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Thread: To Bead or not to Bead

  1. #1
    Caught the Bug StormTrooper_JK's Avatar
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    To Bead or not to Bead

    Hopefully Iíve gone about this the right way, itís my first post on here.

    Iím looking for input on the purchase of beadlocks. If I do make the leap, Iíve settled on Raceline Monsters for my 2012 JKU. I do 7-10 legit trails a year and have been off-roading since I purchased my Jeep new in 2012. Iíve only ever peeled a bead one time and after I moved forward it seated back up and I moved on without any issues.

    I currently run 20Ē wheels with 37Ē Cooper STTs on stock Dana 44ís. Iíve Artec trussed and gusseted the front end and nothing in the rear. I run Evoís Enforcer Pro coilover suspension with Currie lower control arms.

    I donít know that I NEED beadlocks but I feel like I want them and Iím seriously agonizing over it. I do prefer wheeling in remote areas so I know thereís a risk of something really going wrong. Any input would be appreciated.


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  2. #2
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    To Bead or not to Bead

    I think the issue for you is whether to stay with 20Ē wheels or go to a 17Ē wheel. I would recommend the 17Ē wheel, as there are more tire choices and also you have more sidewall to flex when you air down, which is the point of beadlocks to begin with.

    Another consideration is backspacing. I donít know what it is on the racelines, but I would think youíd want something in the range of 3.5Ē (eg Slabs) to 4Ē (eg chamber Pro IIs).

    In terms of ďrisks of things going wrong,Ē Iím not sure there are any greater risks than with a standard wheel. Iíve been running my chamber Pro IIs for several years both on and off road and they have been flawless. Check the rings bolts every few months and youíre good to go.

    One thing that is a bit of a hassle though is that many tire shops wonít touch beadlocks. So donít plan on having your neighborhood chain tire place mount and balance them for you.
    Last edited by fiend; 07-09-2018 at 05:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Caught the Bug StormTrooper_JK's Avatar
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    I appreciate the input. Iím very happy with the Coops but they are pricey in a 20Ē wheel and correct on the backspacing, has to be 3.5Ē or less. Raceline does have something that will work.

    I usually air down to about 14 and do have less sidewall which is something Iíve been concerned about but been lucky so far.

    Only 2 places in Reno Iíve found will touch them which is also a concern, especially if Iím out of town and needing any possible repairs.


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  4. #4
    Nothing but a Thing
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    In my opinion, I don't feel they are worth it personally. I play mostly in rocks, and have only unseated a bead once as well, and that was because I used my hydro to push away from a rock. It's easy enough to reseat a bead with anything flammable and a mallet anyway. I'm a bit biased though as any beadlock wheel is $500+ each, and illegal here.

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  5. #5
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree with the 17" recommendation but even more to the point, if you've been good so far without bead locks, I might recommend that you just stick with a non beadlock wheel as they are a hell of a lot cheaper, can be installed by a shop anywhere and for cheap and you won't have any issues getting them balanced.

  6. #6
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKDream View Post
    In my opinion, I don't feel they are worth it personally. I play mostly in rocks, and have only unseated a bead once as well, and that was because I used my hydro to push away from a rock. It's easy enough to reseat a bead with anything flammable and a mallet anyway. I'm a bit biased though as any beadlock wheel is $500+ each, and illegal here.

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    Also note that, on most beadlocks, only the outer bead is locked by a ring. You can still roll the inner bead even with beadlocks. Itís happened to me twice. Easy to re-seat with CO2, but probably not with a compressor.

  7. #7
    Old Timer TrailHunter's Avatar
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    In addition to locking the bead.... the other main benefit is that the ring takes all the beating as you slide through rocks.

  8. #8
    Addict jesse3638's Avatar
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    I have Raceline Monsters in a 17x9-4" back spacing. I've been happy them. I went with beadlocks because I like the look and wanted them more than anything. I knew if I purchased non bead locks I'd end up buying them later and costing me more money in the long run...haha. I go down to 10-12 on 35x12.50 km2's. Wish the aluminum ring was available when I got them as the ring bolts sit slightly recessed offering more protection.

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  9. #9
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiend View Post
    Also note that, on most beadlocks, only the outer bead is locked by a ring. You can still roll the inner bead even with beadlocks. Itís happened to me twice. Easy to re-seat with CO2, but probably not with a compressor.
    I e used my cheap viair to seat the inside bead every time Iíve changed tires. No issues.


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  10. #10
    Old Timer fiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlanderJK View Post
    I e used my cheap viair to seat the inside bead every time Iíve changed tires. No issues.


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    That viair must be pretty baddass.

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