How Beadlocks Work, Types, Benefits and Disadvantages for ATV

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ATVs have two types of tires, the ordinary and the Beadlock ones. Ordinary tires can drive through rough terrain. However, they risk de-beading. It occurs when a tire comes from its rim due to low traction. They depend on the pressure of the wheels to enable them to stick to the vehicle’s wheel.

However, Beadlock wheels enable you to drive without the tires coming off. You can lower the wheel pressure hence increasing its traction. The wheel can withstand harsh climatic conditions, including mud. In addition, it enables you to drive through rocks, branches, and other debris without a challenge.

This article will discuss how Beadlocks work. Also, it will detail the advantages and disadvantages of the wheels. Read on and learn about these incredible wheels.

How Beadlocks Work For Your ATV Tire

Beadlock wheels clamp the beads of the ATV tire to your vehicle’s wheel. The manufactures fix the beads between the outer and inner rings and tighten them using bolts.

When driving through rough terrain, it is best to lower your tires pressure to the lowest level. Doing so enables you to drive without the wheels coming off.


When you inflate the tire, the pressure forces the beads against the rim of the vehicle. It results in your tire sticking to your wheel and enabling them to rotate together.

Tightening the Beadlock beads enables you to drive through mud and rocks at low pressure. It is due to the traction and floatation that your Beadlock wheel provides.

The beads and bolts hold the wheel in a secure position enabling you to transverse through different terrains.

How low pressure affects ordinary ATV wheels

ATVs are lightweight when you compare them to other vehicles. Their wheels are stiff, enabling you to drive at low pressure while on the road.
However, you cannot drive an ATV that has low wheel pressure in rough terrain. A terrain that has rocks, big jumps can make the ordinary wheels come off.

The reason for that is that ordinary wheels use their wheel pressure to secure the tire. It makes an air-tight seal that locks the tire onto the wheel. Therefore, air pressure causes friction that clamps the ATV tire to its wheel, preventing it from coming off.

However, the air-tight seal loosens when you lower the pressure to pass through the rough terrain. It makes it easy for the wheel to detach and spin away. Thus, ordinary wheels are not an excellent choice for your ATV when driving offroad.

Types of ATV Beadlocks

There are varying types of ATV Beadlocks available worldwide. However, it is best to consider your budget, preference, and ATV. The following are some types of Beadlocks that you can consider.

how beadlocks work

  • Outer Clamp-on

Outer clamp-on is one of the best Beadlocks for your vehicle. It has a Beadlock ring and a rim with holes to fix the screws and secure the wheel.
Different wheels have varying numbers of bolts. For instance, some outer clamp-on have 18 bolts, and others have as many as 40 bolts. The more the bolts, the more secure the wheel to the ATV.

The wheels have a stepped clamp ring. Also, they have a knurled machine surface preventing the wheel from spinning. The thicker the clamping ring, the better the contact with debris and rocks on the terrain.In addition, it is best to replace the rings and bolts if they wear off. They are easy to install and dismount when you want to clean them.

  • Double Inner Beadlock

Double inner Beadlocks hold the outer and inner beads in position. They have a dual Beadlock system to reinforce the security of the wheels. In addition, they have a system that enables them to run on low air pressure through rough terrains.

The wheels have an aluminum donut that supports its tires beads against debris. They hold rings and offer maximum wheel security preventing the wheels from spinning.

  • Single Inner Clamp

The single inner clamp has a single Beadlock system that holds the wheels in position. The wheels hardware is an excellent choice for your ATV. Their hardware is away from debris on the terrain enabling you to drive on low air pressure for a while.

What are the advantages of Beadlock ATV wheels?

Before you buy Beadlock wheels, understanding their benefits over the ordinary wheels is vital. The following are a number of the advantages of investing in the wheels.

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  • Excellent for Offroad Driving

Beadlock wheels are excellent for offroad driving. Since the road has sand, mud, rocks, and even snow, it requires a wheel with excellent traction. When driving through such rough terrain, it is best to lower the wheels’ air pressure.

