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C and D Load Tires
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject: C and D Load Tires Reply with quote

Many people will be surprised that their C or D load tire only carries about the same amount of weight as a standard load passenger tire. Unless you are inflating your C or D load tires way up there, you are not getting the benefit of the higher load capacity. And most people donít inflate them to 50 or more.

Below are a couple charts of tire Max load and PSI. One for passenger tires and one for C/D load tires. These passenger tire ratings have already been downrated by 9%.
MAX LOAD (PSI) ------26 ---29 ---32 ---35 -----38 ---41
P205/75R14* 95 ---1203 1273 1333 1393(S) 1443 1503(X)
P215/70R14 96 ----1223 1283 1353 1412(S)
P225/70R14 98 ----1323 1393 1463 1523(S)
*This size is a 95 load except where it is designated XL.

Note that the max load increases as PSI increases up to the max load of the tire. They donít show higher loads with pressures above 35, because max load is mandated to be measured at 35 psi on a standard tire. But it should be obvious looking at the chart that a P tire rated to take 44psi and inflated to 44 can carry more than it can at 35.

Compare those load ratings with a D load tire such as the BFG AT K/O rated to 1710 or the Hankook 185R14 rated to 1874 lbs.

MAX LOAD (PSI) -----35 ----40 --45 --50 ----55 --60 ---65
LT195/75*14 ------1115 1225 1330 1435 1530 1630 1710(D)
185R14 D ----------1221 1342 1458 1567 1676 1786 1874(D)


If you run the BFG D load tire at 45 PSI, your max load is only 1330 lbs. If you run the Hankooks at 45 lbs it is 1458. Compare that to the downrated P tire with a 95 load rating above. The P tire can carry about the same load (actually a little more) as the C or D load tire at itís max pressure of 44 (assuming itís max pressure is 44, some are only 35). To get that, look at the max load of the 205/75/14 XL at 41 psi (1503). They donít show loads above 35 on standard tires because it is calculated at 35 psi, but you can see load goes up with pressure so a tire that can be inflated to 44 psi will effectively have a higher load capacity.

If nothing else, this should show you that a P tire is not much different in carrying capacity than a C or D load tire when inflated to comfortable levels that VW specified, around 40 psi. You would need to be at 50+psi on that BFG and 45+ on the Hankook to be above the minimum load requirement.


Last edited by davevickery on Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:53 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recommended PSI on my vans is 39 front 48 rear. Is there any reason to deviate from this?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gauche1968 wrote:
Recommended PSI on my vans is 39 front 48 rear. Is there any reason to deviate from this?

Read the above again a few times.....
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: C and D Load Tires Reply with quote

davevickery wrote:
If nothing else, this should show you that a P tire is not much different in carrying capacity than a C or D load tire when inflated to comfortable levels that VW specified, around 40 psi. You would need to be at 50+psi on that BFG and 45+ on the Hankook to be above the minimum load requirement.

It is the sidewalls, if I understand it, that make the big difference.

While the P tire may be able to take the load, it is the sidewalls that fail over and over again with those tires. Not to mention just how crappy the P tire handles.

I recently put some 195R14 Hankooks on stock alloys from a set of XL 205/70-14s and it is a world of difference.

The above is a test as those tires are not the target setup for my van, but rather a quick fix until I get my CLK rims and tires ready to go. Then the those 14s go on another van later....
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Vickery makes the stickies Idea Pump up those tires people. Do not let the tire stores underinflate. I still cannot believe the tires Les Schwab sells and recommends we put on our vans...Wildcats. Then, they underinflate them... Shocked
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: C and D Load Tires Reply with quote

r39o wrote:

While the P tire may be able to take the load, it is the sidewalls that fail over and over again with those tires. Not to mention just how crappy the P tire handles.

Not to be argumentative, cause I hate that. But if the sidewalls fail, the tire isn't taking the load and I think the above shows that in the right size a P tire can carry the same load as C/D load tire at 40-44 psi, right where I like my tires inflated. Plus I'm not sure I agree with the "fail over and over" part. And please no one repost the one picture of that General tire that is has been posted over and over again.

The reason for most failures is underinflation which leads to heat buildup and internal damage to sidewalls.

r39o wrote:

I recently put some 195R14 Hankooks on stock alloys from a set of XL 205/70-14s and it is a world of difference.

