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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > snow belts - any good?



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      01-02-2014, 04:39 AM   #1
fiche335
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snow belts - any good?

I've got winter tyres fitted to my 335i but need snow chains for a visit to Italy in February.

Thinking that snow chains look a real pain to fit I've come accross Jeko Snow Belts which look much easier. Does anyone have any experiences of these or any recommendations?

Cheers,
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      01-02-2014, 05:29 AM   #2
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I'd stick to the real stuff: snow chains. If you have proper winter tires, you will get pretty far to begin with. If conditions are really bad (>10cm of snow or ice), you are better off with chains.

As silly as it may sound, practice mounting the chains at home, in front of your house! So you safe time, cold fingers, wet knees, etc. for when you're in the worse conditions that you can think off and need to start reading the manual for the first time. It is not that difficult. Remember: you never need chains when it's dry and clear blue skies My dad made me and my sisters all practise in front of his house before we could borrow his or my mom's car for a skiing trip. It helped me get the chains on quickly at 2000m elevation and -18C (0 F) in Cervinia, Italy...

If you happen to have a jack, bring it. It might make it easier to mount your chains (or take them off). Also, bring a pair of old gloves so you don't waste your fancy skiing gloves with salt, grease, and what not whilst putting on the chains.
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      01-02-2014, 05:39 AM   #3
fiche335
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Thanks for the feedback, good points. I must admit to finding the snow belts really appealing based on them looking easy to fit. The downside being if they're as good as chains why doesn't everyone use them??
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      01-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #4
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Man, you guys must have some REAL snow for use of snow chains!
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      01-02-2014, 06:34 PM   #5
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"If conditions are really bad (>10cm of snow or ice)"

I'm not sure about that. They just seem more cautious. I am not concerned with 4 inches of snow, unless I have a rear wheel drive on summer tires. X-drive or front wheel drive are fine for most storms up to 12 inches or when the body goes over the snow and lifts the wheels off the road. In that case chains don't help.
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      01-02-2014, 09:44 PM   #6
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I've driven in more than 10cm of snow without snow tires or awd, without problems...so I'd say no snow chains unless you're doing some serious snow and climbing icy hills.
Just put some snow tires and easy on the gas pedal and brakes.
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      01-03-2014, 03:52 AM   #7
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Ok guys, I should have been more specific: I meant more than 10cm of loose snow on top of a snow-covered surface on a slope. The OP was referring to visiting Italy from the UK. He has to cross the Alps one way or the other... But you're right, even 15cm or more should be doable on a flat surface. But as soon as you want to reach those Alpine skiing resorts and mountain roads become steep (>12%) with hairpins, you're going to have trouble to 'start' from full stand still. Nonetheless, a good set of snow tires brings you very far.
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      01-03-2014, 03:59 AM   #8
fiche335
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Thanks guys, the issue is that in parts of Italy snow chains are a legal requirement for some roads, the police often carry out spot checks to ensure they are in place and will prevent you from proceeding if you don't have them fitted. Hence my comment regarding anyone's experience of the belts.
Cheers.
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      01-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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ecstuning.com sells textile chains, they have a test video but I don't know how well they do.
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      01-03-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m@rco View Post
Ok guys, I should have been more specific: I meant more than 10cm of loose snow on top of a snow-covered surface on a slope. The OP was referring to visiting Italy from the UK. He has to cross the Alps one way or the other... But you're right, even 15cm or more should be doable on a flat surface. But as soon as you want to reach those Alpine skiing resorts and mountain roads become steep (>12%) with hairpins, you're going to have trouble to 'start' from full stand still. Nonetheless, a good set of snow tires brings you very far.
Unfortunately majority of Americans don't know much about anything outside the US
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      01-03-2014, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiche335 View Post
I've got winter tyres fitted to my 335i but need snow chains for a visit to Italy in February.

Thinking that snow chains look a real pain to fit I've come accross Jeko Snow Belts which look much easier. Does anyone have any experiences of these or any recommendations?

Cheers,
Check that they are legally considered as chains. If not the police may stop you anyway.
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      01-03-2014, 11:54 AM   #12
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I wouldn't travel through any mountain roads on fresh snow without chains, honestly - twisty hairpins, steep grades, etc. Snow tires are great, and xDrive is wonderful... but it all has one limitation - a small patch of rubber that needs to touch the road.

The laws in the US for tire chain use varies from state to state, which can get confusing. Some states have absolutely no laws, others have "permission" provisions, while others may have requirements... some others yet have provisions limiting the use from dates, while others may limit based upon snow condition. It gets a bit complex. Here in CT, where we see a fair amount of snow, I've rarely seen vehicles with chains. Most people will opt for A/S or snow tires, and that seems to work. That said, most every road is plowed, and even with snow storms that put down 6 - 12 inches, most cars aren't traveling over roads that have more than an inch or two.
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