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Frank Hovis

Snow Chains

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I've found a couple I fancy - a set at £240 or so for all four wheels from reading reviews - and soembody has just popped up and told me that they're banned from UK roads. Surely that's not right.

And before I make a second mistake the set I liked were Weissenfels Klack & Go Pro-Tech, these:

pro-tech-wheel.jpg

Anybody know what they're like?

This is for nothing more adventurous than commuting with some hills thrown in and primarily to give me a bit of confidence as I crashed in January due to snow and ice (more annoying than anything else - I was fine and the car had only cosmetic damage that I didn't bother repairing), I was going to pop into Halfords but the reviews of their standard chains at £70 a pair was that they didn't last at all well.

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I've found a couple I fancy - a set at £240 or so for all four wheels from reading reviews - and soembody has just popped up and told me that they're banned from UK roads. Surely that's not right.

And before I make a second mistake the set I liked were Weissenfels Klack & Go Pro-Tech, these:

pro-tech-wheel.jpg

Anybody know what they're like?

This is for nothing more adventurous than commuting with some hills thrown in and primarily to give me a bit of confidence as I crashed in January due to snow and ice (more annoying than anything else - I was fine and the car had only cosmetic damage that I didn't bother repairing), I was going to pop into Halfords but the reviews of their standard chains at £70 a pair was that they didn't last at all well.

Get yerself one of these - sorted!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EA6Boi9i9s&NR=1

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I've found a couple I fancy - a set at £240 or so for all four wheels from reading reviews - and soembody has just popped up and told me that they're banned from UK roads. Surely that's not right.

And before I make a second mistake the set I liked were Weissenfels Klack & Go Pro-Tech, these:

pro-tech-wheel.jpg

Anybody know what they're like?

This is for nothing more adventurous than commuting with some hills thrown in and primarily to give me a bit of confidence as I crashed in January due to snow and ice (more annoying than anything else - I was fine and the car had only cosmetic damage that I didn't bother repairing), I was going to pop into Halfords but the reviews of their standard chains at £70 a pair was that they didn't last at all well.

No expert, but I've a little bit of experience in winter driving in Austria. Chains are great for snow, but not so good for ice, and on tarmac you run a risk of damaging the road, the chains and the tyres (and if one snaps - the car too) - or so I was told.

IANAL but I recall seeing that the legal issue is driving on chains when there is no snow? (eg on patchy roads). That is certainly the AA's advice - http://www.theaa.com/public_affairs/reports/learning-the-lessons-of-the-severe-winter-weather.html

Autosock?

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I've found a couple I fancy - a set at £240 or so for all four wheels from reading reviews - and soembody has just popped up and told me that they're banned from UK roads. Surely that's not right.

And before I make a second mistake the set I liked were Weissenfels Klack & Go Pro-Tech, these:

pro-tech-wheel.jpg

Anybody know what they're like?

This is for nothing more adventurous than commuting with some hills thrown in and primarily to give me a bit of confidence as I crashed in January due to snow and ice (more annoying than anything else - I was fine and the car had only cosmetic damage that I didn't bother repairing), I was going to pop into Halfords but the reviews of their standard chains at £70 a pair was that they didn't last at all well.

Driven on snow chains many times in the past in the States. Problem is I think they damage the roads. If you drive too fast with them on they can also rip off, get whipped round the wheel and damage the paintwork.

I remember a long discussion last year about what the best solution was.

I can give you my two penneth again :

Chains are extremely good, but are really for extreme conditions. You need to take them off when you go over a certain speed (I don't know what it is but its pretty low), which makes them a pain in the ass.

Snow tires are good. A two wheel drive on snow tyres will outperform a monster fourwheeler on normal tyres. I have a 4 wheel drive quattro audi and its rubbish in the snow on normal tyres. Watching people in four wheelers thinking that they could get up my (not very steep) road on normal tyres was funny. Guy in a VW toerag learnt just how inept a four wheeler can be on the wrong tyres.

I think one of the guys on here went for those auto sock thingys and said they were quite good.

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Thnaks Athe & Steve.

So I was going to make a mistake! Not as potentially pricey as when I was (correctly) dissuaded on here from buying a new Defender as my main car but a few quid even so.

As I'll be driving on tarmac and fairly fast snow chains are not a good idea then. I remember the snow sock discussion last year but from what I read they're not very hard wearing so I don;t fancy those.

