Off-Roading Wheels: Size Isn’t The Only Thing That Matters
Bigger is Better
Yes, when upgrading to larger rims and tires, the bigger the better, especially for those who want solid off-road handling and grip. For this reason, the suspension will need to be lifted. A lift of just an inch or two will provide room for bigger wheels. The diameter needs to clear the brakes or else you’ll be going nowhere.
Don’t forget that the wheel and tire upgrade will weigh more and may affect the daily performance of your engine when it comes to speed. That doesn’t matter much though when you are off road at going slower speeds.
What is Backspace?
When it comes to off road rims, you need to be concerned about more than just the diameter and width of the wheel. Consider backspacing – it is the measurement of the space between the mounting face and the inside edge of the wheel. Your lift kit will let you know the maximum amount of backspace allowable. That’s because as backspace increases, the wheel moves further into the wheel well. For off road rims, you want to decrease backspace and move the wheel away from the well for maximum balance.
In addition to diameter, width and backspacing you’ve got to consider offset as well. Offset measures the distance between the center of the wheel and the mounting surface. Backspacing is measured in inches and offset is measured in millimeters. When you are upsizing for off road rims, you will want to decrease the offset from OEM to move the wheel further out on your vehicle. A decreased offset provides more space between the inside edge of the tire and the suspension. It may take a zero or negative offset to push the wheel far enough out for adequate clearance.
Alloy is King
You want a tough alloy wheel for off-roading. Alloy wheels will provide durability and strength without added weight. Steel might seem like a better choice but it is far too heavy. You may save over 10 pounds per wheel in unsprung weight by going with alloy over steel. Forged aluminum will generally weigh less than cast. Those terms refer to how the material is formed into the wheel.
Once you’re equipped, this site will help you find places in Arizona where you can test out your spiffy new wheels. And if any damage should happen to your rims, you know where to bring your ride to get your wheels like new again.
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