Until around 15 years ago, usually the only doubt when buying new tyres was about the brand. But now, with various new technologies on the market and gigantic strides made in research and development, consumers now have a huge range of solutions to choose from. Which is why it’s understandable if you find yourself asking the question: what’s the right type of tyre for me? Summer? Winter? All season? What’s best, a Pirelli Cinturato™ P7 I can then change for a Winter Sottozero, or a Cinturato™ All Season to use the whole year round? Of course, for these kinds of questions there is no one correct answer, as the “right” tyre can only be recommended by examining case by case the habits, mileage and car usage of each particular individual who asks this question.
Let’s take, for example, a family made up of two or three people. One, be it the husband or the wife, is self-employed, has a medium-sized hatchback and drives an average of 25-30,000km a year for work and for pleasure, for both of which they travel a long way outside the city. The second person, however, has a city car which they tend to use within the city, only rarely leaving its confines. Two completely different cases, then, which require two different responses. In the first, the only solution is to have two sets of tyres, summer and winter, to be changed at the appropriate time. With relatively high annual mileage, and especially with the tendency to use the car outside the city, it is definitely advisable to use winter tyres during the coldest months (not forgetting that it is required by law in almost all regions of Italy to have either winter tyres or snow chains). Travelling along both smaller roads and the motorway carries the very real risk, particularly at night, of running into snow and ice, and in these circumstances a winter tyre can make the difference. Even if you don’t find yourself in “extreme” situations, winter tyres are also useful to ensure that skiing or other winter holidays are free from stress or worry. Then, once the cold is gone, in the hot season summer tyres guarantee maximum performance in terms of road holding, grip and braking, without suffering wear and tear from the hot road surface. So overall, having a change of tyres is the best way to always be sure of the greatest possible level of safety.
The situation is different, though, for the second person with the city car. In this case a choice of all season tyres could well be most suitable, both practically and in terms of cost. As well as not having to own two sets of tyres, all season tyres also take away the stress of having to change your tyres twice a year, from winter to summer ones and back again. All season tyres are the perfect compromise, capable of dealing with any situation, from the hardest snow in winter and to 40°C temperatures in the hottest of summers. Their overall performance obviously can’t compare with M+S or summer tyres (used in their ideal respective conditions), but in this case, the fact that this car is mostly used in the city where road conditions are rarely “extreme” makes the decision to go for the compromise of all season tyres the most logical and convenient.
If you have any doubts, we suggest that you speak to one of our reliable tyre experts, who, once they understand your needs and habits, will be able to recommend the type of tyre most suitable for you.
Let’s see some general differences between All-season, summer and winter tyres:
- All-season tyres are designed to perform all year-round and in all “normal” weather conditions, from a warm summer to a cold winter, so wheels will be provided with a medium level of performance in comparison with tyres designed specifically for winter or summer, especially for what concerns traction;
- Winter wheels are homologated for extreme winter conditions in coldest temperature and wet roads with slush, so when driving in these conditions, it is better to consider buying winter tyres instead of all-season ones. Plus, winter tyres have softer rubber compounds which help the tread remain soft also in case of snow;
- Summer tyres, on the other side, are designed to withstand the highest temperatures and dry roads, and the tread will probably last longer in case of hard conditions;
Anyway, the three types of tyres are designed with great technology to guarantee the best drive experience in any situation, putting always safety first. It all depends on your driving habits, the usual weather conditions in which you drive and the characteristics of your vehicle.