Bridgestone Winter tyres

Bridgestone Winter Tyres-Winter vs Summer Tyres – What’s The Difference?

Bridgestone Winter Tyres

Bridgestone Winter Tyres

Modern tyre design has enabled tyre compounds to be more flexible in low temperatures. As a result, summer tyres are made to perform in possible “hot” weather. Thus, the added ingredient is a “Silica” compound. Therefore,  the third type of tyre is the “all-weather” tyres.Which is a compromise between winter and summer tyres. Not wanting to be too complicated, the major difference between the two compounds comes down to something called the “glass transition temperature.”

Tyre rubber is made of “molecules”. Glass transition temperature, is the temperature that the rubber molecules begin to move more freely. In winter tyres the GTT is very low and so they start to perform better at lower temperatures. Hence the 7 degrees that most tyre makers relate to their tyres. In higher temperature, then winter tyres will start to wear most. Summer tyres will simply grip better at higher temperatures.

Eric Roberts  Bridgestone Winter tyres

Bridgestone Winter tyres

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This temperature range of the compound remains vitally important regardless of conditions. For example, if it’s raining, and it’s say, 70 degrees F outside, the summer tire will have a grippier compound at this temperature. Assuming you don’t have standing water, and the tire is touching the road, the summer tire will have more grip in the rain at this temperature.

So what are some of the other advantages of a summer tire? Well, this RE71R tire specifically was surprisingly inspired by motorcycles, developed from a high grip polymer Bridgestone used in MotoGP. The tread pattern has a wide center rib, which gives you a lot of response in steering and turn in, and it has massive shoulder blocks on the outside, unbroken, with no pass through grooves. The stiff shoulder blocks provide high grip and cornering, and for accelerating while going straight. You’ll also notice two large circumferential grooves with angled grooves and directional tread pattern for removing water.

Bridgestone Winter tyres

Another interesting change on the RE71 is that it’s a little more rounded than the RE11, kind of like a motorcycle tire, and what Bridgestone has found is that this slightly increases the contact patch of the tire versus the RE11 during steering and turn-in, maximizing grip while cornering. The sidewalls are also stiffer than your average touring tires.

The winter tire, on the other hand, has significantly different design characteristics. Immediately you’ll notice a deeper tread. Deep tread allows for collecting snow, as snow on snow traction is actually pretty good. The trade-off, however, since the tread blocks stick out further, is that they’ll be less stiff. The stiff tread blocks of summer tires is what gives them a more responsive, precise feel. You’ll also notice siping, little zig zag grooves in the tread, which you won’t find on summer tires. This provides more bitting edges to grip the snow and ice, and is also another location to collect snow. Zig-zags help minimize the loss in stiffness, however the sipes will still result in more flexible tread blocks.