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on December 11, 2011
The good news is that these chains actually DO self-adjust onto the tire - ONCE YOU GET THE SIZE CORRECTLY ADJUSTED. The pictorial guide had me remove 4 of the cross bolts, and I had to remove one more because I have "mud and snow" tires. MAKE SURE you get these sized and adjusted BEFORE you get to the snow. I would hate to have to try to do this in the cold and snow on the side of the road.

The bad news is that the ratchet mechanism is too flimsy, and you can EASILY damage it by over-tightening while ratcheting in the chains. So be careful.

Note to Thule: If you had actually used words in your instructions (instead of cryptic and hard-to-understand pictorials) I might have avoided this problem. In this case, a couple of words (e.g., "Do not over-tighten the ratchet, because we used a flimsy design") would have been worth a thousand pictures.

Also - the pictorial instructions on how to select the correct stand-offs for the lug nut bolt were VERY difficult to understand. No indications of what the critical spacing or dimensions are, so you have to guess.
11 comment59 of 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 8, 2011
First I would like to say that for those of you suggesting I get "real tire chains"... I have 2 pair that I've managed to get onto my tires exactly... never. If you'd like to buy 2 pair of 17" snow chains cheap just leave me a message, you can have 'em. "Real tire chains" might be great for some people, but if I can't get them on and off my car quickly and easily, they are useless to me.

I live 1400 feet up a 2 and a half mile dirt/gravel road that stays ice and snow covered for weeks after there is no snow anywhere else in our county. I am a small business owner, so if I can't get to work, I don't get paid, simple as that. I needed a product that was easy for a 40+ year old woman to get on and off by herself 6 days a week.

For the last 3 winters I have been using Spikes-Spiders, which I actually think is a fairly good product as well, but after being put thru the rigors of mountain life, many of the plastic components of the Spikes-Spiders were beginning to break and needed replacement, so I began looking for an alternative. These chains by Thule seem to be a great alternative so far.

I have a 2006 Saturn Vue AWD. I'll admit that fitting these chains the first time was a little tricky, but I was having to unlearn what I was expecting from the Spikes-Spiders. They did fall off the first time I used them, but I realized I had reversed a component while trying to make sure I had the right lug adapter on, so it wasn't a fault of engineering but a simple mistake that was easily corrected ...while I was halfway up my mountain. You can't fix an adjustment to regular tire chains unless your car is completely level, which mine most certainly was not. I'm going to suggest the some of the people who are reporting that the chains fell off their tires may very well have made the same easy to make mistake.

Otherwise, the instructions seemed very straight-forward and now that I've done it a few times (I only got them 5 days ago) I can put these on and get them off in a matter of minutes. The Spikes-Spiders were easier to put on and took less time, but these chains are also much more aggressive in traction control, so I feel it is a good trade-off.

Although I can't attest to the durability of this product yet, I'm pretty confident that the sturdier construction (in comparison to my old Spikes-Spiders) will have them last for me at least as long as my old "Snap-On" chains. Considering the price I got the K-Summits for here on Amazon (more then $200 LESS then the Spikes-Spiders), I feel these will be money well spent. They are easy and they work.
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on January 4, 2009
I couldn't wait to get these, given Seattle's unexpected week of ice. The chains fit several tire sizes with clear instructions for removing 0 - 4 sizing clips for each size (all four for my 225/50-R17). These are as easy on/off as this video shows ([...] No need to get knees wet, or lay on the ground.

The chains ride only on the tread and not on the back of the wheel/tire, requiring no inside clearance. The thin cable chains add only about 10mm to the top clearance. The ice grips are aggressive and the chain angles will provide lateral slide resistance.

The set came with the tools needed to remove the clips and mount the lugs. The clips are put on from the factory with something like "Lock-tite". Recommend a 7mm socket to replace the wrench and your own good set of metric Allen wrenches (3mm).

