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What Is Wheel Offset?

Fitment Industries Author | | February 1st, 2018 |

  • - Hey guys, what's goin' on? It's Alex from Fitment Industries, and today we're gonna be talking about the basics of offset, probably the most requested thing that you guys ask in the comments and the messages. It's just understanding offset, and it can be extremely difficult if you really don't understand where to start. So, I made a beautiful diagram, which I totally stole off of Google because I can't draw. But, we're gonna be talking today on how offset works, and we're gonna be diving into just the basics. So the first thing that you need to understand is: how do you get offset? Offset starts with something called your center line. And your center line is the distance in between your two bead points on the wheel itself divided by two. So you're gonna get your center line, which is this green line right here, which is gonna be the middle of the wheel. For the most part, you're gonna be looking at POSITAL offset wheels, unless you're going into multi-piece Fully-Forged or something like that. So what you have here is the center line, which is the middle of the wheel. What I made here is an orange box, and what that represents is positive offset.

    And your offset is the distance from your center line to your back pad. Your back pad is mounting surface where the wheels are actually gonna get put onto your car. So, couple of other things here: outside of the wheel, right here, inside fender. You're actually looking at your suspension components, which would be over here. And then, obviously, this is the offset. This is the fun part that we're looking at right here. So positive forwarding offset means that your center line to your actual mounting point of your back space, or your back hub, is going to be 40 millimeters away. If I go up to a 45, which is this little extra chunk right here, I'm gonna shave five millimeters off the back pad, and I'm going to get that five millimeters closer to the front of the wheel. A good wheel in the right setup is gonna make all the difference between something that just was not thought out and you pretty much guessed. So, when we go into this, another that you're gonna have to consider is brake clearance. Break clearance is super important on cars like STIs, on Evos, things with Brembos or big break kits. Lexuses are really well known for that. And you're gonna see that this little red box here represents your brake caliber. Obviously another big thing that you wanna keep into account is your suspension components. You wanna make sure that you're not rubbing in any sort of way, shape or form. So what does it look like when you go to a zero offset or even a negative offset?

    Well, that's a great point. So what your gonna do is, I have a handy marker here, and your zero offset is your center line, and if you go on a negative offset, you're gonna see essentially this point right here, and this point right here going to be cut. And you're gonna see this entire mounting surface pushed back. And what you're ultimately going to see is in front of where your mounting point would be. This is what creates that lip, and now you have your fender, and you're much moved farther back. So this is where a lot of people like to be, multi-piece wheels, things like that. When you go wider, they like the lip, they like the concave look. This is what's gonna give you that. There are other wheels that are, you know, essentially one-piece that have their spokes that'll come in. And you get that concavity that a lot of people love. So, there's a lot of different ways that wheel companies use offset to get the look that you're looking for, but it really comes down to what fits your vehicle the most. You're not just gonna wanna run a zero offset or negative offset because that's what the cool kids do, because if you don't have a car that can work with that sort of size, it's just not gonna work out for you. So we have a Cosplus here just to kinda give you a little bit of a visualization as to what we're talking about. So, the back pad is this surface right here. This is what's trimmed or, when metal added to it to give it or take away offset, a lot of your one-piece monoblock wheels, that's how they do the offset. Multi-piece wheels is essentially just your inner barrel, your outer barrel, and your center disk that determine the offset and how you choose to do that. But for this, we're gonna be looking at how to measure center line on the actual wheels. So this is the same exact thing as what we described before.

    You have your two bead points, which would be right here. You would measure this distance divided in half. That is your center line. So this wheel specifically is a plus-35 offset. So you're going to see that most of the wheel sits much farther in front of the center line than a zero offset or even a negative offset. So that is everything you need to know about offset. If you guys have any questions, we would highly recommend you drop us comment, shoot us a message, and let us know what you would like to see next. On top of that, if you've questions about us that you want to know what other people are runnin', check out our gallery; it's gotta over 5,000 vehicles, www.fitmentindustries.com. Click on the little gallery at the top. You're gonna be able to see 5,000 vehicles with all the information on fitment, specs, and sizes so that you know what to get for your car when you're ultimately looking at a set of wheels, tires, or suspension. So that is the whole pitch right there. Let us know if you guys have any questions, but I'm Alex from Fitment Industries. We'll see you later! Peace.