BEADLOCK WHEELS BUYER’S GUIDE
After the invention of the rubber tire, the single most important change made to the wheel was the addition of the beadlock. It came out of necessity when racers pushed the limits of tire durability and holding strength. What a beadlock does is clamp the outer bead of the tire (or both beads) solidly to the wheel. It does this by providing a smooth resting place for the inside of the bead, then bolting a thin flat ring on the outer portion of the tire’s bead directly to the wheel.
Racers and trail riders alike rely on beadlocks to keep their tires from rolling off the bead in hard cornering situations. If you are trying to gain more traction by running lower air pressure, a beadlock is even more important. Also, if you do suffer a puncture, a beadlock will keep your tire from dismounting itself in the event that you keep driving on it. Most beadlock wheels are built with only an outer locking ring and will hold tires on in most instances. However, double beadlocks are available for those cases where extra insurance is needed.
Heavier UTVs are in bigger need of beadlock wheels, as they do typically suffer more flats, and the weight transfer these machines produce is incredible. Typically on sport quads you will find racers only running beadlocks on the rear end. Again, this is where weight transfer is greater and the need to run lower tire pressures is more prevalent. The following is a look at all of the beadlock wheels made specifically for sport quads, 4x4s and UTVs.
Fuse DIY kit
Did you know you could actually build your own beadlock wheel? Well, if you have a 10- or 12-inch steel wheel and use the DYI kit from Fuse Powersports, it is possible. The kit is a weld-on piece, with complete step-by-step instructions that even an amateur welder could perform. When you are done with the install, you can paint them any color you wish. We featured the Fuse DYI kit in an issue last year, making a Polaris Sportsman look and work great. Priced at $199 to equip all four wheels.
DWT G2 DWT Rok N Lock DWT Diablo
DWT Sector DWT Ultimate
(800) RACERIM, www.dwtracing.com
The biggest news out of DWT these days is that they have moved their wheel-making operation back to the United States. They also have a new 12-ply run-flat tire that is worth noting. In the beadlock world, DWT sells race packages (with tires and wheels) for sport quads. The spun-aluminum G2 wheels can be ordered with a single or double beadlock.
For 12- and 14-inch sizes, DWT has four options to choose from. The top of the line is the three-piece Sector wheel. If any section of the wheel gets damaged, parts are available to fix it yourself. The Rok N Lock wheel has a tight center section to prevent rocks from entering the inside of your wheels and getting hung up on your brake caliper during close-quarters racing. The U2 wheel is a lighter-weight, spun-aluminum wheel for sand-dune riding or light trail use. Finally, the Diablo is a low-cost cast wheel available in a machined or matte-black finish.
GMZ builds their own custom wheel and sources the beadlock from OMF. It’s available in 12- and 14-inch sizes called the LiteLoc. The beadlock itself not only sandwiches the tire’s bead, it covers the edge, which makes for easier wheel-washing. The LiteLoc comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.
HIPER CF1 HIPER Tech 3 HIPER Sidewinder
It’s been over a decade since Hiper Technology gave us the carbon fiber ATV wheel. To this day still, no one has attempted to compete with them in this market with a similar product. Hiper doesn’t claim their carbon fiber is dramatically lighter than aluminum, but they do say it is three to four times stronger, which is impressive.
Racers have been relying on Hiper’s Tech 3 wheel for years, and trail riders have their own version, the original CF1 wheel. Utility customers can have their choice in a 12- or 14-inch wheel called the Sidewinder. It and the Tech 3 have a modular design, so the offset possibilities are endless. The Hiper wheels are all black; however, you can have machined or powdercoated center sections and colored outside rings.
ITP Track Lock ITP SD
(909) 390-1905, www.itptires.com
ITP has always been strong in the ATV tire and wheel business. For sport quad riders, ITP has two choices of T-9 beadlock wheels. The Pro Lock uses a stronger rolled-edge wheel perfect for high-speed or tough, rocky conditions. The lighter Track Lock has smaller hardware to save weight and precision-formed outer rings that can be colored to match your theme.
For the utility world, ITP has the T-7 beadlock. It’s a one-piece, strong, aluminum wheel with a standard polished outer ring. Red, blue and black colors are available as well. Sizes include 7 inches wide by 12 and 14 inches tall.
(800) 734-4890, www.cocomponents.com
MSA got its start in the wheel business outfitting high-end sports cars. That was until they realized ATVs are much cooler. Their M16 Vise wheel is available in 12–14-inch sizing. What’s unique on this wheel is that the center cap is actually bolted on to the wheel. The rings can be ordered in a variety of color choices as well. MSA is also in the middle of developing a 15-inch wheel that will be named the M21 Lok, which will be available later this summer.
OMF Billet Center
OMF Billet Center
OMF Superlight Ring OMF Douglas wheel
OMF Performance is a beadlock company. They can actually outfit almost any brand ATV or truck wheel you have.The highlight of their wheel line is the fully adjustable billet-center wheel for sport quads and utility machines from 8–15 inches. For all wheels, OMF has a ton of beadlock design options, including a cauliflower pattern and a superlight ring with water drainage.
Raceline can be a one-stop shop for wheels. In addition to a huge variety of truck and SUV wheels, they have a substantial wheel line for utility ATVs and UTVs, including one beadlock. That wheel is called the A71-Mamba and is available in 7×12- or 14-inch sizing. Unique to Raceline is that they have two sets of clamping holes drilled into their wheels. If fasteners break off or get stripped out, you have a second option.
STI HD STI Pro Lite
STI offers a high-quality option for all sport quads, utilities and UTV. For the sport riders, front or rear beadlocks are available in the Pro-Lite lineup. They are available with a black or machined finish. They are made from a light .170-wall aluminum with stainless-lug inserts that should never wear out. To lock the outer ring in place, STI uses small Allen-head fasteners for even more weight savings.
The larger-utility and SxS wheels also feature a single outer beadlock with weight savings in mind. This beadlock design features an inner lip that covers the edge of the tire’s bead and not just the side, so clean-up time is quicker after your ride. The HD Alloy is available in 12- and 14-inch sizes with a machined or black Slik Kote finish.