Off to research snow tyres then, they look like the best choice.

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They're a pain in the ar5e. Used them a couple of times in the Alps (where they were compulsory). Pain to get them on - who wants to be fishing around their wheels in all that ice, slush and snow caked around your wheelarches. Pain to take off again for the same reason - you can't use them on tarmac i.e. as the bad bits clear, so they're really only any use for a very limited bit of your journey. They work fine but it's not really what you want to be doing if you can avoid it.

Obviously good fun watching someone else scrabbling around in the dirt fitting theirs, especially if it's the first time and they didn't do a dry run in good weather back home first. Once saw someone tearing their hair out for best part of an hour fitting theirs only to realise once they got in to drive away they had a rear wheel drive car and they'd put them on the front. :D

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I think it was Athom who recommended Autosocks last year. Got some myself. Very glad. Randomly just did a road test on them half an hour ago. Steep hill. Standing start. Forward and reverse. Round corners, on roads with lots of bumpy snow, more than a foot in place. Plus also a few wee slidy/icy hard packed bits. Slam on the brakes and you get a little skid depending on the surface, but very little. Not yet found a slope they cannot go up. Found a really steep slope and did it from a standing start. You hear a little thud thud as they struggle to get a grip but they got me up no problem. Very easy to fit. About 1 minute for both.

I have driven on snow in Canada for a winter in an AWD and winter tires. I would say the feel and control is comparible. If anything the autosocks felt more secure.

Only issue is they apparently wear out quite fast if used on tarmac a lot. However thats not a huge issue IMO. Their ease of use makes up for it IMO.

Saw something on the TV just now saying that the weather would cost probably £50 million per day to the Scottish economy. Now this is a finger in the air calculation - however their clearly is a huge loss every day the country grinds to halt. I have no idea why these are not compulsary. To kit out the entire Scottish car population - would roughly cost £150 million.

So as a back of fag packet calculation 3 days like this and they have paid for themselves. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about all the gritting and snowploughing which would also save a lot of money. When it snows just get everyone to put these on. If there is snow on the roads who cares. No big deal. Everyone drives just a little bit more careful and everything moves like normal. You buy these with every car. When you sell the car they go with them. Same for every car. Result = no more 'chaos' when we get a bit of snow.

It is a no brainer IMO. Make it legal for a few years time and get it sorted.

* Or a set of winter tyres.

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* Or a set of winter tyres.

Yes, winter tyres not snow tyres as I mistakenly called them before reading up. I like fiddling with the car so the opportunity to change all the wheels every November and February is too good to ignore.

Any recommendatiosn as they seem to vary a lot?

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Yes, winter tyres not snow tyres as I mistakenly called them before reading up. I like fiddling with the car so the opportunity to change all the wheels every November and February is too good to ignore.

Any recommendatiosn as they seem to vary a lot?

I would suggest that at the moment you'll have to take whatever is in stock. You'll also need a set of 15/16" VAG steelies to go with that too, it won't be cheap.

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I would suggest that at the moment you'll have to take whatever is in stock. You'll also need a set of 15/16" VAG steelies to go with that too, it won't be cheap.

Cheaper than a Range Rover anyway which is the other option.

And as I posted a while back I have had twenty years of unnecessary but habitual and ingrained scrimping and saving whilst in well-paid jobs which means that now I have finally shaken off that habit cost is pretty irrelevant.

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Yes, winter tyres not snow tyres as I mistakenly called them before reading up. I like fiddling with the car so the opportunity to change all the wheels every November and February is too good to ignore.

Any recommendatiosn as they seem to vary a lot?

No idea I am afraid. Have a google and find some car/skiing forums and you will prob get good reviews.

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I've found a couple I fancy - a set at £240 or so for all four wheels from reading reviews - and soembody has just popped up and told me that they're banned from UK roads. Surely that's not right.

And before I make a second mistake the set I liked were Weissenfels Klack & Go Pro-Tech, these:

pro-tech-wheel.jpg

Anybody know what they're like?

This is for nothing more adventurous than commuting with some hills thrown in and primarily to give me a bit of confidence as I crashed in January due to snow and ice (more annoying than anything else - I was fine and the car had only cosmetic damage that I didn't bother repairing), I was going to pop into Halfords but the reviews of their standard chains at £70 a pair was that they didn't last at all well.

