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Alloy Wheels

  • Date Submitted: 07/20/2010 07:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66 
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What is an Alloy Wheel?

Until recently, the wheels fitted by most manufacturers to their every-day cars have been "steel wheels" Steel wheels are more resilient to damage, and are considerably cheaper to fit. Unfortunately they are almost always heavier, less attractive and smaller in both diameter and width than alloy wheels.

The term alloy wheels  is usually given to wheels 'cast' from a mixture of aluminum which is light weight and great at dissipating heat and small amounts of more rigid metals whose presence in the 'mix' provides rigidity and helps prevent cracks propagating.
What are the benefits of fitting Alloy Wheels to my car?
In general, alloy wheels are lighter, more attractive, and better at dissipating brake heat that their steel counterparts. They tend to be available in standardised sizes which means competition amongst tyre vendors giving low prices and good availability!

Fitting alloy wheels normally reduces your car's unsprung weight  - in layman's terms this means a reduction in rotating mass at the ends of your suspension components, giving you improved steering feel and greater braking response.
Where Can I buy Alloy Wheels?
If you're in the USA - we recommend Tire Rack
If you're in the uk - we suggest: Elite Rainham
If you're after a set of second hand wheels - click here for an eBay Wheel Search!
What does Offset mean?
Offset is the distance between the hub mounting face at the back of the wheel and the wheel's centreline.

Offset is usually stamped or engraved into the wheel and is measured in millimetres of 'ET' [ET is the short form of the German word 'Einpresstiefe' which literally translates as 'insertion depth']
Positive Offset wheels have their mounting face toward the front face of the wheel. Most front wheel drive vehicles have positive ET wheels. Eighties and Nineties Volkswagen wheels are usually ET38.

Zero Offset wheels have their mounting face even with the centerline of the wheel and are by definition...

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