January 23, 2009
Is It Dirtball To Run Snow Tires Year-Round?
By Jen Dunnaway
Okay, so say you’re down and out, you’ve got four cars, and more than one of them needs a new set of tires. You know that “all season” tires don’t really cut it in hardcore snow and ice—you need a set of real honest-to-goodness snows on your winter car. Say this winter car gets driven only occasionally in the summer (you’ve got other toys), and you can’t afford a whole new set of summer tires for it in addition to the snows. So what’s the harm in running snow tires on it year-round? Of course, snows are made of much softer compounds, and they wear down fast if you’re clocking a lot of miles on warm summer roads. But if you’re talking about a winter workhorse that doesn’t travel more than a few hundred miles in the summer, it’s not like the tread life is going to take that much of a beating. Besides, there’s something kind of satisfying about the handling characteristics of sticky snow tires on hot asphalt, their grippiness in the wet, the meaty stance they give to your ride, and if applicable, their “diggability” in soft-surface four-wheeling conditions. Sure, it’s a little trashy to still have snows on your car in July, but only if they’re there due to sloth and negligence. Right?
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