Wheels 101: All You Need to Know
.…Continue readingWheels 101: All You Need to Know

If you think your tires are not that important and your wheel set only contributes to the look of your car you are quite wrong.

Depending on the type of material, coating and other factors your wheelset can affect your fuel economy, speed, stability and so much more.  Below we discuss all you need to know before picking up your next set of wheels.

Can Rim and Wheel be used Interchangeably?

I’ve seen many people use these two words like they mean the same thing. They don’t.

The wheel is the entire thing while the rim is the outer lip.

What are the types of Rims?

There are 3 main types of Rims.

Safety Rims

These are the main type of rims you’ll find with many wheels on vehicles today. They are usually shaped in such a way that they have bumps that extend inwards.

Split Rims

Split rims are quite popular with heavy duty vehicles like forklifts and tractors. The tyres are held in place by a lock or side ring.

These types of wheels are quite dangerous and usually categorized as an explosion risk.

Beadlock Rims

This type of rim is actually the most unique and mostly used for off-road adventures. The tyre is usually clamped on to the rim physically. If your tyre were to get underinflated or have low pressure, the tyre wouldn’t come off unlike in other type of rims.

What Type of Materials Are Used to Make Wheels?

There are 3 main types of material. The main things that need to be considered when picking up your wheels and tyres include price, weight and how your wheel set affects the rest of the vehicle.

Steel Wheels

Steelies as they are known among enthusiasts are the most common type of wheels in the market today. They are relatively cheap but is also the heaviest type out there.

Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels are also quite common nowadays due to its lightweight feature. This type of wheel is made using multiple metal alloys with aluminium as the primary. Aluminium has a high strength to weight ratio. Alloy wheels costs more than steelies.

Carbon Fibre Wheels

Carbon Fibre wheels are the premium choice. They are expensive but the price is justified by the looks and lightweight. Performance cars usually sport carbon fibre wheels.

How Are Wheels Made?

Wheels are made using 2 main processes, 

Pressed Metal Sheet: This method is used to make Steel Wheels.

Forged or Cast Wheels: Forging or casting is used to make alloy wheels. Forged is when the wheel is shaped from a solid block while casting refers to the process of using a mould and liquid metal.

What Are the Types of Wheel Finishes?

Since corrosion is quite evident with bare metal, all wheels have a finish. This is to give the look and shine as well.

The three types of coating used are Chrome Platin, Powder Coating and Clear Coating. Chrome coating is quite popular and is also the norm giving the wheel a shiny look. Powder coating on the other hand allows the wheel to sport bright colours.

Clean coating refers to a polished metal look. The bare metal is exposed with a clear coating to prevent corrosion.

This is just a quick guide on what you need to consider when picking your next wheel set. Look into more details about each of these criteria before making a decision.

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