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A bead lock basically just holds the bead of the tire in place, normally only one side of the bead (the outside) has the bead lock on it.
 

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Like already stated, beadlock wheels help you keep your tire on the wheel. You have an outer ring that bolts to the inner ring that is on the wheel, with the tire pinched in between them. This allows you to run lower air pressure in the tires without them coming off the wheel. And like already stated, it is normally just on the outer part of the wheel, because that is the side most likely to come off.
 
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