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Alloy Wheels

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Alloy Wheel Anatomy


ALLOY WHEELS 101

How is an alloy wheel made up and what are all the different parts called?

Alloy wheels on the face of it (pun intended) are relatively simple, they consist of a big round bit of metal shaped nicely to look good and then some holes drilled into it to let you fit the wheel to your car. However, like most things in life, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to alloy wheels. 

So what are the parts? Well, you have the rim, the face (see now the joke makes sense), the barrel, the mounting face and the rear lip. What are each of these I hear you ask, well let's look further into it...

- The Rim - Generally this it the outside most part of the front facing part of the wheel, also known as the front lip. This part is usually the part that will take the most amount of the abuse when you curb a wheel or if you are running on really low profile tyres and as such, it is generally rolled to increase its strength. When we talk about a polished lip wheel, this is the part that is polished and creates almost like a halo around the wheel.

- The Face - The money maker, the make or break of an alloy wheel, the face of the wheel is the piece that holds the design. Be it 5 Spoke, Mesh Design or any other version of a wheel you can think off, this is the wheel's main selling point and what makes it look like it does. There are different things you need to look at when we are talking about the face and the design and we cover the different designs in an upcoming help page [HERE].

- The Barrel - This is what makes the width up of the wheel it's the middle part going from the front lip/rim and the face to the rear lip. When you are looking at staggered wheels for your BMW or Mercedes-Benz this would be the only part that really changes and the wheel would look the same and generally have the same face however when you put the 18x8 and the 18x9 together there is an obvious difference in the length of the barrel. Unless of course you are looking at wheels that have concave or deep dishes as part of their design, but more on that [HERE].

- The Mounting Face - This is where the magic happens, i.e. where the wheel actually marries up the car hub. So this part of the alloy wheel that the bolt holes are drilled into and where we are going to be putting our spigot rings into. Essentially it is the part of an alloy wheel that changes the most from car to car due to changes in PCD or Offset

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