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Discussion Starter #1
What are you guys' thoughts on getting snow tires for riding at Cypress/Whistler for the coming season?

On average I ride the two mountains about 50-80 times a year, and I've actually pulled it off without snow tires for the last 8 years... But it definitely is a scary drive for a few months each year. The surprising thing is that I never got stuck before even when it is dumping heavy snow.

I know this is still a retarded move at the end of the day even if I never got into problems but snow tires really are a huge investment that I can't afford :dunno: Do any of you also drive without snow tires? I never looked into chains, will keeping a set of tire chains in the car be sufficient as a cheaper alternative?
 

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I got studded winter tires for my car and I left them on for summer. They work fine in the summer even if the studs get worn down. Running winter tires in the summer is nbd but they make a huge difference in the winter.
 

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What are you guys' thoughts on getting snow tires for riding at Cypress/Whistler for the coming season?

On average I ride the two mountains about 50-80 times a year, and I've actually pulled it off without snow tires for the last 8 years... But it definitely is a scary drive for a few months each year. The surprising thing is that I never got stuck before even when it is dumping heavy snow.

I know this is still a retarded move at the end of the day even if I never got into problems but snow tires really are a huge investment that I can't afford :dunno: Do any of you also drive without snow tires? I never looked into chains, will keeping a set of tire chains in the car be sufficient as a cheaper alternative?
Snow tires are really a worthwhile investment for safety. Sure you can get by with all season as long as they are decent and with enough tread life but all it takes is that one split second when you start sliding and lose control and your really screwed. Here in Germany at the very least you must have all season tires on during the winter, its law, but its really nice to have that extra ease of mind knowing your using good snow tires.
 

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What are you guys' thoughts on getting snow tires for riding at Cypress/Whistler for the coming season?

On average I ride the two mountains about 50-80 times a year, and I've actually pulled it off without snow tires for the last 8 years... But it definitely is a scary drive for a few months each year. The surprising thing is that I never got stuck before even when it is dumping heavy snow.

I know this is still a retarded move at the end of the day even if I never got into problems but snow tires really are a huge investment that I can't afford :dunno: Do any of you also drive without snow tires? I never looked into chains, will keeping a set of tire chains in the car be sufficient as a cheaper alternative?
I use snow tires. Spending about $500 for snow tires is better than the hassle of a crash (which can also mean jacked up insurance).

I also have a set of chains just in case.

In the Quebec province, snow tires are required by law during the winter months (there are caveats of course)

in british columbia... a quick search:
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/popular-topics/faq.htm#winter_tires
 

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I think what you guys don't understand is that the OP is talking about driving in Vancouver! I know when I was there in January, there was only snow for the last couple hundred metres of the road to Cypress.

Whistler obviously had a bit of snow on the road up, but not enough I'd consider snow tires for!!! :blink:

Shit I use all seasons in Alberta and we are WAY colder than the west coast.
 

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snow tires isn't just for snow.

It is also beneficial for icy conditions, especially patches of "black" ice.

Down here in Jersey, I see more icy conditions than snow. But, I also do drive up north where there is a lot of snow.

If you decide to use all-seasons.. that's fine. Then keep a set of chains in the trunk and know how to use them, just in case that you actually need to use them.
 

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snow tires isn't just for snow.
That's why I mentioned the cold. Bottom line is in Vancouver snow tires aren't the right thing. Driving to whistler is a different story but I'm still not sure if I'd bother with snow tires for that.

In Calgary snow tires should be a must, and we really don't get much snow at all...
 

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snow tires isn't just for snow.

It is also beneficial for icy conditions, especially patches of "black" ice.

Down here in Jersey, I see more icy conditions than snow. But, I also do drive up north where there is a lot of snow.

If you decide to use all-seasons.. that's fine. Then keep a set of chains in the trunk and know how to use them, just in case that you actually need to use them.
Most snow tires won't make much of difference on black ice unless they are studded. Ice is Ice.

Snow tires are great for fresh snow and packed snow, and here I drive in these conditions 6 months of the year, so financially I think of it this way. If I get a new car with new tires and drive 365 I'm going to need new tires after about 3-4 years. But if I buy winters right away and split the year on them I'm good for 6-8 years. In the end the cost is the same to me but I'm driving appropriate the tires for the season.

