Did you know, that there are some transport services, with from 50 to way over 80 buses, that run all-weather tyres the whole year round, summer and winter? All-weather tyres, those frowned upon products, which are credited with having neither good summer nor good winter qualities. Those tyres, where one doesn't know if they are even allowed, e.g., for use on Alpine passes.
The reason why the transport services do it this way, is probably because of the costs. They can't take the risk of being caught using summer-tyres in winter, e.g., on the school buses and also try to avoid the time consuming and extra costs that the six-monthly tyre changing means.
All-weather tyres, the tyre manufacturers don't like them at all. As a rule, they would rather sell an additional set of winter-tyres and more or less, force the car owners to replace the tyres when the tread is less than 4 millimetres deep. Good business, as one can imagine.
The tyre manufacturers in Germany, which with 20%, has the lowest rate of people using summer tyres the whole year round (Europe has a rate of 75%), like to speak of 'winter-tyre laws', although legally speaking, one can drive through the whole winter using summer-tyres. Problems only arise when other road users are obstructed or an accident occurs.
Indeed, during all the carefully planned lobbying, a statement from the tyre manufacturers Michelin, has caused a lot of excitement. Apparently, the 'Cross Climate', after years of development and testing by an incredible amount of engineers, 'exclusively unites the advantages of both summer- and winter-tyres'. The consumers are rubbing their eyes in amazement and dreaming of life without having to wait for difficult to get tyre changing appointments and without having to store the other set of tyres.
Indeed, calm down, it will be less exciting than it sounds. The developing of tyres, is one of the most difficult decisions in the field of motor vehicles. At a rough estimate, there are at least ten different criteria to be considered. If the manufacturer emphasises one characteristic too much, the other qualities fade into the background. After all, in the meantime the properties of the tyres are now certified.
However, a bit of reassurance can be given, the new tyres don't reduce the safety aspect at all, neither in summer, nor in winter. The famous little mountain logo and the 3PMSF snowflake (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) is also still there, this guarantees that it is legal for use on mountain passes in winter. A new type of rubber-mixture makes it possible.
No-one believed anyway, that the winter-tyre, at exactly 7°C, could exploit it's advantages that well. Of course, one assumed that the winter-tyre was made of a softer mixture, which showed its advantages more, the colder it got. The Cross Climate will be something like this. Apart from that, it is equipped with the excellent small lamellae, which squeeze the snow out of the tread again.
Just to shorten Michelin's description of the geometry of the tread-blocks … you may be asking yourself, where then are the disadvantages of this apparent Jack of all trades. Well, it lacks the durability and increases the energy consumption, which gives the tyre, at least at the moment, only a 'C' and not an 'A', which it achieved in the safety aspect. So, one will have to reckon with a slightly higher fuel consumption and even the manufacturers are sceptical whether the tyre will really achieve all the advantages of the purely winter-tyre. 03/15