Customizing your wheels is typically one of the first things people do when deciding to personalize their vehicle. It’s a simple way of expressing your style and setting your vehicle apart from the rest. When upgrading your wheels, it’s important to consider factors such as bolt pattern, backspacing, offset, and the minimum or maximum wheel sizes your vehicle will allow. All of these factors play a big part in how the vehicle will look aesthetically, but more importantly how it will handle and perform on the road. In this blog, we will provide insight to assist you on your journey of selecting your new set of aftermarket wheels.
Know Your Bolt Pattern & Fitment
There are multiple variations of wheel fitments and not all wheels will fit every vehicle. Knowing the bolt pattern of your vehicle and understanding your fitment will help narrow down your options from the get go. There is no sense in scrolling through pages and pages of wheels that won’t fit.
A vehicle’s fitment incorporates the bolt pattern, wheel backspacing and wheel offset. Your bolt pattern consists of the number of wheel studs and the centerline measurement of those wheel’s studs. For a more comprehensive discussion of fitment, view our “Calculating Your Fitment” blog.
Choose The Size & Material You Want
Now that you are aware of the proper fitment for the vehicle, you can determine the size and material of the wheels. There is always going to be a standard or recommended wheel size for any vehicle. There are other sizing options available, but they will sometimes require modifying your vehicle’s suspension or body in order to adjust to the width or increased diameter of the new wheel. Smaller wheels allow for larger tires and vice versa.
Depending on whether your vehicle is a show car, a race car, or just your daily ride, the material used to construct the wheels can make a difference in your decision making process. The options available for single piece wheels include cast, forged and flow form wheels, with each having its own benefit. If you’d like to learn more about the construction process and see which wheels might be the right fit for you, check out this blog Lighter Weight Wheels: They Can Make a Difference.
If you’re looking for something less common, which usually includes two and three piece wheels, your options are far greater than cast, forged or flow formed wheels. The only downfall is that two and three piece wheels can add additional weight with the pieces and parts used to hold the wheel together and are usually far more expensive.
Find A Design That Reflects Your Style
This is the fun part. Finding the wheel design that speaks to you provides the opportunity to distinguish yourself from the crowd and show off your personal style. There is no shortage when it comes to the options available in selecting the perfect set of wheels. With help from virtual wheel visualizers, catalogs and social media, it’s easy to compare which style wheels are popular, common, uncommon, the perfect fit or just not your style. You can go with the trend, or you can set yourself apart from the rest by choosing different fitment options, colors and styles.
Determine The Price You Are Willing to Pay
Quality is key in this stage of your search. With quality, comes cost. Not saying you have to break the bank, but if you’re looking to enhance your ride with new wheels, you want to make sure that you’re not going to have to reinvest in your decision every few months after hitting a pothole or going over a speed bump too quickly. “You get what you pay for” is usually how it goes. However, there are lower cost but valuable options available in today’s market with the rise of flow form technology. The durability and toughness of wheels hold up, while the cost stays somewhat low due to lack of material used in construction. Determining the price you want to pay for wheels might be something you want to do before you start your search.
Browse Your Options
If you’re on a general search and want ideas, we recommend browsing social media to find and discuss the options for your vehicle. There are most likely plenty of accounts dedicated to the vehicle you are customizing, with pictures and advice readily available. Reading the do’s and don’ts from others is always a plus and sometimes seeing what’s already out there can guide you during your search for aftermarket wheels.
For a more specific search, individual wheel websites will take you on a more vehicle precise journey, enabling you to narrow down your selections to meet your needs before you purchase your new set of wheels. With the Factory Reproductions configurator, you can change the vehicle color and the size and color of your wheels to get an idea of what the wheels will look like on your vehicle. With plenty of resources available to assist you in your purchase, you’ll be on the road in no time.
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