Review Submitted by “bluesmanjesse”…
BEADBUSTER XB-450 Tire Bead Tool Review
Let me start this review with a little background information. I’ve been an off-road enthusiast most of my life and the past 5 or 6 years I’ve been riding UTV’s. The one thing that has become abundantly clear about these heavy UTV’s is THEY LOVE TO EAT TIRES! I have started running beadlock wheels and it has helped some but in the rocky trails where I love to ride flat tires are inevitable. Over the years many rides have been compromised due to running out of spares or not being able to repair a tire on the trail or at base camp. After a recent ride in Tennessee where we had to waste 2-3 hours of riding time to drive to the nearest tire shop I started looking around for ways to avoid being in situations like this, after all if you’ve spent a bunch of your hard earned money on fuel, lodging, trail passes, etc the last thing you want to do is waste precious trail time searching for a tire shop. Through some poking around on the internet I stumbled onto the Beadbuster website, I was a bit skeptical that this little tool could really have the power to unseat a tough ATV tire bead but I was intrigued by the possibilities of such a portable tool. I’ve had several situations where such a tool would have been a real lifesaver! On one ride we had a situation in camp where we were trying to remove a tire from a rim by putting a steel ramp on top of it and driving a heavy diesel pickup truck onto it, even this did not break the bead loose and we had to resort to the tire shop. That same wheel with a newer tire suffered a death by rock recently, you can see in the pictures where I tried to repair the wheel before I realized the rock had cut a groove in the wheel nearly splitting it in half. I used this tire to test the BeadBuster XB450 for the first time.
Bead Buster has some really great information and tips on their website on how to properly use the tool and I highly recommend you check it out if you decide to purchase one. Follow this link for more information https://beadbuster.com/xb-450-instructions/
The first thing you must do is clamp the tool to the wheel wedging the feet in between the flange of the wheel and the tire bead. I used my 1/4″ cordless impact wrench to operate the Bead Buster and it worked like a charm! Once you get the feet fully in position, basically deep enough that it is just barely able to clear the inner bead retainer flange of the wheel, roughly 1/8″ from bottoming out would be a good rule of thumb. If you don’t get it inserted far enough it will just kind of pull and stretch the tire, if you get in inserted too deep it will hit the retaining bead which could damage the tool so it’s better to be cautious and work your way in the first time you use it. Once you get a feel for how close to the wheel the foot needs to be you’ll be an expert in no time!
To learn how to properly align the tool watch this short video from Bead Buster
To see the Bead Buster XB-450 in action watch this video from Bead Buster
Once you get the tool seated and aligned properly you can run the ram bolt in which will push the tire bead inwards forcing it over the bead retainer, I found it was necessary to work my way around the tire in 4 or 5 places to fully pop the tire loose from the wheel. It really is amazing just how well this thing works once you get the hang of it. You may find it helpful to squirt a little soapy water or WD-40 around the bead to help everything move a little easier. The mechanical advantage you get with the direct engagement of the Bead Buster design really is impressive, in the past I used to take my tires to my buddy’s body shop where they have a commercial tire machine and he always commented on how tough the beads were to pop on my wheels but the XB-450 made short work of them with the help of my little 1/4″ cordless impact wrench. You could also use a wrench or hand ratchet but it would just take a bit longer.
I always used to give my buddy $10-$20 for his troubles mounting and dismounting tires for me, I know I have paid for several Bead Buster tools over the years between paying him or various tire shops to do tire work for me. The added convenience of being able to keep the XB-450 in a tool box with you at all times out on the trail has the potential to be worth it’s weight in gold if you’re out in the middle of nowhere with tire problems. I would recommend a good set of tire irons, (which Bead Buster conveniently sells on their website) to help get the tire the rest of the way off the wheel once you’ve broken the bead down with the Bead Buster, for me with my beadlock wheels I didn’t need tire irons I just pulled the tire out with the outer beadlock ring removed from the front. Beadlock wheels and a Bead Buster XB-450 is really a great combo!
I had a tire and wheel graveyard in my garage from years of trail carnage and I used the XB-450 to remove the good tires from the bad wheels and bad tires from good wheels. I now have an extra spare for the Teryx. I dismounted several tires with the XB-450 and it performed like a champ every time with no real signs of wear other than rubbing a little paint off the feet which is to be expected. I think this Bead Buster will be a permanent addition to my trail tool box and it seems like it will hold up well for years to come. I know from personal experience this tool could have been a real lifesaver on past rides and I can’t wait to show it off to my riding buddies on the next group ride, I have a feeling once they see it in action they’ll be ordering one for their toolboxes too.
Bead Buster also offers several other versions of the tool for different applications as well as spare parts should you ever manage to damage the tool or lose a part out on the trail or something.The Bead Buster works on all kinds of tires not just ATV tires, I also own a Harley and I foresee the Bead Buster being used to change my Harley tires also because the Harley shop charges a small fortune to do the job! They also offer just about every other accessory you could possibly need from tire balancing stands to portable air compressors. You can really tell these guys know tires and they know what it takes to do the job right. If you have any questions or would like more information check out their contact page @ https://beadbuster.com/contact/ or give them a call at 215-948-2302 Bead Buster is an American company based in Philadelphia PA and the Bead Buster XB-450 is made in the USA!
Also I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check out the “About Us” section of the Bead Buster website, there you’ll find the back story of how the Bead Buster came to be as well as some really cool drawings and photos of prototype versions of the Bead Buster tool showing how it has evolved into the high quality tool that it is from very humble beginnings. Link here https://beadbuster.com/about-us/ These guys are just like most of us and they started this company from a good idea and the desire to do the job right and know it’s done right because you did it yourself. They say necessity is the mother of invention and this tool is a necessity for anyone serious about having fun out on the trail. Supporting an American company started by like minded enthusiasts is a no brainer for me and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to all my friends. Do yourself a favor and add a Bead Buster to your toolbox it will pay for itself the first time you use it to keep the ride going. Visit them @ https://beadbuster.com/