Blimey, my snow chains were £3.50 from a charity shop :)

I've used them for the past 3 years on an old Peugeot 306 and Rover 200 as we live in the sticks and rarely have a gritting machine, let alone a snow plough. So, with a bit of experience, they are pretty quick and easy to put on and remove.

I'd be tempted with snow socks, but I really don't know how well they would get on when the 4x4's had rutted the snow into tracks that are too wide for my car - at least the snow chains can grip even in these circumstances and have never failed to get me home

Cheers,

Mark

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Blimey, my snow chains were £3.50 from a charity shop :)

I've used them for the past 3 years on an old Peugeot 306 and Rover 200 as we live in the sticks and rarely have a gritting machine, let alone a snow plough. So, with a bit of experience, they are pretty quick and easy to put on and remove.

I'd be tempted with snow socks, but I really don't know how well they would get on when the 4x4's had rutted the snow into tracks that are too wide for my car - at least the snow chains can grip even in these circumstances and have never failed to get me home

Cheers,

Mark

Tested that a bit tonight. Side road that had big tracks in it and fresh untouched snow at the side. Drove up with one wheel in and one out and was fine.

I am sure there are certain circumstances where they may not work perfectly, however from my initial tests I would be pretty confident in most situations. They are surprisingly 'shiny' feeling which I did not expect. They look like they are mor elikely to slip than stick. Yet they stick great. I think it is because of the way the fibres criss cross or something. Who knows. Probably a secret.

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£240 for 4? Jeesuuus. They are about 30 Euro a pair here. I run snow tyres - Michelin Alpin. I cannot fault them. Last time we were in the UK for snow the Eurotunnel was closed and the M20 down to one lane. We passed about 5Km of traffic in the outside lane of the motorway. On a couple of hills we passed 4WD that were stuck even though we have 2WD Vectra.

We went up to our local ski resort at the weekend and most cars have snow tyres. I haven't seen chains for years. I made a (foolish) mistake on a back road last winter but got through 30cm of snow uphill on a slope that needs 1st gear in summer. I would have bet anyone 100 quid you couldn't have done it in a 4WD. Never slipped at all.

Modern snow tyres are breathtaking - try some.

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http://bbs.scoobynet.com/showpost.php?p=9116080&postcount=21

I put mine [Autosocks] on the A515 between Buxton & Ashbourne. I had been slipping and sliding around a fair bit (tyres are 225/45/17 Ultrac Sessantas) - I'm not sure what had been twitching more, the TC/ESP or my backside...

We'd come round a corner to a hill to find two HGVs and a line of cars trying to get up the hill. Some folks seems to have given up, whilst the few cars having a crack were going sideways and backwards on the hill.

I stuck the socks on, took 5 to 10 minutes which isn't bad given I've never had them out of the bag before and it was almost dark. Then wafted straight up the hill without any dicey moments, even completely stopping & re-starting to avoid a Golf being pushed up.

Going down the other side of the hill looked equally dodgy (long line cars of trying to get up) - no twitching at all.

I did 5 to 10 miles on mine, stopping to take them off in a pub car park once back on clear roads. Took about 2 minutes to remove them. There's a few scuffs on the fabric but nothing major at all.

Great bit of kit for our "winters" ie lots of cold / rain and a few days of snow chaos (which don't warrant a set of snow tyres).

not surprised they won't last long on tarmac but if it's a minute to take on and off after practice i can live with it.

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I think it was Athom who recommended Autosocks last year. Got some myself. Very glad. Randomly just did a road test on them half an hour ago. Steep hill. Standing start. Forward and reverse. Round corners, on roads with lots of bumpy snow, more than a foot in place. Plus also a few wee slidy/icy hard packed bits. Slam on the brakes and you get a little skid depending on the surface, but very little. Not yet found a slope they cannot go up. Found a really steep slope and did it from a standing start. You hear a little thud thud as they struggle to get a grip but they got me up no problem. Very easy to fit. About 1 minute for both.

I have driven on snow in Canada for a winter in an AWD and winter tires. I would say the feel and control is comparible. If anything the autosocks felt more secure.

Only issue is they apparently wear out quite fast if used on tarmac a lot. However thats not a huge issue IMO. Their ease of use makes up for it IMO.

Saw something on the TV just now saying that the weather would cost probably £50 million per day to the Scottish economy. Now this is a finger in the air calculation - however their clearly is a huge loss every day the country grinds to halt. I have no idea why these are not compulsary. To kit out the entire Scottish car population - would roughly cost £150 million.

