Shopping for your first set of wheels and tires can be a bit overwhelming and we feel there are some things you should know before just rushing in and buying them.
Let's dive into all of the things you should know before pulling the trigger on your first set of wheels and tires.
1. Know the Types of Wheels
When you first start looking at wheels, it's important to know that there are different types of wheels out there. The way the wheel is made can have a huge impact on how much the wheels cost.
- Cast Wheels
This is probably the most common type of wheel because the cost to manufacture them is significantly less than the others. These wheels are made by pouring molten aluminum into a mold and depending on the wheel brand they are either gravity casted or low pressure casted.
- Flow Formed/Rotary Forged
These wheels go by both names depending on the brand but for simplicity's sake, we'll refer to them as rotary forged. These wheels still use a casting process however unlike regular cast wheels, the entire wheel isn’t formed from just the pour alone. After the cast is complete it is then taken to a big mandrel where rollers apply a ton of pressure and heat to then draw out and form the barrel of the wheel, which in a sense “forges” the rest of the wheel. This offers these wheels a better strength to weight ratio and now that more manufacturing facilities are able to offer this process more wheel companies have begun to offer wheel designs that are made with this technology.
These are typically the most expensive wheels and are usually offered in a monoblock or multi-piece style. The wheel starts as a piece of aluminum that is “stamped” into its shape with heat and pressure or stats off as a forged blank that is then CNC machined to the design of the face of the wheel and then matched with a lip and barrel. These wheels are typically not the first set of wheels you'll be buying but they are something most people strive to own one day.
2. Learn Width and Offset
This is crucial in getting good fitment for your car and sometimes it can get a little confusing. That's why we're here to help you learn a little bit more about the size of your wheels.
Width is the easy one, as you can imagine it is how wide the wheel is and that is measured from the inside of where the tire bead sits on both sides of the wheel. And while yes, going with a wider wheel will help with getting a tighter fitment it’s not really the deciding factor here as offset is going to play the big role in how your wheels are going to fit.
Offset it a general term is the offset distance measured in centimeters from the centerline of the wheel where the mounting surface sits, with a zero offset being right on the centerline of the wheel. Positive offset means that the mounting surface moves towards the outside of the wheel or curbside as some would call it, meaning that the overall position of the wheel will move inwards towards the car. This means having a higher offset such as a +40 or +50 as most stock wheels tend to come will have a flatter face design usually and sit inside the fenders. Depending on the width and vehicle of course. As you go lower in offset and even into the negatives that mounting surface is going to move inward in turn pushing the wheel out of the car giving a more aggressive fitment. Not sure what offset you need? Check out our gallery where we have thousands of cars and you can search for yours to find a setup that you love.
3. Tire Size
Along the same lines as that keeping tire size in mind is also very important. Especially if you are buying your wheels and tires at the same time, which we offer, free mount, balancing, and shipping, anyway. The tire width and aspect ratio are also something that confuses a lot of first-time buyers of aftermarket wheels and tires. A lot of people tend to think that the aspect ratio is the measurement of the height of the tire's sidewall and will stay the same across different tire widths. However, that is not the case. As the name tells you. Aspect Ratio. Well, its a ratio. It’s the percentage of the tire width meaning that a 215/45 would have a sidewall that is 45% the height of the width. 215mm. Meaning that a 215/45 will have a different height than a 255/45. The type of fitment you are planning on running will also determine which size you are going to want to go with on your new setup.
We know that picking out your first set of wheels and tires can be a little nerve-racking but hopefully this helps you figure out how to find that perfect setup. Remember to check the gallery to see what others are running and find a setup you love. Want your new wheels and tires right now but don't have the money at the moment? We are working with Affirm to allow you to make monthly payments on your order rather than one lump sum. Some applicants can even get as low as 0% APR! This means you can get your wheels and tires now and worry about paying for them later!