TireBalls - Great Balls Of Tire

Can You Throw Away Your Spare?

Harry WagnerPhotographer, Writer

By now most wheelers know the value of a beadlock rim for their 4x4. Physically clamping the bead of the tire to the wheel enables you to run lower air pressure without the tire coming off the rim. Lower air pressure, in turn, increases traction and a smoother ride off-road. This all goes out the window though once the tire is punctured. That is where TireBalls come in.

TireBalls are air-filled cells positioned inside the tire and act like a runflat or an inner tube, but they have advantages over either. By using 20 urethane cells per wheel, the TireBalls continue to work even if some of the cells are punctured. And unlike a runflat, they can be tuned for specific pressures and ride characteristics.

All of these attributes are useful when you don’t have time to stop and change a tire, like when you are racing—or someone is shooting at you. This is why TireBalls are so popular at King of the Hammers and in military applications.

But what if you are a recreational wheeler who runs big tires and doesn’t have the room for a spare? How much ground clearance is lost when the tire loses air? And how many TireBalls can go flat before you cannot drive on them anymore? Check out the captions to find the answers to all of the questions and more as we put TireBalls to the test on the Rubicon Trail.