Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tire Storage

Since I bought the race tires, they've been taking up room in my garage stacked up like some race team. Normally, I'd be OK with that except for two things: first, my wife doesn't share my ideals of garage decoration; and second, I actually would like to make more room in the garage as the tires are blocking me from getting to my tool bench (without climbing over stuff).

So, that means I did a bit of research into solutions for raising them up off the ground and fixing them to the wall and figured there might be some value in sharing what I found out.

First, there are some tire storage rack options you can look at from Tire Rack and others; for example. These are pretty inexpensive and probably work pretty well. My only concern was that my race tires are pretty soft, so I was worried I'd get indents in my tires from the bars going across. I really wanted an option that suspended the tires from the wheel itself. If you're willing to spend a bit more money, there's another option that I've discovered works really well -- a TireTail combined with Wall Hitch.

The TireTail is for folks that want to carry race tires to the race track using a T-shaped bracket fixed to a trailer hitch. You can get it from IZoom Graphics (see vendor list to the left). They also sell the trailer hitch if you don't have one. The Wall Hitch is just a trailer hitch with a bracket to bolt it onto your wall. So with these two things, I can suspend the tires through on the TireTail bolted to the garage wall during the winter and will get a hitch for the car so I can use the TireTail to take the tires to the track.

So I've really solved two problems at the same time -- I've got a solution that suspends the tires up off the floor, and I can use the TireTail to transport the tires to PIR for track days. This is pretty much essential as Portland has a lot of iffy weather days where you're not sure if it's going to rain or not. In the past, I've generally been pretty conservative the night before when I figure out if I'm going to mount the race tires or street tires. More times than not, it looks iffy enough that I mount the street tires only to regret it later when the rain doesn't come.

The other thing I did was get some Tire Tote covers to try to keep the compound fresh (apparently ozone from the furnace will degrade the compound). If it gets cold in the garage over winter, I might need to get a cheap electric blanket to keep the compound from cracking; but I'll figure that out as I get there.