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I need to replace a tyre on my car but I can’t find a local garage that can help, the tyres are 820×120 beaded edge.

We can understand tyre dealers and garages expressing concern as they are quite different from modern tyres. However, with a little advice and care it is possible to fit them yourself. Firstly with the tyre removed check the rim for condition if necessary we can provide a copy of the rim profile. Check for crushed clinches, sharp and corroded edges etc.

  • Slightly inflate the tube and with some French chalk fit the tube inside the tyre
  • Offer the tyre to the rim and put the valve in the valve hole
  • With a beaded edge tyre lever, lever on the inside bead first, taking care to avoid pinching the tube, beaded edge tyres are like giant elastic bands so expect some resistance
  • When you’re satisfied that the first side is on correctly, work around the rim with the lever, you will find it easier with two levers at this point, one to hold the beginning in place and one to work around
  • With the tyre fitted rotate the tyre while bouncing on the ground to ensure the heels fit into the clinches correctly, when you’re satisfied that the tyre is fitted correctly inflate the tyre to 5psi, stop and check correct heel fitment and inflate to correct pressure
My car is fitted with new beaded edge tyres but both front tyres have bulges on the sides, is this fault with the tyre?

This happens when the heel of the tyre has torn leaving the sidewall unsupported resulting in a sidewall bulge. This is commonly caused by under inflation which allows the tyre to flex on the rim which in turn allows the nose of the rim to chafe and eventually cut through the toe. It can also be caused by poor rim condition. It is common for restorers to cut ‘tidy up’ the nose on the rim edge to remove the sharp corroded edge. This leaves the heel of the tyre unsupported when under load causing the rim to skin off the tyre heel.

One of my beaded edge tyres recently came off the rim and I noticed it was quite rusty inside, are they safe?

The shape of the rim shares a high level of importance with the pressure, the nose at the tip of the clinch intrudes into the tyre forming a positive lock. However if this area is allowed to develop a sharp corroded edge it will rapidly cut the tyre bead. It is also common for restorers to cut this area back to provide a more sympathetic surface. This is a mistake and will lead to premature failure as it drastically reduces the support in this area.

Can I run my beaded edge tyres at a lower pressure for a more comfortable ride?

Beaded edge tyres are inflation held. They stay on the rim by air pressure alone. Reducing the pressure could allow the tyre to jump off the rim or lead to rapid tyre failure as the tyre chafes against the rim.

Can I use treaded racing tyres on my road car?

The short answer is no. Racing tyres are built without compromise; they are generally a softer rubber so may not last long and could overheat, they have reduced wall and crown thickness to reduce weight and could be easily damaged. Racing tyres are also moulded with reduced tread depth offering limited water clearance.

Any guidance on using tubes in tubeless tyres?

When a tube is fitted to any tyre, it is important that the inside of the tyre is carefully examined to ensure that there is nothing which could cause premature tube failure due to cuts or chafing. These include:

  • Any tyre manufacturer’s paper or plastic identification labels
  • Damage to the inside of the tyre

Inner tubes should also be used:

  • Where tubeless tyres are fitted to non-safety wheels or multi-piece wheels
  • Where tubeless tyres are fitted with wire spoked wheels where air could otherwise escape through the spoke holes in the wheel
  • Inner tubes should not be used as a means of repairing a puncture to a tubeless tyre, a proper repair should be carried out to retain the tubeless properties of the tyre
  • If correct size tubes are not available, an alternative size tube should NOT be used.
    Wire wheels, multi-piece wheels and some single piece wheels designed for tube type applications can’t be used as tubeless fitments and the use of a tube (regardless of whether the tyre is tube type or tubeless) is essential for safety.
Can I put tubes in my tubeless tyres?

Most manufacturers accept that it is safe to fit tubes in tubeless tyres providing the correct size tube is used. Tubes should not be used in tyres with profiles lower than 70 per cent.

I am fitting radials in place of crossply tyres on my car, should I keep the tyre pressure the same?

No. When fitting a radial tyre in place of a crossply it is important to increase the tyre pressure due to the difference in construction. The difference in pressure can vary, so contact us on 01590 612261 when changing to radial tyres.

Is it possible to fit modern radials on my Sixties car?

In some cases you can replace crossply tyres with radials (see the Tools page for a comparison table). However, changing to radials is not always the best option and the tyre should be selected carefully. Contact us on 01590 612261 for advice.

Can I mix radial and crossply tyres on my car?

For the best performance keep the same type of tyre on the front and rear, But, yes, you can mix the two. By law you have to fit crossply tyres on the front and radial on the back.