Defeating the Myth:

16.5" Rims and Safety Beads

I would bet that you, like everyone else, have always been told that *no* 16.5" wheel has a safety bead to help retain the tire bead, and therefore should be avoided for off road use where low air pressure is required.

Well, they were wrong!

sixteenpointfivewheels-1.jpg (64804 bytes) sixteenpointfivewheels-2.jpg (62525 bytes)

Yes, if you look around, you will find that *some* 16.5" wheels do have a safety bead.  The rims to look for are the ones you generally overlook.  They are the stock wheels, often painted a bland white or black, with lots of backspacing, and are generally considered UGLY.

From what I have seen so far, these rims are normally around 6.5" to 7" wide, and have between 4" and 4.5" of backspacing.

Why even bring this up?  Well, for one thing, the myth about 16.5" wheels and tires means there are a lot of super deals out there to be found on the tires for these rims.  You can often find used swampers for great prices where the owner simply wants to swap to 15" wheels - just to get the safety bead feature.

But consider this:  take a set of these plain old stock wheels, add your own home-made beadlock kit (Rockstomer offers one version) and now you have a beadlocked wheel that is roughly 8" wide, has the inner safety bead just like a 15" wheel, and no need to grind or modify the brakes on that 3/4 or 1 ton front axle.

Here are just a few more pictures that should help you know what to look for.

img_1992.jpg (389578 bytes) img_1993.jpg (421089 bytes) img_1994.jpg (340612 bytes) img_1995.jpg (554284 bytes)

img_1997.jpg (497674 bytes) img_1998.jpg (338718 bytes) img_2005.jpg (363735 bytes) img_2006.jpg (340093 bytes)


This page last modified 07/10/03

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