Karl’s tyre trial gets under way

Posted on December 19th, 2012 by James Luckhurst

GEM member Karl Taylor entered a Good Motoring competition recently, and was fortunate enough to be declared the winner. His prize: a set of cold weather tyres for him to appraise and review over the course of this winter.

Karl’s tyre trial gets under wayKarl, from Pershore in Worcestershire, went to his local HiQ branch in Evesham for the tyre fitting, just a couple of days ago. “I had great service from the manager, Kevin, and his team,” says Karl. “The process was speedy and efficient. I do a high mileage and will be happy to provide feedback through the next few months on how well the tyres cope in the winter, and whether they seem to offer me much in the way of advantage on cold weather surfaces.”

Karl’s first impressions were that the tread pattern looked aggressive and business-like. “I certainly get the impression that these tyres will do the business on slippy surfaces,” he told us. “The tread feels quite soft to the touch, compared with the low-cost Chinese tyres I was using previously. I do have concerns about how long they will last, as presumably they are going to wear out more quickly than the everyday tyres I have been used to.

“I’ve not done any long journeys on them yet, or taken the car onto the motorway, but so far there appears to be an acceptable level of road noise: nothing too intrusive,” adds Karl.

“I thought I should keep a track of tyre wear rate versus mileage as well as a diary of my observations, so I shall report again at the end of the month.’’

Winter tyres use a special tread rubber compound with a high silica content. The tread pattern has been designed to retain flexibility in low temperatures – typically below +7 degrees Celsius. The design of the tyre maximises braking performance and grip on snow and ice as well as on wet roads in cold conditions.

You can identify a cold weather tyre because it will be marked with a symbol showing a snowflake or snow-topped mountains.