Michelin X-ICE North 3 winter tires: owner reviews, descriptions, specifications
The choice of winter car tires is a rather specific question for every motorist. After all, the car's handling in difficult weather conditions depends on it, be it a large layer of fresh snow or ice after a thaw. Of course, it is impossible to overstep the laws of physics, but at the same time, manufacturers each year improve the tire models on the market, achieving better results both in dynamics and in controllability. One of the models that have undergone such changes and received a pretty good response from buyers is Michelin X-Ice North 3. Owner reviews will help you figure out what strengths the French design has and also reveal its weaknesses. However, before doing their analysis, it would be nice to get acquainted with the characteristics provided by the manufacturer.
Brief information about the model
Rubber Michelin X-Ice North 3, in the review presented, as the name implies, is intended for use in the winter season. This is its third generation, which indicates the desire of its creators to improve and refine their offspring, adjusting to the conditions of actual operation. It is for this reason that it contains modern systems for dealing with weather problems, including effective removal of moisture and loose snow from the contact patch, as well as technology for getting rid of ice chips.
The manufacturer tried to take care of its customers by providing a wide range of sizes. So, tires can be purchased with an internal diameter of 15 to 20 inches, which hints at their use even in such types of cars as SUVs and minibuses. For each of them, there are variations with different profile heights and width of the working surface. Their total number exceeds 60 sizes, which also differ in the maximum speed indexes, which should also be paid attention to when choosing.
Owners' reviews of Michelin X-Ice North 3 underline their positive response to this approach to their customers.
Special spike technology
Each manufacturer seeks to make spikes on their models of rubber exclusive and the most practical. In this question, the French were no exception, and they developed several new technologies at once, which received patents, which together improve the operation of each individual spike. This is partly due to the fact that in Europe there are new requirements for studded tires, as a result of which the maximum allowed number of spikes has decreased dramatically.
All innovations relating to spikes, taking into account their joint use, it was decided to merge into one common system called Smart Stud System. The first distinguishing feature of it was the spikes themselves Michelin X-Ice North 3, received a new form. Now they have become conical, which, as conceived by the developers, should increase their productivity, despite the decrease in the number. The base of the spike has become wider, securing it in the nest more securely. The leg, which also received a conical shape, is surely fixed and does not allow it to fall out ahead of time, and the use of carbide metals in the working part prolongs the life of the tenon.
An important point is the removal of ice chips, which is formed during the contact of the working part of the Michelin X-Ice North 3 spike with an icy surface.If this is not done, the efficiency may fall almost twice, which significantly affects the handling and dynamic performance. In order to minimize the negative effect, small recesses were made around the spikes, which are temporary storage for ice fragments and are cleaned with each turn of the wheel.
The biggest changes affected the rubber compound itself. Previous versions of the Michelin X-Ice North 3 tire model were introduced to the market with a double-layered tread, in which the upper part was more elastic, while hard rubber was used at the back, which was a kind of limiter for spikes and helped the tire to keep its shape. However, during severe frosts, its use led to the fact that the tire could become too “oak”, and its performance decreased.
In the new version, the inner layer was replaced with a thermoset rubber compound. Due to its application, it was possible to even adjust the regulation of the operation of thorns, depending on the characteristics of the environment. At high temperatures, it becomes so elastic that the spikes, when moving, are pressed inwards and do not interfere with driving on clean asphalt.However, as soon as the temperature drops below zero, its elasticity decreases, and a hard base appears at the spikes, increasing their productivity. At the same time, this aspect does not affect the performance of the spiked tire Michelin X-Ice North 3 during times of cold snaps, and it is able to maintain sufficient elasticity in order not to lose its properties.
Sophisticated tread pattern
They did not leave aside the question regarding the processing of the tread pattern design. Despite the fact that it is in many ways similar to the V-shaped forms used in previous generations of this tire, it has new features. The separation of the tread blocks into individual small elements made it possible to create additional working edges, providing a more confident grip with the road surface under any conditions. Especially well this moment is manifested when driving on freshly fallen snow.
