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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few years ago I did a road test of the tire balancing beads that are popular in some circles. (They don't work.) Earlier this year just before a ride I realized that the situation was perfect to do another road test so tis time I chose another popular product, "Ride On."

Here's what the Ride On website claims:

"While you ride, a protective layer of Ride-On TPS - a tire balancer and sealant containing fibers six times stronger than steel evenly coats the inner surface of your tires. This coating balances your tires and makes them into self sealing tires for LIFE!"

"With one installation of Ride-On, lead weights become a thing of the past. While Ride-On works in conjunction with traditional weights, you won’t need them anymore. Ride-On is specially formulated to hydrodynamically balance high-speed tires and dampen road noise and vibrations that cause a rough ride. The great thing is Ride-On will continue to adjust and literally rebalance your tires as you ride for the legal life of the tires."

So I put all brand new tires on two virtually identical motorcycles and we rode them from Florida to Arizona, up into Utah, across a corner of Colorado, and back home to Florida. A total of 5,444 miles. One bike had Ride On in the front tire and the other had a normally balanced front tire. Both bikes had normally balanced rear tires as a sort of "control."

The specifics:

Both bikes are 2016 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road Kings. Both have exactly the same option package and were purchased on the same day. At the start of the ride both odometers were within 300 miles of each other. The only difference from the factory is one bike is black and the other is gray. The only changes made since the purchase of the bikes are different seats, and handlebars and foot pegs on one bike. All scheduled maintenance has been done on time and according to the HD service manual.

The tires were all brand new Dunlop American Elite's. Fronts were 130/80B17 kept at 36-40 psi and rears were 180/65B16 kept at 40-42 psi. Both rear tire were statically balanced in the normal fashion as was the front tire on the gray bike. On the front tire of the black bike I did not use any balancing weights, but put in 9 oz of Ride On sealant and balancer as per the manufacturer's instructions. Once each tire was mounted I used a dial caliper with a depth rod to check the tread depth in at least 5 locations around the circumference of the tire. I made sure to check the depth at the same point in the tread pattern and made a little sketch of where that was so I could recheck the depth at the same locations later. All tread depths on each tire were within .004" of each other, so I averaged the readings and recorded the results.

The ride was, as I mentioned, 5,444 miles over about 21 days using secondary roads and Interstate highways with plenty of short days to do some really nice sight-seeing. Both bikes were ridden at the same times, on the same roads, at the same speeds and fueled up and parked at the same times. Tire pressure was checked about every 4 days with neither bike needing air over the course of the ride. Weight of riders and gear was usually within about 40-60lbs of each other. (Both my wife and I are 6' tall. I weigh more but she carries more **** on her bike.) There was a difference of less than 50 miles on both odometers at the end of the ride, probably caused by taking different lanes on the same road.

The results? Luckily we didn't get to test out the self sealing function of the Ride On. I rode the black bike with the Ride On in the front tire and didn't notice any abnormal ride or handling. I could not tell any difference between how the front end felt on this ride or on any other ride on this bike with normally balanced tires. It felt just fine to me.

When we got back though I measured the tread depth again on all four tires before switching back to our "around town" tires:

Gray bike, normally balanced rear tire.
Begining depth: .312"
Ending depth: .234"
Total tread wear: .078"
Percent tread wear: 25%

Gray bike, normally balanced front tire.
Begining depth: .166"
Ending depth: .149"
Total tread wear: .017"
Percent tread wear: 10.24%

Black bike, normally balanced rear tire.
Begining depth: .310"
Ending depth: .230"
Total tread wear: .080"
Percent tread wear: 25.8%

Black bike, front tire balanced with Ride On.
Begining depth: .163"
Ending depth: .133"
Total tread wear: .030"
Percent tread wear: 18.4%

So, both bikes had tread wear on the normally balanced rear tires that was within .002" of each other. That's pretty darn close. But the bike with the Ride On in the front tire had tread wear that was .016" more than the bike with a normally balanced front tire. That's almost twice as much wear in the tire using Ride On! So I'm going to call this advertising myth "busted." Ride On does not seem to provide as much balancing as using the normal method with static weights.

I was a little disappointed too, because I had heard so many good comments on Ride On and heard so many people swear by it. And perhaps the self sealing function does work, and that could be a life saver, but to me the greatly increased tire wear does not make it worth it.
 

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Your bold headings are off if one bike was NOT normally balanced.

I would wonder if you may have used the front brake more often or harder on one bike. That may have been mitigated if you had been able to switch off rides half the time.

One thing I've found out throughout the years is that no two tires ever seem to be the same. Bikes or cars. Maybe the size is slightly off. The wear mileage is always different. Perhaps the compounds are slightly different on different days.

However, you did a pretty good comparison of actual anecdotal real road testing. Do you believe what Ride_On will tell you or your own lying eyes? :devil:

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Your bold headings are off if one bike was NOT normally balanced.
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-Good catch. Typing mistake. Fixed. Thanks!