The Hankook is a strong tire for sure, I like the 195R14 size too. But going from a 205 to a 195 isn't much of a change to offset the extra sidwall strength. If you had 215s or 225s, I bet you wouldn't have noticed as much difference. Plus you probably have the Hankooks properly inflated which makes them more stable.

This was so much about C/D load tires not being good, it is about showing what the load rating are for different tires at different pressures and in particular that C/D tires need to be inflated to get the benefit of thier load capacity. Personally I don't like the ride of tires at 50 or higher. And I have really like the ride of some wider P tires. I have D load tires now, but I keep them a little low on pressure (~44) so technically they are below the load requirement.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run pretty close to what VW suggests for my 79 baywindow buses. About 30 front and 44 rear.

I run tires that are pretty much equivalent to what were on it when it was new. It handles very well.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carterzest wrote:
Dave Vickery makes the stickies Idea Pump up those tires people. Do not let the tire stores underinflate. I still cannot believe the tires Les Schwab sells and recommends we put on our vans...Wildcats. Then, they underinflate them... Shocked


Please people, stay the f--- away from Wildcats. They are [email protected] tires, even fully inflated. See my gallery if in doubt.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GWTWTLW wrote:
carterzest wrote:
Dave Vickery makes the stickies Idea Pump up those tires people. Do not let the tire stores underinflate. I still cannot believe the tires Les Schwab sells and recommends we put on our vans...Wildcats. Then, they underinflate them... Shocked


Please people, stay the f--- away from Wildcats. They are [email protected] tires, even fully inflated. See my gallery if in doubt.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

see http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html for detailed tire recommendations

here is an original van tire spec from that link
185R14C 6PR
- Min Load Index 99
- Max Load 1710 lbs
- Min Load Range C
- Max Inflation 55psi
and my doorjamb says to use 39 front 48 rear.. with that tire.

> Recommended PSI on my vans is 39 front 48 rear. Is there any reason to deviate from this?

you can use the door pressures if you use the original spec tires.

If you tell me the max load and max inflation of your tire, I will do the math for you to match the doorjamb.. like this:

reverse engineering doorjamb pressures and load capacities each front tire is set to carry 1212 lbs, and each rear tire is set to carry 1492 lbs

so for any tire you choose, if you can inflate it to carry those values, you are in spec with the doorjamb..

for example
BFG AT KO in 195x75x14 is rated for 1710 lbs @ 65 psi

here is the formula to match VW doorjamb
front 1212/your tire max load x your tire max psi
rear 1492//your tire max load x your tire max psi

plug in the 195x75x14 tire values
front 1212/1710 x 65 = 46psi
rear 1492/1710 x 65 = 57psi

I do not agree that a passenger sidewall is appropriate for a vanagon

if you look at these again
MAX LOAD (PSI) ------26 ---29 ---32 ---35 -----38 ---41
P205/75R14* 95 ---1203 1273 1333 1393(S) 1443 1503(X)
P215/70R14 96 ----1223 1283 1353 1412(S)
P225/70R14 98 ----1323 1393 1463 1523(S)

you will see that the 215x70x14 above cannot carry 1492 lbs at any pressure.. the other two tires, yes, but barely. VW did not use any Passenger rated tires on Vanagons. The lowest load rated tire they used was an LT tire, (Light Truck tires have stronger sidewalls than passenger tires), and was rated to 1580 lbs @ 44psi

NO tire with less than 1580 max load was ever stock issue on a vanagon. Also NO tire ever issued with a vanagon had less than 44 psi max inflation (max inflation implies max sidewall strength) That disqualifies all 3 of the passenger tires Dave listed above, which meet neither the 1580 load, NOR the 44 psi..
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am taking liberty on a couple things here. The rated max load of a passenger tire is rated at 35 psi and so to say it will carry more at 44psi is sensible, but is not within the technical rules. It is a simple fact that tires carry more weight with more pressure and a 44psi passenger tire can go up to 44 psi. So while the max load chart does not show the 205/70/14 tire being able to handle enough weight, if you look at the chart again you'll see it easily carries more the stated 1393. In contrast, a C tire's max load is set at it's max pressure of 50, and a D load tire's max load is set at it's max pressure of 65. I'm not saying a tire store is going to agree but I am saying that in practice it can carry the weight. I think that must be the reasoning that Gowesty uses in selling 94 and 95 P rated tires with their wheel packages.

