Written By: Katie Purcell
The Heavy Tire: while once upon a time it might have seemed odd to include in your arsenal of training equipment, today it has become a common sight within the fitness world: at OCR events, in CrossFit boxes, and even in traditional gym settings. And for good reason! They're versatile...they can work a ton of different muscle groups in lots of ways...and they look pretty badass.
HOWEVER. Despite the fact that they're becoming more and more mainstream as a (relatively) standard training tool, they're still *kind of* a huge pain to actually find if you want to get one for your very own. And this has never been more relevant than now: while so many of us are beefing up our own home gyms!
I recently went on my own quest to find a heavy tire to train with, and learned some stuff along the way. So I'm sharing some of that here, and hopefully some of it will help you on your OWN tire journey.
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A post shared by Katie | Athlete | MBA (@pretty_fierce_spartan) on May 11, 2020 at 2:42pm PDT
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...Let's do this!!
It seems like it should be simple...and depending on where you live, maybe it is! But they're not as readily available in some areas...and that's when you've gotta know your stuff. Because if you don't, you're basically left with two options:
It's all about where ya look! It might take a bunch of phonecalls to find a source, but it only takes one "yes" to get to the tire of your dreams. Totally worth it.
Where To Find A Heavy Tire To Flip:
Remember: Google is your friend on this one! Try searching for the following, to see what might be available in your area:
(*Heavy Tire Hack: Typically, it costs a lot of money for these businesses to dispose of their used tires. So you might be lucky enough to find a place that'll actually give you a used tire...and thank you for taking it off their hands!)
The following resources are also worth a look. (But since they're marketplaces, you probably won't have as much luck finding anything for free):
To answer the question of how to estimate what size tire you should be looking for, this guy on YouTube gives a pretty good (and brief) explanation of the types of things to consider:
There's a lot of additional detail about tire sizes/weight that you COULD look into: including diameter, ratio, and even the type of tread. Personally I think that's a little overkill but if you want to get into that level of detail, this article is a great resource to point you in that direction. Otherwise, the guide for how to read a tire (in the section below) should probably be sufficient for what you need to know at this point!
The level of how picky/specific you want to get with the weight of the tire is up to you, but one thing is for sure: you definitely do want to have at least a rough idea of how much it weighs. The difference between 200 lbs. and 215 lbs. might not be enough for you to really notice or care about in your workouts, but trust me: the difference between 200 lbs. and 260 lbs. would be...and it would be a huge bummer to go through this whole process only to realize that the tire you brought home isn't going to work for your needs. The two main ways to measure/estimate the tire's weight are: to look up the specific tire model specs, or to find a way to actually measure it.
1. Look up the specific model tire that you have, to see the official specs of how much it weighs. To get started, see below for a quick guide on what all those letters and numbers mean!
When I found my heavy tire I looked up these numbers and the tire brand, and searched for that specific model on Google. I was eventually able to find a catalogue of product specs for all the different tire products made by that brand -- including how much each one weighs.
HOWEVER: Don't be surprised if this is harder to find than you anticipate...even if you do have all the other information. The weight of a tire doesn't seem to be included with all of its other specs on a consistent basis...maybe because for most people looking to purchase these types of tires, it's not critical information. Whatever the reason is, it definitely adds another layer of complication to the process!
So to get you started, I did some of the "search" legwork for you! Up first is a list I compiled with a bunch of tire models: at a whole range of weights. Click on any of the links to go directly to the manufacturer's source where I got the info: there are many more sizes/weights listed there as well.
And just for good measure, here are a few other resources where you can find some tire weight specs:
2. For a more precise idea of the weight of your tire at this very moment, you'll need to find a scale. A big one.
⚖️ If you have a pickup truck, or if you can rent one (see next section for suggestions), one idea is to take the tire to a weigh station.
Weigh stations are primarily designed to weigh trucks/tractor trailers, and I have not yet tried this myself so I can't promise that you'll be able to use the scales. But from what I've heard, many weigh station attendants don't mind and will let you use the scale to weigh your vehicle with (and then without) the tire in it - as long as you aren't holding up a truck. If you're really lucky, maybe you'll be able to get your tire from a gas station/service station that also has a weigh station...and they'll let you do it all right there, all at once!
⚖️ In addition to weigh stations, another method of weighing a vehicle is a "certified public scale," which is open to cars and trucks that aren't for commercial use. These primarily exist for the do-it-yourself mover, and there are locations nationwide. The Public Scale Locator on the Penske site is a directory with all the locations across the USA.
⚖️ For some out-of-the-box thinking: many businesses have scales large enough to weigh a big tire...including some you might not think of right away! Check out recycling plants and landfills...and also mills, factories, and farms: they often have large scales to weigh items like food/machinery before shipping.
⚖️ One last idea - and this one might be really, REALLY out there - is to figure out a method to weigh your heavy tire yourself at home: using an elaborate setup of standard bathroom scales. Personally I am very skeptical of this idea (so skeptical that I don't want to add any links: because I haven't come across a YouTube video that looks viable), but it seems like enough people have posted how-to videos that have gotten enough positive feedback that I figured I would mention it. I don't endorse it...and I probably wouldn't try it myself...but if you think you can make it work, power to you. (*and if anyone does try this and it works, let me know so I can add the link to your instructions here!)
*One last point to keep in mind: scales of this size are sometimes only really accurate within 10-20 lbs...so don't drive yourself too crazy looking for an exact measurement.
We are in the home stretch! Where there's a will, there's a way...and if you've gotten this far in your Heavy Tire Odyssey, then there is definitely a way for you to transport it the rest of the way.
Like I mentioned in the section above: if you've got a friend with a pickup truck who would be willing to help, that's a good first stop. (A friend with a trailer would work, too!)
If you don't have a friend with a pickup truck, there's no better time to make one than right now. :)
Alternatively, there are several options available to rent a vehicle that's just right for the job. Whether you want to go for a pickup truck, a trailer, or something in between: U-Haul or Home Depot probably have everything you need. A few examples of their offerings are below. if yo text text text rent truck borrow from friend, or add link to borrow one of those flatbed things from Home Depot that you rent by the hour...just be sure that ou know where it's gonna go bv once you return the truck, that tire is staying where it is.
💪 Home Depot F250 Flatbed Truck Rental💪 U-Haul Pickup Truck Rental💪 Home Depot Trailer Rental💪 U-Haul Small Utility Trailer Rental
Note: Be sure to pay attention to variations in pricing (e.g., Do they charge hourly? Daily? What is the difference in price between a trailer vs. a pickup truck?), as well as details like cost of gas/mileage (FYI: if you have the option to refill the gas tank before you return your rental, that is typically cheaper than paying the rental company directly.)
If you've made it this far in the process, then CONGRATULATIONS! Because you're now the proud new owner of your very own Heavy Tire.
What was your Heavy Tire Journey like?? What worked? What didn't? Any additional tips for those out there still searching for "the one"?? Drop a comment below!
AND - Heading Your Way In The Next Article:
Now That I've Got My Heavy Tire Home, What Do I DO With It?
💪 What muscles you can work using a heavy tire💪 How to actually do a tire flip (without messing up your back/legs/neck/whole body)💪 A few WODs to get you started💪 ...and a *surprise* bonus link: to another "fun" Heavy Tire DIY
You're not gonna wanna miss it. So check back soon, or sign up for the email list to stay in the loop! (link below)
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