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Are Wheels Original Anymore?

Fitment Industries Author | | September 3rd, 2018 |

  • - Hey guys, what's going on, it's Alex from Fitment Industries and today we're gonna be talking about something a little different. We're gonna be talking about if you can still make an original wheel. Now, in the current car scene right now, when it comes down to wheels, tires, and suspension, probably one of the biggest conversation starters and the one that seems to riddle all the forums on Facebook is if a wheel is original or not. There have been accusations of Rohana being a rep brand, there have been accusations of other brands being rep brands, Ferrada and Work and this and that and the other thing and we decided what does it come down to on if you can still make an original wheel in the car scene so we decided to jump into it and don't forget to subscribe. Check out Fitment Industries too if you're looking for some wheels that aren't spenny, you know what I'm saying. Anyway, let's just get right into it.

    So when we look at wheels, there are all different kinds of wheels. You have race spec style wheels, you have just aesthetic wheels, you have multi piece wheels, rotary forged wheels, flow formed wheels, fully forged wheels and probably everything in between, and all of these wheels have been made from different manufacturers over time depending on what you really want to get. Now, from the bare bones perspective of things, wheels started to get made in different styles and different shapes depending on what looked good on vehicles or what was the essential function of the wheel. We've talked about in the past how multi piece wheels were essentially bred from the need of having different width wheels for the track purpose that you could intermittently change out really whenever you wanted, you could switch out the barrel or the lip and get the desired width that you needed or the offset required for the actual track. You had other wheels that where made such as fully forged wheels that were meant for high endurance track use and things like that have been born and bred to be specifically meant to have as much function as possible.

    Then you have other brands like Work that essentially came out not necessarily to make wheels that had a huge amount of function but also had a lot of styling behind them and the same could be said for a lot of other domestic brands. You have brands in the middle that wanted to have something that had a little bit of function but also to be aesthetically pleasing that didn't break the bank and from there the market of wheels essentially bred into a thousand different companies and tens of thousands of different designs, but we look into what the most iconic wheels have started to look like, we're seeing pretty much your typical five spoke wheel, your double five spoke, sometimes just split spoke or multi spoke are extremely common wheels, but which company was the first one to make one and if a company comes out with a double five spoke right now, does that automatically make a, well, rep wheel? Really when you break it down there's a bunch of different things that you can talk about on what makes a wheel real and if you look back in our previous episodes, we have talked about it in the past in the three things that make a wheel real. Oh boy. Hey, hey, hey. Why?

    - [Man] I waited for you to stop.
    - No, you didn't.
    I still got the squeaky Yeezy fake shoes coming out over here. So when you go into things like this and the whole wheel game as a whole, the first argument that a lot of people make is why are people so particular about specific wheel brands or just specific design, and a lot of that just comes down to the wheel brand that originally created the wheel. If you look at companies like Work, for instance, they probably have one of the biggest cult followings of people loving their wheels to date. There's not a whole lot of people like a Work fanboy but I tell you what, they are all over the comment section if anything comes out that might be a replica of a Work wheel. Now that's a good thing because Work has spent an enormous amount of money and an enormous amount of time to make their wheels the way that they are. The same can be said for Volk. Now Volk is an iconic wheel brand that has been bred around the race track and everything that Volk does and everything that Volk touches is practically gold for a lot of different people. Now that's not to say that's a bad thing but you're definitely paying the price for the Volk wheel and because of the R&D that's behind the wheel, you're spending a boatload of cash, so if you're looking at a Volk TE37, for instance, and it costs a lot of money, to somebody that may not necessarily know the specific brand, they're gonna see pretty much a basic six spoke wheel. You put that next to another wheel like an ES2 for instance and if somebody doesn't know their wheels, you wouldn't be the wiser as to which one is better, but thank God for having people that buy the 4000 dollar Volk wheels because they'll certainly tell you the differences and that's what it really comes down to is that when it comes to making an original wheel, the amount of R&D, the amount of integrity behind the scenes is what really makes the wheel have that cult following and when you do that across multiple different wheels, you have a brand that people just enjoy.

    So it's a good thing for people to have a little bit of loyalty towards wheel brands, but what happens when you have a brand that may not have the original best reputation off the block but then eventually grows into a brand that you love. There are a couple different brands out there that have done things like that and we're not gonna put anybody in the harsh limelight but just to name a few, if you look at Rotiform, for instance, one of their first wheels was an ode to an old Lamborghini wheel. Does that automatically make the entire lineage of the Rotiform wheel bad or that none of their wheels are original? Probably not. The same could be said for ESR. ESR started out with the SR lineup which is, looks a lot similar to a lot of different wheels but it's been said and they're going to release a bunch of monoblock wheels that have original designs and in the next few months, you're gonna be seeing people rock their multi piece wheel lineup a lot more because it's what ESR is choosing to do. Does that automatically mean that they're out of the gate and just completely forget about the past? Probably not, but does that mean that you have to think twice about just blanketing an entire brand as not being original? Probably. Original wheels are weird because the design of them, there's only so many ways that you can make it, there's only so many ways you can pull back a five spoke, there's only so many ways that you can turn around a double five spoke or you can do a twist on a standard seven spoke, that's not the point. The point of the fact is is how are these people getting to their ideas.

    Now, it'd be pretty difficult for me to say that you can just make an original wheel out the gate that isn't gonna be gaudy and terrible, trust me, we tried, and in and of sense of all the words, everybody that gets paid a lot of money to design wheels probably faced the same exact barriers of what can make the wheel original. Can you do it, absolutely. We truthfully believe that if you were to go out there and spend enough time and enough money and probably have enough beers, you could make an original wheel with absolutely no outside influences, but I can promise you that there's a 16 year old out there on the internet that's gonna be able to see that design that you just made and relate it to something else, it's just nature. We're always going to have something of an outside influence that's gonna impact current designs. Don't always think about the design being the only thing that makes a wheel original and I know that we're treading on some dangerous turf here because there's a lot of people out there that have spent a lot of money on original wheels or old school wheels that they just think are better than everything else and you guys do have a very valid point. There's a lot of tech that those older wheels and higher end wheels do have, but don't just look at the design, also look at what they're making them with and the technology and the R&D behind them because, truth be told, Volk isn't the only company that you need to buy from to get a high-end quality wheel. There's a bunch of other companies out there that are making original design wheels or are an ode to an older wheel but still have the R&D behind them to be a good wheel. Don't be surprised to see a lot of companies going back in time with their wheel designs because they're running out of options. Now, until the next spinner style comes out, we're probably not gonna see a whole lot of new stuff just simply because there are so many designs in the seventies and eighties that a lot of people are taking a look at. You can see that most notably with a lot of the 2018 model designs of Rotiform and I'm probably gonna pick up a set because a lot of their wheels are just so cool. Now, are they original, that's kind of up to you to decide on what you deem original but in our eyes, I still think you can, and if you really want to, you can find something out there that is completely original just depends on how hard you wanna look.

    (splutters) I completely didn't read anything from the script. And that goes back down to the first, oh. And that goes back to the first question we asked, are wheels original anymore? It's a good question. In our eyes we would say absolutely, yes, but is anything gonna be 100% original? It's gonna be very unlikely. You're gonna be able to see probably everything in between, well, probably in a Dub magazine somewhere from 2008. We've tried making a million designs and all of them were something of something else. There are original designs out there so don't fre