What’s an Arizona girl doing writing about winter tires? Well, would you believe I know a thing or two about tires? I’ve attended three tire press events over the past few years, and written several articles about tires for SheKnows. This year, I was invited to Denver by Bridgestone and Tire Rack to learn about Bridgestone’s Blizzak tires and how they can keep you safe on winter roads. Fortunately for this desert driver, we weren’t testing tires on the open road. Instead, we headed to Denver’s Pepsi Center where we compared Blizzak winter tires with all weather tires on an ice rink!
Before getting behind the wheel, we visited the Denver Zoo, where we learned how Bridgestone used “biomimicry” to develop the technology for their winter tires. They took the properties of polar bear’s grippy paws, geckos’ feet (that can stick to any non-wet surface) and clinging mussels to design the rubber compound and tread design of Blizzak tires.
It’s amazing how much technology goes into not only the materials that the tires are made from, but the actual design of the tires themselves. The angle of the grooves, for example, makes a big difference in the tire’s ability to disperse water, enabling the tire to maintain contact with the road instead of slipping on a thin layer of water or ice. The Blizzaks also have channels in them that act like sponges to “soak up” the water — think of them as water-wicking fitness clothes for your car — but with a much more important job than keeping you sweat-free.
Okay, so how did the Blizzaks perform on the ice, compared with the all-weather tires? As expected, the acceleration was faster, and the stopping distance was shorter. And when you’re slipping on an icy road, every inch counts. After testing the acceleration and stopping ourselves, we got to take a spin as a passenger with a professional driver who showed us just how scary it is to take a turn on ice. Thankfully, the Blizzaks delivered noticeably more control while the all-weathers had us knocking down cones every time.
I was surprised to learn that only 25% of people who live in the Snowbelt will put winter tires on their car this year. From what I experienced, the safety and control that come from winter tires is well worth the investment. If you’re in the market, Tire Rack is an easy way to order your tires online. You can sort by vehicle, tire type, tire size and more. Plus, they conduct their own testing and provide in-depth reviews that help you choose the best tire for your driving conditions. Learn more about Bridgestone Blizzak tires and winter driving at ConquertheCold.com.
Bridgestone and Tire Rack paid for the travel to the event. All opinions are my own