Are Beadlock Wheels Worth It?
April 30, 2021
Beadlock wheels definitely have their place in the off-roading industry because they make a huge difference in keeping your tire on your wheel in low tire pressure situations and more.
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The most common beadlock wheel has an outer wheel bead ring, also known as a rock ring, that fastens to the inner part of the wheel on the inner side, where the tire bead sits. Through the use of high-grade, high-tensile strength bolts, compressing the bead of the tire in between the mounting surface and the outer rock ring; with enough pressure, that the outer bead of the tire won’t be able to move from the bead seat.
With that outer tire bead being held into place, this allows for much greater use of force or impact pressure against the sidewall without allowing any air to escape. This is particularly useful for running a super low amount of air pressure in the tires to dramatically increase the tire’s traction. Without a beadlock wheel, the chances of debeading a tire off the rim and leaving you with a flat tire are much greater.
For one, most beadlock wheels are not to be used for on-road use and are classified for off-road driving only. That can be a real problem if your off-road rig is your daily driver or if you drive your rig to the trails and don’t trailer it.
But why exactly are beadlock wheels not DOT approved? Well, interestingly enough, we really couldn’t find any laws in any of the research we did, including reaching out to some of our wheel vendors for more information and clarification. Even they weren’t able to provide an exact source that cites the reason as to why beadlock wheels aren’t to be used on the road. We weren’t able to locate any laws that say beadlock wheels are illegal to run on the roads, but make sure and check your local laws regardless.
The next downfall is that beadlocks are more expensive. There are more parts and machining needed for beadlock wheels and a lot of beadlock wheels are high strength forged. Plus with the extra hardware, beadlock wheels also weigh more than your standard cast-aluminum wheels.
There are some brands that are DOT-approved and are still affordable. For example, we carry Dirty Life beadlocks on TrailBuilt called the Dual-Tek series, a modular design that allows you to either run a simulated rock ring for on-road use or remove the simulated ring and replace it with the beadlock ring for use while off-roading.
Might be a little bit more of a pain in the ass, but it’s sure as heck of a lot better than taking the risk of running beadlocks on the road or having to purchase a second set of wheels just to go off-roading with.
What do you think of beadlock wheels? Let us know in the comments below!
And remember that when you get a wheel and tire package you will get free shipping mounting and balancing. We also offer as low as 0% APR financing for those who qualify, so you can build now and pay later.