Do we really need a spare?

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Since we have devolved into more of just making fun of people, instead of talking about actual tech.

young-garage-worker-tyre-workshop-young-male-garage-worker-tyre-workshop-227449140.jpg

This is how most people that preach about carrying a spare tire look to me, and why they do it....

1- They think a single spare tire is going to fix all the possible issues with 4+ tires.
2- They run around on small tires that don't take up much room and fit in their trunk or whatever
3- They use bald weak passenger car tires that get flats all the time
4- They refuse, or are not smart enough, to learn how to actually repair a tire in the field
5- They think they can carry everything to fix every problem without realizing the extra weight is probably causing those problems in the first place.

This is said tongue in cheek to hopefully pull this back to a more tech centered conversation, than just opinion salad or whatever.

🤷‍♂️
 

Discojgb

New member
Kind of seems like a good rule of thumb. If you carry one, you will probably never use it. The moment you decide to not carry your spare, 150 miles into your 500 mile trip you will need your spare.

Plus, rotating a spare into your rotation schedule will extend over all tire wear. So there is that a definite plus ;-)
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I think I've used a spare offroad five times. Plug kits aren't always going to get the job done.

Im honking it would be hard to say decisively that plugs couldn’t repair that… because I’m willing to bet that you didn’t even try! Where is the can-do attitude?
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
I carry a tube and some bailing wire for situations not quite that bad but I'd have to be in a pretty bad spot to attempt it.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
If I haven't said it already....

On a shelf road (with a cliff to one side, and a steep drop-off to death below) with folks behind you (or on a dark and stormy night with your best girl) is not the time or place to show off your mad tire repairing skills. My idea of a good time is not to spend time on the side of any trail (when we should be moving forward) watching you show off your tire repair skills. Put on the spare, keep going, and then when you stop for the night, THEN show us how good you are with tire irons, patches, bailing wire, etc.

I'm glad some folks out there are good at doing tire repairs. I need to order some spoons and a repair kit (I've taken a class more than once). But this is not a substitute for having a spare tire. Some tires are not repairable.

I have the feeling some folks on this thread are just wanting to argue their point trying to justify not carrying a spare because they've got all the tools and skills to fix a possibly fixable flat tire. Again, not all tires are repairable.

If you don't have a full-size matching spare tire, you're not riding on any trip I'm organizing, and many organized trips require a full-size matching spare tire.
 
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Hegear

Member
I get having a spare and I always carry one. But let’s say your running a 37 and carry a 35 spare, would that really be an issue? i know a full-size would be ideal but I don’t really have the space to carry the 37 and a 35 would still get you of the trail.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
1- They think a single spare tire is going to fix all the possible issues with 4+ tires.

2- They run around on small tires that don't take up much room and fit in their trunk or whatever

3- They use bald weak passenger car tires that get flats all the time

4- They refuse, or are not smart enough, to learn how to actually repair a tire in the field

5- They think they can carry everything to fix every problem without realizing the extra weight is probably causing those problems in the first place.
1- They think a single spare tire is going to fix all the possible issues with 4+ tires.
In 50 years it has worked every time

2- They run around on small tires that don't take up much room and fit in their trunk or whatever
wow.... you have issues

3- They use bald weak passenger car tires that get flats all the time
as above you need help

4- They refuse, or are not smart enough, to learn how to actually repair a tire in the field
or they are smart enough to realize a spare can changed in the dark during a thunderstorm

5- They think they can carry everything to fix every problem without realizing the extra weight is probably causing those problems in the first place.
sounds like an arguement to promote a spare.... a tire is far lighter than carrying a tire shop

tongue in cheek lol...

the issue is not should I carry a tire shop.... the question is do we really need a spare
and the answer is a spare always works...... tire repair in the field is far more complicated

many of those field fixes are far from up to industry or DOT standards but the dinosaurs who post "look what I did" are dinosaurs without a clue
 
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rnArmy

Adventurer
I get having a spare and I always carry one. But let’s say you're running a 37 and carry a 35 spare, would that really be an issue? i know a full-size would be ideal but I don’t really have the space to carry the 37 and a 35 would still get you of the trail.
Some (notice I said "some") newer vehicles measure tire speed from one side to the other when they have complicated (but effective) electronic traction devices. Having different diameter tires may cause an issue or damage in this situation. Check with your owner's manual if you have such a vehicle about having different size tires on the same axle. Some folks might not even be aware their electronic "traction control" measures wheel spin from one side to the other.

