Retractable Studded Tires

by Kay Layne

I realize that the last thing most people in the northern parts of North America want to think about is snow. Not too long ago, record amounts of snow fell from the sky causing treacherous road conditions. Most states and provinces frown upon studded or chained tires due to the damage they do roads once the snow or ice is cleared.

Well good news, spring has sprung and soon so might your tires.

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A company called Q Tires created a tire called Q Celsius with retractable studs. So with a flip of a switch a driver could change from all season tires to studs. And vice-versa once the snow clears.

How it works is that air pressure from a main chamber expands to secondary chamber, which lifts the studs above the surface of the treads. To retract, the air pressure is released and the studs sink below the treads. While the company does admit some pressure is lost during retraction, they claim the system can be activated 20 to 30 times before you need to add air.

They can be installed, balanced and plugged like regular tires. These James Bond like wheels use a wireless signal to activate and deactivate the studs.

A flip of a switch sure beats having to change from summer or snow tires, and then back again each year.

The company hopes to have them on roads later this year. The cost has not yet been revealed.

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