There really is a difference between winter and summer tires, and they're important


Racing fans have a big void in their lives around this time every year. Without any races to watch on the weekends, what are they to do with all their free time? Well, if you live some place where it snows in the winter, then it's probably a good idea to spend time switching the summer tires off your vehicle and replace them with a nice set of winter tires.

For those people unfamiliar with the differences between these two types of tires, Engineering Explained put together a detailed video explaining the benefits of both. In the video, which is embedded below, a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 winter tires are compared with Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires.

Winter tires are designed to stay flexible at low temperatures, while summer tires are designed to be firmer, but also stickier when temperatures are higher. This means summer tires grip the road better on 70 degree day when it's raining outside. On the other hand, winter tires have deeper tire tread, which allows them to collect more snow. As this video points out, snow on snow traction works pretty well, so having more spots in the tires where snow can be collected is actually ideal. In addition, the zig-zag tread on winter tires allows them to grip snow and ice better than summer rubber.


The video also goes into something called the glass transition temperature, providing a more scientific explanation how each tire works, but you'll have to watch the video yourself to hear more about that.