Might also be an issue with a vehicle with a Detroit locker in an axle as it is usually "locked" when driving straight down the road (they are supposed to unlock when going around a turn). Check with the Detroit Locker maker to see what they say. Might also be an issue if you have a true track in the affected axle.
 
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85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
Knocking on wood I haven't had a flat/destroyed tire while offroading as in actually looking for trouble. I have pulled three destroyed ones off from regular daily driving.

In december 2014 (I remember it well) we took a wrong turn in my wife's Edge. Night as black as tar, rain trying to switch to snow after raining all day. Gravel road switched to mud. Fought it tooth and nail to keep it out of the ditch until I got it woed. Nixed the stupid traction control, got it turned around and pinned its ears back and got back to gravel. Almost made it when the tire light came on. I wasn't laying in mud to change a tire so we went a little ways as the tire went down.

Called my uncle and he brought an air bubble, it let air out faster than I could cram it in. Laid in the muddy gravel/snow and changed the tire in the dark. Had a 3/4" hole knocked in it from a chunk of iron. No fixing it. Firestone Destination LE. Car just had a donut but it did what it had to do.

Second time I was driving to work on the highway. Heard a harsh tick. Thought to myself "jeesh that manifold leak got a lot worse overnight" and then "kachink!" and the noise quit. And as I felt the rear left corner of the truck sink it started grabbing gears to maintain speed with the cruise on. Must have picked up a chunk of steel, it had a 2" gash in the tread. Cooper Discoverer AT3. Threw the spare on and was a little late to work. I circled back and never did see what I had picked up and jettisoned. From the sound of it the thing may not have come down yet.

Third time, not sure what happened. Wife was driving the kid to daycare and noticed the car was driving weird. Stopped and noticed a tire was down. I gave her a hard time about ignoring the tire light and she swore it wasn't on. I aired it up to limp it 2 miles back home, at 20lbs the car started freaking out about a low tire LOL. Tire was powdered on the inside. Firestone Destination LE2. Tire did take air to get back home though.

So two destroyed tires in the past 8 years from picking up tire killers on rural public roads in Iowa.

AAA is a joke here, closest certified tow truck is out of Omaha which is an hour drive after they get around to getting to you.

And yes, I carry a spare when I go on my trips with my '85. I don't go way out there, I just a spare should get me back to a tire shop. And usually when I offroad I am with similar rigs so we could borrow spares if we had to.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
1- They think a single spare tire is going to fix all the possible issues with 4+ tires.
In 50 years it has worked every time

2- They run around on small tires that don't take up much room and fit in their trunk or whatever
wow.... you have issues

3- They use bald weak passenger car tires that get flats all the time
as above you need help

4- They refuse, or are not smart enough, to learn how to actually repair a tire in the field
or they are smart enough to realize a spare can changed in the dark during a thunderstorm

5- They think they can carry everything to fix every problem without realizing the extra weight is probably causing those problems in the first place.
sounds like an arguement to promote a spare.... a tire is far lighter than carrying a tire shop

tongue in cheek lol...

the issue is not should I carry a tire shop.... the question is do we really need a spare
and the answer is a spare always works...... tire repair in the field is far more complicated

many of those field fixes are far from up to industry or DOT standards but the dinosaurs who post "look what I did" are dinosaurs without a clue
The spirit of that post went right over your head. No tech. Typical.

My rather extensive tire repair kits including a debeading tool, 3 spoon bars, tube, patches, plugs, and my air compressor still take up less weight and space than any spare tire. Because all those things don't have to live in the same space, they actually tuck away into generally unused storage space rather than prime real estate like the typical spare that is pretty much just air space. They will also fix my problems AND a lot of other peoples problems on multiple tires, sizes, wheels, and more.

I can fix most 'common' tire issues faster than changing a tire.

This thread does nothing more than make me want to keep pushing peoples comfort zones. Carry whatever you want. I'd still stop and help because I realize that stuff happens and you absolutely cannot ever never carry everything you need for every possible issue. I'd rather carry knowledge and parts over a single bulky single use solution.
 

geoffff

Observer
That lovely feeling when you've just ruined the sidewalls of two tires. And there's only one spare. Might as well be no spare at all.

 

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