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The unofficial TireBall thread...

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Simply put, I bought these things for the front and here is where you're going to find out if they're worth it or not...

I have had 2 flat fronts while racing this year using STI Ultra Heavy Duty Tubes (4mm). Both potentially costing me wins or at the very least 2nd place finishes. 

I use a Mousse in the rear cause I can manage the feel, but in the front I absolutely hate using a Mousse. It is not a feeling I have ever gotten use too but unfortunately they are the only 100% guarantee to avoid a flat.

The TireBalls were a fairly substantial investment upfront but the overall costs could turn out to be cheaper in the long run for both a Mousse and UHDT.

Unfortunately I can't provide data for a Tubliss setup simply because I have not used them to any substantial degree. So everything you read from me is just what I've used. If someone can provide a weight for the a 21“ Tubliss setup that would be great.

Getting back to TireBalls themselves, quite a interesting little product.

They come roughly half inflated at about 8psi and there are 40 of them. As with talking with the manufacture, I should inflate them to approximately 14psi, 1 psi more than what I would run a heavy duty tube at. I took very good quality basketball pump and pumped all 40 of them up to 14psi. The whole process took me about 5min in total.

The actual texture of the ball is nothing like rubber, they look and feel more like one of those computer mats you put on carpet so you can roll you chair on it. They aren't really round too, more egg shaped. Weight wise:

-STI UHDT 2.95lbs

-Michelin Mousse (90/100/21) 2.02lbs

-TireBall (36 balls) 1.5lbs *Box was scaled and zero'd*

Nearly a 1.5lb weight saving over the UHDT and half pound saving over the Mousse

After that, I threw them all in a bin and splashed the supplied lube all over them, much like a mousse inserts. Installing them is pretty simple, just keep jamming them in. The tire takes about 30 balls pretty easily but as you jam the next 6 in it gets trickier. The last 2 take a little finesse as they need to be squished in. As the balls go it and get tighter, they actually start to turn on end to produce a tighter more unison fit.

Much like a mousse, when installing the bead you work around the edges taking small bites with your tire iron. Initially I did exactly what I did with a mousse using wrenches to hold the bead down (don't have a bead buddy) but the tire balls do have a little void in between them making it easier to get the tire iron on the lip. It would be near impossible to get a pinch flat while installing them. On my first attempt everything was great until one side of the tire came up over the rim exposing the TireBalls which than all hell came loose. The balls launched out of the tire (6 in total) like my kids when they don't want to go to daycare.

Learning that lesson, I cleaned the balls, lubed them up and jammed them back in, this time making sure to keep the tire bead down. Without anything other than my 3 tire irons I worked the bead over the lip of the rim and I was done. I was surprised and impressed that it wasn't anymore difficult than a mousse and dare I say easier due to the little voids.

With the wheel bolted on I did my little "around the house" test and can say with 100% certainly there is definitely added plushness in the suspension. That initial 'jolt' that using a mousse creates when hitting a sharp square edge is gone. Imagine hitting a curb, just super plush! The tire didn't feel like it was rolling and the 'balance' felt better when doing a wheelie, not that off balance feel. In short, felt exactly like a tube but at the very least in one area better. I'll be hitting up the EX track tomorrow and hope to have more feedback but I'm super excited for these TireBalls... 

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These make more sense to me than the mousse. Looking forward to more feedback as these have been in the cart so to speak for some time 

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I watched a vid on the tire balls cause they do seem like a cool idea but it is that pressure adjustment issue that kinda turned me off, along with the cost.

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We've used them for over a decade in racing PRO Quads and I would use them again in a heart beat or tire blocks But once one or two if them do pop it all starts to go bad fast. They slip, get off balance and the vibration is the worst so that you can hardly hold on. Although this was on really fast courses and not slower technical ones. That said I have never tried them on a bike but would expect the same results but at least you should be able to run a faster race pace since not completely flat like when running tubes. Something I would like to hear more about for sure especially vs. various mousse bibs. 

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1 hour ago, Monk said:

On my first attempt everything was great until one side of the tire came up over the rim exposing the TireBalls which than all hell came loose. The balls launched out of the tire (6 in total) like my kids when they don't want to go to daycare.

^ :lol:

Good write up.:thumbsup:

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No experience with these, mouse, or tubliss but I did notice a couple of dude's were using them in their fronts for the Erzberg.

Not the easiest to read but somewhat interesting if anyone cars.

https://issuu.com/enduro21.com/docs/enduro_illustrated_23/122?ff=true&e=15066372/51839880

Otherwise good write up but at first look at them they did remind me of something else :)

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2 hours ago, Diamond-Dave said:

We've used them for over a decade in racing PRO Quads and I would use them again in a heart beat or tire blocks But once one or two if them do pop it all starts to go bad fast. They slip, get off balance and the vibration is the worst so that you can hardly hold on.

Yeah but a shit load easier to pop out the blown ones and replace than doing a UHD on the side of the track

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Yeah but a shit load easier to pop out the blown ones and replace than doing a UHD on the side of the track

Maybe, but I always take spare tires/wheel sets so fast easy swap. An sometimes I'll even take my ZipTy DGTT with me and can change tires out pretty quick when needed for testing. But I do typically run UHD for high speed races and mousse for the rockier technical stuff like NHHA. But I am going to have to try them out on the bikes this fall/winter.

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5 hours ago, Diamond-Dave said:

We've used them for over a decade in racing PRO Quads and I would use them again in a heart beat or tire blocks But once one or two if them do pop it all starts to go bad fast. They slip, get off balance and the vibration is the worst so that you can hardly hold on. Although this was on really fast courses and not slower technical ones. That said I have never tried them on a bike but would expect the same results but at least you should be able to run a faster race pace since not completely flat like when running tubes. Something I would like to hear more about for sure especially vs. various mousse bibs. 

