At Bridgestone, we understand drivers face a variety of conditions during the winter season that can range from extreme blizzards to melting snow and ice. See how we engineer our winter tyres to handle mild to severe winter challenges to give drivers confidence and peace of mind on the road.
It’s helpful to know there are three types of winter tyres: lamellen, studded and studless. Lamellen is the material used for most winter tyres that are suited for mild to moderate winter climates.
Tyres built for more extreme conditions, such as the Nordic region, fall into either the studded or studless tyre categories. Both studded and studless winter tyres offer high-performance gripping and handling in the winter season, but each relies on a different tyre tread.
A studded winter tyre contains metal studs embedded in its tread to bite through ice and snow. There is a time and a place to use a studded tyre because if there is no ice on the road for the tyre to grip, the metal studs will grip the road surface instead. Studless winter tyres, on the other hand, rely on innovations in the rubber compound and tread to attain traction.
Whether a winter tyre is lamellen, studded or studless is only one factor. Tyre engineers also need to optimise the core features of a tyre to ensure its capable of handling all types of winter weather.
A tyre’s gripping performance is essential all year-round, but especially in the winter time when the temperature and conditions can vary. Tyre engineers must optimise every element of a tyre, including the rubber compound, tread pattern and tread depth, to help drivers stay in control in rain, sleet, snow and ice.
The tread rubber on a winter tyre is softer and more supple than summer and all season tyres, allowing it to remain flexible in colder temperatures and achieve a tighter grip on slippery roads. At Bridgestone, we use Nano Pro-tech™ technology, a molecular compound, to enhance the gripping performance of our tyres and improve their fuel efficiency.
The tread pattern of a winter tyre is also significant as it helps to maintain traction. A winter tyre's tread pattern tends to be more complex and features more narrow slits or "sipes" to power through snow, ice and sleet while simultaneously channeling water away from the surface. Sipes create better contact between the tyre and the road to enhance the tyre's gripping performance.
The tread depth of a winter tyre contains deeper grooves and sipes in comparison to summer and all season tyres. These elements mean a winter tyre can build up and trap snow for improved
traction to create a smooth journey for drivers.
What does the ‘tyre of the future’ look like to you? Can it change shape? Or even fly? Perhaps, but for us at Bridgestone, the tyre of the future isn’t in the distant future, it’s happening now.
With colder, darker and wetter weather just around the corner, now is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for what’s to come. After all, we can’t always stay at home – no matter how tempting.