Should I buy studded tires?
If there were a versatile tire that could meet all the needs of winter motorists, you wouldn't need to read this. Unfortunately, the perfect winter tire has yet to be invented. However, when you go shopping, there are some features you can prioritize to make the right choice. Among the various options available on the market are studded tires (or studded tires).
Contrary to popular belief, studded tires are perfectly legal everywhere in Canada, except in southern Ontario. In Quebec, studded tires are only allowed between October 15 and May 15. That said, depending on where you live, your travel habits and your needs, studded tires may be a good choice. Here's what you need to know about studded tires without further ado.
The great comeback of studded tires
Studded tires had practically disappeared with the advent of specialized ice tires. However, this technology is making a comeback, partly because some manufacturers install studs directly at the factory. Some European and Asian manufacturers offer tires with studded treads. At the time of purchase, it is also possible to install studs on tires whose treads have been manufactured to accommodate them.
Are studded tires for you?
Before buying winter tires, you must first evaluate your needs, starting with your driving habits. Do you drive mainly on the highway or secondary roads in the city? If you live in a rural area, use back roads a lot, or have to go to the cottage on weekends, studded tires could save you a lot of trouble. You'll feel safer with studded tires because they provide highly effective braking and a good grip on ice. However, if you live in an urban area and drive on roads (or highways) that are regularly plowed, you should rely on traditional winter tires instead. Be aware that studded tires are noisier, especially when the tread is in direct contact with the asphalt. Also, it is essential to note that studded tires are not allowed in many parking garages and underground parking lots.
Factory or dealer studded?
If you plan to equip your vehicle with studded tires, you should know that there are two types: studded by the manufacturer directly at the factory and studs are added at the retailer. Both technologies have advantages and disadvantages. The factory studded tire is undeniable of better quality. It offers superior performance, better durability and a quieter ride. The technologies developed by European manufacturers, in particular, contribute to making the tire more efficient and versatile. Because of its unique shape designed to optimize contact with the road, the factory-installed nail will provide a quieter ride without compromising its ability to grip. The superior performance of this technology allows the manufacturer to have more studs (up to 50 percent more) and better distribution on the tread to increase grip on ice. Retail studded tires are less expensive but noisier and less durable. Their rudimentary studs have a more significant impact on the road, increasing their noise level. However, by purchasing this type of tire, you can opt for a medium-quality tire and have the studs installed afterwards for a much more reasonable total price.
Making the right choice
Using studded tires is to your advantage if you regularly drive on icy and snowy country roads. And if you expect to keep your vehicle for many years, factory studded tires are a better investment. On the other hand, if your budget is limited, prefer a medium-quality tire studded by the retailer: the investment will be less, and you will still get outstanding performance.
Make the right choice !
If you expect to keep your vehicle for many years, factory studded tires are a better investment.