A tyre is a complex engineering product that comes in many shapes and sizes and is designed to meet numerous challenges. Depending on the season, it is advisable to use a different type of tyre, as each has specific benefits for the car.
The tread pattern on a summer tyre has less open grooves to evacuate water, maximizing the rubber in contact with the road surface. Consequently, the traction and braking characteristics of the vehicle are improved.
However, the unique rubber compound and the tread design make summer tyres unsuitable for driving in winter conditions. When the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius, the rubber becomes hard and brittle, and the tread pattern cannot effectively deal with snow or ice.
Winter tyres offer excellent traction on roads covered with snow and ice, as well as on wet roads in low temperature circumstances.
The winter tyre contains sipes, i.e., small, sharp cuts in the tread blocks necessary for winter performance. The sipes will deform the tread block and create sharp edges that bite into the snow. Along with the sipes, the winter tyre tread design features more open grooves which also dig into snow for more grip. Grooves are ideal for removing water and snow from the car's path and mitigating the risk of hydroplaning.
The tread compound of a winter tyre contains polymers that remain soft also at very low temperatures, so it does not harden when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius. Therefore, this also helps the sipes perform their job. In this way, it remains supple and flexible in cold climates by reducing braking distance and improving handling.
Tyres for all seasons
All-season tyres combine the features of both summer and winter tyres into one hybrid solution that offers the benefits of both. For drivers who live in areas with mild winters, all-season tyres can be an interesting alternative. All-season tyres offer great safety and excellent performance. In addition, drivers can save money and time and reduce the effort required to change tyres seasonally. However, summer and winter tyres are specially adapted to the respective conditions.