The Winter Setup – True Directional Snow Tires

Posted on 20. Jan, 2009 by in 2000-2009


Photo Caption: Hancook Winter iPike 409 True Directional Snow

As a follow-up to the winter suggestion checklist, I am deciding that it’s a good time to show us what a true winter directional snow tire looks like.

There have been many people that argue that an all-season works, which may be the case depending on where you live. However, if you live in regions such as the North East region of the United States, it is clear that anything other than a true winter directional snow tire, is a liability to everyone including yourself these days.

Over the past weekend, I’ve witnessed many vehicles including Saabs unproperly outfit with snow tires including those being provided to journalists. It is my opinion that deciding to under-equip a car for such conditions, is just short-sighted thinking. So, as a continuation of education here on Saab History, I have decided to write about this subject matter while also including a clear photo above to show what a real snow tire looks like.

Let’s keep in mind that a majority of the snow tire options available these days call for all-seasons, and that may be due to how many regions in the world really get that much snow frequently, but I also believe it has something to due with supply and demand. I think that many people don’t know what a true directional snow tire is, so hence the reason for my post.

There are many brands that provide directional snow tires such as the leading Swedish company, Gislaved, followed by the Finnish company, Nokian, then the korean company Hancook. All three of these companies provide multiple snow tire products in the directional snow variety with the option of being studded for frequent ice driving.

I am happy to say that Saab History advertiser, Saab USA parts do offer the latest option in snow tires from the Swedish company, Gislaved “Nord Frost 5” that you can buy from clicking on this link here.

Having historically driven with Gislaved Nordfrosts, Nokians and most recently, Hancooks on my Saabs, I can tell you that so far, I have never felt underequipped in my front-wheel swedish sled during the winter season. I urge you to review your region’s conditions and adjust if necessary, to a good set of truly directional snow tires studded or without.

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One Response to “The Winter Setup – True Directional Snow Tires”

  1. Peter Gilbert

    21. Jan, 2009

    Having driven about 1 Million Miles in winter, with all my Saabs, over the 2.5 Million aggregate, I could not agree more.
    I am tired of listening to the nay sayers with the mantra, “I have 4-wheel drive, I have all seasons, I don’t need’em!”

    We had deep snow in Milwaukee, two weeks ago, and it was a joke, blowing off “Jeeps,” At the lights, not to mention, that one needs snows just to park by the curb. I have tried many patterns, and the latest “NOKIAN R” is by far the best yet. Not only are the the most silent tire, I have ever experienced including high performance summer treads, but the way they behave on ice is incredible.

    One trick (ONLY IN 25mph zones) is to turnoff the traction control, in order to let the tire spin and bite when there is deep snow. Try placing a couple of 50lbs bags of salt/sand on the passenger floor, on a snowy day, because most of the traction comes out of the right-hand side (not so critical, if you drive in Britain or Japan)!

    The Hancook above is actually similar to the NOKIAN RSI, which was replaced by the “R” and Gislaved. is owned by Continental, which is about to be taken-over. In fact my 2001 Gislaveds, which were the SAAB tire package for my Viggen, were made in Germany. Safe Driving.

    Peter Gilbert

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