Beadlock Buyer’s Guide - Clamp DownPosted in Product Reviews on August 21, 2014 Comment (0)
If you’ve spent any time at all off-road, then you know that airing your tires down allows for improved traction and a smoother ride. If you are airing down your tires properly, then you have likely been the unfortunate recipient of a popped-off tire bead. At street pressures, the tire stays put on the wheel when cornering and side loading, but when aired down, there is less pressure to keep it in place. This is especially true off-road, where twisted suspensions, sidehills, and uneven terrain push and prod the tire laterally on the wheel. For those who go off-road frequently, there is no replacement for a beadlock system or wheel. These products literally clamp the tire bead in place so it simply cannot pop off, no matter how low you air your tires down. Some beadlocks are considered DOT-compliant (street legal) and others are for off-road use only. Do your research to figure out which is right for you.
Dog Will Hunt
The Interco Birddog wheel isn’t a traditional clamping beadlock. Instead, it’s a street-legal wheel that features a specially designed and machined safety bead that’s said to keep the tire in place better than the typical standard rounded safety beads found on most wheels. The wheel has other off-road admirable features too, such as tucked-in dual valve stem holes, an abrasion ring, and a deep drop center, which allows easier tire dismounting and mounting in the field. The Birddog offers the highest load rating in its class at 3,000 pounds each, and is designed for up to 37-inch tires. The wheels are available in 15-, 16-, and 17-inch applications in several common lug patterns.
Info: Interco Tire
(337) 334-3814, intercotire.com
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, Ballistic Fabrication has just what you need to turn your steel wheels into beadlocks. The Ballistic Fabrication steel beadlocks are made from ¼-inch-thick steel plate, and are available in Simple Steel and heavy-duty Ballistic Steel versions for 15-, 16-, 16.5-, and 17-inch wheels. The lock rings are designed to fit inside the wheel lip so that they can be easily centered and welded by a certified welder. The required Grade 8 hardware is not included.
Info: Ballistic Fabrication
(520) 888-4441, ballisticfabrication.com
TrailReady Products offers purpose-built beadlock wheels for all off-highway applications. The HD wheel series is said to be the only cast beadlock made entirely in the Unied States. The counter-pressure casting is said to yield a 50 percent stronger part that doesn’t need bothersome steel inserts for the beadlock bolts. The full-circle beadlock rings are milled from 6061-T6 aluminum plate. HD Series wheels are available in multiple lug patterns and custom backspace measurements from 3.5 to 6 inches. TrailReady stands behind the wheels with a one year unlimited replacement warranty and an available lifetime unlimited replacement warranty.
Info: TrailReady Products
(425) 353-6776, trbeadlocks.com
If you are looking for street-legal DOT-compliant beadlocks then the Rock Monster Wheels by Hutchinson may be what you need. Hutchinson is known for its legendary military beadlock and run-flat wheels, now you can have that same trusted and tested technology on your recreational 4x4. The multi-piece wheels disassemble so the tire can be mounted and dismounted in the field. Unlike most beadlocks that only camp the outer tire bead, this wheel has an internal beadlock that keeps both inner and outer beads seated, no matter what the tire pressure is. Many common applications are available.
Info: Rock Monster Wheels
(609) 394-1010, rockmonsterwheels.com
New for 2014, ATX Wheels introduces the AX757 Chamber Pro II beadlock wheel. The Chamber Pro II is a rugged six-spoke true beadlock wheel cast from A356-T6 aluminum. It features an inner bead reinforcement for strength and dual valve stem holes so the user can monitor air pressure out on the trail while airing up or down. The beadlock ring is made from ¾-inch billet 6061-T6 aluminum with flush-mounted hardware and vertical ribbing that helps keep the tire from slipping. Each of the beadlock holes has a mounting insert to provide easy thread replacement if any of the threads become damaged. The Chamber Pro II is a 17x9 wheel available in a machined finish or black Teflon coated with machined bead ring (shown).
Info: ATX Wheels
KMC Wheels offers up its Enduro beadlock wheel, which is part of the XD Series product lineup designed specifically for true off-road use. The XD Series Enduro is a race-proven beadlock wheel cast from A356-T6 aluminum that features an inner bead reinforcement that is said to substantially strengthen the wheel. The 35-bolt beadlock ring is manufactured from ¾-inch billet 6061 T6 aluminum and features a vertical ribbing on the underside to help keep the tire from slipping under extreme conditions. The Enduro is available as a 17-inch machined wheel with a machined-finish beadlock ring in five-, six- and eight-lug applications.
Info: KMC Wheels
Clamp and Burn
Designed, tested, and manufactured in Kansas City, USA, Weld Racing introduces the 17x9 Rekon B57 beadlock wheel. Weld says the Rekon’s one-piece forged construction means it has high strength with no excess weight. The wheel features a reinforced inner bead, a 32-bolt ring and flush-mounted 3⁄8-inch Armor Coated bolts. The Advanced Tactical Coating, a nano-ceramic coating, allows for all-season protection and easy cleaning. Rated for up to 40-inch tires, each wheel has a 2,600-pound load rating. Fitments include Jeep JK, Ford Raptor, as well as GM, Ford and Dodge ½-ton trucks.
Info: Weld Racing
(800) 788-9353, weldracing.com
Designed from the ground up to suit the varied needs of off-road enthusiasts, the Eklipse 17 combines a DOT-compliant internal beadlock with modular versatility. Integral to the beadlock system of each Eklipse 17 are six exterior anchor points that let you secure additional accessories. These include terrain-specific sacrificial rock rings that modify the appearance while fortifying areas that would otherwise be exposed to rock rash. Made in the USA, the wheels carry a 3,500-pound weight rating.
