Are Bead locks necessary?

I run 206 and KA100 and all my rims have bead lock screws, These screws seem to cause more issues than anything, leaking air, stripping out and ruining tire beads if not fully recessed. So are they necessary? Even with low pressure of 8-10 psi would the tire roll off the rim?

Probably not these days with how stiff the sidewalls have gotten, how hard the tires have gotten, and in those two lower HP classes.

I would run them still in X30 because the weight, power, and softer tire for sure can rip the tire off the bead.

Couple key tips to keep them from giving issues:

  • Always moisten the o-ring before reinstalling. Could be with Simple Green/Soap or spit. That helps keep the o-ring from tearing and leaking.

  • Get a long screwdriver Allen wrench with a ball end for that kind of bead lock so you don’t overtighten or strip the head out. Or just get OTK style ones you can screw in by hand.

Those are the only two issues I’ve ever had with bead locks and I haven’t had any real issues in a long time.

Yes, I refer to bead locks as leakers! But you can’t find a 2-cycle wheel without them.

I upgraded all my beadlock o-rings to viton and they last much longer.

Douglas spun aluminum rims don’t have bead lock screws, however, I usually only see these used for rain tires.

I have short ones for our OTK Rookie kart. They look the same but do not stick out past the inside of the wheel. Makes tire changes much faster.

I find the biggest issue with bead locks is they get over-tightened, and it ruins the oring. This is most prevalent with the Douglas or other similar style that take an allen key or other tool to screw them in.

Just put the OTK bead locks on everything, and you’ll almost never have this problem because it’s much easier to feel when they’re snug.

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