I did a lot of research on wheels, and my decision aligns with my goal of keeping weight down, and not going overboard. My needs are different now that I’m doing less rock crawling and more overlanding. Yes, I need to air down when I go offroad. But I don’t have to air down as much as serious rock crawlers do. I usually take my tires down to 15 PSI, but I’ve always wanted to go lower. Not a lot lower, but to 10-12 PSI.
I looked into beadlocks, but learned pretty quickly that the only ones that are DOT approved weigh more. Not a little more….a LOT more. I’m talking 45-55 pounds. That’s a significant amount of rotating weight. I know wheel weight is not as important as tire weight, but it is still important. So beadlocks are out of the question, for me, since this is my daily driver, and I do a lot of cross country trips.
So I scratched beadlocks off my list. I wrestled with wheels that had deeper bead grooves, but they didn’t make much sense. After a few weeks I started to give up. Then a buddy FYI’d me about the ICON Rebound Pro. They’re not technically beadlocks, rather they’re more like bead retainers. They’re fully DOT compliant and they weigh 32 pounds.
Of the DOT approved beadlock offerings, weight varies but all are heavier. Hutchinson lists at 35.6 pounds, which isn’t too bad. Traction Off Road lists at 48 pounds. Both of these are designed to lock both beads, so not too surprised. The problem with these options isn’t just that they’re heavier, they also require a lot more work when mounting/unmounting tires.
One thing I thought about was rim damage. Traditional beadlocks have a replaceable ring, which is cool and all, but, not DOT approved. I’m not risking being stopped and cited for driving on highways with offroad-only wheels. Not only would that be costly, it would also be a huge inconvenience. Why spend money on wheels that you can only use until you get caught?
I looked at the Teraflex Nomad, and I love the built in air-down option. I also love that they sell rim protectors, full ring or even partial ring, and in different colors. However there were some concerns. For example anyone can walk over to your car and with a simple twist, your tires are down to whatever you set the valve to. I’ve also heard that some people found their air down valve came completely off when they were airing down. Nope. Not for me.
I want to secure my bead, but I want DOT approved, and I want the lowest weight of all beadlock options. So I decided to go with the ICON Rebound Pro. They’re DOT approved, and they’re light. The company picks up the phone, which to me is a huge plus. The outer rim edge is much thicker than standard wheels, so while they might get scratched up, it would take catastrophic impact to break them.
I like to go to 4WP, even if they’re 100+ miles from home. They have 90+ locations, they always have stock, and they hire very experienced techs and sales people. They’ve always done a top notch job on my Jeeps.
Side note, I love how the wheel looks when I’m backing up. I’m going to see if I can extend the camera out a bit, since the backspacing cuts the downward view a bit.