Some folks say Dyna Beads are an easy way to ensure balanced tires; others say they could cause damage. We put them to the test.
Dyna Beads - Miracle Balancing Cure or Tire Snake Oil?
A few months ago I wrote a Facebook post about the ineffectiveness and possible damage caused by Dyna Beads. After a bit of a kerfuffle they sent me two sets for testing, a set for my Jeep and one for my motorcycle. I have spent a great deal of time testing and using them and have reached a conclusion as whether or not I should offer Dyna Beads a Mea Culpa.
Alright, So Do They Work?
If I could only use one word to say whether the Dyna Beads work the answer would be ... maybe. I would love to say yes but there are a few too many caveats.
Let me be very clear - Dyna Beads work to balance a tire in the vertical plane. They can remove imbalance as a tire travels forward and moves up and down.
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However, that strength illuminates Dyna Beads' weakness: they only work in the vertical. If your tire - or wheel - has any lateral imbalance you will need to do a traditional balance to correct it.
How do you know if you have a lateral imbalance?
You won't until you either try the beads or have them balanced using traditional methods. That means you need to be very lucky or spend more money to use an auto balancing bead than if you had the tires balanced once using the traditional method.
If you have to manually balance the tires because of a lateral imbalance, you can add a small amount of the beads to maintain the balance as tires wear and deform from use. Again, this will only help if the imbalance is in the vertical plane and not a lateral imbalance. What they can offer is to reduce the amount of weights needed to balance a tire. For large tires, or tires with a significant amount of radial run-out, the beads can lessen the amount of physical weights installed in the wheel. Handy but not life altering.
So, am I hard at work crafting a tearful Facebook apology? The answer is no. Dyna Beads may work wonderfully for others, but I am no longer running the beads due to their inconsistent balancing of the tires.
Hey, RideApart Nation
What has been your experience using Dyna Beads?
Let us know in the comments below.