often the local police will waive you into these and not allow you
further if you haven't got chains to fit. You'll also frequently find
that in such circumstances some of the local enterprising youngsters
will offer to fit your chains for you for a fee.

> > if you want chains that are easier still to fit, you have to pay
> > more.

I've got some chains branded Konig that are very easy to fit, they
weren't the cheapest and I've only used them once in anger, but they
worked a treat on that occasion. As mentioned elsewhere the occasion
when I needed them was in the UK, on an uphill section of a minor road,
that was blocked by a snowdrift for about 10-20 metres. Without the
chains it would have been a long detour, with them it was passable.

> >
> > Just do a web search, you'll find them.

You can usually buy cheap chains for standard tyre sizes of common makes
of car at motorway service stations in France during the winter months,
but March may be a little late to rely on this.


Mike
--
o/ \ // | ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\ // __o | / /, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
" > || _`<,_ |__ > | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | corn computer user"


22 Feb 2006 01:35:06
Re: Snow chain question

Just wondered if any of you have tried a pair of 'autosocks'? The
adverts speak very highly of them and they would certainly be a lot
more convenient to fit and to keep stuffed in your boot than 10kg of
chains. I can't help feeling that when the frites are down you'll be
better off with chains, but they may be worth a look.

http://www.autosock.com/default.aspx

James



22 Feb 2006 10:46:18
Ace
Re: Snow chain question

On 22 Feb 2006 01:35:06 -0800, james.pratt@marlston.co.uk wrote:

>Just wondered if any of you have tried a pair of 'autosocks'? The
>adverts speak very highly of them and they would certainly be a lot
>more convenient to fit and to keep stuffed in your boot than 10kg of
>chains. I can't help feeling that when the frites are down you'll be
>better off with chains, but they may be worth a look.
>
>http://www.autosock.com/default.aspx

Seen them advertised in Ski and Board magazine, but don't have a lot
of faith in them being up to the job. I don't imagine that if you're
stopped at a layby where plod are making everyone fit chains, they'd
be allowed as an alternative.

Personally, I use Rud Centrax chains which really do only take about
ten seconds to fit, as they simply click onto a wheel-nut adaptor and
pull themselves onto the wheel.

http://www.rud.com/en/01_schneeketten/01.01_schneeketten/01.01.01_pkw/01.01.01.01_centrax/centrax.php

I notice that they've been significantly upgraded since I bought mine,
now being much lighter construction and more studded on the spoke
elements. And the carrying bag looks to take less space than the box
mine live in too, largely down to the smaller overall volume.

--
Ace (brucedotrogers a.t rochedotcom)
Ski Club of Great Britain - http://www.skiclub.co.uk
All opinions expressed are personal and in no way represent those of the Ski Club.


22 Feb 2006 21:50:01
Pip Luscher
Re: Snow chain question

On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 10:46:18 +0100, Ace <seesig@virgin.net > wrote:

>Personally, I use Rud Centrax chains which really do only take about
>ten seconds to fit, as they simply click onto a wheel-nut adaptor and
>pull themselves onto the wheel.

Well, that's two positives for RUD. Which is nice, seeing as I've just
ordered a set od RUD Power chains.

--
-Pip


28 Feb 2006 01:15:13
Re: Snow chain question

I have a set of RUDs and they rock big time. I am super pleased with
them (easy and quick to install).


ESP



======================
Get a desert job w/out a gun:
http://www.dubai-ski.com/about.html
======================