Studded Sunday noon news snippets

I could have sworn SU covered this story a year ago, so apparently it happened again. Someone attempted to drive over a Saab. The 9-5 looks like it held up quite well — as expected. Thanks Alexandros for the tip. reports that the Swedes and the Danes are heading up Saab Wales Open. Are other nationalities more easily distracted by the presence of that gorgeous 9-5 on the links?

Perfectly fine driving with more quiet tires here too
Studded tires — are they good for you? Well, according to a Norwegian study conducted by The Institute of Transport Economics, the answer is not really. The period spanning between 2002 and 2009 has seen a reduction in the usage of studs. This has caused only a minimal increase in personal injuries (2%) and no significant change in the number of material damages reported to the insurance companies.

The report was done on request from Swedish authorities who would like to reduce the usage of studded tires to combat the increase in micro particles associated with the usage of studs.

Although this may seem surprising at first, seeing as there is a quite measurable difference in braking performance between studs and stud-less, part of the explanation may be found that once you have used the tires, the stud-less alternative will perform better according to last winter’s test by the Norwegian Automobile Federation.

Personally I do not use studs. In January I drove 1000 km in an Ovlov V50 with studded tires, and it was the worst ride I have ever experienced (it was an absolutely useless setup compared to an old 9000 with stud-less tires). I suspect the choice of car is more important than the tires. Alternatively: Always avoid studs. Either way, I feel it makes absolutely no sense to campaign for studded tires in general. I admit I could be wrong about the studs, but in that case it is of absolutely vital importance that people pick the right car first!

23 thoughts on “Studded Sunday noon news snippets”

  1. My parents drive a 9-3 SC -08 with the notsoGoodyear 195/65 R15 studded tires. Myself ride with the finnish Hakkapelitta R 205/50 R17 studless on my 9-3SS TTID. Even on the worst winter roads i prefer my own studless setup. The studded Americans are slipperier in any situation. The v50’s lack of road precense makes it terrible in the winter. My father in law has one with the same hakkapelitta as I, but still its a terrible winter car.

  2. Well, I wonder what people have been driving with? Studless are about ok choice, I have been using such for a couple of winters 10 years ago. But there is no even remote chance that they could compete with good tires with studs. On icy conditions the difference is huge. On a snowy conditions the difference doesn’t matter so much.

    I personally think the difference is like choosing between 15″ tires for comfort or 17″ or similar tires for real driving. Finnish Tekniikan Maailma -magazine has been testing studless and studfull tires for decades already and there is no doubt that studless have clear disadvantage over studfull on certain conditions. The only clear advantage the studless have is just the noise.

    • You are right!

      Where I live we doesn´t use salt and thats why studds are the intelligent choice. The safety is much greater and everybody knows that. But there they use salt on most roads it´s another story.

      Conclution: Real winter roads with ice and snow…. guess!
      winter roads that the government try to taste better(salt & pepper)…………..studdfree I guess!

      • Yes, to some degree, that is a good conclusion. But when the temperatures goes under minus 15-16 degrees C, the salted roads gets a very hard icy surface. And that surface needs a studded tire to be roughed up.

        Just as you, I live where the salted roads are few, in fact, just one is salted around here. 🙂
        All the other roads is often covered in packed snow. But it gets icy sometimes and the studs is the only way of getting safe road grips on that. And since I usually don’t know exactly when this occurs I always use studded tires. I know that my xwd can handle the ice, but when it comes to stopping I want the best I can get because there is rather large moose’s out there on dark roads.

        My most wanted safety features:
        * Good grip and road holding (includes the tires)
        * Good visibility, both hi and low beam need to be good since you can’t always run around on hi beams
        * Good passive safety, just in case the above didn’t help…
        * Good comfort and driving position, because this helps me to be alert
        * Good instrument that gives me info without me trying to locate it.

        Lucky for me, I do have a car with all those features… And a SAAB usually have all of those… 😉

  3. Never leave home without studs! Drives better, safer and gives the studless drivers a chance to stay on the roads.
    And when a incident might appear You survive.
    Dont touch my tires with studs!! 🙂
    Its as holy in Sweden as it is in the US to be able to own a shotgun. Or as holy as the india cow.

  4. Studded tires for me thanks. I live in northern Norway and we’ve had unstable weather with wet ice some years now. When I didn’t get up from my parking lot with unstudded tires that was enough 🙂 Wet ice and unstudded tires = very very very bad combination

    • I’ve parked in parking lots where I have had problems walking, yet the 9-3 drove as if it was normal asphalt.

      That said, what the NAF test shows is that brand new tires gives studs a clear advantage. Once you have used them for a season, the studless tires provides better grip (including on ice).

      I have two experiences from having problems driving the car forward. One with the 9-3 I had, trying to continue going up a steep hill. I stopped in the middle to check out where I wanted to go, and then tried to get going again… I could not.

      The other experience involved studded tires and the V50 I mentioned. It had absolutely no chance to pull forward in the slush whatsoever. The 9000 without studs had no problems at all. Night and day.

      So I do not for a minute buy the argument that studs are the best in the winter no matter what. The temperatures seen in Scandinavia during the winter varies a lot. We should probably change the type of tires every day to make sure we have the right blend.