When you lower the pressure of ordinary wheels when driving through debris, they will de-bead. However, Beadlock wheels enable you to drive on low pressure without the wheel spinning. It ensures it clamps the outer and inner ring and holds the wheels in a secure position.

Lowering the pressure increases the wheels’ surface area on the ground. It increases its flotation and also its traction, enabling it to drive through the terrain. It also minimizes the threat of a rock puncturing your wheel due to its flex.

However, it is best to lower the wheel pressure when driving at low speed. When you drive at high speed while under low pressure, you risk losing control of the vehicle. It could result in a fatal accident.

Also, driving your ATV with Beadlock wheels gives you a comfortable feel. They bounce on rocks and bumps, enabling you to have better control of your vehicle.

  • Beadlock Wheels Aid when Quad Racing

Quad racing is a great activity among ATV riders. However, to participate in the race, you need your wheels to stay in position the entire time.
Beadlock wheels provide just that! When quad racing, Beadlock wheels prevents your wheel from spinning when you dump the clutch.
They enable you to drive at low pressure while holding the wheel in position. It prevents the wheels from dismounting when accelerating or decelerating.

  • Beadlock Wheels are Attractive

Beadlock wheels look great on your ATV. The looks enable them to stand out from the ordinary ones. Some manufactures are producing wheels that look like Beadlock wheels due to the looks. However, those made to appear like them do not perform as the Beadlocks do.
In addition, the wheels come in different colors. Therefore, you can match the color of your wheel to your ATV. Hence, making the vehicle stand out and look attractive.

  • Great Wheels for Drag-Racing

Beadlock wheels are excellent for drag racing. The race happens in rough terrain, and you need steady and secure wheels to pull through.
Beadlock wheels have a low risk of puncturing, making them an excellent choice. The ability to drive with them on low pressure prevents spinning. They enable you to have a comfortable race when driving through rough terrains. In addition, they allow you to operate even when you have a puncture.

  • Beadlock Wheels are Easy to Mount

You do not need complex machinery or a professional to mount your Beadlock wheels. It is vital to remove the ring and clean its bolt holes before mounting. You can use the user manual to help you with mounting the wheel. Alternatively, you can view youtube tutorials for easy mounting.

Disadvantages of Beadlocks

Anything that has advantages also has disadvantages, right? Even though they are excellent for rough terrains, not everyone with an ATV has them. Why is that? The following are the disadvantages of Beadlocks.
They do not balance evenly

Beadlock wheel balancing is not easy. It vibrates while moving through the terrain, making it hard to balance for a steady ride.
In addition, the wheels get stones and dirt trapped on the rings slowing down your speed. Also, it is best to avoid over-tightening the bolts as they could damage the wheel.

  • Beadlock Wheels are Expensive

Due to the high-quality materials that manufacturers use, Beadlock wheels are expensive. The majority of them cost twice or thrice the cost of an ordinary ATV wheel.

Therefore, due to the high cost, some ATV owners opt for ordinary wheels. The complexity of the manufacturing process also contributes to the high price.

  • They are heavy

Beadlock wheels are heavy when you compare them to ordinary wheels. They have rings on their outer and inner parts, clamped together with bolts. Their weight affects the acceleration, handling, and deceleration of the vehicle.

  • Requires Constant Maintainance

Unlike ordinary ATV wheels, Beadlocks require constant maintenance to function effectively. Before using an ATV with Beadlock wheels, it is best to check if the beads are well tightened.

Therefore, it is best to tighten loose ones to prevent them from coming off. Otherwise, you could lose all the bolts.

To maintain the wheels for a long time, consider removing the wheel once in a while. Then, it would be best to remove any debris stuck on the rings and wash the tire. It enables you to remove debris that gets stuck on the rings and slow down your ATV. Finally, you can install the wheel back to its position.


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