But the real point of this was to show what a C/D load tire is rated for at various pressures in comparison to a standard passenger tire. And note that a C/D load tire will actually carry less weight at lower psis compared to a standard passenger tire. Many people don't believe it. A sturdy BFG AT D load tire that goes up to 1710 lbs is only rated to carry 1115 lbs at 35 psi. A P205/70/14 at 35 psi is rated to carry 1393. So people should do the math with their C/D tire to find what inflation pressure matches the GAWR front and rear. Many will see that they are below spec at the pressures they run.

Looking at the GAWR is the right way to determine what safely carries the load and is how they determine what tires they could use. The 2wd van or camper is 2646 front and 2866 rear. So the rear needs 1433, not 1492 as you said. The front needs 1323 not 1212. Maybe you were talking about a bus which has different weights than a vanagon.

When they spec a tire they look to match the GAWR, not try go way above and add some sort of "safety margin". Above the GAWR causes inappropriate wear on the tire and a less than ideal ride. And obviously they can't go below the GAWR. When they went with a reinforced 205/70/14 tire, that could take 1580 at 40psi, they did so because the standard load tire was below the stated minimum. Probably being German they also wanted the harsher (more performance oriented) ride of the reinforced tire. But they didn't have to go all the way up to 1580. If there was a tire that would have been above the minimum but lower than 1580 they could have used it. On the 2wd van 1/2 of the GAWR is 1433. Strictly following the specs, that still requires a 97 rated P tire downrated from 1609 to 1464 to be above the 1433. However if you look at the psi/load chart for a standard load 95 tire you will see that it will carry more than 1433 at 40 or 44 psi. It isn't techically within spec, but it will safely carry it.

And the 96 rated 215/70/14 stricly following the rules will carry 1412 at 35 psi vs. which is 20 lbs below the 1433 but if you accept that tires carry more with more pressure (they do), then you can extrapolate that the 1412 goes up to about 1600 at 40 psi. I said I was taking liberty with extrapolating above the max load measured at 35, but it is safe and reasonable to do so, since the tire is rated to 44 lbs. You don't have to accept that a passenger tire with a 96 rating is OK, strictly following the rules it falls 20 lbs short in the rear (and is o.k in the front). But in reality at 40/44 psi it is more than sufficient.

The other misunderstanding people have is what the C/D tires do. They do not raise the carrying capacity of the tire regardless of whether they make the outside of the tire more resistant to cuts etc. That's a exactly what the manufacturer's will tell you, check it out. What they do is to provide a more stable ride at pressures above where a standard load tire can go, ie. 45 psi or higher, and they are more rugged for offroad. At 45 they are about equivalent in load carrying to a passenger tire, above 50 on a D load, they go much higher and are more stable. But most people wouldn't run a 65 psi tire up near 60, and the recommended tire pressure is about 57psi for rear of a vanagon for the BFG AT KO in 195/75R14 D load, as you wrote. It does vary by tire and max load, so people have to do the math for their tire.

The specs for the 185R14 was similarly used because it was above the minimum calculated requirement using GAWR. They could have used something less had their been more tire choices.

Another thing people don't know is how the downrating came about. It was originally primarily intended for light trucks and cargo vehicles that would occassionally be overloaded. The reason passenger minivans got stuck with that designation was political and monetary. The tax on vehicles classified as light trucks, later call Multi purpose vehicles, was 25% vs. something like 5%. The other distinction was that MPVs were not subject to import quotas. VW did classify all their vans as MPVs, they had to, but really it would have made more sense for the cargo vans to be MPVs and the campers and passenger vans to be classified as passenger vehicles. Anyway, again, it is stricly within the rules to downrate the tires, whether the justification for doing so was there. In contrast to the VW van many MPVs come with Passenger tires. Check out the specs on the Honda Odyssey as one example.

There is so much misunderstanding of tire loads it is almost a cult-like certainty about things that are not true. Even websites put up incorrect calculations or don't use common sense in seeing what would work in practice. Others try to sell tires, and use adjectives after adjective to scare people into believing they have the only solution. I prefer seeing the facts. People can draw their own conclusions. If there is anything wroing with what I have said, I am open to seeing the facts that show it is wrong. I admitting I am taking liberties with the strict rules, but I think I have made a case that there is justification for doing so.