I'd have to agree though, if your only looking at a few km of road that may or may not be in bad shape a set of chains might do you good. Driving around Van with winters on isn't going to do you much good and they will wear faster then your all seasons on the warmer roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah to clarify in Vancouver, on average temperature is close to 0 degrees celsius. A lot of days in the winter the temperature is actually even higher, about 3-5 degrees. On the really cold days the temperature will drop to about -5 degrees but that's rare.

The only use for the snow tires will be for the 1km road close to the local ski resorts or driving on the highway on my way to Whistler. I won't need the tires for city driving.
 

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The only use for the snow tires will be for the 1km road close to the local ski resorts or driving on the highway on my way to Whistler. I won't need the tires for city driving.
Yeah and that's why I figure snows are probably not necessary. They certainly won't hurt, but you'll be throwing money away with faster wearing tires. I'd get a good set of rains like Toyo Proxes 4 if I was in Vancouver!

For me, I'm driving anywhere from 1-4 hours on potentially -20 deg C, hardpack snow covered roads to the hills. I really should have snows but drive a company truck (and they're not in the budget :dunno:)...
 

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Normal snow tires (not studded) slide just as bad as regular tires on ice. They dont provide any more traction either. That was a stupid statement to put out there.
If you can afford them get them. You've done it for 8 years I'm sure you can make more just fine. I wouldn't push it but sounds like you are cash strapped. At the same time you have money for gas to get to a mountain and a lift pass.... Just saying might want to rethink this.
Know your skill and vehicles limitations so if you need to make the decision to ride or stay home you make the correct call. It's not just your safety I don't want a car sliding out if control into my lane possibly injurying my family.
 

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TireRack did a rudimentary test comparing all-season vs summer vs studless snow/ice tire on a ice-skating ink.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=116

Autos.ca did a similar test, comparing all-season vs snow tires in an ice skating rink in Vancouver
Feature: Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires - Autos.ca

Their conclusion is different from yours.

If I frequently travelled in an area of packed snow (that doesn't get plowed and treated) or arctic circle driving (on ice)...yes, I would consider studded tires.

Ice skating rinks, are the worst cases scenario for ice because it is continuously kept all conditions to make sure there is always a thin film of water forming (sound familiar? about base structures, waxing, etc).

What makes ice dangerous is not the solid ice. It's the thin layer of water, which can cause viscoplaning.

When conditions get cold enough that the thin layer of ice cannot form, traction is improved. This explains why sharp ice skate edges allow person to accelerate, turn, and brake, because the edge breaks through the thin water layer and grip the ice itself. It's also a similar mechanism for skiiers and snowboarders being able to steer.
 

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I'm running snow tires here in seattle for: the increased cold weather traction (compound works better when below 50), can't use chains, we have a lot of hills and I run summer tires so in the winter they have the traction of hockey pucks when it's cold.
 

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It really has to do with how flexible the rubber stays at lower temperatures. Snow tires maintain their plasticity better than all seasons near and below freezing than all weather tires. Additionally, snow tires generally have deeper lugs and more siping than all season tires which gives you more surface area and better grip in the slush.

I came from Michigan so I already had a set of Blizzak WS70s for the winter and I keep them on my car here in Vancouver whenever the temps start hanging out below 10C consistently. It helps a lot for heading up to Whistler or even Cypress when it's snowy out and it saves the wear on the summer tires. Plus if you're willing to spring for new rims too, then you can downsize and get a bit more sidewall too. Of course, buying them in the states, I got tires and aluminum rims for cheaper than just the tires up here, so I can understand why people wouldn't want to spend the extra dough.
 

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Cypress has a kick ass road to drive up, it's basically the Freeway all the way to the top.

All last year I drove with one of those skinny little pizza cutter spares.
Only one time, did I start to lose traction, but a salt truck pulled out in front of me @ the lookout.

If you're getting stuck just wait @ the lookout for the gravel then the salter, you'll make it every time:thumbsup:

I was jokin' around with some buddies, that I was going to stick those little pizza cutters on all 4 tires:giggle:


TT
 

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A lot of people (including law makers) see the M+S logo, which does mean Mud & SNOW. This has nothing to do with traction though. It is just a tread to void ratio a tire needs to meet. There are so-called "All-season" tires that are useless in the snow & ice, simply because the tread pattern lacks a good amount of siping.