Tire Blocks run pretty parallel to mousse inserts... 

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2 hours ago, Diamond-Dave said:


Maybe, but I always take spare tires/wheel sets so fast easy swap. An sometimes I'll even take my ZipTy DGTT with me and can change tires out pretty quick when needed for testing. But I do typically run UHD for high speed races and mousse for the rockier technical stuff like NHHA. But I am going to have to try them out on the bikes this fall/winter.

Im talking about in the middle of nowhere - we dont carry spare wheel sets 100k from the carpark

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Box looks like a delivery to a plastic surgery office. Supplies needed for boob jobs. Maybe this could be the unofficial name of this modification. Tire boob job

Edited by 1gr8bldr
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11 hours ago, S.O.A.N.Z said:

Im talking about in the middle of nowhere - we dont carry spare wheel sets 100k from the carpark

Understood, when racing we basically have spare wheel sets about every 50 miles if needed but when joy riding I always carry a spare 21 in tube so it can go in the front or rear if needed. An always carry air and patches too and nice to have a rock, stump or fallen tree to use as a stand while we change things out. I have to admit I've been lucky as I've never gotten a flat when joy riding, only my friends so end up helping fix things. Racing another story, too many times I've had to ride like hell on a flat for 30 miles before being able to change out for a different wheel sets. Rim locks and zip ties work wonders keeping you in the bead at times. 

1gr8bldr, SPOT ON :lol: exactly what they look like... I can see riding like crazy, have a couple pop, tire off the bead and little boobs running around all over the place. :lol:

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1 hour ago, 1gr8bldr said:

Box looks like a delivery to a plastic surgery office. Supplies needed for boob jobs. Maybe this could be the unofficial name of this modification. Tire boob job

That gives me an idea.....

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Man I just don't get it I guess. I have been racing hare scrambles for 4 years now and have never had a flat. I have worked my way up from 30 B to open A class. I'm not fast by any stretch, but I can't remember how many times I have seen guys on the side of the track with bibbs hanging out or guys with tubliss set ups with flats. I have been running bridgestone ultra HD tubes with slime and have had great luck. Currently on the same set of tubes that I used all last season!! 65 bucks for tube or 200+ for bibbs or tire balls?? No thanks. Kx 450.

Sent from my XT1254 using ThumperTalk mobile app

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3 hours ago, CHUCKYMIKE34 said:

Man I just don't get it I guess. I have been racing hare scrambles for 4 years now and have never had a flat. I have worked my way up from 30 B to open A class. I'm not fast by any stretch, but I can't remember how many times I have seen guys on the side of the track with bibbs hanging out or guys with tubliss set ups with flats. I have been running bridgestone ultra HD tubes with slime and have had great luck. Currently on the same set of tubes that I used all last season!! 65 bucks for tube or 200+ for bibbs or tire balls?? No thanks. Kx 450.

Sent from my XT1254 using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

I guess you're just lucky... But, $200  is gonna seem cheap when you're fighting for a championship and trying to earn your Pro License... 

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I guess you're just lucky... But, $200  is gonna seem cheap when you're fighting for a championship and trying to earn your Pro License... 

I was chasing a championship. Won my 30B class and then won my 30A class. Would be chasing a open A championship but financial situation not allowing for it this year. But I totally understand

Sent from my XT1254 using ThumperTalk mobile app

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Generally I wrote this email to Mark, the CEO of Tiresballs. I did change a few things to make it more TT based than a personal email....

At this point I can't imagine I spent a lifetime without these things...I cannot account for durability due to limited time but initial testing left me extremely impressed with TireBalls...

I started at 14psi. I didn't make any suspension adjustments either, just rode trying to get a baseline.

As for my testing platform, I spent 2hrs practicing offroad, 30min on the MX track and 30min on the Endurocross course.

-Offroad, awesome! When it came to anything square edge such as roots and rocks, I would just hammer through them. There is this "hmm, it might pop" kinda idea in the back of your head at first because ya, its still air. But after a while I just kinda went into "phaq it, I'm having fun". The added plushness when going through rocks/roots, or pretty much everywhere was so nice. Off the top, and if I had to put a number to it, maybe a 30% improvement alone in suspension feel over a mousse. At14psi the balls felt a little soft as I felt a bit of wandering in the front. I think 36 balls at 15 or 15.5psi is going to be the right touch. Though I can't confirm, I think the 14psi setup would be the cats meow in the front, maybe even 13psi for some wet extremely technical terrain. Hopefully I get that chance to try before the season is done.

-Endurocross, again awesome! Outside of some of the sharp edged concrete baracades where you could definitely feel the softer 14psi balls, the traction was great! You never could feel the rim, and nothing like a mousse would have felt either. You just don't get that 'jolt' you would feel with the mousse or tube. The rock gardens made for quick work as the tire stuck really well and offered good feedback and control. Depending on how good you are and your ability to either work a EX course being smooth, 14psi is probably gonna be good. If you just hammer through, you might want 15psi. 

-On the MX track, no complaints... With the mousse I can feel the an unbalanced wobble while in midair, not felt with both the TB or tubes. Slap landings, braking bumps, even over jumping was never really an issue. If anything, the softer offroad suspension was the worse offender. As with riding offroad, I would probably bump up the PSI to around 15 or so due to the faster speeds and harder landings. 

 

Without question the feel is so much better than both the mousse, and the confidence earned over a tube is just so much better. Ultimately the best of both worlds at this point...

Awesome awesome product! 

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