True Beadlock Rings For RRW Hybrid Wheels – Install & Review

RRW True Beadlock Rings - Raw Billet Aluminum

True Beadlock Rings For Relations Race Wheels (RRW) Hybrid Wheels In Machined Aluminum

When it comes to off-roading, having the right equipment can make all the difference. One piece of equipment that can greatly enhance a vehicle’s capabilities is beadlock wheels. RRW offers a unique approach and lets you choose between faux-beadlock protection rings for aesthetics, or true beadlock rings, which we’ll be taking a look at below.

Beadlock wheels are designed to keep the tire bead securely fastened to the rim, even in the most extreme off-road conditions. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of beadlock wheels and why they’re a worthwhile investment for any serious off-roader.

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What Is A Beadlock Wheel?

Relations Race Wheels True Beadlock Rings - Raw Aluminum

A beadlock wheel is a type of wheel commonly used in off-road vehicles, particularly in activities such as rock crawling or desert racing. It is designed to keep the tire securely mounted on the wheel, even at extremely low tire pressures.

The term “beadlock” refers to a mechanical locking mechanism that secures the tire bead (the inner edge of the tire) to the wheel rim. This typically comprises an outer rim (beadlock ring) and an inner rim (on the wheel), with the tire lip sandwiched in between.

The beadlock ring features a series of bolts or clamps that apply pressure to the tire bead, effectively clamping it against both the inner and outer rim of the wheel. This mechanical clamping mechanism prevents the tire from dislodging or “unseating” from the wheel, even under extreme conditions.

In contrast, a standard wheel holds the tire in place by the air pressure inside it, which presses the tire bead against the wheel rim.

What Are Hybrid Wheels?

Machined Aluminum RRW True Beadlock Rings

There are many wheel manufacturers out there who offer beadlock wheels. When I saw the Relation Race Wheels RR7-H for the first time, I knew these were the ones for me! These are hybrid wheels. This means you can run them in either beadlock or non-beadlock configurations.

In addition to true beadlock rings, RRW offers what they call protection rings. These rings protect the rims from trail damage or curb rash without the downsides to true beadlocks such as weight and off-road-only designation, which is pretty rad! Check out this post – New RRW Protection Ring Review.

I previously had the RRW protection rings and they definitely did their job, protecting my wheels from trail damage a couple of times. I bent one of them pretty bad but was able to bring it back to shape with a hammer. As soon as RRW released the true beadlock rings, I knew I had to get them!

Beadlock Wheel Benefits

Machined Aluminum Beadlock Rings - RRW RR7-H Bronze

Beadlock wheels are a popular choice for off-road enthusiasts who want increased performance and durability for their vehicles. They are specifically designed to provide unmatched off-road performance compared to standard wheels.

Here are some of their features:

  • Beadlock Ring: The most significant difference between beadlock and normal alloy wheels is the beadlock ring. Beadlock wheels have a separate ring that wraps around the outer lip of the wheel and clamps down on the tire bead, keeping it from coming off the rim during extreme off-road driving. Normal wheels, on the other hand, do not have this feature.
  • Durability: Beadlock wheels are generally more durable than normal alloy wheels because they are designed to withstand the rigors of off-road driving. They are often made from materials such as aluminum alloy or steel, which are more resistant to damage.
  • Lower Tire Pressure: Beadlock wheels allow for lower tire pressure, even down to almost 0 PSI. This improves off-road traction and reduces the risk of tire damage from sharp rocks or obstacles. Normal wheels can’t typically be aired down to anywhere near this low.
  • Customizable Finish: Beadlock wheels come in a variety of finishes, including painted, polished, or powder-coated, and can be customized to match the look of your vehicle.
  • Increased Traction: Because the beadlock ring clamps down on the tire bead, beadlock wheels provide increased tire grip compared to standard wheels. This allows for better traction and performance in off-road conditions.
  • Protection: The beadlock rings also offer a great deal of protection against rocks, logs, and uneven terrain while offroading. They also protect your rims from any curb rashes/scratches on the road.

There is one main con to beadlock wheels in the form of maintenance. Beadlock wheels require special installation and maintenance procedures to ensure proper function and safety, including periodic retightening of the beadlock ring bolts.

