I should make a thread just about using Trailer wheels, I know a lot of people have done it and I'd like to hear their experiences with them. What is the deal with different beads? Why are trailer wheels different then Automotive wheels? Considering some double wheel trailers can haul 15,000lbs+ (Goose Necks for one)
The safety bead is a raised lip immediately inward from where your tire sits. What it does is keep the bead of the tire from moving inward when your tire deflates. This keeps the tire from flopping around, and keep the rubber aligned and rolling, helping you maintain control in a blowout situation. It also does a really good job protecting your wheels (keeping them from contacting the pavement). The safety beads also help keep the tires from being pushed sideways off the bead when you are cornering hard.
Safety beads are a significant safety feature, so you should really think twice about using wheels that don't have safety beads.
If pictures help, it is because of safety beads that most flat tires look like this:
instead of this:
I suspect the reason why they are optional on trailer wheels is because the trailers generally have stiffer, heavier duty tires, and are subjected to (relative) lower side loads than a car when it is cornering. They also have more controllable failures than a car, particularly if a loose tire is flopping around and binding up one of the front wheels of the car. It also could be that the trailer wheels/tires were made for running inner tubes, whereas most passenger car wheels/tires are not.
Personally, I would strongly advise you NOT
to run a wheel without a safety bead, especially since you don't have the wheels and have to buy something new anyway. For the few extra bucks that the safer wheels cost, it just isn't worth the risk.
Edited by Red92, 04 April 2012 - 07:23 PM.