Off-Road Pro Version Dirt Bike Tire Balls Review - Dirt Rider Magazine

Tire Ball Development Company
Off-Road Pro Version Tire Balls

I have been racing with Tire Balls for about a year, and all I really need to say is that they are awesome. No worries about getting a flat tire without the dead feeling of a foam insert-it's a great thing. The balls cost $199.95 per wheel, which is about $50 more than a foam insert, but they do last longer. The company guarantees its balls for a full year and will replace any that pop for free! Installation is fairly involved; you have to lube each ball individually, with silicone-based lubricant, and getting the tire on the rim with 30 to 40 balls installed takes some work. But after a little practice and using the right tools, I can now install them in about half an hour per wheel; most of that time is used for lubing and inserting the balls into the tire carcass.When riding with the balls, there is a noticeable difference in feel from foam inserts and even standard inner tubes. I am pretty heavy (215 pounds), so I normally have to run fairly high tire pressure (14-17 psi) to keep from getting a flat in a race. Tire Balls can be set up to run as little as 8 psi of air pressure. I had my balls set up for a 10-psi feel. For me, the lower pressure was an instant improvement in traction, stability and suspension performance. No more bouncing through rocks, but it still had the reactive feel of having air in the tire. The lower pressure also allowed the tires to grab more when cornering, so I can turn harder and faster, especially on flat ground.I have used Tire Balls in both 18-inch and 19-inch rear wheels and have enjoyed the best performance from the 18-inch ones. I have never popped a ball in the 18, but I flattened some in the lower-profile 19-inch wheels. I had several go flat at one ISDE qualifier that was moderately rocky, and a friend of mine flattens a few in his 19-inch rear at every rocky event. My advice is to pair them with an 18-inch rear wheel. Although they're fairly expensive and a little hard to install, they're worth the investment to any serious racer, especially when compared to foam inserts. They are one of the best add-ons I've put on my race bike in a long time. In my opinion, they're a zillion times better than tubes or foam inserts-I won't race without them! -Derek Steahly