Info: B.A.D. Wheels
(864) 491-0438, badwheelsinc.com
Ultra Wheel offers the X101 Forged Xtreme beadlock wheel in a 17x9 for 5-on-139.7 and 5-on-127 lug patterns. It’s available in a polished or machined finish. The aluminum beadlock ring is clamped in place with 24 Grade 8 bolts. All Ultra Wheels are said to be made with the highest quality materials and superb craftsmanship. Owner Jim Smith has raced and won on his products for many years, including the Baja 1000 and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Info: Ultra Wheel
(800) 321-4456, ultrawheel.com
Ford Racing Parts now offers the same factory Ford beadlocks that are an available option on the F-150 SVT Raptor. They can be used as a traditional beaded wheel or the outer bead can be dismounted and clamped in place with a beadlock ring. The 17x8.5 wheel fits the ’10-14 F-150 Raptor. It has a satin black painted center with a clearcoat aluminum beadlock ring. Wheel kit (PN M-1007-DC1785) includes a beadlock wheel, center cap, beadlock ring, OE beauty ring, 24 fasteners, and mounting instructions.
Info: Ford Racing Parts
local Ford dealer, fordracingparts.com
The new OMF Rock Lite and Rock Lite XP (Xtra-Protection) beadlock rings are 33 percent thicker, adding strength to the beadlock and allowing OMF to completely recess the beadlock bolt heads beneath the face of the beadlock ring, minimizing the effects of rock rash. This beadlock ring can be used with a set of Rock Crawling Domes on every other bolt of the beadlock ring for additional protection and an aggressive look. It’s also available as a replacement ring for Walker Evans Racing, TrailReady, Champion, and Method beadlocks. As an added bonus, you now have your choice of gold or black zinc-plated Grade 8 hardware. Most importantly, as with all OMF Performance Products, these parts are made with pride in the United States.
Info: OMF Performance Products
(951) 354-8272, omfperformance.com
Creeper Locks are Trail-Gear’s heavy-duty 17x9 beadlock wheels with 3.75 inches of backspacing. They are made from a solid piece of aluminum and cast with the inner beadlock as part of the wheel. All 24 of the ring bolt holes on the wheel have steel Time-Serts installed to prevent the bolts from galling. A drop down inner lip centers the tire on to wheel during mounting. The rings are sectional and feature an interlocking design. Advantages include aggressive knurling for a better bite into the rubber of the tire, increased material thickness, deeper recesses for the bolt head, single segments can be replaced if damaged, multiple color options, and they are compatible with all existing TG 17-inch beadlock wheels.
(877) 4X4-TOYS, trail-gear.com
Made to Order
Walker Evans Racing has 15-, 17- and 20-inch beadlock wheels that have been used in just about every form of off-road racing and 4x4 recreation. Both cast and forged wheels are available. Wheels are machined-to-order allowing the customer fit the wheels to their vehicle with the proper lug pattern and backspacing. Steel-threaded inserts are used to mount the thick aluminum beadlock ring. Numerous custom finishes for the wheels and beadlock rings are available.
Info: Walker Evans Racing
(888) 933-7223, walkerevansracing.com
Raceline Wheels offers several different steel and aluminum beadlock wheels including the RT-232 Monster. The RT-232 is a heavy-duty cast aluminum wheel available in 15x8, 17x8.5, and 17x9.5 in many common bolt patterns. It features a machined finish with black accents. The aluminum beadlock rings are held in place by 32 Grade 8 bolts. The ring boltholes are recessed to protect them from off-road obstacles.
Info: Raceline Wheels
(800) 529-4335, racelinewheels.com
If you’re looking for some extremely reasonably priced and very heavy-duty steel beadlock wheels, Eaton Wheels may have just what you are looking for. Eaton beadlocks are available in 15-, 16.5-, and 20-inch diameters in multiple widths. Many different common lug patterns are available and the wheels can be ordered with nearly any backspacing measurement. Each wheel is powdercoated black and comes with all the necessary Grade 8 hardware for the beadlock ring.
Info: Eaton Wheel
(800) 847-3287, ntwonline.com
Method to Madness
Through years of race experience and rigorous FEA testing, Method Race Wheels has managed to bring an extremely durable yet lightweight beadlock to the off-road enthusiast and racer. The matte black and machined 105 beadlock is TPMS compatible, includes a decorative center cap, and a warranty on the finish. The matte black forged 6061 beadlock ring is cinched in place with Grade 8 zinc-plated mounting hardware. Sizes range from 15 to 20 inches with plenty of applications for the off-road crowd. For specific Jeep Wrangler JK and 2004-up F-150/Raptor applications, the center bores are machined to be hub-centric.
Info: Method Race Wheels
(866) 779-8604, methodracewheels.com
Fuel offers several different beadlocks for the enthusiasts and racers alike. The Fuel D106 Anza Trophy Truck is made from forged aluminum and powdercoated for good looks and longevity. It comes in 17x8.5 flavor with a heavy-duty 5⁄8-inch-thick forged beadlock ring. The ring is cinched down with 185⁄16-inch flange-head Grade 8 bolts seated in flush-mount recessed bolt holes. Perhaps best of all, the Fuel D106 is made right here in America.
Info: Fuel Wheels