Installation

Installing RRW True Beadlock Rings - How To Mount Beadlock Rings

Required Tools

  • 13 mm Socket
  • 1/2” Ratchet or Impact
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Soapy Water Spray Bottle
  • Torque Wrench
  • Anti-Seize
  • Tire Prying bar

I decided to seek assistance from professionals for the installation process. This decision was influenced by the fact that I had been using non-beadlock tires for some time. I was aware that breaking the bead and placing it on top of the rim would be challenging without a tire machine.

Additionally, since I will be adding a beadlock ring to the existing setup, the rims will need to be rebalanced. Considering all these factors, it made sense to entrust this project to a professional off-roading shop.

Step 1. Remove Protection Ring (If Applicable)

Installing Beadlock Rings On RRW Hybrid Wheels

With the wheels removed from your vehicle, use a 13mm socket to undo all the bolts from the protection rings if you have some installed.

Step 2. Deflate Tire & Break Bead

Beadlock Rings Install Guide

Remove the valve stem to deflate all the air from the tires. This will also help in breaking the bead. Now is a good time to inspect your tires for any issues.

Step 3. Seat The Bead

How To Seat Tire Bead

This was the most challenging part of the whole installation. Spray the whole circumference of the tire with a lubricant and carefully maneuver the tire bead over the lip of the wheel. Apply pressure at one end and beat it with the rubber mallet until it sits perfectly under the lip of the wheel. Patience is your friend here, take your time and it will eventually fall into place. I was also told by the shop members that this step is easier with brand-new tires.

Step 4. Install Beadlock Spacer

RRW Beadlock Ring Spacers For Thicker Bead Tires

I’m running Yokohama Geolander G003 M/Ts and I knew these have a thicker bead. Without the spacers, there was a gap between the tire and the beadlock ring. To address that, I used beadlock spacers on top of the bead. I went with the 5mm option for my setup.

Step 5. Install Beadlock Ring

Installing RRW Beadlock Rings

Next, install the beadlock ring on top of the spacer. Make sure that the ring is centered properly. Tighten the bolts (use anti-seize on each) that secure the ring to the wheel in a star pattern to ensure that the ring is evenly tightened. For the first round, the bolts were torqued to 7 ft/lbs. For the second pass, we used the final torque spec of 14 ft/lbs.

Step 6. Inflate Tire

Yokohama G003 Geolandar Tire With RRW Beadlock Wheels & Rings

Inflate the tire to the recommended pressure or as per your setup.

Step 7. Check For Air Leaks

Installing True Beadlock Wheels - Checking For Air Leaks

After all the bolts are torqued, spray the whole circumference of the beadlock ring with soapy water and check for any air leaks.

Step 8. Balancing

Balancing Beadlock Wheels

If there are no air leaks, the next step will be to balance your wheels. This helps avoid any vibrations on the road and for a smooth and safe driving setup. Repeat the above steps for all the wheels.

Step 9. Mount Wheels

Yokohama Geolandar MT Tires With Machined Aluminum Beadlock Rings & Bronze Wheels On White 5th Gen 4Runner

Install the new beadlock wheels onto your vehicle, making sure to tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification.

It’s important to note that the installation process for beadlock wheels can vary depending on the specific make and model of the wheels. Always refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions for specific guidance on installing your particular set of beadlock wheels.

Final Thoughts

Lifted White 5th Gen 4Runner With Machined Aluminum Beadlock Rings & Black Bolts On RRW RR7-H Bronze Wheels

If you want to push the capabilities of your rig, you should definitely look into beadlock wheels. What sets Relation Race Wheels apart from the rest of the brands is its hybrid wheel lineup. You can run them as a standard wheel to start and upgrade down the road if desired.

Overall, the key differences between beadlock and normal wheels relate to their intended use and design. Beadlock wheels are specifically designed for off-road use only, while normal wheels are designed for general on-road use.

If you are planning to do a lot of off-roading that requires extremely low pressure, beadlock wheels may be a better choice. However, if you primarily use your vehicle for on-road driving or light trail runs, normal wheels are the more practical and cost-effective option.

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Raimie
Raimie
9 months ago

Good article! Helpful info.

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