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Check out our latest installment of Motobilt Tech Thursday "Bead lock wheels"

Today’s Tech Thursday will focus on traditional style bead locks.

What are bead locks? Bead locks are a type of wheel that uses a clamping ring to hold the bead of the tire to the wheel instead of using air pressure to hold the tire to the wheel.

Why would you want to air down your tires? When you take your vehicle off road it is beneficial to air the tires down to increase the surface area or contact patch of the tire with the ground. This larger contact patch provides more traction which is helpful when driving offroad.

What are the consequences of airing down too low? On a standard wheel the air pressure inside the tire forces the bead of the tire against the rim. When you air down, the pressure is decreased thus providing less force to hold the bead of the tire against the wheel rim. Now you have a greater probability of the tire coming off of the bead when your tire is up against a rock, ledge, stump or other hard surface.

Why would I want bead locks? The number one reason is that since the bead lock ring is clamping the bead of the tire to the rim of the tire you can air your tires down without fear of the tire coming off of the wheel.

Also bead lock wheels typically provide protection to the outside rim of the tire. They are either made of HD steel or thick Billet Aluminum that can take large amounts of abuse without failure. Note: There are cheap cast beadlock rings out there that cannot take a lot of abuse.

How does a bead lock wheel work? There are different versions of bead lock wheels on the market but we are focusing on the most common/traditional version for this article. There is an outer ring with bolts that pass through to the inner portion of the wheel. These bolts are used to clamp down on the bead of the tire and sandwich it between the ring and the wheel itself.

If bead locks are so awesome then why doesn’t everyone run them? Not all beadlock wheels are DOT approved. They require more maintenance as you need to check the torque on the rings regularly. Beadlock wheels are more difficult to install and balance.

If you are interested in bead locks for your rig then make sure to click the link https://www.motobilt.com/wheels/trailready.html
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