You can find a cheap winter wheel & tire setup at any local or online wheel shop, but enthusiasts that choose APEX require more than a cheap wheel. APEX wheels are an affordable option for track cars that require a wheel that clears the performance brake kits that other winter wheels cannot. This is why we have put together a Winter Wheel & Tire Group Buy that pairs our EC-7 wheel with some of the industries most popular winter tires. If you are in the market for a winter setup, join the group buy before it ends on October 26th.
The winter season is almost here and once the snow starts to fall, we want you to be prepared. Rain, snow, ice and other inclement conditions can mean extremely treacherous roads. You will want to ensure that your car is equipped with a set of tires and wheels that are up to the task. For a select few enthusiasts, winter means tucking away your pride and joy and bringing it back out when the weather improves. For others, it means strapping on a set of winter wheels with chunky winter tires. Our goal at APEX is to provide a much more aesthetically pleasing yet cost-effective solution to this exact winter dilemma.
Benefits of a Winter Wheel Setup
The main reason that many enthusiasts opt for a winter setup is to preserve their “nicer” summer wheels. Often times, this summer setup is paired with a performance tire that will struggle in slippery conditions. Many individuals also want to protect their summer wheel from the abuse of driving during the winter months. Our solution allows for the abuse to be taken by a more cost effective set of wheels and tires. Some enthusiasts often go as far as swapping out big brake kits because their winter wheels will not clear the larger, higher performance brakes. Our 18” EC-7 wheels can clear most big brake kits, including certain 380mm offerings.
Owning a dedicated set of winter wheels will allow you the flexibility to swap between your summer setup and your winter setup at your own convenience. You will no longer need to schedule time-consuming service appointments to have tires swapped and risk damaging your beautiful summer setup because of a lazy or inexperienced tire installer. Another added benefit of a dedicated winter setup is the ability to run a true winter tire, as opposed to an “all-season” tire. All-season tires suffer in both summer and winter conditions because they are designed to be a “Jack-of-all-trades” tire with average performance across a wide array of conditions. Using a true winter tire will give you much better traction in inclement conditions, and increase your safety.
Tires Designed For Inclement Weather
Winter tires are made from a softer rubber compound that remains flexible as temperatures drop. This compound allows the tire to conform better to road conditions, giving you better traction. Another feature unique to winter tires are tread patterns with wider grooves which enhance traction on snow and ice. These treads provide channels to drain water and expel snow much quicker than your typical all-season tire. Typically, they also feature small slits in the tread that cut through water and slush. These slits help to avoid hydroplaning and offer improved grip in tricky conditions. Winter tires can offer a traction increase of over 50 percent when compared to an all-season tire. This traction increase can very well be the deciding factor during that emergency stop to avoid an accident in slippery conditions.
When shopping for winter wheels and tires, a different approach must be taken in terms of tire width. Wider winter wheels and tires are not better. Winter wheels are much more effective when they can cut through snow and ice. A wider tread will distribute the weight of your car across the surface of the road. While this is beneficial to stability and handling on a dry road, it can have serious consequences when the road surface is covered in layers of snow and ice. Winter tire traction all stems from how well it can cut through the slush and reach the road surface below. A narrow tire is the key to that equation.
When installing winter tires, a matching set of four tires will help maintain balanced and controlled handling in winter driving conditions. Simply opting for two winter tires on a vehicle creates a traction mismatch that can have serious consequences for both you and your passengers. Only fitting winter tires on the front will result in an extremely unstable rear end. This will make the car much more likely to oversteer while braking or cornering. By only fitting winter tires on the rear, your car will have limited traction up front and not respond as quickly when turning the steering wheel. It will simply continue straight ahead, which is also referred to as understeer. Both of these situations can be very dangerous, and we highly recommend using a full set of winter tires.
When you are driving your pride and joy during the middle of a snow storm, would you feel comfortable with average performance or would you prefer something that was designed with the harshest conditions in mind?
About The Author
My name is Max Kamal and I am a BMW Product Expert here at Apex Race Parts. I currently drive a track prepared 1997 BMW E36 M3 in Techno Violet Metallic. I have been attending track days in this car for the past 5+ years and have done over 35 track days in that time. I have learned so much since I began tracking and I look forward to learning more every single event. If you see myself or my car, feel free to come up and say hello. Hope to see you at the track!