      • We drive with summer tires from april to may to the end of september, studless tires form october and out december, studded tires form january and out march and again studless tires in april with our 9-3 and V70. 🙂
        I always buy the best tires that I can get. We live in northern Norway. 🙂

  5. I have studless tires from Gislaved (softfrost) and they are not as good as I want them to be on my 9-3 MY08. They does not get enough grip on the city roads in Göteborg when the roads are icy (and the roads has not been good the last winters). I also had trouble driving up (not very steep at all) an parking lot that was snowy with ice beneath the snow.

    On highways the tires works ok.

    I’m not sure it’s the tires (the model) that are bad or if I should go fore studded tires.

    I have prelininary ordered studless tires for my new 9-5 SportCombi since the car hating city of Göteborg are banning studded tyres on some roads.

    • How do you know you’re on a true Saab site?
      -They’re talking about winter tires in the beginning of June 😀

      On the subject. Coke, Gislaved SoftFrost is getting up there in age. Go through the latest tests, it should give you a good indication what to choose. I’ve been very pleased with Gislaved NordFrost5 (you can’t hear the studs) if you want to go with studless Goodyear UltraGrip Ice+seems to be doing well.

  6. The really interesting part in al this, in my humble opinion, is that there are no studies available to explain how these particles are dangerous for you…

    According to Teknikens värld magazine, in print but unable to find the editorials/articles online at the minute, the studies referred to in the debate are about particles of other sizes than what is reported to be the Studded tires “pollution” …

    So from my point of view this seems to be more about reducing the wear and tear on our roads by studded tires when there’s no snow or ice on them than about our health…

    I’ll see about finding some of the articlesonline and posting them up here shortly…

    • Erik D, I have seen similar claims.

      The big difference in a medium-sized city such as Oslo, during the winter, is that many people start heating their houses by burning wood. Wanna bet if the particles from that is a bigger or lesser problem than whatever the studs cause?

      Then, again in Oslo, there is some debate about the speed limit. They reduce the speed limit from 80 to 60 on the main roads leading into the city, because they believe the particles will not spread as far…

      …and let us not forget all those old diesels spewing out dark clouds up every hill.

      *shrug*. I sure would love to know the answer to all of this. What can be said for certain is that if the Norwegian government is doing something, then it is probably a better idea to do the exact opposite.

      • If we need to lower particles in the air, the cites need to stop throwing sands on the roads as well. If you look anyway in a city during the spring, the air is thick of the particles from the dry sand. It’s like a dust that doesn’t go away until the authoritys have cleared the side walks, roads and walking paths from the sand, and that’s why the people often clean there windows at there homes AFTER all this sand is collected.

        Also, in Trondheim there is a sort of “stop the stud tires” but there you can buy a “piggedaäck-oblat” that gives you the right to keep on driving in those stud tires. In Sweden some cities forbids the stud tires on some roads only. This have the effect that people wanting to run on those roads need to get stud less tires, and when they take a road trip, I meet then on my backyard where stud tires is needed….Not a good solution is it?
        Oh! And, what kind of tires do ambulances, police cars or the likes uses? You guessed it, they are often fitted with studded tires….Why? It doesn’t look good if the ones trying to help need help also….

  7. After last weeks drive in a convertible I never thought I would be commenting on snow tires so soon. Over the last 3 million miles of driving I cannot honestly say how many of those were in snow. However they were considerable. some days I drove 300 miles a day a 45 mph. When solo on a bad day I would place a 50 lb sack on the front passenger floor!

    The winters here in Wisconsin are very Nordic in nature and although I have never driven with studs which are illegal here, I am so used to decent real snow tires that they are advantageous. When the snow is deep they bight and when the roads are cleared (making studs very unsuitable) the advantages are dominant.

    I have tried Gislaved, Pirelli but my favorite is the Nokian R which makes less noise than a summer tires and has a great tread life.

  8. Great benefit of this article is to read about studded tyres and icy conditions and than look outside at the great beginning summer (27-30°C), really good feeling, thanks for that.

    I’ve tried last winter for the first time Dunlop Wintersport 3D on 9-3 MY07 and I am absolutely satisfied. The winter here (Slovakia) is far from nordic, except maybe mountains in the north. Studded tyres are banned but sometimes snow chains are imperative (imho as everywhere).

    btw. has any of you experience with snow socks ? for milder winter conditions …

  9. Living in Germany, where our winter tyres are not described as winter tyres in Scandinavia, I should better step of this discussion.

    As an example, Nokian only sells the WR models and not the Hakkapeliitta. 🙁

  10. Off topic and off Saab but anyway related or?
    The new 1 series BMW just out on the web seems (or am I wrong) to have the “ignition key” (or fob, if you like) placed in the center console, just right off and behind the “big stick”.

    Its all new engines are also describes at
    And where shall that new 9-3 engine come from?

    All in all interesting.

  11. i don’t think that the ignition is in the center console, it’s only a place to store the key. you can start the car with the start/stop button and open it “keyless” – over the air 😉 the same system the new 9-5 uses

    • Bu the 9-5 has a little cubby hole in the centre console that allows you to store the key just as if you are slotting it between the seats. I love the key fob on my 9-3SS.

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