Only problem was the lug locking mechanism was too shallow to fit my deeply recessed lugs on the standard wheels of my car (Infiniti I-30t). This should not be a problem for most cars. Amazon quickly allowed return/refund. Thule sent me to an authorized local dealer for a fit for their CS-10's which do not require a lug lock, but will require me to be on the ground in the slush to mount and dismount.

I would have loved to have kept these. I guess it is too much to expect Thule to have researched all the kinds of wheels on the market.
55 comments42 of 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 14, 2011
I bought these chains, feeling apprehensive about the price, and unsure whether I even need chains on my Audi allroad (tire size 225/65 R17). As it turned out during the Christmas skiing trip even with good M+S tires and quattro drive you can encounter road conditions that call for chains to be safe. 30 miles of solid iced-over snow, encountering 8 spun-out vehicles and one horrible accident, I was very happy to have spent the money. So half-way into the ordeal, we found a spot to pull over, mounted the chains and were really happy from there on. I mounted the chains twice so far. It is very easy to do, takes 5 minutes on each side, taking them off takes 2 minutes. They drive great, due to the continuous line of chain links along the circumference of the wheel. They don't rattle the car as much as the diamond shaped regular chains do. Driving on pavement feels very smooth. I have not tested whether they would come off in hard cornering and stayed at the 35 mph range, but their advantage of fitting into the complex and narrow wheel assembly, without requiring special rims and narrower tires to make room for full chains is a real boon.
Instructions are not the greatest but not complicated either (Thule has a youtube video showing the installation.) Check the lug nut size and order the very large adapter if you need it. My chains came with an adapter but the standard size fits my car. And fit the chains and put them on at home on pavement to make sure you know what you are doing when it gets dicey!
I can't say how long-lived these chains will be, if you have enough room in your wheel well, perhaps full chains are more affordable, sturdier and even more reliable, but the K-summit are a great compromise.
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on December 16, 2013
I bought this set as it is the only model that fits my 2011 Ford Explorer Limited.

For a year I was able to use these on occasional trips to the mountains, until one fell off my car while driving. I followed the instructions for installation. Drove a couple of miles - less than 25mph. I arrived at my destination and found that I'd lost one of the chains. Very annoying.

Considering my choice is so limited I was contemplating buying another set. I figured that if I lose one again, at least I'll have have two remaining chains to form a new set. However, I see these are now $700!!! Considering I'm not the only person that has lost a pair of these, they do not have the track record to be worthy of such a high price. Beware!
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on December 14, 2009
The K-22s work just as advertised. It takes a little extra effort the first time or two, but once you get used to the system, these are the easiest chains to put on you'll ever own. The traction seems VERY good, and the chains tighten around the tire perfectly. It almost feels like they are part of the tire (which means them off sometimes takes a little effort - just be sure you have some gloves you don't mind getting a bit dirty)

I drive a car with 21mm lugnuts. These ship with 17 and 19mm fittings, so be sure that if you have a car with larger lugnuts you get the adapter. (Prius owners, this means you). They are available from [...] if Amazon is sold out.

I haven't had these for very long, but they seem to be very high quality. The warranty is 1 year, but I would expect them to last much longer. And yes, the price is a little high, but it is a lot less than the cost of damage rims and certainly a lot less than internal damage to your cars braking mechanisms or even just cosmetic damage inside the wheel well. Add that to ease of install and it's kind of a no-brainer. Highly recommended. I'd give 5 stars, but I feel like THULE cheaped-out by not providing the 21mm fits standard. Making that a $25 add-on for a product with a retail price of $450 is ridiculous.
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on December 8, 2014
These chains are made with plastic components that become brittle and break in cold temperatures. While the Thule warranty is for 5 years, don't expect them to honor it. When the plastic piece that holds the chain to the wheel broke on mine after using the chains about 6 times, I thought I would be covered under the warranty. When I contacted Thule, their representative denied the claim and informed me that:

"Our technical department has observed that manufacturing defects show up in the first year of usage of a product. If the plastic was defective from the start it would not have lasted 3 years."

