The upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco is just begging to be taken offroad and making the Bronco even more capable requires the right wheels and tires. Big and aggressive offroad tires are just one part of the equation though. To get the most out of an offroad rig, those tires need to be aired down to create a larger contact area with the terrain. While this can be done with regular wheels, a good set of beadlocks can let you air down more reliably.
The problem with airing your tires down with standard wheels is that in certain situations where your tires see side load, the pressure can cause your tire to break the bead, which is when the tire separates from the wheel. Introducing a heavy side load is how tire shops change out your tires from the wheels. So side load is good in shops, but bad on the trails.
Additionally, because your tire is simply pressed against the surface of the wheel and held there by air pressure, there’s also the chance that your tire can spin on the rim. This creates loss of traction or could result in breaking the bead as well.
A beadlock uses a ring that locks the bead of the tire to a flat surface in the rim. Because tire pressure is no longer what is supporting the two pieces together, you no longer have to worry about the outer bead coming off the rim when you air down. Additionally, the ring doesn’t allow the tire to spin.
The new 6th Generation Ford Bronco has six lugs arranged in a 6×139.7 bolt pattern. 6×139.7 is the metric equivalent of 6×5.5 imperial measurement wheels and is by far one of the most common bolt patterns in the truck market. This is great news because that means that despite the Bronco being brand new to the streets and trails, the aftermarket wheel companies already have a huge selection of products to choose from in this bolt pattern range. We recommend 17″ and larger wheels to properly clearance the brake calipers of the Bronco.
Method Race Wheels
Method Race Wheels designs, develops and distributes high performance wheels and accessories for race and street applications. These products represent their commitment to quality, driven by the high standards of performance.
Method is a very popular brand among the offroad community and many top offroad race teams choose the company for their competition rigs. Method features forged aluminum beadlock rings with deep enough cut outs to completely recess the zinc plated grade 8 bolts that mount them to the wheels. Most Method wheels are T6 heat treated aluminum for superior strength and each wheel is features a tough 3,600 lbs load rating.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in strength and have the extra money to spend in your budget, Method also offers forged beadlock wheels. Forged wheels are CNC machined from a single block of 6061-T6 aluminum instead of the casting process used in their less expensive options. This process also saves weight, while producing a stronger wheel. Method forged beadlocks are rated for a whopping 4,000 lbs.
Method Race Wheels are available in sizes from 14″ all the way up to 20″ in both their cast and forged versions.
KMC takes what they learn from torture testing their products in some of the most demanding motorsport competitions on the planet. Their wheels are designed to not only meet the demands of multi-million dollar race teams, but also automotive and offroad enthusiasts around the globe.
Beadlock wheels from KMC have been proven to be tough and near unstoppable. KMC offers cast aluminum with a forged beadlock ring that’s both light and strong, while being ready to handle nearly anything you can throw at them.
The KMC cast beadlocks are designed to handle 2500 to 3700 lbs of load depending on which wheel you get. There are several beadlock ring styles that they offer depending on which wheel you get. Features such as weep holes in the rings allow water to drain out easily, making clean up easier. Some of the rings allow the ring bolts to sit recessed, but others have the grade 8 zinc plated hardware bolt heads very slightly exposed. Valve stem protection on the KMC is excellent.
KMC offers 17″ sizes on all their beadlocks and also offer 20″ for a limited selection of others.
Fuel Offroad Wheels
Fuel wheels offer great looks and relatively affordable prices as well. Fuel wheels are built to take on the extremely tough conditions that harsh offroad environments can offer and keep on asking for more.
Fuel offers beadlocks with a 2500 lbs load rating. Each wheel comes with forged beadlock rings that drain very well, similar to their KMC sister company. Instead of using standard hex head bolts like most other companies, Fuel uses an allen head bolt instead to attach the beadlock ring to the wheel. The design of the beadlock ring allows the allen head bolts to be completely recessed and protected from the rocks.
Fuel beadlocks are offered in 17″, 18″ and 20″ sizes and offer a variety of colors including machined, black, arthracite and bronze.
Raceline Wheels has one of the oldest and most respected names on the market and if you’ve ever been offroad or gone to any event before, you’re going to see multiple rigs running Raceline Beadlocks. The legendary Raceline Monster beadlock is the wheel that started the industry and is the most recognizable and successful beadlock wheel ever made. The Monster continues to stack up championships and podiums across all offroad racing categories, even though it was first released nearly 20 years ago.
Raceline hasn’t rested on it’s success though. In addition to supporting the offroad community through events around the country, they’ve also continually developed new products and pushed the envelope in terms of looks and strength. Raceline offers both cast and aluminum beadlocks. Each of their beadlocks offer high strength and lightweight forged aluminum rings with zinc plated grade 8 hardware.
Raceline cast aluminum beadlock wheels are constructed out of heavy duty A356 aluminum with a forged 6061 beadlock ring. US made grade 8 zinc beadlock hardware go into the wheel. The wheel itself features hardened steel PEM-nuts that along with captive washers can be replaced as needed. This use of PEM-nuts can be a better design than some other companies that machine the threads directly into the wheel, which can render the wheel useless if the threads get stripped out.
Raceline takes things a huge leap further with their forged beadlocks. Not only are they made from a single block of 6061 aluminum that is CNC machined into an eye catching and weight saving design, but Raceline locks both the inner bead, along with the commonly locked outer bead to give you the most reliable beadlock on the market today. Extreme side loads on the inner part of your wheel and tire are much less commonly seen in offroading and the standard inner bead of most wheels usually holds better in aired down situations than the outer. However, busting the inner bead can and does happen on the trails. Raceline eliminates the possibility with their innovative double beadlock design.