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There is no definite answer to the question of which is better - spikes or velcro. Some say that the spikes make noise and fall out. Others that Velcro wears out quickly. There are criteria that you should be guided by when choosing winter tires. Remember: universal rubber for all occasions does not exist. This was not invented.

Velcro


Such a tire is popularly called Velcro
Such a tire is popularly called Velcro

Velcro is popularly called winter tires that are not equipped with metal spikes. But that's not all. Winter tires may differ in tread pattern. Some work better in soft snow. Others cling better to icy asphalt. Third universal. Half of their tread “holds tighter” to hard surfaces, the second one works more confidently with snow.

Universality is conditional. It's like with all-season tires. They work in winter and summer. But they don't work to their full potential. Rather, they underwork both in winter and in summer. A similar situation with the universal tread pattern. Works on hard surfaces, loose snow. But worse than full-fledged snow tires.

Velcro winter tires are made of soft rubber. Please note when choosing. But you need to understand how important the hardness and other characteristics of tires are in the context of winter driving.

Studded tires


Tire with spikes
Tire with spikes

Studded tires are tires with metal spikes. However, this is not a complete definition. Studded tires are by default made from a harder material than velcro. This is done intentionally, since soft rubber is not suitable for reliable fixation of the spikes. In this feature lies most of the "pitfalls" that await the motorist in the event of a blind choice.

Studded tires differ from model to model. The differences are in the tread pattern, the quality of the material, the shape of the spikes, and their number. This makes the choice even more difficult. Especially those who did not have time to figure out the basic differences.

Winter tire specifications


Winter tires are not only their price
Winter tires are not only their price

How do tire characteristics affect the handling of a car? Handling is not only about how the car reacts to the steering wheel. The length of the braking distance, the grip when starting, accelerating, climbing long hills depend on the characteristics of winter tires. Under different conditions - warm, cold, hard frost, snow, ice, asphalt, "porridge".

It's about the following features:

The hardness of the tires determines the handling of the car under different temperature conditions. When the rubber is soft, it does not lose elasticity in severe frosts, and continues to actively interact with the road surface under these conditions. Soft rubber becomes too soft at positive temperatures. This leads to the fact that management turns into "cotton", uninformative and fuzzy. Behind the wheel, the feeling is that the road under the wheels is some kind of rubber.

If the rubber is hard, then at positive and small negative temperatures it behaves more confidently than soft rubber. When the temperature drops, these tires tan. Lose elasticity, cease to actively interact with the road surface. The contact patch is reduced, there is almost no sense from the tread. Even worse, summer tires behave in the cold. Behind the wheel it feels like the car rides on wooden wheels.

The harder the tire material, the worse the car starts in the cold, holds the road poorly, stops for a long time, “does not want” to go uphill. Soft rubber behaves well at low temperatures, as it remains elastic. In terms of heat, control on such tires becomes floating, wadded.

Studs affect the handling of the car. But differently depending on the weather. Here you need to know how the spikes interact with the road surface. When the surface is so hard that the spike cannot cut into it, it "hides" in the seat and does not affect the hold. When the wheels are completely blocked, it slides without clinging to the coating. In moderately hard ice (at temperatures up to -15) and snow, the spikes bite into the road, providing a hook.

The tread affects the interaction of tires with road surfaces. Some tires push water and snow-mud slush out from under the contact patch better, others work well with dry snow, and others stick to ice more effectively.

Let's return to the choice between studded rubber and velcro.

Velcro advantages


So you can overcome the snow without thorns
So you can overcome the snow without thorns

Velcro tires are made from soft rubber. This gives an advantage in severe frosts. Tires remain soft, elastic, continue to interact with the coating. Confident control is maintained, the braking distance does not increase, the wheels slip less when starting off and moving uphill.

Velcro is less noisy than metal spikes. Nothing comes out of them. Advantage - low price compared to studded tires of the same class.

Cons of velcro


Soft rubber, which is an advantage at low temperatures, turns into a disadvantage in heat. Manageability is deteriorating. If the frost on the street is small, in the place of the contact patch, ice and snow are melted and turn into a layer of water. Then everything starts to work according to the principle of skates - the friction force due to water decreases, the braking distance increases.

Velcro has disadvantages at positive air temperature. Management becomes wadded, uninformative and fuzzy. On hard surfaces, it wears out quickly. When driving aggressively, it falls off in pieces.

Spike pros


Many car enthusiasts consider winter studs to be the best option. Although they have few advantages. It works effectively only when there is snow or not too hard ice on the road .

Cons of spikes


Minuses:

  • On surfaces that are “too tough” for studded tires, the studs wear out intensively and fall out.
  • The spikes are metal and make a lot of noise on asphalt, concrete.
  • On asphalt and concrete, tires are ineffective and even dangerous.
  • On smooth paving stones, the spikes behave inadequately.
  • When the temperature drops below -15 degrees, the rubber hardens.
  • In severe frosts, due to the increase in ice hardness, the spikes cannot destroy it and provide a hook.
  •  

The flying spikes turn into bullets for the cars driving at high speed behind. To warn other drivers about this, a sign must be glued to the car. If you see such a sign on a vehicle in front, keep your distance. The ejected metal easily breaks through the windshield, and not all of the energy is lost from this.

After the loss of studs, rubber of this category turns into a useless, and even dangerous thing at low temperatures.

Studded tires are often credited with improving fuel consumption. They have higher rolling resistance than regular rubber. But a little, and it makes no sense to consider this a minus. In winter, fuel consumption increases for other reasons, much more than because of the spikes.

Final cheat sheet


Spikes

Velcro

+

-

+

-

Works only on snow

Wear on hard surfaces

Retain elasticity in the cold

Poor handling at positive temperatures

And on soft ice

Noisiness

Confident handling on snow and ice

Accelerated wear on hard surfaces

 

Ineffective on hard surfaces

Shortened braking distance

Fall apart under aggressive driving

 

Dangerous on the pavement

Do not make noise

 

 

Expensive

Nothing flies

 

 

Useless in extreme cold

Cheaper

 

 

Studded or velcro?


Spikes on the left, Velcro on the right
Spikes on the left, Velcro on the right

When choosing between studded tires and velcro, the mistake is to focus on price, noise and an intuitive feeling that studs are better for winter. The choice should be based on the conditions in which the car is often used.

Do you live in a city where the roads are regularly cleared of snow? You don't need spikes. Are paved streets predominant in the city? Spikes are contraindicated for you. Buy classic velcro. It is better if they have two tread pattern configurations. They behave confidently on a hard road and on snow porridge.

Studded tires will not work if you live in a region where severe frosts prevail. In such conditions, soft rubber works more efficiently and you need to buy Velcro.

Do you travel long distance? Take without spikes. On such roads, deep and loose snow does not lie for a long time and there will be nothing to bite into.

Do you live in an area where the timely cleaning of roads from snow is a real disaster? Buy studded tires, but consider core air temperature. In severe frosts, studded tires do not work, they become oak.

Studded tires for a measured slow ride, Velcro - on the contrary. This is not always true. If the studded tires are of good quality, they can withstand high-speed traffic perfectly.

Video: winter tires test


Conclusion


Which tires are better - studded or velcro? There is no single answer. Don't look. But there are a number of criteria by which you will choose the right one. Temperature conditions, type and most frequent condition of the road surface on which you move more often. Tread pattern, stud configuration, quantity are unimportant factors. But don't forget about them.