Anyway this was about C/D load tires not being rated to carry more than many passenger tires at lower pressures. It is a fact, check out the tables again. And people who want to challenge any of this, should look at sites outsite the vanagon world to do so. The cult-like thinking of vanagon.com and this site and some of the vendors is biased or simply wrong.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

> Looking at the GAWR is the right way to determine what safely carries the load and is how they determine what tires they could use. The 2wd van or camper is 2646 front and 2866 rear. So the rear needs 1433, not 1492 as you said. The front needs 1323 not 1212.

I agree with your math regarding GAWR. Doorjamb labels use different load carrying values than GAWR.

I have seen 3 different doorjamb pressures, and 3 different tires listed as OE for Vanagons, one was a Light truck tire rated for 1580 lbs max load and 40 psi max inflation, one was a C rated tire rated 1710 lbs, 55 psi, and one was a D rated tire, 2270 lbs, 65 psi.. The supporting link is here:
http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html

The doorjamb pressures are different for each of those tires.

> a C tire's max load is set at it's max pressure of 50

I respectfully disagree, and welcome a link to support your opinion.

Max load capacity is always at max inflation.. that stands to reason, no?

Both max load and max inflation specs are printed on the sidewall, and on the tire spec sheets online.

Some C rated tires have max inflation of 55psi, two examples follow:

My doorjamb calls for a 185R14 tire inflated to 39 front 48 psi rear.That tire was rated for 1710 lbs max load and 55 psi max inflation. It was C rated. By inflating to 39 psi, the front tire load capacity was 1212 lbs. Similar math applies to the rear..

I have a Michellin Agilis 205x65x15 tires on my 85 2wd Westy. The tire is rated for 1875 lbs max load and 55 psi. max inflation. It is also C rated.

If I wanted my michelin agilis to carry 1212 pounds, it would require inflating to 36 psi.. Close, but not exactly the same as the 39 psi on my doorjamb

if I wanted a BFG AT KO in 195x75x14, which is rated for 1710 lbs @ 65 psi, I should inflate it to 46 psi to carry 1212 pounds.. clearly 46 psi is not the same as 36 or 39 psi, because all 3 of those tires have different max load ratings..

moral of the story, do the math on the tire on your doorjamb, to figure out how many pounds it was inflated to carry, then do the math on the tire you have, to inflate it to carry the same load..
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another important aspect to tires in addition to merely carrying the load is how they behave in emergency evasive maneuvers. Stopping hard, cornering hard, and hitting bumps while combining both. Particularly so with a tallish, shortish vehicle. VW did all their testing with correctly rated reinforced tires, which have the heavier carcass and sidewalls and behave much differently at the limit than a softer passenger tires. Even if those passenger tires are inflated at a pressure where they will pass muster for load.

Against my point is that tire technology has advanced considerably in 25 years - both in margins of safety, and handling. So it would be easy to make a case that even a passenger tire of 2011 that's close in load rating is an overall better choice than a "correct" tire was circa 1986. I personally won't do that, choosing instead to put today's version of that "correct" tire on and enjoying the modern safety advances on that type of tire as well.

DougM
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to be turning into a 'Boxers vs Briefs' discussion.

I'm in the camp that likes the load D skinny tires with really stiff sidewalls -- my driving includes lots of twisty mountain roads and occasional long days of wicked crosswinds.

Me: briefs -- but wear whatever you're comfortable with.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:45 am    Post subject: Do NOT overinflate a passenger tire to use it on a Van Reply with quote

> This seems to be turning into a 'Boxers vs Briefs' discussion.

yes but not really

I am posting to caution people NOT to use passenger tires on a vanagon, regardless of load rating or inflation.

Also do NOT exceed the max psi on the tire sidewall, for any reason.

so its a passenger tire vs Light Truck or better (C or D or E rated)

I used to wear briefs, currently wearing boxers, and none of my vans have passenger tires. I wont use less than a C rated tire on a Vanagon, but for a syncro prefer D rated.

Im actually installing E rated tires on my TDi Syncro Westfakia, after running C rated tires and finding the sidewalls softer than I would like.

fwiw, looking at BFG AT KO's, there are no D rated 15" tires. The 15" BFG AT KO's Ive seen are all C rated.

