Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Bridgestone Tires Canada

Review and photos by Paul Williams

Recently I spent some time in Toronto where one of the local media outlets was debating the use of winter tires. The basic premise was that there’s not enough snow and it doesn’t get cold enough in Toronto to warrant using them.

Well, I think the argument has more merit for people in Vancouver than residents of southern Ontario (or anywhere else in Canada, for that matter), but I can see the point: if it doesn’t seem “wintery,” why bother with winter tires?

This year I’ve fitted a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 winter tires to my personal car, and guess what? We’ve hardly seen any snow in Eastern Ontario – so have I wasted my time (and money?). I don’t think so.

At the time of this writing, it’s minus 10-degrees Celsius in Ottawa with colder temperatures predicted. The cold weather is another factor that recommends winter tires, because they provide better traction when the mercury drops. You can imagine that a frozen all-season tire would tend to slide over asphalt, rather than grip it. The Rubber Association of Canada explains as follows:

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. Click image to enlarge

“The latest generation of winter tires delivers better grip in all cold weather driving conditions because their rubber compounds are designed to maintain their elasticity at temperatures as cold as minus 30-degrees Celsius and lower. This superior flexibility, which kicks in when temperatures fall below seven degrees Celsius, means drivers gain greater traction and control, particularly when cornering.”

Bridgestone uses a number of technologies in its winter tires to maximize traction in snowy, icy and extreme cold conditions, with the Blizzak WS70 featuring 3D Zigzag sipes, “Nano-pro Tech” and a MultiCell rubber compound.

The 3D Zigzag sipes provide biting edges that cover the surface of the tread blocks. These sipes maintain stiffness under pressure, enabling the tread blocks to dig into snow, providing better grip.

“Nano-pro Tech” refers to polymers that prevent the overall stiffening of the rubber compound during cold conditions. This increased flexibility allows for greater gripping contact with the road, according to Bridgestone.

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