--I would wonder if you may have used the front brake more often or harder on one bike. That may have been mitigated if you had been able to switch off rides half the time.
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-Only if I had been riding with my hand constantly on the brake, which I did not do. So no, braking had no effect on the tire wear differences.

--One thing I've found out throughout the years is that no two tires ever seem to be the same. Bikes or cars. Maybe the size is slightly off. The wear mileage is always different. Perhaps the compounds are slightly different on different days.
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-Or maybe Ride On just doesn't work as a tire balancer.
 

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Tire bead (sand) marble filled frisbees and any liquids inside tire do not work and never will. One thing that is common with all these claims is people will dump this material into the tire then claim the tire is so balanced yet they never test the raw tire first then add the snake oil products. I personally have not balanced any mc tire in over 15 years and I put on over 25k per year so plenty of tires. The only true test of these materials is to find a tire ( 1 in 100) that is noticeably out of balance then add the miracle product and see if it works - I have tested and no they don't do a thing. It's all smoke and mirrors the only true test means is good old lead weights and they always work 100% of the time. Again as tested properly.
 

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A few years ago I did a road test of the tire balancing beads that are popular in some circles. (They don't work.)
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Ride On does not seem to provide as much balancing as using the normal method with static weights.
Very interesting. Thanks for the report.

Question:
How did you determine the beads don't work? Could you feel a slight out-of-balance?
Same question about that slimy **** too.

I despise both products.
The beads end up all over the shop and that other **** makes a mess of shop equipment.

One more question. Do you have too much time on your hands? Lol :wink2: :grin:
 

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There isn't a product made that will work when you have a predetermined out come. If you want to test if the product works as a balancer then put a new tire on, remove all weights and hit the road. If the bike shakes all over the place, put the product in and hit the road. Does it balance? Now you've checked that part. Your test sounds good and you got plenty of figures to impress but it so full of holes it isn't funny. But you have convinced yourself it doesn't work and that was all you were after.

Now if you had used Slime I would have agreed 100%. I'm convinced that stuff is pure junk. There is a big difference between the two products. And Slime is what most think of when they claim it makes a mess of their shop.

It's a real shame people can't separate the two products and a real shame you didn't test Ride-On as a tire balancer. You did however prove one tire was different and a slight difference in the compound easily answers that. By the way, did the bike shake all the time on that trip? And how many tires have you balanced and how many have you put Ride-On in? One set of tires proves nothing and you know it. But you have made it sound like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very interesting. Thanks for the report.

Question:
How did you determine the beads don't work? Could you feel a slight out-of-balance?
Same question about that slimy **** too.
-I tested the beads in much the same manner, but it wasn't quite as controlled of a test. I didn't notice any difference in the balanced and bead balanced tire as far as ride goes, but there was a lot more wear to the bead balanced tire.

I despise both products.
The beads end up all over the shop and that other **** makes a mess of shop equipment.
- Yeap, nothing to piss of a tech more than to open a tire and find beads bouncing all over or get foul smelling slop on his shirt and equipment.

One more question. Do you have too much time on your hands? Lol :wink2: :grin:
-Actually no I don't. Lol. We just ride a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There isn't a product made that will work when you have a predetermined out come. If you want to test if the product works as a balancer then put a new tire on, remove all weights and hit the road. If the bike shakes all over the place, put the product in and hit the road. Does it balance? Now you've checked that part. Your test sounds good and you got plenty of figures to impress but it so full of holes it isn't funny. But you have convinced yourself it doesn't work and that was all you were after.

Now if you had used Slime I would have agreed 100%. I'm convinced that stuff is pure junk. There is a big difference between the two products. And Slime is what most think of when they claim it makes a mess of their shop.

It's a real shame people can't separate the two products and a real shame you didn't test Ride-On as a tire balancer. You did however prove one tire was different and a slight difference in the compound easily answers that. By the way, did the bike shake all the time on that trip? And how many tires have you balanced and how many have you put Ride-On in? One set of tires proves nothing and you know it. But you have made it sound like it.
You didn't read a damm thing I wrote, did you. :smile_big:

(And I've balanced thousands and thousands of tires, using several different methods.)
 

