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Discussion Starter #1
I have never understood why low profile tyres and big rims are less effective in wintertime.

Is it the low profile? The (often) wider tyres? Is the pressure higher and the tyres harder?

Where I live we have very little snow, but often sub zero temperature during winter. I really would like to have 18" even nov-march. How stupid am I? Anyone can explain?
 

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I don't think it's big rims that are the problem, but rather the compound and profile of most tires fitted on those wheels.
Winter tires have a very different profile (lots of small cuts for bite) and are made using a compound that keeps its plasticity at lower temperatures.

My brother runs winter tires on his 19" wheels in winter - no worries :)
 

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FYI, Continental Extreme Contact DWS tires have approached dedicated winter tires in traction on snow and ice by survey of owners. I am seriously considering them for my new Alfa Giulietta coming next year. Not bad for a UHP all season tire.
 

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Wide wheels/tyres act like skis in snow - great for sliding about, but not good for traction.
Winter tyres also:
1. Are of a much softer compound so that they can 'bed' into the road. A summer tyre compound becomes like a block of wood in very cold temperatures and cannot grip into the road, but rides on top.
2. Have a deeper profile.
3. Have much wider grooves so that snow falls out and water/slush can get squeezed out.

Winter tyres give much better once the temperature goes below 4°C!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn´t consider summer tyres in the winter, but most people say that even WINTER tyres should be 15-16" and not bigger. The general consensus seem to be that a lower profile = worse for driving in snow (even with tyres of material and structure made for sub zero). And me no understand.
 

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TBH mines runs fine with winter spec tyres.
 

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Look at any WRC Rally car driving in the snow. The wheels are super skinny in width - not depth. The wider the wheel, the more surface there is to cause friction against the ground. In this case - snow and ice. The wider wheels 'float' on the surface of the snow, thinner tyres cut through it and find grip - simples!
 
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