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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an inscription with 21in wheels and wondered what the best options are for snow chains. I live in California but will be going into the mountains this winter where they require chains.
 

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Gave a quick google search, pickings are limited for passenger vehicles with rims our (I have 21's as well) size it seems.

Then I looked in the manual and saw this:

"Certain size tires may not allow the assembly
of snow chains/traction devices."

And also

"Snow chains should not be used on
wheels larger than 19" "

I know what you mean about needing them though. I was stationed in Sacramento many years back and I know at times chains were required driving I-80 to/from Reno/Lake Tahoe.
 

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Are you sure your going to require chains? I'm an avid snowboarder and go up to Tahoe frequently, well not the last two seasons, and never had to place chains on my vehicles with AWD. At the chain control inspections they would simply look at my tires and verify verbally that my car was AWD or 4WD and was on my way. This was even in times where they closed the highway 50 and were only allowing small groups of vehicles through one way at a time with a highway patrol officer as the front escort through the snow covered freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you sure your going to require chains? I'm an avid snowboarder and go up to Tahoe frequently, well not the last two seasons, and never had to place chains on my vehicles with AWD. At the chain control inspections they would simply look at my tires and verify verbally that my car was AWD or 4WD and was on my way. This was even in times where they closed the highway 50 and were only allowing small groups of vehicles through one way at a time with a highway patrol officer as the front escort through the snow covered freeway.
I'm not sure they are going to require them, but wanted to be prepared. We will be going to Tahoe and Yosemite around Christmas. Not sure how bad it would need to be to make us have them?
 

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My 2 cents I would skip on the purchase of any chains as I know what the conditions are like on the two routes you mentioned. So in the last 14 years of doing Tahoe runs, I've slid a Subaru on highway 50 into an embankment while luckily missing all oncoming traffic at age 17 when I was more stupid, and dislocated a shoulder on a terrain run at Heavenly, but never had to place chains on a AWD vehicle when chain control inspections were active. They will simply close the roads before it got that bad.

I personally would be more worried about screwing up the AWD system by putting chains on the Volvo.
 

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I purchased spikes-spiders xxxL sport in advance of receiving my T8 with 20 inch wheels.
Both spikes-spider and our local volvo dealer checked and said these are ok.
The chains <do not> wrap around the back of the tire. Standard chains do so,
and could potentially interfere with brakes, etc.
I have successfully used this style of chains for many years on other
Volvo cars.

I, too, live in Northern California and travel often to lake tahoe. During heavy snowfall,
I would not want to be without chains, allweather tires or not.
 

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You're going to have issues finding chains for 21" wheels. Plus, as someone else mentioned, there are clearance issues. One option that might work are snow socks http://www.amazon.com/Shark-C50074-Super-Longer-Traction/dp/B008RWU8WI. Though the sizing could be a bit iffy.

I think the best, but far from cheapest option, is to get a second set of wheels with snow tires. I too live in NorCal and did this with my X5 that also came with 21" wheels. I felt so secure on snow and ice with this setup. Almost more so than any other car I drove before using chains.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I purchased spikes-spiders xxxL sport in advance of receiving my T8 with 20 inch wheels.
Both spikes-spider and our local volvo dealer checked and said these are ok.
The chains <do not> wrap around the back of the tire. Standard chains do so,
and could potentially interfere with brakes, etc.
I have successfully used this style of chains for many years on other
Volvo cars.

I, too, live in Northern California and travel often to lake tahoe. During heavy snowfall,
I would not want to be without chains, allweather tires or not.
What did it cost and where did you get it if you don't mind me asking?
 

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The OP has 21" not 20"s. Spider Spikes can be found below, whether it will fit a 21" I don't know. It's also important that this setup requires a special hub to be bolted to the rim prior to the spikes being easily installed. Note that the spikes are recommended only for driving up to 35mph.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004B...SX200_QL40&dpPl=1&dpID=41JhpAcjNsL&ref=plSrch

While I agree there's no better substitute than switching to winter tires for snow/ice conditions, I'm assuming the OP doesn't normally live in a climate that is consistently around 45F weather during the winter. The winter tires are going to wear very quickly, and they would also need to downsize on the tires as the last time I checked a few weeks ago, I was only able to find three available tires on Tirerack, with none of them being winter tires (2 summers, 1 stock) for the 21" spec.

The valley floor in Tahoe is around 6,000ft, and unless it's physically snowing it won't maintain snow on the road. The roads/freeways are plowed consistently. Chain controls through the mountains are only active if the conditions warrant. The key is driving slower than normal and maintaining a much larger distance to the vehicle in front of you. You'll know if a storm is going to impact your driving conditions by watching the forecast. If you are going up/leaving during a heavy winter storm warning, your most likely going to be sitting in the Volvo waiting for 50/80 to reopen than driving, snow tires/chains or not. You can always avoid this by going up or leaving the day before/after the storm rolls through. Good luck in whatever you decide and maybe I'll see your XC90 in the ski resort parking lot.
 

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Maybe look into cables instead of chains. I drove tow truck on hi. 80 out of Truckee many moons ago and assisted many of folks in snow conditions. As long as installed right on right application, IMO, cables work as well as chains. Biggest problem with either is people drive way to fast with or without either and speed can cause a failure of either. 20-25 MPH, that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I live in southern california so will only be in the potential snow for this one time trip. I am going to skip the chains and see how things go and just take it slow. Thanks for everyone's responses
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got an email from a manufacturer that says their product should work on the 21's. I'm going to order from amazon and try them on to see if they fit. I have the air suspension on my car so i will put it in "offroad" so it raises the height. If anyone is interested I can report back here on how it goes when I get them in a week or so. Here is the link to the model they said should work.

http://www.amazon.com/Security-Chai..._cr_pr_viewopt_srt?sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1
 

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I got an email from a manufacturer that says their product should work on the 21's. I'm going to order from amazon and try them on to see if they fit. I have the air suspension on my car so i will put it in "offroad" so it raises the height. If anyone is interested I can report back here on how it goes when I get them in a week or so. Here is the link to the model they said should work.

http://www.amazon.com/Security-Chai..._cr_pr_viewopt_srt?sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1
Did the chains work? Would love to know. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I got an email from a manufacturer that says their product should work on the 21's. I'm going to order from amazon and try them on to see if they fit. I have the air suspension on my car so i will put it in "offroad" so it raises the height. If anyone is interested I can report back here on how it goes when I get them in a week or so. Here is the link to the model they said should work.

http://www.amazon.com/Security-Chai..._cr_pr_viewopt_srt?sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1
Did the chains work? Would love to know. Thanks.
Didn't work at all. Went through 2 different models and neither came close to fitting. Ended up just giving up
 

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One thing to keep in mind, and I am not certain if this was already said specifically here, but any snow chain that wraps around the outter part of the wheel could also rub aganst against your rim and leave marks all over it, some of which are difficult to remove. This is true regardless of the material used. It happens when your wheel spins inside the snow chain.

That said, the BEST option (and highly impractical) would be snow tracks. And if you actually do this, I would want to see some pictures.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sno...k_LJAhVI12MKHZ-7CFMQ_AUIBygB&biw=1428&bih=832
 

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Good to know. I was about to pull the trigger on an XC90 with 21" wheels but saw this thread. Couldn't get the dealer to swap them with the standard 20".
 
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