When we say snow tire, we're saying the ones with the mountain-snowflake logo, which means it meets the minimum performance requirements by the Rubber Manufacturer's Association test (which the test standard, sets a pretty low bar).
 

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Had a good post saved up here but didn't have time to finish it at work on my break. Lots of people covered most of what I had in it already... buuuttt....

I would definitely have winter tires even for just driving around the city. Granted where I normally have to drive to work gets snow lots of times when even the other side of Langley doesn't get a sniff, let alone majority of the lower mainland... but, it's still a good idea to have winters due to the improved performance in all conditions. I know, sometimes it's 18°C in February and it feels like spring, but that's not always the case. Winters even have better traction in the rain due to the siping, and there's different kinds of winters depending on what you want out of a tire. The ones I bought were a great value and they're more of a street tire for city driving during the winter. It is true that all seasons suck once the temps get below 10 due to the pliability of the rubber compound hardening up, and there being less siping.

I'm a very good driver (drive a lot of big machinery and truck & trailer rigs in tight spots at work), and have lots of experience in horrid conditions, but that said, my car is less than ideal in snow - a big old heavy diesel Mercedes with RWD and a nega-traction open rear end. IE: one tire fire. I got stuck in the parking lot at Cypress on the last weekend of the year during the big 30 cm dump. Car drove in like a breeze, and I packed a spot out about 10 ft on either side of my spot so I wouldn't get stuck... but came back and the car had sunk and I had an adventure getting it pushed out. This was in April. I was also in Whistler in late March and it dumped in the village.

It's not just keeping from being stuck in your tracks, but also maintaining your course.... as in, not spinning out and smashing your ride or someone else. This happens way easier without proper equipment. If you're ever gonna be in snow you may as well have them. It's only a small cost up front for one time and they'll be good for quite a while. I know life is pricey but it's just part of the cost of owning a vehicle. Can't get around it. Tires and brakes are the most important part of a vehicle.

You've gotta be reeeal cheap to ignore the laws and common sense with this stuff. Your call, but I know I'll never go back...
 

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Snow tires are really a worthwhile investment for safety. Sure you can get by with all season as long as they are decent and with enough tread life but all it takes is that one split second when you start sliding and lose control and your really screwed. Here in Germany at the very least you must have all season tires on during the winter, its law, but its really nice to have that extra ease of mind knowing your using good snow tires.
As I understand it, if you get in an accident and you don't have snow tires and the accident involves sliding on snow or ice, your fault is jacked up -- not quite automatic 100%, but damned close. It's basically considered undue care.

I used to make do with all-seasons, but the last 2 winters we've had full snow tires and it makes a surprising amount of difference. All you have to do is go up Seymour (or Cypress) once, driving past the carnage of cars without snowtires, and they pay for themselves.
 

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considering that littlebigdreams says he goes to 50-80 times... to me, it's enough justification to get proper tires.

if littlebigdreams said that he goes only 1 to 2 times... that's a different situation. I would lean to recommending getting a set of quality chains/cables and keep it in the trunk (and practice using them) use them as required.

The Quebec fine is something like $300 for not having winter tires (they'll probably fine you when you crash). $300, depending on the car, can be a set of winter tires for a few seasons (or a good partial payment), or... a set of chains (with change leftover), or... maybe a new board or bindings....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think that the RIGHT thing to do is to suck it up and buy tires. I should probably look into something like Canadian Tire with a 12 month no interest plan to pay for the tires. I would like to pay as little as possible by going to Tire Rack but that would still mean I put $800+ up front.

The cheap alternative for me I guess is to get some chains and just make smart decisions driving in the winter time. I won't need to worry about snow in November or March - May, only need to worry about it in late December - February. I could probably try to car pool / bus my way up the mountain during these months.

I'll probably think about it. Off the topic but living costs in Vancouver are pretty damn high and I'm trying to set aside a certain amount of money every year. Otherwise I'll never be able to afford a place here :dunno:
 
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