The wheels that you put on your ride are important for many reasons. They provide an enormous amount of style, of course. However, they also play a role in handling and performance and even in the cost of purchasing tires for your vehicle. Choosing the right wheels will require that you know several things ahead of time. You will have several options available, but not all types of wheels provide the same benefits.
Style – The style of your wheels will dictate many things. For instance, if you want to install low profile tires on your vehicle, you will need wheels that can accommodate these types of tires. Usually, larger wheels are the most sought after, including 22-inch wheels and even larger options. Larger wheels and low profile tires make your vehicle handle very differently than using stock wheels. For instance, larger wheels often make the ride much harsher, communicating bumps and rough road surfaces directly to the cabin.
You will also find knockoff wheels based on racing designs. These are usually not as large as those used for low profile tires are and often have different spoke designs. Some race-inspired wheels are solid, using circular cutouts to dissipate heat, rather than the spoke design of other types.
Size – The size of your wheels will, of course, dictate what type of tires you use. However, it will also dictate things like performance, handling and the accuracy of your odometer and speedometer. In order to use large wheels without throwing off your instruments significantly, you will need to calculate the correct tire height to use. Usually, a shorter tire is used in conjunction with a larger wheel to keep the ratio within tolerance range.
Construction Materials – You will find several materials used to manufacture wheels. Steel and aluminum are the two most common, though there are other metals used. Aluminum wheels are the most commonly used for stylistic reasons, though steel wheels offer a more affordable option. Aluminum is lightweight and strong, though if aluminum rims are damaged, you will most likely have to purchase new ones. If a steel wheel is damaged, they can often be repaired. Of course, steel wheels do not look as good as aluminum ones do.
Making the right choice in wheels is vital for many reasons. Only with the right purchase will you be able to get the style that you want, the performance that you need and the durability you want.