So as a back of fag packet calculation 3 days like this and they have paid for themselves. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about all the gritting and snowploughing which would also save a lot of money. When it snows just get everyone to put these on. If there is snow on the roads who cares. No big deal. Everyone drives just a little bit more careful and everything moves like normal. You buy these with every car. When you sell the car they go with them. Same for every car. Result = no more 'chaos' when we get a bit of snow.

It is a no brainer IMO. Make it legal for a few years time and get it sorted.

* Or a set of winter tyres.

I just to OT to specifically ask if anyone had experience with snow socks and you just answered all my questions before I even asked them! So thanks ccc :). I'll order a set each for me and the misses tonight.

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I think it was Athom who recommended Autosocks last year. Got some myself. Very glad. Randomly just did a road test on them half an hour ago. Steep hill. Standing start. Forward and reverse. Round corners, on roads with lots of bumpy snow, more than a foot in place. Plus also a few wee slidy/icy hard packed bits. Slam on the brakes and you get a little skid depending on the surface, but very little. Not yet found a slope they cannot go up. Found a really steep slope and did it from a standing start. You hear a little thud thud as they struggle to get a grip but they got me up no problem. Very easy to fit. About 1 minute for both.

I also got them after Athom's post. RWD BMW automatic with 18" wheels is about the worst winter car possible but they work perfectly and need to be on all four wheels.

AFAIK they can take a bit of tarmac but will wear much faster so I treat mine as working for one winter only and if they make it through then all the better.

Edit: Got mine in October and it was busy then

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=152249&view=findpost&p=2735169

Good to have some snow chains or socks for the car, last year I got in just in time thanks to a thread on here.

We have, in short, been overwhelmed with enquiries, orders, follow up e-mails, phone calls and answerphone messages. The huge demand for AutoSock came unexpectedly, like the snow. We received 20 times the orders we normally expect to receive in a day, and probably 50 times the number of e-mails, with many of these being customers asking for different delivery addresses, having realised that their local roads would be impassable to couriers. Vast numbers of customers, desperate for their AutoSocks, have e-mailed me direct but again, there's been no time to reply to all of you

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Jeez, the time to buy this stuff was weeks if not months ago.

If you are going to panic, panic early. Not after half the country has had 6 inches of snow

True. But better to panic late than never!

Or is it?...

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I just to OT to specifically ask if anyone had experience with snow socks and you just answered all my questions before I even asked them! So thanks ccc :). I'll order a set each for me and the misses tonight.

No probs - glad to help. Only issue I can see is them wearing out. If they can make some new harderwearing version I don't think snow chains will be seen again. However as they only take a minute to put on and off you shouldnt have to wear them too much on tarmac.

I also got them after Athom's post. RWD BMW automatic with 18" wheels is about the worst winter car possible but they work perfectly and need to be on all four wheels.

AFAIK they can take a bit of tarmac but will wear much faster so I treat mine as working for one winter only and if they make it through then all the better.

So you tried them on just the 2 back wheels ? I assume it is because your fronts are the steerers that you need all 4 ?

With front wheel drive 2 are all that is required. But then a RWD snazzy BMW would be nice come the Spring :)

When I get a new car I think I am going to go down the spare 4 steel rimmed winter tyres swapping every winter. With a pack of autosocks in the boot for the hairiest stuff.

Think that would cover just about anything. And anything above that and you are out on the roads you need mental help !!

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So you tried them on just the 2 back wheels ? I assume it is because your fronts are the steerers that you need all 4 ?

Didn't try it as I'd got four but there was an autosock instruction manual on the web which said RWD cars need them on the front for steering

under braking, but it could have been sales talk.

The winter tyres will be my aim as well, they perform as well as snowsocks on the road and generally a good idea in winter anyway.

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Didn't try it as I'd got four but there was an autosock instruction manual on the web which said RWD cars need them on the front for steering

under braking, but it could have been sales talk.

The winter tyres will be my aim as well, they perform as well as snowsocks on the road and generally a good idea in winter anyway.

Makes sense. They would stop you if only on the back - but your steering may not be great. Not ideal.

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I think this is a solid qualification to their merits.

Autosock Colorado

"After a one-year probation period, AutoSock for Truck was finally approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation / USA. This means truck drivers can use AutoSock for Truck wherever snowchains must be fitted in Colorado."

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