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Grip guide

Like braking force, tire grip plays an essential role in driver and passenger safety. Grip can vary from 1 to 10 depending on tire type, tread, width, pavement condition and especially weather conditions. For each of the following three situations, we will explain in a simple, precise way the basic principles governing tires and their use.

On dry roads

Under such conditions, it is best to use smooth tires (also called slick tires) that are as wide as possible so that the treaded area is larger and grip is increased.

Advantage : During acceleration or on a curve, the wider tread area will improve grip. The vehicle will stick to the road.

Drawback : Significant chassis deformation can occur if the vehicle is not sufficiently rigid. Drivability and acceleration are also reduced because of increased contact with the road, creating friction.

Compromise : Depending on the rigidity of the chassis, look for a compromise between smooth tires and heavily treaded tires in order to obtain optimal grip. Adapt your tire width based on the power of your vehicle.

On wet surfaces

For this type of surface, it is best to be prepared. You will need to keep the grip factor in mind but also consider how the tire channels water away. Treaded tires are therefore required. Ideally, tread size is adapted to tire width. V-shaped tread is recommended.

Advantage : Water flows more easily to the tread's outer edge.

Drawback: Grip is reduced because the tread area is narrower.

Compromise: Depending on how powerful your vehicle is and the size of your tires, you will have to take your foot off the accelerator on curves and staightaways. In general, the wider your tires are, the most attentive you'll have to be in heavy rain.

On snow or ice

As most drivers are not used to driving on snow and ice, it is important to be especially careful in such conditions. In extreme cases, studded tires or chains may be necessary. For daily winter driving, striped snow tires are recommended so that the tires grip the snowy or icy surface as much as possible.

Advantage: Winter tire tread consists of deeper, more numerous grooves, which improves grip on slippery surfaces. This tread is also known as striped tread.

Drawback: The overall grip is ten times less than on dry roads.

Compromise: When driving on snow/ice, it is important to have a smooth technique (acceleration, breaking, curves) and to use a gear ratio higher than that used for dry weather.

Car tires