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Snow Chains @ LIDL

We don’t use them much in the UK but sets of snow chains are currently on offer for various wheel/tyre sizes at LIDL at the reduced price of £9.99 a set. Seems very cheep to me… believed to be reduced from £19.99. Set of two I think not four.

Does anyone have a set and has tried them in snow condx? If so how did they perform?

73 Phil

£9.99 reduced from £19.99 sounds awfully cheap compared to everyone else selling chains. Are they made from real, high strength steel or metal with the strength of bananas & custard?

1 Like

If they are chains then I’d be very skeptic of their durability! I suspect they are probably the strap or belt type (something like a set of large ‘cable ties’ that go across the wheel and tyre to provide some grip) or possibly socks that go around the circumference?

I wonder if that was just the Scarborough store getting rid of stock Phil?

I can’t see any reference to snow chains in this weeks non-food offers from Lidl:

Checked Aldi as well in case someone mixed the two up - nothing there either:
https://www.aldi.co.uk/c/specialbuys/motor-and-travel?q=%3Apopular&page=0

73 Ed.

Ok Ed good point the store getting rid. The store is the Lidl in Pickering. They had around 6 or so boxes of 3 sizes in stock this afternoon. Yes, Lidl came to our small market town (pop 7000) about 2 years ago and I visit there on average twice a week.

To be truthful if the roads were so bad as to need them here I probably would not turn out, however if I was out miles away doing SOTA, my work or whatever, they might come in. Not that I am much of a winter activator unlike some of my mates around here in North Yorkshire.

73 Phil

Saw them in two Lidl stores in Newcastle this week.
Jim

I have used snow chains to get home a couple of times. I have had a couple of different types and now have some self tigtning ones. There is a lovely video showing how easy they are to put on, however the reality seems to be quite different. I find that the pairs I have are self knotting, and unravelling them turns into one of those frustrating puzzles, which is harder to complete under headlamps in a blizzard. Once over the wheel the simple bits that click together nicely on the video seem to be strangely reluctant to be near the same part of the tyre. Shuffling the car forwards allows the final adjustments, which is a bit critical as loose bits of chains can catch around all sorts of expensive and vital components. I am sure with practise it becomes easier, but with cold hands I found putting them on at the roadside difficult, but they did get me home. It is a bit like assembing an HF station on a mountainside in a blizzard but tougher on the fingers, and I have never felt the urge to crawl on the floor to check a radio from the underneath! I have only fitted the pair I have in anger twice in 7 years and I am sure that those from colder climates will have much more experience and have improved technique!

73 Paul

I considered buying some chains a couple of years ago after struggling to navigate icy lanes. I found a lot of comments like Paul’s about the fun of fitting them, and the need to remove them once you are off the snow to avoid poor braking and tyre damage.

In the end, I bought a set of 4 season tyres, and last week was the first time we’ve had conditions to test them in! As far as I can tell, they are really effective. eg I was able to pull over into the 20cm snow at the side of the road to allow oncoming cars to slither past, and then pull away with minimal wheel spin. No problems on wet compressed snow either. Very impressed.

They don’t look particularly chunky, but I think the main difference is in the compound. They were pleasant to drive on during the summer too, though if you do high mileage in hot weather, they would probably wear quickly.

73
Adrian
G4AZS

I used snow chains once and they flew off straight away. The lesson here is to practice putting them on in the day time when the weather is fine, they need to be really tight. I have heard it said that socks are much easier to use and getting cheaper than ever:
http://www.autosock.co.uk
I would certainly give these a try before I went back to chains.
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU
Matt

I know what you mean. It’s being caught out in the snow that’s the problem. My snow chains are under the drivers seat in my car “just in case”.

OK on Pickering having a Lidl. I think both Lidl and Aldi went through a phase where they started popping up everywhere like mushrooms. At the moment in Germany, the same is happeneing with the Edeka chain. (no pun intended).

Ed.

Thanks for all comments - very useful. I’ll save my money and not go rushing back to buy some chains today before they sell out. Sounds like hard work to me fitting them and then removing them when the road condx improve. Probably the best way to go if you can justify the cost, is to buy a set of steel rims and get winter tyres fitted if you can justify the use. Probably looking at around £500 though to do it.

73 Phil

That’s what practically everybody here does, unless they use all-year tires (which are nowhere near as good in winter conditions as proper winter tires). It’s often said here that the use of winter tires is obligatory, and that is certainly the case when the road conditions dictate: black ice, glazed-over snow, snow-mush, or generally icy conditions. There’s also no fixed period when such tires must be used, but the generally-accepted period for their use is the so-called “O-to-O” period, that is, October to Easter (Ostern). So, since it’s too much hassle to keep changing over sets of wheels when it’s icy/snowy or not, people keep a set on the car for the entire winter, and a set in the garage or cellar for summer. And, when one buys a car second-hand here, one will often find that the car comes with at least eight wheels.

As far as chains go, however, in nearly thirty years of living in the shadow of the Alps, and driving regularly in snowy and icy conditions, I’ve never had occasion to use chains, although they are compulsory during the winter on certain, usually very steep, back roads.

I hired a car in October 2016 in Berlin. As I was driving to Poland/Czech Republic, I had to pay a little extra to cover the extra insurance needed to drive outside of Germany. The car also needed winter tyres for Czech Republic as it was legal requirement. The result was the small Fiesta sized car I ordered was upgraded to an Opel Insignia 2L Diesel as this had the right tyres with no extra charges. Result. Instead of a small car, my car was a higher spec with GPS, reversing camera, blind spot detectors, heated seats, heated wheel, posh trim. It was a very comfortable car and best all went like a rocket down the Autobahn yet still averaged 55mpg over the time I had it. There was a sticker on the dash saying the max speed was ISTR 210km/h with winter tyres fitted.

Actually that is what I did - so I have a set of old steel wheels with winter tyres on and alloys with summer tyres. Also tried the “Cross Season” tyres which also seem to cope reasonably well ( but not as well as a new pair of snow tyres) on the second car. Plan “B” for is the 1998 Land Rover!

Believe it or not the car I bought came with the winter tyres on Alloy wheels and the summer ones on Metal rims! The tyres are different sizes, so I can’t swap them around.

I, like I suspect many people, tend to err on the safer side and leave Winter tyres on the car longer than is actually needed and have the summer ones on less time. The downside I suspect is that the Winter tyres probably wear quicker on the dry summer roads buit rather that, than be caught out on winter roads with only summer tyres on the car!