In the Nordics, we definitely have all four seasons, sometimes it feels like the summers are too short, but we will almost certainly experience some winter weather, and we have summers that include some warm weather. It does not happen that often, but we sometimes wish the car would have air conditioning so you can fight the heat. Which is a big difference from what you want six months later, where you may wish you had an Eberspaecher preheater to heat your car before stepping into it. These large differences in temperatures and weather conditions require you to have different tyres on your car.
You need two sets of tyres because the weather conditions vary so much, you need to have two sets where each tyre is optimized to give you the best features for each extreme season. Summer tyres have the best properties for the summers, and winter tyres give you the best properties for the winter season. Winters are probably the season that needs it the most, as snow and ice can be quite challenging.
Summer tyres are optimized for plus degrees and weather that includes both wet and dry conditions. Most summers, you will drive on dry asphalt roads, where stability and good cornering properties are important. Good steering response and low rolling resistance are also important features. When the weather gets wet, you still need a short braking distance, so the tyres must have a good braking distance on wet surfaces and the ability to prevent aquaplaning. This requires that the tread is optimized for this purpose so that water can be pushed to the sides quickly and efficiently so that the tyres do not lose contact with the road surface.
During the winter season, you have to overcome various challenges, as you have temperatures below zero combined with fairly harsh winter weather that includes snow, ice and slush. These weather conditions are challenging in their own way. On the ice, it is difficult to have a good grip with rubber. To overcome this, the tyres use either metal studs that are integrated into the tread or then patterns in the tread that creates a suction that provides grip in combination with crystals that give the surface a hard sandpaper structure. The studs are superior, but they have a little more restriction on their use. The tread design gives you grip when it comes to snow, so the studs do not give you direct extra grip. That’s why they both work equally well. The same when you encounter slush. However, the tyres must have a good tread design that can effectively prevent slippage planning.
The problem is that these tyres do not overlap, which means that you cannot use summer tyres in winter conditions in the same way that you cannot use winter tyres during summer, so you have to change tyres. The timing of the change if very important to make sure that you can drive safely during the year.
For more information on summer and winter tyres, visit: https://www.nokiantyres.com/