Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Wheels and Tires
December 2, 2020
Picking out the right set of aftermarket wheels and tires can be one of the biggest improvements you can do to any vehicle.
However, there are a lot of aspects we need to look at before you decide which setup you're going to run. Here's a quick guide for what you need to know before buying a set of wheels and tires.
Types of Wheels
- Cast Wheels
The most common type of wheel and also usually the least-expensive, cast wheels are created using molds where the aluminum is poured in and uses gravity or pressure to form the final product.
Pros of Cast Wheels
- Low Cost
- Simple Construction
Cons of Cast Wheels
- Not as strong as other wheel types
- Usually heavier than other wheel types
- Rotary Forged
These wheels still feature a cast face but after the aluminum is poured into the mold, a high amount of heat and pressure are used along with rollers that draw out the aluminum to create the barrel of the wheel.
This means that the wheel now has a forged barrel that allows the wheel to have less weight and stronger construction.
Pros of Rotary Forged Wheels
- Lower cost than Forged wheels
- Strong construction
Cons of Rotary Forged Wheels
- Not as strong or exclusive as forged wheels
- Forged Wheels
Forged wheels are the strongest and most customizable wheels on the market. This usually comes with a higher price point but a pretty huge difference in build quality.
Forged wheels also allow the manufacturer to create a lot of unique designs that cast or rotary forged wheels aren't able to achieve.
Pros of Forged Wheels
- The strongest type of wheel
- Most Customization
- The highest level of build quality
Cons of Forged Wheels
When it comes to finding wheels that fit your vehicle, the bolt pattern is arguably the most important part.
The bolt pattern is the measurement between your wheel studs. You have to make sure that the wheels you're picking out have the same bolt pattern as your factory wheels, otherwise, you'll end up needing adapters.
Find your bolt pattern by clicking the button!
There are three main components you need to look at when it comes to wheel sizing.
The diameter is exactly what it sounds like. This is the diameter of the face of the wheel. So when you hear someone talk about their wheels being 18 inches, they're referring to the diameter of the wheel.
When looking at sizes in our store, the diameter is the first number that shows up. We'll use a wheel that is 18x8.5 +35 for an example. The first number is the diameter of the wheel, in this case, it's 18 inches.
The next measurement is the width of the wheel. Again, exactly how it sounds, this is the distance between the outer lip and inner lip of the wheel.
Like the example above, this would be the second number in the size. The width of the wheel in this case would be 8.5 inches.
Finally, we have offset. This one can be a little confusing but lucky we have an entire blog based around understanding offset. Click the button below to check it out!
The most important part of any build. Picking the right tire can make all the difference in the way your vehicle performs.
We'll talk about some of the most common types of tires in the simplest way possible so you can find exactly what you need.
Types of Tires
- All Season
- Perfect for a daily driver
- Will usually be able to handle varying conditions with ease such as heat, wet surfaces, and light snow
- The best all-around type of tire
- Designed to maximize grip on dry surfaces
- Usually used on sports cars
- A little more expensive than an all-season but has better performance
- Won't last as long as an all-season
- Designed specifically for snowy/icy conditions
- The best performance part possible in winter climates
- Usually pretty inexpensive
- Will wear quickly if driven in hot/dry conditions
- Designed to be an off-road tire that only handles light off-road terrain
- More on-road comfort than the other off-road tire types.
- Usually the lowest cost off-road tire option
- Mud Terrain
-Designed for harsh off-road terrain
- The most off-road performance of any tire
- Loud on pavement
- Combines the performance of a mud terrain tire with the comfort of an all-terrain
- Most popular off-road tire type
- Aggressive looks without the harsh ride
Reading the tire sidewall can be confusing especially because there are two different ways that tire sizes are displayed. Let's break down how to read each.
To read this tire size, we start with the width in millimeters. This tire is 235mm wide. The next number, 35, refers to the aspect ratio of the tire, or the height of the sidewall in mm.
This means that the sidewall of this tire is 35mm tall. You then will usually see a letter, in this case, it's R. The R refers to the speed rating of the tire which tells you how fast you can safely travel with this tire.
Finally, the 20 refers to the size of the opening of the tire. This number should always match the diameter of your wheels.
This display is usually used on truck tires. The 35 is the height of the tire in inches.
So this tire would be 35 inches tall. The 12.5 is referring to the width of the tire, so 12.5 inches wide.
This can help you perfectly match your tires to your new wheels and get good fitment easily.
Did you know we have pre-built wheel and tire packages for your vehicle? These packages feature popular wheel and tire combinations and are filtered by your Year, Make, and Model for a direct fit!