You have to go to 16" tires to find D rated or E rated BFG AT KO.

There IS a D rated 14" BFG AT KO, highly recommended. It is small, no added ground clearance, but also no loss of gearing power on hills.
my data comes from here:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=BFGoodrich&tireModel=All-Terrain+T%2FA+KO
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto - purpose of my thoughts is discouraging passenger tires. Tire failures are one of those things you have to experience to believe. When do they happen? When you're overloaded, the vehicle is under handling duress, etc - the moment of peak force just when you can least afford a sudden serious handling problem. Avoid them at all costs.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GWTWTLW wrote:


Please people, stay the f--- away from Wildcats. They are [email protected] tires, even fully inflated. See my gallery if in doubt.


Well I run the Cooper Discovery,which replaced the Wildcat's at Schwab.
they are:
8ply
Load Range C (93)
195/75R14
I do not have a full Westy,just a GL with a Westy top bolted on over the sunroof.
According to the tirerack.com website, a tire with a load index of 90 can handle 1323 lbs per tire. since mine are indexed at 93,I'm guessing they can handle a bit more than the 90's. I know my van does not weigh more than 5200,even fully loaded. I think it was around 4400 fully loaded for our trip last year.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Wayne wrote:
GWTWTLW wrote:


Please people, stay the f--- away from Wildcats. They are [email protected] tires, even fully inflated. See my gallery if in doubt.


Well I run the Cooper Discovery,which replaced the Wildcat's at Schwab.
they are:
8ply
Load Range C (93)
195/75R14
I do not have a full Westy,just a GL with a Westy top bolted on over the sunroof.
According to the tirerack.com website, a tire with a load index of 90 can handle 1323 lbs per tire. since mine are indexed at 93,I'm guessing they can handle a bit more than the 90's. I know my van does not weigh more than 5200,even fully loaded. I think it was around 4400 fully loaded for our trip last year.


That type of logic would work, if the van stays stationary.
I used to have a short vid clip of how low load rated tires like that fold over so that you're literally driving on the sidewall when lateral forces are applied.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

levi wrote:
Bruce Wayne wrote:
GWTWTLW wrote:


Please people, stay the f--- away from Wildcats. They are [email protected] tires, even fully inflated. See my gallery if in doubt.


Well I run the Cooper Discovery,which replaced the Wildcat's at Schwab.
they are:
8ply
Load Range C (93)
195/75R14
I do not have a full Westy,just a GL with a Westy top bolted on over the sunroof.
According to the tirerack.com website, a tire with a load index of 90 can handle 1323 lbs per tire. since mine are indexed at 93,I'm guessing they can handle a bit more than the 90's. I know my van does not weigh more than 5200,even fully loaded. I think it was around 4400 fully loaded for our trip last year.


That type of logic would work, if the van stays stationary.
I used to have a short vid clip of how low load rated tires like that fold over so that you're literally driving on the sidewall when lateral forces are applied.


so all the info on tirerack.com is just for vehicles that are parked in the driveway?
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=35


my door sticker:
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I'm no tire guru,but I'm guessing the 6 stands for the ply,and since mine are 8 ply,they should be o.k.,right? remember,I'm not a full on Westy,just have the poptop bolted on over the big sunroof. what about the PR? Passenger Radial maybe?

Load index of 93 (my Cooper Discovery's) is rated up to 1433.
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levi
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pr _ ply rated, not actual plies these days.
I mean, you can have 1 or 2 actual plies, and still have an 8ply rated tire.
...and of course there's the de-rating of the load on passenger tires by 9% or so.

If you want to run 93p's, that's up to you.
It's entirely possible that you could do it successfully for the entire life of the van.
But being able to get tires that won't cause my van to flip for 500$ or so is the kind of insurance that I jump into the front of the line for.
Here's the scenario that I don't want to happen:
I'm driving along at 60 or so.
I turn left with the road.
The front right tire folds just a little bit, because a lot of weight is shifted over laterally, so that part of the sidewall is now making contact with the road.
There's a little rock in the road, about the size of a nickel, sharp granite.
The point of the rock punctures the sidewall.
The right front then drops and the wheel rim digs in.
What happens next is not fun to think about.


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