I guess this means that their 5-year warranty only covers defects that happen in the first year. For such an expensive product, I would expect that the company would be willing to stand behind their chains. It's bad enough that a critical part of the chains is made of cheap plastic, but I certainly expect better service from Thule.
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on December 30, 2012
I really like these chains. I have previously owned cables and traditional chains, but I like these much better. I use them when I am at my cabin in the snow. They are a little pricey, but its worth it.

The best feature is the ease of fitting these - you can get them on without having to reach around the back of the wheel, so you get less dirty, and is much faster to fit than regular chains. There is a video on you-tube showing how these go on the tire which helped me before I used them first time.

Other features:

- speed - I have driven up to 40mph with these, which is faster than regular chains - I would only do 25 with regular chains
- low profile for sporty cars - I use these on a 2001 BMW 530i sports-pack with low profile wide tires - 255/40's and although there is very little room between the wheel arch and the tire these fit whereas regular chains wouldnt.
- These are also a bit quieter and smoother to drive on than regular chains, so I tend to tilt my side mirrors down and inward so I can keep an eye on them as I drive(rear wheel drive).

There is a slight trick to these - if you ratchet them in too tight, the vibration will eventually pull the chain off the wheel nut and the chain will come off the tire - it happened to me twice before I figured this out. After using a few times you will get a feel for it, but if you ratchet them in approx 90% (maybe 95%, but not 100%) it will be enough to keep the chain on the tire, but will also stay on the wheel nut and not come off.

I drove approx 20 miles on these last week, doing between 25 and 35 mph and they worked great and stayed on fine. I was in a (parallel) parking space in town and it iced up while we had dinner, and I couldnt get out of the parking space with bare tires. Was glad I had these so I could put them on quick and clean, and without moving the car much as I had cars front and back.
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on January 7, 2010
I don't know that I've driven on them enough to give proper details on durability. I can say that they worked very well on the 8 inches or so of snow I drove on over unpaved roads. And, I did not have to touch dirt or snow with anything but the fingers of my gloves and my boots. They were incredibly easy to install. I did not have to lay on my back or side. I did not have to reach behind the wheel. I got them on in about 1 minute per wheel. They came off in seconds. For the price you'll want to make sure you wash them without delay to keep them in good shape.
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on December 26, 2012
I spent a lot of time researching tire chains, as I imagine most people do before ponying up what these chains cost.

I've used the basic style for years and always felt this category was due for some innovation. I purchased these in late 2011 and immediately watched the online fitting videos and adjusted the chains for my vehicle. I adjusted the links for proper fitment and the wheel lug connector for the proper diameter and lug nut depth. All was in order and per Thule instructions/hieroglyphics.

Looking the chains over a bit I was concerned about their durability, what with the extensive usage of plastic and the very thin metal in key areas.

While practicing fitting the chains, the turnbuckle catch (a small but key piece of steel that is the only thing that allows you to tighten the chains and release them when done with usage) immediately bent. My occupation involves extensive usage and purchasing of professional tools and I've purchased and used a number of turnbuckles and straps over the years-I've never seen any of the most inexpensive turnbuckles fail-let alone a supposedly high quality tool stamped "Made in Italy".

This winter I was eager to try the chains in actual snow. I of course practiced my fitting (4 minutes flat and no kneeling-hence the innovative idea half of my title). Once in the snow I quickly and securely fitted the chains and then drove with them on for about 20 miles. As per the chain instructions/hieroglyphics I kept my speed below 50 km/hr (I actually stayed about 30 mph).

When I pulled over to remove the chains only one remained attached. The other chain was in a snow bank somewhere and all that remained was the lug nut post extension that came with the kit. The retention nut had simply vibrated loose, this nut is the only thing keeping your tire chains on the wheel.

Long Story, but my bottom line is; Thule is selling an innovative idea at a premium price but the quality and product execution is utterly lacking. Anyone need a single tire chain?
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