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Fantastic report EYE :grin:

I only wish that you had ran over a 3 inch nail, driven through a 2x4, with that front tire to see about the real world sealing abilities of the product!:surprise:

Please do me and some others a favor and do the above test, maybe with a still good but used tire---pretty please:kiss:

At this age, the thought of having a flat while on a ride in the middle of Timbuktu really bothers me and keeps me from solo long distance rides:surprise: Of course, I don't ride in MALI too much:wink2:

As far as balancing goes, the traditional ways to me are best as the JUNK does cause a mess for the next person that changes a tire.:sad:

Now SLIME however, works for low pressure ATV tires just fine, especially with a tire plug. One of my ZTR mowers seems to loose pressure in one of the front tires, so SLIME is the ticket:wink2: My John Deere Gator and my Polaris side by side both love SLIME:grin:

All of my cages have the TPS tire pressure monitoring system and I can just imagine what all of these liquid remedies would do the the rim sensor:surprise:

My bikes (3) are all tubeless and I carry a 'plug kit,' and a can of 'sealer,' just in case:wink2:

My last Goldwing had the TPS system but none of my scoots do now:plain:

Sam:nerd:
 

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I bought a tire changer recently and installed a new tire. I'm giving the beads a try. I figure why not? It beats buying a balancer or paying someone, for now. I have the mileage from the previous tire, and the new tire is the same one. I'll compare mileage when it's time to change again. It's a rather uncontrolled test, as I'm just going on the "looks like it's time" rather than neasuring the tread or something like that.

Initial thoughts are fine. The tire feels balanced, with no excess vibrations. At least, again, from my rather uncontrolled seat of the pants test. If I get roughly the same mileage, I'll call it a pass for this DIYer. If the mileage is noticably lower, I'll pony up for a traditional balancer.
 

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I would wonder if you may have used the front brake more often or harder on one bike.

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Well doesn't that stimulate some gray matter sumersaults! Assuming it matters the reasoning would be the resistance to rolling added by breaking would accelerate tread wear. Well since you had two close to identical bikes that were traveling together, and both started and stopped together generally speaking, they would have the same energy to dispel. If one favored the front break application more and the that resulted in accelerated front tire tread wear, shouldn't the other bike that favored downshifting and rear breaking more, show accelerated wear on the rear tire? Yet the difference was only 2/1000 of an inch. That to me is identical. What a shame that out of the four tires the one that had a material variation in its composition was the study subject tire. What are the odds? (That's rhetorical. I don't want to see a 1 in 4 comment:smile_big:)
 

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Damn Eye no slack at all. I think the nail idea is good you should send an old tire to Porky for him to mount and test at high speed riding over boards with nails in them. Okay, maybe slow speed would work too.

Thanks for the write up. I do wonder how much the extra weight of both the beads and the ride on had to do with tire wear? I know we are talking ounces here, but I still wonder.
 

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Good post, Eye.

I believe the stem hole in the rim and the valve stem itself are enough to cause a mounted tire to be out of balance. I've always balanced new tires with rim weights.

After scrubbing in a new set of tires I usually do some seat of the pants stability testing to confirm the bike is stable and vibration free at highway speed and above. I also check tire performance while braking at different speeds.

Tire weights outside the tire or inside the tire aren't for everybody. Many salt flats motorcycle racers have Nate Jones Cowboy Tire in Signal Hill California shave their tires. Yes, shave. Just like in that Burt Munro movie "World's Fastest Indian". Here's a link. https://www.rbracing-rsr.com/2017_speedweek.html
 

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You didn't read a damm thing I wrote, did you. :smile_big:

(And I've balanced thousands and thousands of tires, using several different methods.)
Read every word and didn't see a thing about riding around with no weights and then adding the stuff to prove it works as balancer.

And btw, did you remove the previous weights or leave them. They say you can do either but I've had better results removing them. The previous weights are for a tire that is no longer there so you are trying to balance a ghost tire is my theory on that.

And I understand you've balanced many tires. That's my point. How many with Ride-On? You know there are tricks to every job and I feel removing previous weights is one of them with Ride-On but can you prove it one way or the other? No. You've gone into this knowing full well that added weights to balance is the only proven way to balance. You also know it takes many tests to prove something. One test proves nothing except that you might have holes in the test.

I hate to add the stuff myself but now know the trick. I hate wasting the left overs too but guess you have to just call that the cost of balancing with a side benefit of being puncture resistant.

Sorry, I just don't buy the "test". I feel there are too many flaws. JMO
 

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Idk about balancing but as a tire sealant,ride on works. Just experienced it. I've always added it after getting my tires mounted and balanced. Don't really know why. I guess in case it doesn't work as a balancer. It never affected the balancing by adding the sealant though.
 

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Whether it works or not -- it's a darned expensive and comparatively unproven solution to a problem that has an existing inexpensive and well-proven solution, at least when it comes to the balancing function. As for sealing punctures -- who knows?
 

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Yep, until there is some kind of scientific experiment and report, every positive statement of its use is anecdotal. I can't say it works for everyone but does work for me. And a side benefit of using the stuff is I don't have to add air nearly as often. That is apparently due to part of the tire, the outside surface, is sealed. I have had success and failures with punctures. But the puncture that failed they stated clearly that size hole wouldn't be. And I personally like the balancing part. Being able to remove all weights is great. That's just my experience with the stuff. But yes, it is expensive. There is no debating that. And not very easy to install. View the stuff as an accessory. No one likes every accessory so there you are.
 
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