I opened a can of worms on this question. I put it to my nextdoor.com neighbors and had about 30+ responses!
The season for having these on your vehicle runs November 1st through April and Bend gets ICY – not necessarily snowy, although it does snow here at ground level – so if you’re not a 4-wheel drive car with all terrain tires, you will need something.
Studded snow tires are not popular for obvious reasons, they tear up the roads, and you can hear a car with them a mile off. However for ice and snow they are great.
Les Schwab will even store your tires, there is a change out fee each season with all stores, and usually free alignment, rotation offered with all.
I went to COSTCO because they offered the best price and have my snow tires ordered – I drive a front 2-wheel car and as such should be OK, if you have a pick up truck, then some weight in the rear is advisable – sandbags are easily found and sand for a sand box (if available) tends to be even cheaper – both Ace Hardware and Home Depot sell sand.
If you’re not used to driving in the ice and snow, there’s a course you can take – it’s 4 hours long, includes driving to practice and costs $90. Could be well worth it if you haven’t driven in snow or on ice before – details here – Car Skid Training
Now that we have had snow, and ice, and not much so far this winter (Groundhog Phil didn’t see his shadow so an early Spring?) I found that having snow tires to be a blessing. You still have to drive slowly, keep a very safe distance from the vehicle in front and always turn a corner slowly.
If you haven’t driven in snow before, look at your owners manual for tips, take the skid training class mentioned above, and at all times just be prepared.