- Aftermarket wheels are a must-have necessity in the modern age of modifying your car. But there are some myths that surround aftermarket wheels from the get-go. Aftermarket wheels have been around for quite a long time, and because of the necessity of lighter wheels in the racing community, naturally, anything starts with the business sector only, which began to leak into the rest of the community. You had Ronal and their start with the late 60s, BBS was there making multi-piece wheels for race teams, and you had import wheel companies like Enkei and Weds involved in the same market. What most people don't understand is that the reason aftermarket wheels hit the scene wasn't for form, it was for function. Companies needed wheels that were lighter, stronger, and had more customization for widths on the track. The growth of the aftermarket car scene was because of the massive success of the upcoming motorsport era that dominated Europe and the Americas in the 1970s, and the wheel companies that popped up after that were able to fill a gap for the racing community that spawned thereafter. Now when we look at wheel companies, we have people that follow 'em like it's a sports team. Volk, Raze, BBS, and Work are just a few companies with a cult following behind them. Original designs based off of a drawing or race track experience. As a result, new companies that come out often have designs that are remnants of past designs. For some, older companies can just do no wrong, and there's a myth in and of itself. There's a myth that real companies have never copied designs, and that's just not true. There's countless examples of companies in Japan that repurposed other brand designs for themselves. CCW and their LM20 with the BBS LM, Work with their Seeker series and 1552, and so many more. There's a great article out there that talks about how the wheel game isn't black and white, and it couldn't be more true. Which then goes into how wheels are made. The implication that all cast wheels are the same, or even that low pressure casted wheels carry similar properties, isn't true either. Which then goes into how their wheels are made.
The implication that all cast wheels are the same, or even that low pressure casted wheels carry similar properties, isn't true either. For example, rotary forging is a great technique. It allows companies to make one-piece wheels with a cast center and a forged barrel. Konig's flow form and Rohana's rotary forged are great examples. But different rotary forged wheels don't always spin forge the entire barrel. In fact, some companies only do the minimal amount of work to throw the rotary forged badge on their wheel boxes. That goes for gravity cast and low pressure cast techniques, too. Not all processes are created equal. Another huge myth about aftermarket wheels is that they are all in heavy competition with each other. Just like Disney owning pretty much everything, there are only a few heavy players in the aftermarket wheel community that own multiple wheel companies, all of which owning a specific company that meets a market. With a little digging, you may find the company that you love also produces the same wheels that you talk poorly about on Facebook. So whether you're looking for new wheels, want to know more about old wheels, or you're trying to argue with somebody on Facebook, just understand that there's a lot more to the aftermarket wheel community than you probably know. (low music)
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