What Are Some Tips for Sizing Rims?


Quick Answer

When sizing rims, it's extremely important to take accurate measurements to determine the necessary size. Buyers also need to understand a few important wheel terms, including bolt pattern, rim width and rim diameter. When planning to purchase new rims and tires, realize that altering the size impacts the vehicle's performance. Choosing another rim material can also have the same effect.

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Full Answer

Increasing rim diameter shortens the tire's sidewall, which helps the tire grip the road better. This improves the vehicle's steering and handling response, while increasing rim width improves cornering stability. You can choose to buy new rims with increased diameter and width, which is a practice known as plus sizing. Make sure to purchase the rims along with a new set of tires because the old tires are no longer going to fit the new rims.

To keep your old tires and only replace the rims, purchase new rims with the exact diameter and width as the old rims, and pay attention to the old rims' bolt pattern. Each wheel axle comes with a specific number of bolts to use for attaching the wheels, so buy new rims with the same bolt pattern to ensure compatibility with the vehicle.

Regarding rim material, heavier substances make vehicles more sensitive to bumps on the road. The upside is that rims made from heavier materials, such as steel, are more durable than those made from lighter materials, such as aluminum. Many aluminum rims are alloyed with stronger metals to achieve a good balance between road sensitivity and longevity.

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