What Are Beadlock Wheels? (+ Other Common FAQs)

There are certain wheels that just make a vehicle stand out, and Beadlock wheels are among these, as they have an aggressive look that auto enthusiasts just seem to love.

However, if you’re unfamiliar with beadlock wheels, you may be curious as to what they are and what makes them so special. If you’d like to find out, keep reading to learn more!

What Are Beadlock Wheels?

Beadlock wheels are designed to take on a mass amount of torque without slipping off the wheel when a tire is under-pressure, and were designed for drag racing. The beadlock design is accomplished by bolting a top layer rim down to the bottom layer rim bead with the tire secured in between.

If you’d like to learn more about beadlock wheels, how they work, what makes beadlock wheels so special and more, keep reading this article for further insight on this topic!

Beadlock wheels are made for high-performance drag racing cars and dedicated off-road vehicles.

In fact, before you purchase a set of beadlock wheels, you’ll want to check with your state laws, as they may not be street legal in every municipality.

Therefore, drivers who simply need wheels to get around in their daily life are dissuaded from purchasing beadlocks, as they are impractical and not intended for public roads.

How Do Beadlock Tires Work?

The backside of a beadlock tire fits on the bead just like a regular tire, but the outside of the wheel is a different setup.

On the side that faces front, the bead of the tire goes on the rim of the wheel and another rim is placed over both the initial rim and the tire.

There are also beadlock wheel bolts that go around the whole tire and clamp the outer rim to the inner rim, securing the tire in between.

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This setup ensures that the tire stays connected to the wheels even when there is low pressure, a lot of torque, and stress cramping of the tire.

What Is Special About Beadlock Wheels?

Unlike other wheel types, the screws from the outer rims of beadlock wheels connect to the inner rim making the tires virtually unmoveable while bolted down.

When some tires take on too much stress (such as a hard launch from the starting line in drag racing), the tire could become unattached to the tire and the wheel could slip inside the tire causing slow elapse-times.

When a standard tire is out on the trails and pressure has been let out of the tire for traction, the stress of rock climbing or landing from a jump could make the tire want to pop off the wheel.

With beadlock tires, though, you are almost guaranteed that your tire will stay on the wheel no matter the conditions that you’re driving in.

What Are Lock Rings For Wheels?

Lock rings are the part of the beadlock wheels that go on last to lock the tire in place. Once each bolt is secured and tightened correctly, the tire is then ready for an air fill-up.

Do You Need Special Tires For Beadlock Rims?

Do You Need Special Tires For Beadlock Rims?

The only thing you have to worry about when purchasing tires for your beadlock wheels is to ensure that you get the right size, as the rest of the functionality depends on the quality of the wheel, which is generally reliable.

Can You Tow With Beadlock Wheels?

You can tow with beadlock wheels, but since they may not be street legal in most areas, you could be fined with an expensive ticket or your vehicle could become impounded.

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The biggest flaw about beadlock wheels is that most people can’t balance them correctly, and in order for the government to sign off on anything, the product has to check all the safety boxes, which include being able to balance them.

Therefore, it is not recommended to use a vehicle with beadlock wheels when towing, as it could result in a serious fine.

Why Are Beadlock Wheels Only Locked On The Outside?

There are two reasons for the beadlock on wheels to be on the outside, the first reason being that the side is prone to coming off the most, especially in off-roading situations.

The second reason is that beadlock wheels have to be checked and torqued to specs a lot, which is an inconvenient process, and would be made more so if there were locks on the inside in addition to the outside.

Do Beadlock Wheels Leak Air?

Beadlock wheels are the most common wheels to leak air, although the one side of the bead is sealed tight all the way around the rims, which enables the beadlock side to let air seep out slowly.

What Are Double Beadlock Wheels?

A double beadlock wheel setup comes with an extra donut that is placed in between the outer rim and inner rim.

When the wheel is bolted down to the donut (which is made either of aluminum, plastic, or rubber), it helps to seal the beads to the edges of the bead surface.

Why Are Beadlock Wheels Illegal?

Beadlock wheels aren’t illegal to own or use, but are illegal to have on your vehicle when driving down public roads.

The Department Of Transportation (DOT) looks at beadlock wheels as a flawed setup for mounting and balancing, and therefore deems them dangerous to be used in more common areas.

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Also, being the wheels and tires are pieced together, the DOT looks at them as an unreliable source of transportation.

Additionally, because they are so hard to balance, most owners of beadlock wheels don’t even try, which makes them even more of a threat to the road in the eyes of the DOT.

Why Are Beadlocks Illegal In Canada?

According to the “Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA),” beadlock wheels are just as illegal to use on public roads in Canada.

While you likely won’t get pulled over in more rural areas, it is still not recommended that drivers use beadlocks for their everyday vehicle.

What Are Simulated Beadlock Wheels?

Simulated beadlock wheels are wheels that are designed to give you the look of beadlock wheels.

Therefore, if you want the aggressive look without the responsibility and the expense of the wheels, this is a great way to go.

If you’re not doing heavy-duty drag racing or off-roading, beadlock wheels are unnecessary.

Therefore, by using simulated beadlocks, you won’t have to worry about constantly checking to make sure the bead screws are torqued correctly, and you won’t have to worry about driving illegally.

To know more, you can also see our posts on whether or not wheel spacers are bad, what are wheel locks, and what are wheel hubs.

Conclusion

Beadlock wheels are designed to take on massive amounts of torque and are commonly outfitted to race cars.

However, if you’re not a race car driver, beadlock wheels are not worthwhile to purchase, as they are expensive, difficult to balance, and are much heavier than regular wheels.

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