Off-roading is the ultimate callingfor the adventure seeking motorist. Setting out into the unknown to conquer the elements: battling steep inclines, jutting rock crags, and constantly combating slick terrains of loose earth, sand, and mud. Once you’ve got your rig properly set up with some of our “off-road must haves” let’s discuss a simple, yet effective tactic that can greatly improve your performance on the trails.
Airing down your off-road tires is not a new concept – however, without the proper know-how and accessories it can be a daunting method. Let’s break it down.
Airing down is a process that involves reducing your tire’s air pressure to increase your contact patch and gain traction. This allows for a more flexible tire characteristic to enhance surface grip and ride comfort over rough terrain. Airing down is a perfect way to reduce your rig’s chance of slipping and spinning and keeps you moving on the trails.
If you’re choosing to air down your off-road tires there are some important variables to consider. First, know how much air you’re removing. There is no universal rule to how much psi you should be running – since it depends on your vehicle type, wheels, and tires. You can deflate your setup from your valve stems using nothing more than a car key, but you’re going to be in the dark with how much you’ve reduced your psi.
We suggest a tire pressure gauge with a large, easy-to-readface to keep track of your air levels and allow you to stay consistent across all four tires.
If you’re going to do it, do it right. Companies like Power Tank offer KMC specific air valves to quickly air up and air down. The Monster Valve 4 set can air down a 40"x13.5"x17" tire from 35 psi down to 10 psi in under 30 seconds!
Airing up is equally as important. Remember, your reduced air needs for the trails might not be suitable the street. Driving on a significantly lowered air pressure poses damage risks to your tire. Have an action plan for airing up before you go deflating your off-road rubber. You can avoid any headaches by bringing an air tank like these portable, ultra-convenient solutions from Power Tank.
A common concern amongst off-roaders running lower tire pressures is the potential for tire-debeading. A conventional wheel relies on air pressure to secure the tire bead to the rim. The lower the psi, the higher the risk of debeading becomes. KMC beadlock wheels are the perfect solution for drivers looking to air down their rides.
KMC’s beadlock technology utilizes an outer ring that bolts into the face of the wheel. The beadlock ring acts as a clamp and secures the tire bead securely to the wheel regardless of air pressure – allowing you to drop your psiand stay worry free. Check out KMC’s performance series here.
Airing down is great way to make the most out of your off-road endeavors. Whether you’re rock crawling or overlanding, this is a useful tactic that will provide noticeable performance gains and keep your adventures rolling!