There is nothing that fascinates an off-roader more than the ability to drive around any terrain. There’s that incredible feeling of being invincible when you can be able to get your wheels into the deep of valleys and still get back almost effortlessly. Even when several factors will hold your hand and give you confidence in your expedition, your tires play the most crucial part. They will act as a shoe to your off-roader.
If you have gone off-roading or on Overlanding exercises or are an enthusiast or fan, you will realize that your tire choice will outdo your engine type and horsepower in some situations. Off-roading and Overlanding lean more towards proper wheel traction than a good engine.
Just an example, when stuck in muddy terrain, a tire with a good grip will get you out of it quicker than a good engine. The grip on the tire’s surface is not always enough. Its bead lock ability also counts.
It might seem like an interesting fact, but off-road traction is best when the tire pressure is low. As risky as it seems, your tire can have maximum grip due to a larger tire area in contract with the road’s surface compared to when the tire is heavily pressurized.
When riding on low-pressured tires, you will realize that they could fall off due to their relatively flaccid nature and reduced grip on the wheel’s rim. That situation calls for Bead locking. Bead locking can be defined as locking your tire to the edge so that it does not fall off when off-roading.
What Are Beadlock Wheels?
To understand more, let us look at the bead locker in depth.
A bead lock wheel is a wheel that locks either both or one tire bead onto the wheel. Its primary purpose is to prevent the tires from falling off when at low pressures or even changing their positions and losing the air they had.
If your bead locker can only lock one tire bead to its wheel, you should install it on the wheel’s outer side since it is the one that experiences more pressure as you navigate around. The inner side is not as crucial as the outer one because it tends to be pulled towards its bead when you change the direction of the wheels.
It would be easier to look at that if we learned about the critical parts of the bead locker.
Parts of a Bead Locker
A bead locker comprises three parts; the wheel, the bead lock ring, and the tightening bolts.
The wheel is not anything short of the ordinary car wheel. Therefore, the Beadlocker wheel should not worry you at all as you can use the typical wheel for the job.
A wheel with a flat surface for your bead’s seat and a large flange along the wheel’s diameter is enough to be used combined with a bead lock ring to serve that purpose. When correctly set, the tire’s bead sits on the wheel and is comfortably centered, with the bead lock ring on the other side of it.
Bead Lock Ring
Just as its name suggests, the bead lock ring assumes a ring shape and has holes that are usually fitted with bolts to hold it against the wheel firmly.
It serves the principal purpose of maintaining your tire’s bead tightly against the wheel so it does not slip off under low pressures.
Since this ring is dedicated to doing the noble task of maintaining the tire in position, it ought to be hardy. Regarding this, most Beadlocks are made from steel or hardened aluminum.
Bolts are meant to tighten the bead lock ring to the wheel. The number of bolts you need depends on the type of bead lock ring and your tire’s type and size.
Bead locking bolts are hardy enough to see off any wear due to friction against the metallic ring and wheel. Therefore, the bolts should be checked frequently if they still hold tightly even when we all tend to assume that they cannot get loosened easily.
The fact is that they get loose with time due to friction and movements along the joints they hold together. To prevent the worst from happening when cruising at high speeds, kindly check if your bolts are tight when performing regular maintenance practices.
Installation[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B00ZC70UH4″]
Installing a bead lock wheel is not different from installing the standard tire. You only have to be more careful to tighten the bolts to a strength that surpasses your hands’. You should follow the manufacturer’s torque settings and instructions to achieve perfection.
Moreover, maintaining a bead-lock wheel is not hard. However, this does not mean that you should not perform regular maintenance practices since you installed the tire correctly. It would be best if you normalized checking your bead lock wheel’s overall condition when doing routine maintenance practices on your car.
This article will not complete if we do not look at some of the best bead locking wheels we have in the market.
Some of the best bead lockers are from Method Race Wheels and Hutchinson Rock Monster D.O.T. They come in various sizes, fitment, and bolt patterns. These factors echo that you have to be careful when selecting your bead locker.
In light of the above, if you are actively involved in off-road activities, you will surely need some bead locking wheels. That is because you have to drop your tire pressure for the best traction in poor-traction environments like around sandy or muddy terrain.
What happens when you reduce tire pressure when your tire is not bead locked?
It might either slip or lose all the pressure it had. Installing a bead locker helps curb the problem as it protects you against frustration at low pressure by holding your tire in position. With bead-locked wheels, you will be able to get your off-roader past any terrain without having to worry about anything.[azonpress template=”widget” asin=”B00ZBAZ4WS”]