Category Archives: News

End of the Flexstud Era: The 2020 NAF Winter Tire Test

Last year, Continental revolutionized the winter tire industry with their new IceContact 3, introducing a stud – the Flexstud – with a flexible rubber base that improved performance and reduced both stud noise and road wear. With a dominant test performance, it appeared likely that the other manufacturers would have to follow suit to keep up.

But it was not to be. After complaints about the frequent loss of studs on Flexstud-equipped tires, Continental has reverted back to an aluminum stud base. Let’s see how the IceContact 3 performed in the 2020 NAF winter tire test, without the advantage of the radical but, ultimately, flawed Flexstud.

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2018’s Best: The Latest and Greatest Winter Tires Tested by the NAF

It’s autumn (sorry) almost spring again.  That means there’s still time to buy new winter tires – or get a head start on thinking about buying them next fall – and therefore time to review the latest winter tire test so you can make an informed decision.  The most comprehensive winter tire test is available to us thanks to the Norwegian Automobile Federation (NAF).  A little bit of Google translating gives us the benefits of this knowledge and we summarize that information here in English so that you are not forced to figure out how the properties of ice cream might relate to tire performance.

Though we North Americans do not have easy access to most of the studded tires featured in this test, at least we can get the best! Continue reading


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The English Speaker’s Guide to the 2016 NAF Winter Tire Test


The results of the 2016 version of SSTC’s favorite winter tire test have been published.

All hail the reigning, defending, undisputed champion of the world: the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8!

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ContiIceContact Redux – The New Gislaved Nord Frost 200


Swedish tire manufacturer Gislaved has released the latest generation of their Nord Frost tire line – the Nord Frost 200 – and it’s a familiar face.  As a division of Continental, they are using the tread design from Continental’s previous top winter tire, the ContiIceContact.

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The 2015 Norwegian Automobile Federation Winter Tire Test is Out!


The 2015 edition of the world’s most comprehensive winter tire test has been published.

The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 returns as the defending champion.  Continental brings an updated version of their second-place ContiIceContact – the ContiIceContact2 – to the table this year.  The rest of the top nine studded tires return as they were in 2014.  But that doesn’t mean the finishing order will remain static.  No tire can be the best at everything, so different ice, snow, and weather conditions will always result in slightly different finishing orders. Continue reading

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Gislaved Nord*Frost 100 with “Tristars” – Another Original Stud Design


The Gislaved Nord*Frost 100 model is now available. This is a sweet looking tire with high tech tungsten carbide stud technology.  The “Tristar” is another unique stud design that should provide plenty of grip on icy roads and minimize hazard risks this winter for drivers in need of new rubber. Continue reading

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New Kumho WinterCraft ICE Wi31 Equipped with Quieter “Turbine Studs”



Good news! Another factory studded option may be available in Canada. Kumho brings us the WinterCraft ICE Wi31 with “Turbine Studs”.

“An advanced new stud design gives the WinterCraft ICE Wi31 an exceptionally quiet hold on the ice and snow. The wide turbine studs provide excellent snow clearance, in a low profile design that cuts road noise dramatically.” Continue reading

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“Stud Wars”: New Generation Pirelli Ice Zero Joins the Race Packing “Double Claws”


Stud technology has been rapidly evolving and improving over the past few years with more manufacturers customizing designs and pre-studding tires in factory.

Pirelli’s Ice Zero is the latest to join the “Stud Wars” this winter as we see more original stud designs coming out of Europe for the Canadian market in 2015.

The “Double Claw” is another distinctive design with a double-ended tip set on a trapezoidal head as shown below alongside the ContiIceContact, Ultra Grip Ice Arctic, Hakka 8, and Blizzak Spike-01. Continue reading


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