Tire Chains vs Studded Tires

Tire Chains vs Studded Tires

by Steve
(Utah)

Typical Tire Chains

Typical Tire Chains

My concern is to know the pros and con of using chains versus studded tires.


I live on a steep narrow road that can become almost impassable in the winter.

I have a '93 Cherokee that can get up and down on most days with BF Goodrich 31 x 10.5 x 15 all terrain tires. I've also used A/T tires with studs in the past, although these were not winter tires.

I'm considering buying studded winter tires; however, the largest size available here is 235 75R 15. I have a speedo gear replacement that will compensate for the difference in wheelsize.

On the worst winter days only chains have worked for me. Even my wife's Subaru with all wheel drive and studded snow tires can't make it up the road, while my jeep with chains and any old tire will go up just about anything.

If I buy new snow tires my existing chains become unusable due to the difference in tire size, and I'm worried that even with snow tires, there will be days when only chains will get me home.

The cost of new tires may run close to $500 plus a set of new chains maybe $160. Is there a cost benefit to this switch over, or should I continue using my current tire set-up?


Editorial Comment:  Have you considered a helicopter, or snowshoes? Just, kiddin'!


There are several thoughts that come to mind in your situation, some of which you may have considered.


First, is that with studded tires, they may be legal to use only between certain dates. See Regulations and if you travel interstate this could also be a complication.


Next, as you've noted there may be times when even studded tires might not serve you, so what are you going to do then?


Have you searched at TireRack for larger studded tires that might serve with your current chains? You also might try Craigslist.com.


The only possible cost benefit that I can see in making a switch is that the alternative size you mention may be more widely available and could be available for better prices because of higher competition and more variety in tread designs and brands. The size you're currently using with the Cherokee is getting less and less popular and may be difficult to find at sometime in the future.



TG



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