Originally Posted by Roadtrip
If I don't air down will it affect the bead, or will it be more susceptable to punctures?
Good question. The bead is best kept seated by maintaining pressure. So, it's happiest to stay with higher psi. You just don't want to go low enough where the tire gets sloppy and pops the bead Ė particularly if itís loaded from the side. Some guys here run really low pressures (e.g., 10 psi and lower) off-road and you probably won't be down that low. I don't go lower than 15 psi only because I don't like to worry about it.
Besides, airing down is mainly to increase traction - it increases the contact patch while also allowing the tire to wrap around and grab things better. If you're getting enough traction you need for the type of off-road driving you do, there's no need to risk going too low on air pressure.
I donít know whether airing down increases the chance of punctures or not. I'll bet some of our died-in-the-wool rock crawlers will chime in with an answer on that one.