Big A** Tires---where do you get them and how much do they weigh?

Nick Woo asked where to find big tires for strongman workouts.  Tires are some of the cheapest and simplest tools in the strongman arsenal.  They come in a myriad of weights and can be picked up for free at your local rubber recyclers.  I live in Connecticut and there is a company in Stratford named Custom Bandag that has literally acres of used scrap tires.  They have to pay a large fee to break the tires down so it's in their interest to reduce inventory by giving them away for free.  Show up with a big pick up truck and they will happily load the bed using a forklift. If you live in a rural area where farming is prevalent then picking up large tires should be even easier.  Ask your local farmer what he/she does with tractor tires when they need to be replaced.  They will lead you directly to the source.

We recently held a seminar at CrossFit by Overload in Murrieta, CA and it took me exactly 1 day to track down tires ranging from 300 to 750 pounds.  I made several phone calls to local tire companies and they all led me to a yard about 45 minutes away.  It should be noted that you'll need to give the person on the other end of the phone some indication of what size tires you're looking for.  Their idea of "big" tires is usually quite different than yours.  Jordan Gravatt and I showed up early on a Friday morning, walked thru the yard looking for tires with good tread, and we found a stock pile of 300-700 pounders.  We flipped each one several times to measure difficulty and we picked 4 tires that were just right.

Tires are infinitely scalable.  My 5 year old son comes to Hybrid and flips a 30 pound tire and competitive strongmen in the area flip the 1,000 pounder.  We have tires that are appropriately difficult for any age, ability, or strength and we try to match clients up with the right tire for the right workout.

Tire dimensions are important but not totally standard.  The reason is that some tires have metal inside them and others are simply rubber.  You can have a smaller diameter tire that is heavier and more difficult to flip than a larger, lighter tire.  Some basics rules do apply, however.  When looking at the side wall try to find these combinations---

17.5 x 25 usually around 300 pounds

20.5 x 25 usually around 400 pounds

23.5 x 25 usually around 550-650 pounds but can vary greatly based on metal content and wear patterns

26.5 x 25 usually around 1000 pounds

Finally, one way you can determine the weight of the tire if you're stumped is to track down the shipping weight of a brand new one.  A simple Google search will yield solid results.

In future posts we'll illustrate the need for tires of different weights.  Depending on the workout and the desired response the weight of the tire plays a HUGE role.

For more information, comments, or suggestions please reach me at rob@strongmanwod.com