If you’re reading this, then you were probably like me when I was 18 years old, you’ve been looking to try and figure out what your first set of wheels should be for your car. Now, you’ve probably visited Facebook pages,and different websites, and forums that are about 10 years old, and you’re probably left with more questions than answers when you, well, did your research.
A lot of times, people just don’t understand the concept of diameters, widths, offsets, colours and all that sort of stuff, and when it comes down to buying your first set of wheels, a lot of that can be very confusing, even when you go down to bolt pattern.
Now, this blog not gonna be for a lot of those experts out there, that are building three-piece wheels, and things like that. This is gonna be for your novice people out there that are looking to buy your first set of wheels.
So, I’m Adam from AutoCraze, and we’re gonna give you some tips on things that you should know before you pick up your first set of wheels.So, the first thing that you’re gonna want to take into consideration when you’re getting aftermarket wheels, is what sort of tyres you’re gonna run.
What Tyres To Run!
So, they end up running a 215-55-17, and they wonder why their wheels don’t look as sporty on their, you know, aftermarket wheels when they get them mounted, balanced, and installed.
A lot of times, when you’re looking at aftermarket wheels, you wanna go with some sporty style tyres. Our usual recommendation is to stay right around a 40 aspect ratio. Now, if you’re not familiar with how tyres and the whole metric system works for them, you can pretty much assume it like this:
The three numbers represent three different aspects of the tyre.The first number is the width, or traction path, in millimeters of the tire, and that’s what’s really gonna kinda touch the ground.
Tyre Aspect Ratio
[Photo sourced from Tyre Market]
The second number is your aspect ratio. So, that is the distance in sidewall length, and it’s a average ratio of your overall width for the traction path of the tyres.
So, if you have a 225/40, 40 percent of 225 is gonna be your sidewall height. And then, obviously that last number is your wheel diameter.
So, if you have a 225/50/17, that’s gonna be for a 17 inch diameter wheel. With sportier tyres, and things like that,
A lot of times you’re gonna get that look that you’re wanting for your first set of wheels, not only by just getting aftermarket wheels, but by getting pretty decent low-profile tyres.
Usually, a 40 aspect ratio will get the job done, and of course, we recommend that if you’re looking to get aftermarket tyres, that you try to stick around something that has a little bit better of a name than just your basic, entry-level, cheapest possible tyres you can buy.
Why It’s Important To Get Proper Tyres
Tyres are what connect you to the road, so if you’re going cheap on the tyres, and you spend a lot of money on wheels, you’re kind of missing the entire point of switching the whole thing out.
Our recommendation is to keep both of those prices in mind, and making sure that the look that you want is the look you’re gonna get.
If you’re looking to see what sort of tyres fit on what size wheels, we have a gallery for that. You can check it out on the AutoCraze gallery.
Wheel Offsets | What Is Wheel Offsets?
The second thing that you’re gonna wanna know when you’re buying wheels and tyres for the first time, is that offset is important, but fitment is important.
The biggest thing that we see a lot of times, and we get emails from people that are buying their first set of wheels, is they’ve seen car enthusiasts’ Instagram, and they’re like, “Wow, “This guy’s running 19 by 10 negative 12 offset wheels, “and I wanna run that same exact setup, how do I do that?” And their budget is like 600 dollars, and they have no concept on doing flare modifications, and they want it all to fit under the stock body, and it’s not a fun conversation.
When you’re buying your first wheels and tyres, our recommendation is to try and just keep things relatively pretty fundamental. You’re gonna wanna make sure that you understand the basics of wheels and tyres. Fitment is gonna be a lot more important by just getting the right size and width and offset down and not really having to deal with a lot of the, well, intricacies of going with multi-piece wheels or going with over-guards, or a wide body kit and then fitting aftermarket wheels on that.
Once you start diving into the more difficult things about aftermarket wheels and tyres, you have to take a lot of things into consideration, like stretching your tyres, offset spacers, whether you’re doing full muti-piece, or mono-block forged, what sort of wheels and companies offer those wheels, and everything in between.
100% Fitment Guarantee At AutoCraze
In general, our recommendation is to use something that has guaranteed fitment. Our recommendation is to start with wheels and tyres that have just a good guaranteed recommended fitment, because at the end of the day, no, you’re not gonna be able to run 19 by 11 0 offset, and you know, be one of the cool guys on Instagram, but you will have a clean set-up that works and functions, and you won’t have to worry about major modifications like metal trimming, and guard liner clearances, and rolling, and rubbing, and everything in between, and you’ll actually be able to make it more than 50 kilometers without something debeading.
You might be wondering where the sales plug is, well, if you’re looking to see what guarantees to fit your car, you’re talking to the right people at AutoCraze we have all of that information. That’s the last time I’m gonna say that, but you should figure out by now, that we’re trying to help you if you’re looking to get your first set of wheels and tyres.
Wheels Brand Preference
The third thing that you’re gonna wanna take into consideration, is brand preference. Now, if you go out there right now, there’s a ton of brand preference on wheels, especially when you get into the moderate to experienced wheel community, there’s a lot of people that follow wheel companies like it’s a sport.
