- Beadlock wheels can be the best type of wheel for off roading
- The number one thing that puts it apart is the outer wheel bead ring
- High speed driving with beadlocks is a bad idea
Read here if you want to get an introduction to beadlock wheels.
Why would you want a Beadlock wheel as opposed to a standard wheel? Let’s break down the pros of a Beadlock wheel.
Pros of Beadlock Wheels
The main advantage of a Beadlock rim boils down to how it airs down off-road. Beadlock rims will give you better traction odd the road. That is because the tires have a wider footprint, which will result in a less bumpy and softer ride.
With the Beadlock rim, the tire can absorb a lot of the impact. Of course, you can also air down with a standard wheel, but you risk losing a bead. And that will result in the tire separating from the wheel, and you will end up with a flat tire.
Whereas with a Beadlock rim, you can run it as low as you want. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing the bead. Thus, it is the best for off-roading purposes. Why:
- A Beadlock rim employs much more force. Also, the pressure on impact is much greater. At the same time, it does not allow any air to pass through.
- A Beadlock increases the tire’s traction. It does that by allowing the tire to fold, flex and envelope over rocks and other trail obstacles. It also increases the tire’s contact patch and footprint for extra traction in soft or loose terrains.
- In the absence of the tool, de-beading becomes much more probable. Additionally, the risks of a flat tire at lower air pressures are higher.
Therefore, you will either have to sacrifice traction or take the risk of getting a flat tire out in the trails. And that can ruin your entire day if you’re not carrying a spare wheel.
- Another perk of Beadlock wheels is you can put on your tires at home. All you have to do is undo the bolts and pull the ring off. After that, use a bucket or a high-lift car jack to take the tire off.
Although you still might have to take it to a shop to get it balanced. But even then, you will still be saving a lot of money.
Cons of Beadlock Wheels
After going through all its pros, it is quite evident that Beadlock wheels are great. But why wouldn’t anybody want to run them?
- Beadlocks are specifically only for off-road use. These tools are typically not meant for usage on-road. And that can cause real issues if the wheel with the tool is the one you use every day.
- Besides, there are high chances of legal issues if you were to get into an accident or cause one. That is in a situation where you decide to run the risk of testing it on the streets.
Also, because they are not DOT approved, lawyers could put the blame on the Beadlock wheels. It’s possible that you may end up in a long and expensive civil suit, and it’s not worth the risk.
- They are on the more expensive side. Bead lock wheels consist of more parts as compared to a standard rim.
- It also requires more machining. Most Beadlock wheels consist of a forged rock ring and are very high when it comes to raw strength. When you take all of this into account, it increases the manufacturing and material costs.
- Plus, in comparison to cast-aluminum tires, the weight of the Beadlock ones is a lot more. The reason is the presence of the added weight of the tools. If you combine the excess weight of the bigger tire and the bead locks, you might have to upgrade your driveline.
- Also, you will need to change the suspension components to make them more durable so that they don’t break. And upgrading those components is not cheap.
But it is not all doom and gloom if you want a Beadlock. Fortunately, there are several DOT-approved labels available that are still reasonably priced.
There is a modular design available for its users. For on-road purposes, it offers the users a simulation of a rock ring. It is up to the users if they want to get rid of the ring. If they choose to do so, they may replace it with the Beadlock ring. Doing so will allow them to go off-road.
With that said, even with a simulated rim, you cannot just swap it on and off when you leave home. Or bolt on the Beadlock ring when you get to the trail.
But if you mostly drive your rim on the road, then you can run the simulated rim. And when you are on an off-road trip, you can swap out that simulated rim and install the Beadlock ring.
The Workings of a Beadlock Wheel
The number one thing that puts it apart is the outer wheel bead ring. It also goes by the name of a rock ring. The location where the Beadlock rests fastens to the tires’ interior.
In order to compress the tire’s bead, it makes use of bolts that are of high tensile strength. To make these Beadlocks, the producers only use the highest-grade material.
The bead sits between the outer rock ring area and the surface where the fitting takes place. Producers carry out the fitting in such a way so as to create a maximum amount of pressure. The pressure is vital to avoid any type of displacement.
Main Takeaways – Pros And Cons Of Beadlock Wheels
There are a few pros and cons to be aware of before you decide on whether or not Beadlock wheels will work for your vehicle.
For one, they can add up in price when compared with other wheel types such as spoked rims that come standard with most vehicles. Beadlocks may also offer lower rolling resistance than traditional tires depending on the terrain you encounter which could translate into higher fuel efficiency rates.
Finally, it might take more time to get used to driving with them because of their lack of flexibility under heavy loads – this is especially true for off-road use where there’s typically more jarring action from bumps and rocks.
And while we’re discussing durability, these wheels tend to wear out faster than others due to the stress on the rim.
However, one great upside to Beadlocks is that you won’t ever experience a flat tire while running them because they’re designed with clamps instead of air-filled valves which can be easily punctured.
So, ultimately what it boils down to is how much of an emphasis do you want to put toward performance vs. the cost and durability factors. As for us, we think Beadlocks (if you can afford them) are a great investment in terms of convenience and performance although they definitely lack in the area of reliability when used off-road.
Thanks for reading and stay dirty