Airing down tires....in the Rockies? - Defender Source
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Airing down tires....in the Rockies?

I was having a discussion with a coworker today about airing down tires while off road. He is a Jeep CJ guy (owns 2) and wheels them in Colorado. He looked at me funny when I mentioned airing down tires on rock here in Virginia. He said that he never airs down as airing down in the Rockies is an almost guaranteed way to cut a sidewall to ribbons.

For all of you who wheel in the Rockies....do you air down your tires at all? If so, how low do you go? Do you find that it hurts your ability to crawl on rocks?

I'm starting to wonder about the benefits of airing down vs the potential for catastrophic tire failures.
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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Everybody airs down here. Your coworker is crazy. With stock tires I air down to 20psi. By airing down you are more likely to lose a bead before you cut the sidewall.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Airing down increases the contact area of the tire and also adds a little cushion. I never used to air down wheeling in CO (more naivity and laziness) and just started to do so recently. Yeah, it tears up your tires, my two year old BFG MTs are thrashed, but I've noticed less "jarring" when hitting obstacles too.

My $.02
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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I live in CO and air down if I am in the rocks. More traction and a smoother ride.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Charles Galpin
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It's easy to tell for yourself. Run a trail, then run the same one aired down. I think you have been sniffing too much diesel, but you could get solid rubber tires if you are still worried about your sidewalls.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 06:10 PM
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I've always aired down, even before I knew about wheeling. It must've had something to do with learning to drive on the beach. I know of two "stuck" vehicles I've aired down that pulled themselves out with ease. There is no reason not to air down unless its for a short section, or you have no way to refill and have a long trip ahead of you. Defenders ride like shit why not air down.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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John B.
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Always air down. The people who say not to, have no idea what they are doing.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Ian Gregory
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No CO but still with rocks here in AZ and we always air down. I am surprised at the people who think it protects the tire to keep them hard and un-yielding? In mud or soft terrain maybe but in the rocks itís just asking for it to get ripped to shreds. Airing down among other things allows the tire to deform and avoid punctures and gashes in many cases. It also allows it to wrap around rocks and so on to increase traction. Add to that you will likely shake the fillings out of your teeth and most of the bolts off your truck if you run around with street pressure on most trails. Longer contact patch, lower ground pressure, more traction, less trail damage, better floatation, etc., etc., etc. The only downsides are having to air them back up and the increased risk of wheel damage or losing a bead if you go too low or too fast.
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