October 30, 2020

Are friction tyres good enough?

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Friction tyres are another name for non-studded tyres, as they don’t use studs to create grip on ice. For winter tyres you have basically two different types of tyres, you have the studded tyres and you have the non-studded tyres. In addition to that you also have both tyres that are aimed just for the winter season and thus referred to as winter tyres and you have all-weather tyres, which if they are winter approved can handle all the different weathers including winter weather. The all-weather tyres can therefore be used throughout the year and you don’t have to worry about when to change or any weather forecast.

The friction tyres are great at winter tyres and have a rubber compound that makes them soft and flexible at low temperatures, so they can ensure good grip even at very low temperatures. The tread pattern is geared towards winter conditions, so that they have excellent grip and traction on snow and the pattern also is good at preventing slushplaning. Slush can be very treacherous, as it is very difficult to gain control. To avoid slushplaning your tyres will need to push the slush to the sides to remain in control. This puts a lot of pressure on the design of the tread and its grooves.

The tread of the friction tyres is where all the magic happens. They have been carefully developed over time, with endless testing to improve the performance. They have to provide excellent grip on both ice and snow. For icy surfaces they have developed a tread that contains cryo-crystals, which are added as grip particles. They also use sipes to create good grip and they have added multi faceted snow claws between the tread blocks. All these developments have now made the non-studded tyres to be almost as good as studded tyres during the winter; however, the studded still have a slight edge on icy surfaces.

The all-weather tyres don’t have studs and the also need to create the grip through the tread. The challenge is however that the tyre has to cater for all weather types. This makes it more of a compromise tyre, as the tread has to cater for both winter condition as well as summer condition.

When are the friction tyres better?

Friction tyres might have a bit worse grip on ice than a studded tyre, but they provide very good flexibility versus them. There are no restriction for use of friction tyres, so you can basically have them on all year round, but they perform worse than summer tyres, so that is not advisable. The freedom of not having to comply with any dates and there are no restriction when you travel between countries either, so you can use these in any country.

Good quality non-studded tyres tend to have extremely low rolling resistance; this results in lower fuel consumption as you drive. The tyre wear will also be lower as a result of this. Both these factors are good for the environment and coupled with a green tyre that is produced with low aromatic oils and no toxic chemicals,

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