How to tell the difference between a summer tire and a winter tire

How to tell the difference between a summer tire and a winter tire

Is there really a difference between Summer and Winter tires?

The rubber content is the main feature that differentiates the Winter tire from the Summer tire. 
The Winter tire contains more natural rubber to preserve its flexibility in cold weather (under +7 °C). The winter tire is made of thermo-rubber (a cold-resistant rubber compound) that retains its elasticity when the temperature drops, ensuring better grip on icy roads. The softer the tire is, the better it is to hold onto the road surface. 

The Summer tire is optimized by its manufacturing compound to be used at temperatures above +7 °C. Below this +7 °C, the tread rubber get harder and becomes less efficient. 

The materials used in the manufacturing compounds are varied, here are a few. First of all, let's talk about Silica, the silica used in high proportion makes the rubber more flexible which advantageously increases the contact surface to allow better adhesion on snow and ice. Silica also prevents premature wear. Silica is probably the most used material by manufacturers and relegates smoke-black tires to the age of dinosaurs.

Some manufacturers include orange oil in their compound which also contributes to the flexibility of the tire rubber, for nature lovers, orange oil is the most ecological.

Who has not heard of Toyo nut passion? Toyo tells us that the nut shell is a very hard natural material and that subjected to a process of baking purification and grinding this material becomes even harder, distributed in the sole the shells act like thousands of tiny crampon, I let you imagine the adhesion that it can provide. 


The sculpture of the tire is another important difference. 

For the Winter tires, deep tread allows melted snow from accumulating in cavities, as weird as it seems to be nothing better glue on snow as the snow itself, the snow piled up in the cavities increases grip and traction on snowy roads. 


For Summer tires, tread depth is less accentuated, but sufficient to evacuate the water quickly. 


The tire structure is also important. 

One Winter tire has up to 5 times more slats than the summer tire. This large amount of coverslip improves grip because there are more ridges to interact with the compacted snow on the road. These slats bite snow, slush and ice to maximize grip. 

The Summer tire has much fewer slats, the lower the number of slats there is, the more the surface in contact with the ground is increased which improves the adhesion on dry ground. 


No law requires to put on >Summer tires between March 15 and December 1. 

It is strongly discouraged to ride in Summer with Winter tires. 

I hear you say "my winter tires are too worn to spend another winter, let's end up wearing them this summer ...". 

That will make you change your mind. 


For road holding, please remember that on dry asphalt, with its deeper tread, the sole of the Winter tire is less in contact with the road which can cause you a slight  deportation in curves and understeer, which increase with your speed. Braking is also affected, at an outside temperature of 15ºC, the braking efficiency is 20% lower than on Summer tire, this percentage increases as quickly as the thermometer. The hotter it is, the more the gum of the Winter tire will degrade. In the rain, the risk of hydroplaning increases, the sole of winter tires does not drain water as effectively as the sole of a Summer tire. Besides, the Summer we like to walk the windows open, the winter tires are always noisier. The softer rubber of Winter tires increases rolling resistance, result; higher fuel consumption. For your safety, Winter tires are for the Winter, enjoy the Summer suitably shod, take off your Winter boots and put on your sneakers! 


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