What Kind of Wheels Are Best for My Truck? Part One

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading the wheels on your truck for awhile, or you just got a new truck and the wheels aren’t really doing it for you in terms of style, you’ve come to the right place. At Rims Plus, our gigantic selection of wheels and tires practically guarantee that you’ll find exactly what you want. In this blog we’re going to try and help you narrow down your options if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of our choices. Read on to find out how to pick the best wheels for your truck!

What Truck Wheel Material is Best?

When you’re buying truck wheels you have two options when it comes to what they’re made from: steel or aluminum alloy.

Benefits of Steel Truck Wheels

Strength: Truck wheels made from steel are exceptionally strong. Steel is a heavy duty material that can take a lot of abuse from dirt and other outside forces. Great for offroading and other high-stress situations.

Affordability: Steel truck wheels are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, so you can save some money by going with steel.

Benefits of Aluminum Alloy Truck Wheels

Lightweight: Aluminum alloy truck wheels are much lighter than wheels made from steel, so if your truck is built for speed, this is the way to shave off unneeded weight.

Porous: Truck wheels made from aluminum alloy are generally more porous which means that air flows through them more easily, allowing brakes to cool off quicker.

When you’re trying to decide between the two materials, choose the one that makes more sense for your truck. If you’re going to be hauling a lot of heavy stuff, doing a bunch of towing, or you spend a lot of time off-roading, steel is probably the best choice. If you have a show truck, or a truck that you mostly use as a commuter, aluminum might be better for you.

Wheel and Tire Size Work In Tandem

Perhaps the most important thing to learn about buying new wheels is the effect that your wheel choice may have on what tires you can safely mount on your new rims. There is a complex relationship between the tire and the wheel that needs to be taken into consideration before you buy a whole new set of wheels and tires. Right now we’ll cover how wheels and tires are measured and how these measurements work together (or don’t).

How Truck Wheels Are Measured

There are four main factors to keep in mind when looking for new truck wheels that are important to know and understand.

  • Diameter: Diameter is determined by measuring from bead seat area to bead seat area on the face of the wheel or, in more basic terms, if you’re looking at the lugnuts of the wheel, diameter is the distance from one edge of the face to the other. This is the measurement that people talk about when they say that they have 20 inch wheels.
    • Diameter of a wheel can have a big impact on the comfort of your ride as well as your safety while you’re in the car. Larger diameter wheels mean thinner tires which means you’re more likely to “feel” the road, and that your wheels may be more likely to take damage because there is less protection around them. They can also cause problems with clearance within a wheel well, which can cause all sorts of problems.
  • Width: Width is determined by measuring from bead seat area to bead seat area when looking at the wheel from the top if the wheel is standing upright.  
    • Wheel width is an important factor on the contact patch of a tire. A contact patch is the part of a tire that is actually in contact with the surface of the road.
  • Wheel bolt pattern: This number (which is usually found in this format: 4-100) is a combination of two factors. The first number (4 in our examples) is the number of lug holes on the wheel. The second number (100) is the distance from hole to hole measured in millimeters.
    • These patterns must match up between vehicle and wheel or there could be serious safety and comfort problems.
  • Wheel offset: Wheel offset is the distance between the centerline of the wheel and the mounting surface of the wheel in millimeters. This measurement makes sure that your wheels are sitting in the correct position in relation to fenders, wheel wells, and suspension.

As you can see, choosing the right wheels for your truck isn’t as simple as just finding the kind that look the best. In our next entry, we’ll go over some more “must-know” information about picking the right truck wheels for your truck. If you have more questions, contact us here at Rims Plus! We have a great customer service team who is here to help you with your ordering!