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Feb 11 2013

Thule makes ‘chains required’ easy

Climbing skins for cars – by Thule

One of the unexpected gems found in the aisles of the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter show was a new type of traction device for skiers. No, I’m not talking about climbing skins for skis, think of these as climbing skins for your car. For those of us who love to ski there are two choices to be made when considering an automobile – go with a 4WD or AWD transmission, or take your chances with two wheel drive and chains.

If you can afford it, the 4WD transmission is the way to go. For the discerning, as long as it isn’t a Government Motors product, AWD is highly recommended. Yes, these options are more expensive but the convenience they provide when the roads are covered with crystalline water is easily justified, especially when you can be waived through a chain check.

The other option is to rely on chains. Without a doubt chains are a major pain in the butt to deal with, but if you only have two-wheeled drive you may be forced to use them. On the positive side, nothing beats a set of chains for traction. Everyone knows the real reason those who can afford it prefer to go with AWD or 4WD is because of how difficult it is to put them on — until now.

Thule has come up with a set of chains that can be put on quickly and easily, without having to sprawl underneath the wheel wells to loop them around your tires while the wind and snow howl. They go on in less than 30 seconds per tire. Even if it took two minutes, the ease with which these go on make the option of saving money on a 2WD vehicle worth considering, even if they do cost $450 per set. It’s pricey, but easily justified if you use them a few times per season over the course of several seasons.

It’s easy to see how much more convenient Thule’s Easyfit chains are to put on. The question remains, how long do they last? How prone are they to coming off? Even if you’re not supposed to drive more than 35 mph with them, can they stay on up to 55 mph (~100 kph)? Here’s hoping for a chance to “test” ‘em (Hint: the Couloir mini-van would be a perfect test vehicle). ;)

Thule
Easy Fit CU-9 Tire Chains
MSRP: $450

© 2013
 

  • teletilyouresmelly

    yeah they better last longer than cable chains, which are more of a disposable than a durable good- but if they do, pretty sweet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000170302713 Michael Davis

    It would be nice to see a comparo between these and Spikes Spiders

  • BenKadas

    At $450 a set, they should include road side service to do the install as you sip your Starbucks latte ;)