Good Off-Road Adventure Starts With Good Wheels!
Imagine going on your dream off-road adventure in a vehicle that keeps on stopping on the way. Where are you going? Are you going to a muddy area or an area with sharp rocks thrown all over the passage? Now think of how much your bad wheel choice can get you off track. You’ll stop to maybe get the air pressure back to normal. Oh! What’s that? Your wheel is shaking? Did you get stuck in all that mud? Or is your wheel getting out of shape? What happened to your rims?
Yes, you do need to worry if you haven’t thought of using appropriate wheels with your vehicle before going on your off-road adventure.
However, you need not worry about looking here and there for compact knowledge. We have listed everything that you need to know about choosing great off-road wheels.
What You Need to Look For in Your Off-Road Wheels
Off-road driving is a whole another field of driving both literally and figuratively. While on-road, your road and environment are relatively stable. Off-road, we face different environments and this may or may not suit your wheels. Admittedly, the off-road wheels are also a little too much for the normal road as you will learn soon.
We hope that this information will help and guide you to make an informed choice.
Size Matters More Than You Think
Bigger wheels are not necessarily better when you’re thinking of off-roading. You want to have more tire sidewall to help protect your vehicle and your wheel. You don’t want a bigger wheel because a bigger wheel means that you’ll need a smaller tire. For most, the smaller wheel sizes from 15 to 17 inches are considered the best because they allow bigger tires.
The bigger tires allow for better pressure stability. When your wheel is smaller, your tire is bigger. The bigger tire would help you move the vehicle even when the tubes are losing air. The mobility of your vessel will not be compromised.
On the other hand, the 20-inch wheels will be your off-roading adventure enemy. Why? Because they don’t allow for use of a good thickness tire and so all the above-mentioned benefits for smaller wheels do not apply here.
Special Tire and Its Special Tread
Tires used in off-roading are different than their on-road cousins. The tread on the off-roading tires has more depth when compared with on-road tires. The depth in the tread is for the sake of engaging more surfaces to have a better grip during driving. It is good to remember that if you are using these tires on normal roads, you are only going to slow yourself down. There is the added effect of more fuel requirements when using these tires.
Material- Know Your Choices
There are 3 categories to choose from- steel, alloy cast, and forged.
– Steel Wheels
The most common choice in the category of off-road wheels is steel wheels. Steel wheels however lose their charm for those who want to move fast and lightly. Steel wheels have extra weight and so they slow down the vehicle. There is ease associated with their use as a disfigured wheel can be hammered back into its previous state on the road.
– Alloy Cast Wheel
These wheels are lighter than the steel wheels. They are made of alloy pouring into a mold. Alloy cast wheels have a lighter weight than steel wheels. Yet these wheels cannot be easily repaired once they get a defect in their structure. Their strength is better and they can bear heavier weights. As long as you opt for high-quality off-road alloy wheels, you have nothing to worry about.
– Forged Wheels
Forged wheels are the gold standard every other wheel wants to achieve. These wheels are lightweight and have unparalleled strength. They are easier to manipulate on difficult terrains. They don’t get easily damaged but any excessive force can break the ball joints or disturb suspension.
Backspacing and Its Effects
This is merely the space between the vehicle’s wheel mounting part and the backside of the wheel’s center.
It is better if this gap is somewhere around 6 inches as this shows that the wheel placement would nest the wheel safely. A reduced gap of even 4 inches would mean that the wheel is sticking out from the side of the vehicle. A wheel that sticks out is a wheel that gets easily damaged.
This is the measurement from the centerline of the wheel to the wheel placement part of the vehicle. If the offset is closer to the wheel placement part then it is considered negative. If the wheel’s offset is far outside from the wheel’s centerline, away from the wheel placement/mounting part then the offset is positive.
When you move off-road, your tires have a different requirement than when they are on-road. The off-road wheel works best if more of its tire is in contact with the terrain. This action allows the wheel to move effortlessly on the off-road terrain.
When you do this act of releasing pressure from your tire, there is a chance that your tire can slip off your wheel. In order to ensure that tires do in fact remain attached to the wheel, beadlocks are used.
A beadlock’s main and only function is to make sure that the tire doesn’t leave your wheel.
How Is the Wheel Covered?
This is something that not everyone focuses on. What is covering the metal or the alloy that makes up the wheel? Is the material durable enough to weather the changes in the environment?
The covering is a cause of concern because an exposed wheel will get damaged by either rusting through oxidation or it can corrode.
So now you know why you need to see if the wheel is coated by paint or powder. Paint coating uses a liquid to cover the wheel. This method may leave some tiny crevices bear to the elements.
Powder coating is done by spraying an electrostatic powder onto the wheel. Powder coating is the superior choice in terms of coverage that it achieves and the long-term attachment to the wheel.
Powder-coated wheels can hence be safe from elements for a longer time.
Weight Allowance Should Always Be Considered
You should know this about any wheel that you use both on and off the road. This factor dictates how much weight you can carry on your vehicle. While the metal and cast wheels favor lighter weights, the forged wheels can support more weight.
For every wheel that you’ll use, the manufacturer will inform you how much weight is allowed on the wheel.
An off-road wheel requires quite a lot of consideration. We hope that this list will guide you in making the best choice. There is a chance that some manufacturers will require you to compromise on one or more features.
However, this is why we make custom wheels. You can get a wheel as per your specifications.
Contact us for more information on this subject.