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Read This Before Buying Wheels and Tires

July 6, 2021

 

Let's face it, shopping for wheels and tires can be a bit overwhelming.

There's a lot that goes into the perfect wheel and tire fitment, but that's why we exist!

First and foremost, you have to understand specific terms related to wheel and tire fitment. After you read this guide, make sure you take a look at our gallery to see what other people are running on your same car so you can actually see what the fitment looks like.

Let's dive into all of the things you should know before pulling the trigger on some wheels and tires.

 

WHAT IS FITMENT?

 

Quick Links:

- Know the Different Types of Wheels

- Learn What Width and Offset Are

   - Wheel Width

   - What Is Wheel Offset? 

- Know Your Tire Sizes

- Final Thoughts 

 

 

 

Know the Different Types of Wheels

When you first start looking at wheels, it's essential to know the different types of wheels are on the market. 

The way the wheel is manufactured can have a considerable impact on how much the wheels cost, how much they weigh, their design, and for what application their best for. 

 

READ THIS WHEEL GUIDE

 

2016 MAZDA 3 S TOURING

18x8.5 +35mm AVID1 Av21 | 225/45 General Altimax RT43

The three most common types of wheels out there are...

- Cast wheels

- Forged wheels

- Flow-Formed / Rotary Forged wheels

 

CHECK OUT THE GALLERY

 

2015 VOLKSWAGEN GTI AUTOBAHN

19x8.5 +45mm Avant Garde M621 | 215/35 Pirelli Pzero

 

Cast Wheels

This is probably the most common type of wheel out there due to its low manufacturing cost.

Cast wheels are made by pouring molten aluminum into a mold.

Depending on the wheel brand, they are either gravity cast or low-pressure cast.

 

2013 HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE 2.0T PREMIUM

AVID1 Av20 Front: 19x8.5 +33 Rear: 19x9.5 +33 | Delinte D7 Thunder Front: 235/25 Rear: 245/35

Gravity casting uses the force of gravity to push the alloys into the wheel mold.  This is the most popular and cheapest form of the casting process.

On the other hand, low-pressure casting is used tons of air pressure to force the alloy into the wheel mold. This is the better casting process from a weight and strength perspective.

 

2013 HYUNDAI GENESIS COUPE 2.0T PREMIUM

AVID1 Av20 Front: 19x8.5 +33 Rear: 19x9.5 +33 | Delinte D7 Thunder Front: 235/25 Rear: 245/35

 

Flow Formed/Rotary Forged

Flow formed, or rotary forged wheels, go by both names depending on the brand, but we'll refer to them as rotary forged for simplicity's sake. 

 

CHECK OUT ROTARY FORGED WHEELS

 

2019 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R

19x9.5 +35mm ESR Rf2 | 255/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 

The rotary forged process still uses a casting process; however, unlike regular cast wheels, the entire wheel isn't formed from just the mold alone. 

 

2015 INFINITI Q50 BASE

19x9.5 +35mm ESR Rf2 | 255/35 Achilles Atr Sport 2  | Flush Fitment

After the cast is complete, it is then taken to an oversized mandrel where rollers apply tons of pressure and heat to draw out and form the barrel of the wheel, which in a sense "forges" the rest of the wheel together. 

This process allows for wheels to have a better strength-to-weight ratio

 

READ: DOES WHEEL WEIGHT MATTER?

 

2015 VOLKSWAGEN GTI AUTOBAHN

19x8.5 +45mm Avant Garde M621 | 215/35 Pirelli Pzero

Now that more manufacturing facilities are able to offer this forging process, more wheel companies are hopping on the bandwagon and making forged series. 

 

2015 INFINITI Q50 BASE

19x9.5 +35mm ESR Rf2 | 255/35 Achilles Atr Sport 2  | Flush Fitment

 

Forged

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. 

 

CHECK OUT FORGED WHEELS

 

 

Otherwise, it starts off as a forged blank that is then CNC machined to reveal the design of the face of the wheel. It's then matched with a lip and barrel.

 

2015 AUDI S3 PRESTIGE

19x8.5 +47mm HRE - Custom  | 245/35 Continental Extremecontact DW

These wheels are typically not the first set of wheels you'll be buying since they have such an expensive price tag, but they are something most people strive to own one day. 

