Which wheelbarrow tires are best?
Wheelbarrows shoulder quite a lot of work when it comes to gardening or landscaping. That’s why it’s important to have a durable wheelbarrow tire that can keep up with a demanding workload.
There are four types of wheelbarrow tires: plastic, pneumatic, flat-free, and semi-pneumatic. Given their different construction, it comes as no surprise that they perform and wear differently on mixed terrain. To help narrow your choices and find the right wheelbarrow tire, we’re sharing a rundown of each tire’s attributes.
To learn more, keep reading this buying guide on wheelbarrow tires, where we’re also sharing a few of our top choices. Our number one pick, the Marathon Universal Fit Flat-Free Wheelbarrow Tire, remains a crowd favorite for its user-friendly installation.
What to know before you buy a wheelbarrow tire
There’s more than one way to find wheelbarrow tires in the correct size. If you check your existing tires, you can usually find the dimensions printed on the sidewall. In the event you can’t locate this information, measure the following to find the right size: tire diameter, hub bore hole diameter, length of the hub, and the width of the tire.
Load capacity refers to the amount of weight wheelbarrow tires can safely support without inhibiting their function. When loads exceed the capacity, tires are at risk for buckling, or if they’re air-filled, bursting under pressure. The average load capacity for wheelbarrow tires ranges from 150 to 500 pounds.
Wheelbarrow tires have a variety of tread patterns that range from a series of concentric rings to well-defined grooves. Opt for wheelbarrow tires with deep, well-defined grooves for use on muddy or uneven ground. Those with concentric rings lack considerable traction, so they’re best used on even, dry ground.
What to look for in a quality wheelbarrow tire
Plastic: Plastic wheelbarrow tires tend to have the lowest load capacities. They don’t offer much of a smooth ride, either, and they can be somewhat difficult to control with heavier loads. For that reason, plastic tires are best for light-duty or occasional gardening tasks.
Pneumatic: Pneumatic tires are filled with air. Because they have excellent shock absorption, they offer the smoothest ride among all tire types. Unfortunately, they require regular inflating, which means you may need to purchase an air compressor. They’re also at risk for puncturing, especially if they roll across sharp objects or are overfilled with air.
Flat-free: Because flat-free tires are completely solid, they won’t puncture like pneumatic tires. They’re considered durable and easy to maintain; however, they don’t absorb shock very well. Flat-free wheelbarrow tires are best used on smoother surfaces like concrete patios or decks.
Semi-pneumatic: These hybrid tires have a semi-solid design replete with tiny air pockets to improve their shock absorption. They perform well in mixed terrain and tend to outlast other types of wheelbarrow tires. Unfortunately, since they’re newer to the market, there are few semi-pneumatic tires available.
How much you can expect to spend on a wheelbarrow tire
If you’re in the market for light-duty wheelbarrow tires, you can find a few for less than $20. Better-quality options including pneumatic and flat-free wheelbarrow tires run closer to $40. Heavy-duty wheelbarrow tires featuring better construction may run as high as $60.
Wheelbarrow tire FAQ
What does it mean if a wheelbarrow tire is marked “universal fit”?
A. These tires fit most wheelbarrows and some other types of lawn equipment. They’re sold with adapter kits that include all the necessary hardware to achieve a good fit. Since they come with these additional parts, universal-fit wheelbarrow tires tend to be more expensive than other options.
How do I know when it’s time to change out my wheelbarrow tire for a new one?
A. Look for signs of wear, such as peeling or worn-down treads. Another sure sign it’s time to get a replacement is if the tire appears warped. In pneumatic tires, loss of roundness could indicate a slow leak. In other tires, they may have become warped over time from carrying loads that are too heavy.
What’s the best wheelbarrow tire to buy?
Top wheelbarrow tire
Our take: An incredible value considering it has a user-friendly adapter kit to make the tire fit most lawn equipment.
What we like: Installation is simple and quick. Made of solid polyurethane, but rides smoothly like an air-filled tire.
What we dislike: Modest load capacity of 300 pounds, which is less than other options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top wheelbarrow tire for the money
Our take: An affordable option made of solid polyurethane foam that traverses most ground types effortlessly.
What we like: Boasts a 400-pound load capacity. Well-defined treads provide superior traction. Installation is a breeze.
What we dislike: Not as durable as others, especially when hauling heavy loads.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: This quality tire is one of the better-constructed models on the market.
What we like: Vibrant blue rim is easy to spot. Handles heavy loads well without buckling or peeling.
What we dislike: Some confusion with product description; it says air-filled, but the tires are actually air-free.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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