And they wanna make sure that everybody knows about how great these wheel companies are. When you’re buying your first set of wheels, you’re not gonna be super experienced, and understanding the history of a lot of these wheel companies, and for that very reason, a lot of times new people can pick up wheels that may not be the best, strongest, or, you know, the best applicable option for their car.
The basic thing that you’re gonna wanna understand, is that while you’re gonna wanna focus on brand preference, it really comes down to what you want. There are a lot of options out there, whether you’re looking at something that’s more aesthetically pleasing versus something that’s lightweight, or if you’re looking for something that’s gonna have a lot of different color options, versus maybe just your standard black wheel.
The biggest thing that you’re gonna wanna take into consideration with just doing wheels, is also your tyres.
Now, we touched on that before, and I wanna touch on that again. But make sure that when you’re buying these wheels, if you’re buying them for 1,000 dollars, that you’re also including the fact that you’re gonna have to put some tyres on them bad boys too, and you’re gonna wanna make sure that they’re not, you know, no-name tyres. Same thing with your wheels.
Now, if you’re looking to try and stay on a budget, that does not mean that you have to get crummy wheels. There’s a lot of wheel brands out there that have a ton of different options for almost every single popular vehicle that most newbies are looking to buy. I mean, Subarus, Mitsubishis, Hondas, everything like that.
There’s gonna be a lot of wheel companies out there that supply to that specific market. Whether you’re looking at some flow form option. Rotiform wheels have some great wheels that have a bunch of different styling. You also have SSW wheels, which is great. and there’s a bunch of other ones, like Niche if you’re looking for more of a classic-styling wheel.
It’s gonna get you what you want, without necessarily breaking the bank. The same can be said for tyres.
Basics Of What A Wheel Is!
[Image sourced from Wheel Fire]
The fourth thing that you’re gonna wanna remember or just learn about, is understanding the basics of what a wheel is, and the specifications that makes it fit on your car. There’s a whole bunch of different things that are gonna help you figure that out.
Now, if you’re looking at just the diameter, that should be pretty simple, that’s the diameter of your wheel. If you’re looking at what a centerline is, that would be if your wheel was essentially cut right down the middle.
Your offset is gonna be the distance between your centerline, and your mounting hub surface of, well, where your wheel’s actually going to mount up. Now, if you have a positive offset wheel, what’s gonna happen is, is that the mounting surface is gonna be pushed towards the front of the overall wheel.
What that means is the rest of the wheel is going to push into the fender. A lot of times you’ll see high offset wheels on things like Corvets, and, well, Lamborghini.
Now, if you’re looking for something that has a low offset, or zero offset, you’re gonna see that the mounting surface is gonna be pushed farther to the inside of the wheel. What happens is, is the rest of the wheel, naturally, is gonna be more concave, and it’s gonna push the rest of the wheel out towards the guards.
Because of just the current trends right now, lower offset wheels have gotten extremely popular and you’re gonna see a lot of people wanting to run wider wheels, with, well, as low of an offset as possible. But just remember that offset is kind of a funky number.
When you go down closer to zero, that’s gonna push the wheel farther out. Of course, when you’re looking at different offsets, there are wheels that will sometimes have brake clearance issues with, you know, aftermarket wheels, or big brake kits that are on a lot of different vehicles.
And when you’re looking to get something maybe a little bit more moderate to aggressive, that’s completely fine.
There are fitment ranges for pretty much every single vehicle, most are around 35 to 50. So, if you’re looking to kinda push it as close as you can to make a concave wheel for your first set of wheels, stick to that 35 millimetre offset, and you should be ready to roll.
But if you start going down further than that, and risking it for the biscuit, and you wanna try and get more aggressive, just know that you might run into problems. And if you’re buying your first set of wheels, our recommendation is to reference tip number two again, and just play it safe, and make sure you’re going with something that’s guaranteed to fit.
Don’t Guess When Buying!
And the fifth, and most important thing that you’re gonna wanna remember when you’re buying your first set of wheels is probably the simplest one of all: just don’t guess.
Just don’t guess. There are people out there like us, that this is what we do. And we wanna make sure that you guys buy the right set of wheels the first time, because it doesn’t make anybody’s life easier when you have to get stuff returned, or when you just make the wrong purchase. Our recommendation is that if you’re looking to pick up a set of wheels, and this is your first time, just shoot us an email, shoot us a message, or just talk to us over on our socials or email us.
Fitment Specialists | AutoCraze
Otherwise, just use our website at autocraze.com.au You enter your make, model and size and it’s gonna tell you exactly what fits your car. Is that a little bit of a sales plug? Absolutely, guys. I won’t even lie about it, but the fact of the matter is we see so many people that mess up buying their first set of wheels, that we had to make a blog like this to help you guys understand that there’s a lot more that goes into it than just picking up a set of wheels.
Especially if you wanna get it right the first time. So, we hope you guys enjoyed, this is, again, for our guys that are buying their first set of wheels.
This isn’t for the experts out there. We just wanted to give you guys some tips and tricks for buying your first set of wheels. So, we hope you guys enjoyed this little blog and of course, I’m Adam from AutoCraze, and we’ll see you later.