... got my winter tyres a week ago today, just in time for the latest falls of snow.
As soon as I started driving with them on risky roads, it was obvious just how much more grip I had available compared to normal tyres.
The composition of the rubber makes the tyre much more flexible than normal tyres in cold weather, so it is able to transfer grip from the wheels to the road. The extra grooves in the tyres allow the tyres to grab hold of the gravel, snow, or ice much more than normal, and they are designed to grip both forwards and backwards, so that they have both driving and reversing grip.
The main drawbacks that I have found in these conditions, is other vehicles with just normal tyres, being able to see the edges of the roads, rather than finding them by "feel", and driving in snow that is so deep that the car "bellies out" on top of the snow, rather than driving through it.
I spent a couple of hours with a client today, practicing emergency stops on winter country roads, and was "pleasantly surprised" at the grip in less-than-perfect road surfaces, stopping quickly and accurately at a number of different speeds, giving results slightly less than normal tyres in summer conditions.
All in all I am very pleased with the driving , steering, and stopping properties of these tyres in winter conditions.
All I am looking forwards to now is the prompt return to summer conditions!
Here is a comparison of the tread between Winter and "Normal" tyres, showing the larger number of grooves in the winter tyre, designed to give the extra flexibilty and grip, compared to the much smoother normal tyre.