 

READ: 4 STYLES OF FITMENT

 

2015 AUDI S3 PRESTIGE

19x8.5 +47mm HRE - Custom  | 245/35 Continental Extremecontact DW

 

 

Learn What Width and Offset Are

Learning what wheel width and offset are is crucial in getting a good fitment for your car, but we know that it can quickly become confusing. Let's simplify it. 

Make sure to also check out the gallery so you can actually see your car with different fitment styles, offsets, and wheel & tire sizes. This is a super useful tool to take advantage of it! 

 

CHECK OUT THE GALLERY

 

 

 

Wheel Width

As you can imagine, wheel width describes how wide a wheel is.

Wheel width is calculated by measuring the distance between the inside of where the tire bead sits on both sides of the wheel. 

And while choosing a wider wheel will help with getting a tighter fitment, it's not really the deciding factor here as the offset will play a significant role in how your wheels will fit and look.

 

CHECK OUT THE GALLERY

 

Lowered WRX STI

 

 

What Is Wheel Offset?

Offset is a general term that describes the distance measured in centimeters from the centerline of the wheel to where the mounting surface sits.

 

OFFSET CALCULATOR

 

 

Wheel Offset

 

A zero offset is 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 closer inside the wheelhouse.

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.

 

Wheel Fitment

 

Negative offset means that the mounting surface is pushed into the fender, which causes the overall position of the wheel to be closer to the curb. 

As you go lower in offset and even into the negatives, that mounting surface will move inward, pushing the wheel out of the car to give a more aggressive fitment.

 

READ: STANCE WHEELS

 

Negative offset

 

 

 

Know Your Tire Sizes

Along those same lines, knowing your tire sizes is also very important.

Especially if you decided to order new wheels and new tires at the same time. Pssst, we offer some super badass deals when you package wheels and tires. Plus, we will mount, balance, and ship your new setup for FREE. 

The tire width and aspect ratio are also something that confuses a lot of first-time buyers of aftermarket wheels and tires.

 

TIRE CALCULATOR

 

2014 SUBARU BRZ LIMITED

18x9.5 +35mm ESR SR05 | 245/35 Toyo Tires Proxes Sport 

Many 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.

 

TIRE BUYING GUIDE

 

Lowered WRX STI

 

As the name suggests, the aspect ratio of a tire is a ratio of its width.

This means that a 215/45 would have a sidewall that is 45% the height of the width—215mm. 

So, a 215/45 will have a different height than a 255/45.

The type of fitment you are planning to run will also determine which size you'll want. 

 

READ: 4 STYLES OF FITMENT

 

2014 SUBARU BRZ LIMITED

18x9.5 +35mm ESR SR05 | 245/35 Toyo Tires Proxes Sport 

 

 

Final Thoughts

We know that picking out your first set of wheels and tires can be a little stressful if you aren't sure what's going to fit based on your fitment style, but I hope this helps give you a better idea of what those terms mean so you can choose your sizes accordingly. 

Remember to check the gallery to see what others are running and find a setup you love. 

 

WHAT IS FITMENT?

 

 

2016 MAZDA 3 S TOURING

18x8.5 +35 mm AVID1 AV21 | 225/45 General Altimax RT43 

 

If you need a little extra help with getting a new setup, you could qualify for as low as 0& APR financing through Affirm, allowing you to make monthly payments on your order rather than one lump sum. I mean, $1+ is hard to give up sometimes (even if it's for your car), and since money doesn't grow on trees, there's no shame in needed to spread out your payments. 

Don't worry about paying for everything upfront. Spread out your payments with Affirm! 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCING

 

2019 HONDA CIVIC TYPE R

19x9.5 +35mm ESR Rf2 | 255/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 

Don't forget that we also mount, balance, and ship wheel and tire packages for FREE. Trying to find a tire mounting shop that'll stretch your tires, no damage your wheels in the process, work on enthusiast cars in general, or can get you in at a reasonable time for a decent price, is not easy. 

Let us take care of all the hard work for you, so all you have to do is mount your new wheels and tire right on your car once they arrive. Easy peasy. 

 

CHECK OUT THE GALLERY

 

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WHEELS AND TIRES
BEFORE YOU BUY
TIRE SIZES
FORGED WHEELS
CAST WHEELS
FLOW FORMED WHEELS
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