When it comes to hard launches and low tire pressures, de-beading a tire from the wheel becomes a significant concern. Not only does a tire that spins on the wheel mean lost power that would otherwise be put to the ground, but it also often means an instant flat tire. That presents a serious safety issue as a car may get out of control on one drive wheel.
Solutions to the problem of bead security have grown over the years. Wheel manufacturers at the forefront of this technology, like Weld Wheels, have categorized the options for your convenience. Whether you make the decision of what’s right for you based on your budget or have no choice because of your racing sanctioning body, Weld spells out the different options.
On the budget/DIY side of the spectrum are rim-screws. Just like they sound, rim screws are installed by the handy enthusiast with a drill. By mechanically engaging the bead and fastening it to the wheel in multiple locations rim-screws prevent the tire from spinning on the wheel and creating the aforementioned problems.
Stepping up in budget, but also security, are traditional bead-lock wheels. Rather than the bead of the tire being contained by the bead of the wheel, tires can be installed on bead lock wheels without a tire mounting machine. The bead of the tire is clamped by an outer ring and hardware, preventing any slippage along the wheel. Bead locks are the most common and preferred method of making sure your beads stay put. They are available in single- and double-sided bead locks.
The last technique for engaging the tire bead is a Weld innovation. By the use of carefully placed and machined knurling inside the bead of the wheel, the tire has a surface on which to grip. While this isn’t a mechanical solution for hard-core racing, it presents added protection over a conventional wheel.
Whatever bead-locking solution you choose to go with be sure to check with your race sanctioning body for tech legality.