I decided on the street wheels because I didn't want to deal with always keeping the bolts tightened. I know ... not a big deal, I just didn't want to have to worry about it. I read a post a couple weeks ago on here from someone who had the beadlocks and hasn't had any problems with the bolts loosening up over time. When I read his post, I started second guessing my decision to buy the streets ... other than not being DOT approved.
Old school beadlocks had issues with this. They tried to sandwich the bead between 2 flat pieces of steel with no way of actually centering the tire. This allowed the tire to shift which put unequal pressure on the bolts causing them to get loose, lose air and get out of balance. Most modern beadlocks use a way to center the tire and keep it from shifting.
Here is an example of the "old school" style.
Look at the way the tire bead mounts on these Raceline beadlocks (Allied)
The ring itself is shaped like the tire bead to seal on all sides of the bead. See the differnce?
Here you can see how the wheel surface is set up to center the tire and not let it shift, NO LOSE BOLTS, EVER!. 7 years of using this style and I have never had to tighten a bolt.
See how the tire sits down around the centering ring.
Here you can see an old school style missing it's outer ring. Notice there is no way to center the tire and keep it from shifting.
Secondly, DOT is an agency that sets volentary manufacturing standards, not a law creating agency.
Most manufacturers follow the standards to add extra liability protection.
My understanding is that basically DOT defined a shape to the inner bead lip that wheels should be made too. Beadlocks tend to change this shape (cut it off) so they don't fit the basic standard.
It is possible to simply have wheels tested and "DOT Approved". It's a costly process that most manufacturers simply don't do.
AEV did it. That is the difference.
This is why beadlocks like Hutchinson and other inner lock styles fit the DOT standard. (they leave the lip alone).