48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
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.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
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.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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.
- 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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
This is a review for Thule K-Summit XL K56 Low-Profile Passenger Car Snow Chain on 225/65-17 M+S tires. The lug nut size is 21mm on Limited RAV4.
5 star for the chains,
4 star for the whole package since the Allen key is not really good.
As others have suggested, do the fitting at home first.
Following is also printed on the box
"Each chain can be adjusted to fit several tire sizes
It is advised to set up the chains and make a fitting test before use"
In the product description, it doesn't tell you what's in the box. If anyone is questioning the same thing, these items are included in the box for the set I purchased:
2 snow tire chains
2 pairs of extra lug adapters => 19mm & 21mm
2 pairs of bolts => short & long
1 pair of short red spacer
1 Allen key
1 small wrench
1 medium wrench
1 pair of disposable gloves
1 knee pad
3 extra chain repair links
1 fitting/adjustment booklet
1 user's manual/instructions
1 carrying bag
After checking the fitting/adjustment booklet, I had to remove 1 yellow spring section from each snow tire chain. This part was a bit difficult because the Allen key came in the box was not that great.
Take the suggestion from Melissa E. Davis (review from January 4, 2009), "Recommend a 7mm socket to replace the wrench and your own good set of metric Allen wrenches (3mm)."
Instead of using the ones on the chains, I also had to change to the 21mm lug adapters, the short red spacers & short bolts.
Fitting/adjusting the chains took longer time than getting them on/off the tires mostly because of the lousy Allen key; deduct one star from that.
This video [...]shows you how to remove the yellow spring, fit the lug/spacer/bolt & put on the chains, it's really helpful.
Visited the Sierras during the winter storm (both 12/22 & 12/28 weekends), it was the first time trying this pair of K-Summit in a serious snowy & icy condition. It was very good - easy & quick installation/removal, relatively quiet & smooth (compare to other snow chains at about 30mph).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2011
While others knelt in the snow laying out chains, reaching behind wheels, etc., I was able to get out of my car and put these on and get back in my car in less than 5 minutes. The instructions are the black mark. No words, just pictures so find the installation video (no words) online and watch a few times and practice once or twice before leaving home. You will need to make sure the right locking nut and spacer is on the set before leaving home to save time. The ones that came on worked on our Saturn Vue. The carrying bag is a great convienence. The look kinda wierd but work great. We have previously used spike spiders these are about as easy, but don't require a plate left attached to your wheel and collapse down to a nice neat package compared to the spike spiders. 3-5 minutes they are on, pull forward and get out and check and you are done! For those vehicles with limited clearance who have limited choices for traction, these not only work great but are easy to use and worth the extra money and they are cheaper than the spike spiders and so much easier than the high end cables that claim they are ok for restriced clearance wheels. Only mark against them is the instructions which are just wordless drawings since they serve multiple languages. There is only one brief paragraph per language half of which is liability stuff.