Originally Posted by wyresoft
I made a few web searches and it looks like the standard tyres are 'summer' tyres - This is slightly worrying and makes me wonder whether BMW expect us to buy mud and snow for the winter?
That said, we managed with our convertible last year so we've gone for the 2wd anyway
Hi wyresoft. Yep, you are right, most (almost all) tyres sold in the UK are either "summer" tyres or the odd "all weather" ones. I have never quite understood why car owners in the UK are so largely unaware of the benefits of fitting "winter" tyres. Snow tyres do make a huge
difference. I have spent some time in Canada in winter and have used them as well as chains and even studded tyres.
Chains (or more often cables now) are great but not really practical for general use in the UK. Its illegal to use them on a dry road so unless you are on snow/ice for lengthy periods you will be spending a lot of time putting them on and then taking them off a few miles later. Studded tyres are of course banned here to that leaves mud/snow tyres as the best option. A common fallacy is that they intended for driving on snow and ice only and we don't get enough of that in the UK. The fact is that these tyres have been optimised for better performance at temps below 7C. The compound is softer and contains a higher proportion of silica to keep it pliable at low temps. Where I live up here in Scotland the daytime temps rarely exceed that from December through to about the end of March so I will be fitting some to my new X1.
Finding them is a problem but you may have better luck towards the end of summer. Ask your local tyre dealer to source 4x, may I suggest that you get a set of steel rims as well so that you can change them yourself. Some examples in X1 sizes would be Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 2, Nankin SV-1 Winter+, Michelin Pilot Alpin or Michelin X-Ice There are some others but I am sure there are nordic or canadian members on this forum with a lot more experience of this which would also be able to advise.
I hope this helps though.