Several Reasons to Secure Your Beads
Airing down. It’s like fine-tuning your tires’ performance for whatever off-road surface you are about to run them on. Running a lower air pressure off-road has good effects and some bad effects. The good is that the contact patch of the tire is much larger, which makes the tire grip more of whatever it’s on, wrapping the tread around rocks, sticks, dirt, and bumps. More traction means you go further down the trail. One of the unfortunate side effects is that a tire with less pressure is more likely to slip over the safety bead of the wheel. Once this happens, all the air escapes and you are left with a very flat tire that is only partially attached to the wheel. In a worst-case scenario you were just careening around a corner on a dirt road when your bead slipped. You lost control, your wheel acted like an anchor when it hit the ground, slung your Jeep around, and now your Jeep is on its side or lid. That’s bad…potentially very bad. What’s the fix? Well, you could run a slightly higher pressure like 20 psi. Or take a wheel and add a method to mechanically lock the bead of the tire to the wheel. Most do this with the addition of inner and outer rings that bolt together to clamp the tire to the outer lip of the wheel. Follow along as we take some beat-up, but otherwise awesome, old wheels and have them converted into a set of high-end beadlocks.