Michelin X-Ice North 3 XL shoulder areas have been redesigned in accordance with the regulations of the new development called Step In-Step Out. Its implementation consists in a different distance of the protrusion of the tread blocks located on the side of the working part, beyond the tire.This approach has allowed to increase the permeability of the car in difficult conditions, given the deep snow and snow porridge with water.
Improvements in the drainage system
An important aspect for winter tires is the high-quality removal of moisture and snow from the contact patch with the track. Responsible for this is the drainage system, which is formed from lamellas - the slits between the tread blocks. Their location plays a key role in the efficiency of water drainage and allows you to feel confident when driving through puddles or snow porridge.
In order to improve the efficiency of this system, the manufacturer decided to change the main angle of the drainage channels themselves. Such an approach was originally intended to reduce the time of water withdrawal from the point of contact between the working surface and the highway. The idea was successful, which was proved during the tests. The car, equipped with tires Michelin X-Ice North 3 R16, has become more stable and has received increased resistance to aquaplaning, even at high speeds. The angle of the lamellae was chosen so that they had a general direction from the center to the edges and as quickly as possible threw the water to the sides,creating the necessary pressure and cutting the surface tension.
Recycled rubber compound formula
Of the previously mentioned features of rubber Michelin X-Ice North 3 was its ability to adapt to the temperature of the environment. It touched the inside of the rubber layer. Now it's time to pay attention to the working area of the tread, for the manufacture of which used certified rubber called Flexi-Ice. In this formula, proportional indicators were converted between natural components, including rubber, and synthetic rubber. The decision was made in favor of increasing the total amount of silica, which made it possible to increase the elasticity at low temperatures.
An additional effect of this approach was improved adhesion to the road surface in difficult weather conditions, such as icing of the road surface, copious amounts of moisture or rolled snow on it. At the same time, manufacturers have not forgotten about the durability of the Michelin X-Ice North 3 tire, having used the well-known silicic acid in the new formula, which allows you to effectively deal with abrasive wear.
Improved side protection
The life of the tire depends not only on its resistance to wear caused by friction with the road surface. It is important to protect it from various sharp physical effects. The most problematic part in this issue is the sidewall, which is thinner, and, accordingly, has a predisposition to damage.
In order to prevent winter tires from such problems, the manufacturer used a more rigid rubber compound for the manufacture of side elements. This approach has increased their strength, which has a positive impact on the life of the tire. They have become less prone to herniation after strong shocks, for example, on the edge of a pit or tram rails. Given the quality of most domestic roads, this aspect is decisive in the choice, since constantly changing tires that have not served their time does not want any driver.
Also, the development allowed to protect the sidewalls from the effects of another kind. Their increased strength contributed to the protection from side gaps, which could be obtained by rubbing on a destroyed curbstone or a deep ice track with sharp edges.
Increase overall tire strength
Another innovative technology that improved the quality of the model is called IronFlex. It consists in the correct application of a large amount of steel cord, which, however, did not affect the mass of the tire. This approach allowed to kill two birds with one stone.
First, increased resistance to damage. The winter tire Michelin X-Ice North 3 has become more capable with respect to resistance to cuts and cuts, the chance to get that in the winter season increases significantly. This increased its service life and allowed the manufacturer to give an impressive official guarantee that once again speaks of his confidence in his product.
The second positive feature that has arisen due to the use of technology is the confident retention of form. Even during a strong thaw, due to the metal cord, winter tires do not lose their features and do not begin to "float" on the road surface, which has a positive effect on controllability.
Positive feedback on the model
The time has come to review the reviews of the owners of the Michelin X-Ice North 3 and analyze how successful and reliable this model is. To begin, consider the positive aspects listed in the reviews of ordinary users. Among them are the following:
Acceptable softness.Many users note that rubber has a soft structure and is able to maintain it even during severe frosts. However, it does not interfere with strong thaws, since the tire keeps its shape well.
