Find Out Why Wheel Size Matters and What You Need to Know
Does size really matter?
Of course it does!
Plus sizing wheels. Even though we aren’t supposed to judge you from your appearance, we all do it. The size of your rims can say a lot about you and your style.
When shopping for new rims, you’re gonna want the right size in both diameter and width. We’ll help you out with that and help you make the right impression without saying a word.
Diameter of Your Rims
Just about everyone knows bigger rims look better on trucks than small rims do. This isn’t 1995 where a bitchin set of 17 inch wheels look hot. Now even manufacturers are getting in on it and offering up to 22 inch wheels right from the factory.
Aftermarket rims go even bigger and you’ll see plenty of 24’s at any given truck meet or car show. There may even be a set of 26’s rolling around on a smooth, flat street.
You’ve got to keep in mind that 22 inch rims are about as big as you can go on a stock truck and still have room for enough tire to keep the rims protected. Any bigger than 22 inches and you’ll have to get really low profile tires to be able to fit them on your truck and be able to turn.
With super low profile tires you lower the protection the tires give your rims. Hit a pothole with a good amount of sidewall on your tire and you’ll probably be okay. Hit that same pothole with a 24 inch rim and barely enough rubber on the tire to call it a tire and you’ll end up with a bent or cracked rim.
Width Matters Too
Width matters when buying rims and tires, especially if you’re buying them separately. Just because your rim is 20 inches in diameter and you found 20 inch tires doesn’t mean they’ll fit. You need to know the width of your rims before you can buy a set of tires. You’ll have to look at the tires spec sheet to find out what width of wheel the tire is designed for, but that’s a whole other conversation.
Staggered fit rims and tires are seen more on sports cars and hotrods. This is when the rear rims and tires are larger and/or wider than the front. Since the rear wheels don’t have to turn like the front wheels, you can safely tuck a much larger size in the rear of any vehicle. A common example would be to have 20×8” wheels on the front and 20×10” wheels on the rear. You see this frequently on “Modern Muscle” cars like Camaro’s, Mustang’s and Challenger’s. Most 4WD trucks run the same size on all four corners, but some 2WD trucks will go with staggered fits.
Limitations of Tires Available
When you get into big rims and tires for certain types of use, you’ll find your choices for tires may be severely limited. When you get 20 inch rims on your four wheel drive you can find tons of manufacturer’s who make 20” tires for stock height vehicles. But when you want to throw a 37 inch tall tire on it, there are only a few tire makers out there to choose from. There just aren’t as many companies making them for that size.
If you’ve got a set of 20 inch rims and you want a regular street tire you can choose from just about any manufacturer out there. Just remember when you go with big rims and you want off road tires, your choices are going to be a lot more limited and expensive.
Size Affects Price
Big rims are going to cost more than small rims. Bet you already knew that.
Size really does have a huge affect on the price of your new rims and tires. You can buy a really nice, high quality set of 17 inch rims and tires for under $2000. Try getting that same set of rims and tires in 20s or 22s and the price can more than double.
This is where really knowing exactly what you want and what you’re willing to spend comes into play. If you’re willing to pay for what you want, go for it. If the size doesn’t matter that much to you, you’ll save a lot by going smaller. But we all know bigger looks way better, so it’s worth saving up for.
What Do You Expect?
Before you throw down the cash for your rims and tires, think about what you expect from them. No, we aren’t getting philosophical here, we’re being real. If you live on a gravel road and expect to have a clean set of chrome rims for more than a week, you’re expecting too much. Rocks are going to chip and ding the surface and eventually lead to pits, which can’t be stopped.
If you live in an area with pothole-riddled roads, keep a decent size sidewall even if it means going down an inch on your rim size. A set of four 22 inch rims is better than three 24’s and one cracked 24. But we’re more than willing to accommodate you as long as you know the risks. Ask our experts if you are unsure.
Plus Sizing Your Wheels
If you want the good looks of larger diameter rims, but don’t want to sacrifice any ride quality or sizing limitations, you can plus size the rims and downsize the tires to match your factory size. The size of the rim won’t really matter if you keep the overall outside diameter of the tire the same as your factory tires. If your factory rims are 18 inches with a meaty tire, you can get 22s and go with a lower profile tire and keep the same overall diameter.
Any way you look at it, bigger rims look great on trucks.
It’s a scientific fact.
Well maybe not from an actual scientist, but that’s our opinion and we think highly of it.
If you’re looking for a set of rims and tires come check out our huge selection. We’ve even got a wheel simulator on our website so you can get an idea of what the rims will look like on your vehicle before you buy them.
If you have any questions about sizes, tires, rims or anything else just give us a call, send an email or come by one of our Kansas City locations.
We’d love to hear your opinion on big rims and tires below, so sound off.