Space saver spares as wheel and tire for trikes

Wolfsbane

New Member
Dec 21, 2016
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NYC, NY
Has anyone thought about using space saver spare rims and tire for trikes?

I haven't looked at one for a while but I think they're DOT approved tires. Finding DOT tires for narrow tired motorized vehicles that qualify as motorcycles is a major issue, since bicycle tires don't qualify.

They also have flat tread sections so they have a great contact patch with the road. Motorcycle tires have near hemispherical treads which don't provide a great contact patch for three wheelers.

Space savers come with steel or metal rims which were meant to hold up a 1 ton to multi-ton vehicles. They're not going to flex when cornering on anything we're likely to use them as primary tires.

They're rated up to 50mph. A speed motorized bikes are not likely or legally supposed to come close to achieving.

In college in the late 80s I had a 1980 Datsun 200sx, it had 185/70-14s and had a space saver which I think was 90/170-18. It's been a long time.

The only problem might be finding a pair of the same size if they're from really old vehicles.
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
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British Columbia Canada
There are a few fellas who have used space saver wheels and tires on their cycle cars. They seem to have worked out really well. Used with a differential rear end from a garden tractor and they should be great.

Steve.
 

curtisfox

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2008
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minesota
Trouble is finding the old garden tractors with a differentials, and you need 2 to get the long shafts, so have long on both sides. Or you can get this one,and is the same. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch?storeId=6970&ipp=24&Ntt=Kart+differential
With the differential both wheels pull, and when you turn one will slow and other speed up. With stander-ed trike only one wheel pulls, usually the right. When you pedal it pull to the right, and when you brake it pulls to the left. I have a heavy duty Worksman and does that without a motor, i sure wouldn't put a motor on without a differential. Just my experience....Keep in mind the wider the tire the harder to pedal, more contact .......Curt
 

forties

Member
Jun 2, 2017
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compton
Weight varies wildly on space saver wheels. Some of the lighter alloy ones are less than 10 pounds, some steel deals are 25 pounds. New space saver tires are available these days, not too expensive.
 

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forties

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Jun 2, 2017
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compton
If I'm remembering right, tires were 12 to 22 pounds each depending on brand and size. I'd double check on weight before dropping cash to make sure you're at the lower end on both wheels and tires. Other wise between a pair, you could be dragging around 50 pounds more than you need to be.

Even the light aluminum wheels should be overkill on strength. Only reason I know weights is checking around for drag skinnies. Some drag guys use smart car and VW beetle tire sizes on fronts. Those should be the right width if you're new tire shopping. Or you can get the ones specifically made for spare use. I've never tested, but I'd bet the true spare tires have a much softer compound that wears out faster.
 

forties

Member
Jun 2, 2017
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compton
Not sure if they are exactly the same as yours, but we do have them here. Ours probably loaded down with an extra few hundred pounds of safety systems.