Sure exchange rate stability.It is one of the important parameters marked by drivers. It allows you to confidently drive a car even at high speeds in the winter season, which will definitely please fans of fast driving. Well manifests itself on the highways, the presence of spikes does not reduce the performance on pure asphalt.
High cross.Michelin X-Ice North 3 tires are able to cope with deep, friable snow due to the presence of high tread and sophisticated drainage system. It performs the role of a temporary storage for compressed snow, and is efficiently cleaned at each turn of the wheel.
- Good dynamic performance.Even under adverse weather conditions, rubber retains the ability to quickly pick up speed and to brake urgently when necessary.
Resistance to aquaplaning.Given the unpredictability of domestic winters, this feature comes in handy.During thaws, the tire is able to cope with movement through puddles without any problems, and the spikes allow it to stick even on a very slippery surface formed when water pours smooth ice under it.
Low noise level.After a proper running in, despite the presence of spikes, the tires do not make noise the way competing models do. Of course, a certain level of noise remains, but it is not too high and is perceived quite comfortably.
Good balancing from the factory.Rubber passes tight control at the exit from the conveyor, so the installation does not cause problems in the form of the need to install a large number of balancing weights.
Sure braking.Sophisticated tread design and the presence of spikes allows you to stop the car even with emergency braking in all conditions. If you adhere to the speed limits prescribed in the traffic regulations, you can almost always avoid an emergency situation.
Acceptable cost.This rubber is included in the average price segment. Of course, there is some overpayment for the brand, but it is compensated by high quality and good warranty service, so the price of Michelin X-Ice North 3 is more than justified.Considering that it starts from 3000 for the smallest size.
- A large number of available sizes.The manufacturer made sure that the buyers could choose the rubber variant that is suitable for their car, thanks to which a large number of sizes with different speed indices and load capacity appeared on the shelves.
As you can see, this model has an impressive list of merits. However, it also has a number of significant shortcomings, which cannot be ignored, and which must be taken into account in the final choice.
Negative side of the model
There was a critical minus that could ruin the reputation of the manufacturer and undermine the confidence of drivers. Rubber, bought a couple of years ago, many users by this time left with virtually no spikes. They broke off and flew even with a sparing mode of driving. Of course, this could not go unnoticed by the developers, because there were tons of negative feedback. However, the manufacturer and here showed itself from the best side.
After the problem was discovered, Michelin X-Ice North 3 tests were performed, which showed the poor quality of the spikes in the first batch.In order to eliminate the misunderstanding, the manufacturer decided to withdraw it and replace the rubber, provided in any condition, with a new one. Thanks to this move, many were able to change tires that had lost spikes for a couple of years to new ones, which increased the ratings of developers. Moreover, this was done in a general manner, and to obtain a replacement it was not necessary to provide a check. In modern issues this problem is absent. Therefore, when buying, pay attention to the date of production, and try to buy the latest tires.
In the rest, of the minuses can be noted a higher noise in tires, released recently. This may be due to the use of new thorns, instead of problematic in previous batches. No other users were found.
This rubber is well suited for those who like to feel confident in their car in any situation. According to the owners of the Michelin X-Ice North 3, it is able to cope with high-speed driving, even in adverse weather conditions. At the same time, it has the opportunity to please the lovers of country trips on country roads, since the reserve of cross-country capacity is enough not only for driving on loose snow, but also to overcome the mud during the thaws.Such versatility and honesty on the part of the manufacturer regarding claims issues allow us to conclude that we have one of the best models of winter tires.
The speed of the manufacturer’s reaction to the problem with spikes makes it possible to judge the quality of warranty service, with some tires being replaced after the warranty period has expired. New lots have almost no drawbacks, and they get high ratings according to buyers. In view of this, you can definitely say - if you value safety and want the car to confidently respond to your every move, then this rubber is made especially for you.