Standard tires and wheels depend on air pressure to keep a tire’s bead pressed firmly against the inside edge of your rim to prevent air from leaking out and to keep the rim and tire moving together with no slippage. In regular situations, maintaining a tire’s recommended air pressure is all that’s required in order to prevent the tire from wheel slippage or even popping off the rim during acceleration, braking, and aggressive cornering. It’s not uncommon to air down ones tires allowing them to gain better traction for many different terrain situations, however having too low tire pressure can be very hazardous, causing complete loss of control.
Bead lock wheels are basically a combination of two rings, the inner ring is welded to the inner part of the rim with a series of bolt wholes that line up with the outer ring which of course is applied to the outside, allowing a tires bead to be clamped down on between the two rings by the tightening of the bolts locking them in place. They are used to prevent the seal between the tire and wheel from separating when a lower than recommended tire pressure is used, under extreme loads, or during aggressive maneuvers.
Bead lock wheels will also keep your wheel from coming off if you should have a puncture during a race or on the trail and decide to keep running on it. They allow you to keep running on a flat. Bead locks are available for ATVs and UTVs, more commonly used on utv’s due to their larger size an heavier weight making them more likely to suffer from a flat tire. On sport quads you’ll see them mostly on the rear as a lower pressure tire will provide the most traction and is needed the most.
Bead lock wheels typically come with just the outer locking ring as this is were a tire most commonly rolls off. Double bead locks are available for those of you that would like to provide yourself with more than than adequate protection no matter what happens, the tire will stay on both, inner and outer bead of the wheel.
Bead lock wheel kits are available for those do it yourselfer’s out there. They come in various sizes up to 18 inches and in various material, such as steel, cast aluminium, and titanium. This is done by welding the ring from your kit to the outer lip of your standard wheel then bolting on the outer clamping ring to the aligned holes. Although some materials can be trickier than others, such as aluminum is real easy to burn up if your not that experienced. The wheels typically come with 16 to 32 bolts depnding on the size.