IMG_4338The need to balance automobile wheels whenever the tires are replaced is a necessity for smooth operation. That same principle exists for large RV wheels, even though they rotate at a much slower rate.  While the standard lead weights that fasten to the edge of the rim are still used, a newer method is being employed that may be better.  This not only takes less time when the tires are replaced, but also self-adjusts throughout the life of the tire.

The bead balancing system uses a number of ceramic beads. However, instead of attaching to the wheel, they are put into the inside of the tire.  These beads then are let to freely move about the tire.  Amazingly, once they are run at a speed exceeding about 20 MPH, they produce a perfectly balanced wheel.  Not only do they work at the outset, but they will adjust as the tire wears to keep it in balance.

So, what exactly are these beads and how do they work? They are made of a very hard ceramic composition, much harder than stainless steel or even glass.  A specific quantity, based on the tire’s size, is poured into the tire casing during installation.  While they freely roll about the tire, they migrate by inertia to the needed location as soon as the wheel is turning fast enough. Amazingly, the wheel runs smooth and will do so for the life of the tire.

The ceramic bead system apparently can be reused once. That is, they can be transferred to the second new set of tires after which the beads would need to be replaced.

I tried this method of balancing my 315 X 22.5 tires about six years ago. The brand I used was Dyna Bead. At first I was skeptical.  I could not imagine these beads actually working.  But, with little choice as the dealer had no other balancing equipment, I tried them.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a smooth ride with absolutely no vibration.

Because of the availability, simplicity, and most of all the performance of the Dyna Bead balancing solution, I would go with this method solely in the future.

Peter Mercer – With a Great Balancing Act

 

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6 comments

  1. Anonymous

    I’ve had them install on RV tires, & they plugged the valve stems when you check the air
    pressure and bleed the air out if you didn’t have an air hose handy to blow the beads
    back into the tire. I will never use them again.

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      The tires should be relatively clean, which normally they are. The beads could never access the valve stem, gravity dictates that. You had other issues obviously.

      -1
  2. Anonymous

    I have this type on my trailer, the only thing is when you check the air in the tires some of the dust from the package my get in the valve stem. and the tire may lose air. I found that putting a little bit of air back in the tire clears this out.

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      The tires must be relatively clean. These issues are rare as many truckers also use them.

  3. Anonymous

    I would like very much to try these balancing beads. are they widely available? and how long have they been out?

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      I believe they have been used for many years commercially. They are quite common at truck tire service shops.