Large Diameter Wheels

Understanding Wheel Dimensions

Wheel dimensions are crucial in selecting the right wheels for any vehicle. These dimensions not only determine how the wheel fits onto the vehicle but also significantly impact its performance, safety, and aesthetics. There are three primary dimensions to consider when discussing wheel sizes: diameter, width, and offset. Additionally, backspacing is another important factor that relates closely to offset. Let’s break down each of these dimensions to understand their importance.

Wheel Diameter

Showing Wheel Diameter

The diameter of a wheel is the size of the wheel measured from one end to the other through the center point. It is usually measured in inches. The wheel diameter is a critical factor that affects the overall look of the vehicle and its driving characteristics. Larger diameters typically allow for larger brake systems, which can improve braking performance. However, increasing the wheel diameter can also lead to a harsher ride due to the reduced sidewall height of the tires that must be used. It’s essential to choose a diameter that balances aesthetics, performance, and comfort.

Wheel Width

Showing Wheel Width

Wheel width is the measurement of the wheel from one side to the other, indicating how wide the wheel is. This dimension is crucial because it determines the width of the tire that can be safely mounted on the wheel. A wider wheel can accommodate a wider tire, which may offer better traction and handling by providing a larger contact area with the road. However, overly wide wheels may cause tires to rub against the vehicle’s body or suspension components, especially if the proper offset is not maintained.

Measuring Wheel Size

Measuring wheel size is straightforward. For the wheel diameter, use a tape measure or ruler. Measure from the bead seat, not the outer rim. The bead seat is where the tire bead sits on the wheel. For wheels, diameter is typically measured in inches. For the wheel width, Measure between the flanges on the wheel where the tire bead sits, not the outer edges. This measurement is also typically done in inches.


The offset of a wheel is the distance from the wheel’s mounting surface to its center line. A positive offset means the mounting surface is closer to the front (or wheel face), pushing the wheel inward towards the vehicle. A negative offset does the opposite, extending the wheel outward. The right offset is crucial for preventing the wheels from rubbing against the suspension or bodywork and for ensuring the wheel and tire assembly aligns properly with the vehicle’s designed suspension geometry.


Backspacing measures the distance from the wheel’s mounting surface to the back edge of the wheel. It is related to offset but provides a different perspective on how the wheel will sit in the wheel well. Backspacing is important for ensuring there is enough clearance between the wheel and the vehicle’s components, such as the brake calipers, suspension parts, and inner fender. As with offset, proper backspacing is vital to avoid interference and potential damage.

Bolt Pattern

The bolt pattern, also known as the lug pattern, is a critical dimension that specifies the number of bolts and the diameter of the circle they form on the wheel. It is denoted by two numbers: the first indicates the number of bolt holes, and the second describes the diameter of the imaginary circle formed by the bolts (usually in millimeters or inches). For example, a “5×114.3” bolt pattern means the wheel has five bolt holes spaced evenly around a 114.3mm circle. Matching the bolt pattern of the wheel to that of the vehicle is essential for proper fitment. An incorrect bolt pattern will prevent the wheel from being mounted onto the vehicle. Adapters can sometimes be used to fit wheels with a different bolt pattern, but ensuring direct compatibility is always preferred for safety and reliability.

Hub Bore

The hub bore is the large hole at the center of the wheel that fits over the vehicle’s hub. This dimension is vital for centering the wheel on the vehicle and can greatly affect the vehicle’s ride quality. A wheel with a hub bore that matches the size of the vehicle’s hub will ensure a snug fit, minimizing vibration and ensuring the wheel is properly aligned. In cases where the wheel’s hub bore is larger than the vehicle’s hub, hub-centric rings can be used to fill the gap and properly center the wheel. While lug nuts or bolts can secure the wheel to the vehicle, the hub bore plays a crucial role in providing a smooth driving experience by ensuring the wheel is perfectly centered.

Tire Sizing for New Wheels

Understanding tire sizing for new wheels is essential to ensure compatibility and optimal performance of your vehicle. Tire sizes are denoted by a series of numbers and letters that provide specific information about the tire’s width, aspect ratio, construction type, and diameter. For instance, a tire size of “225/50R16” means the tire is 225 millimeters wide, has an aspect ratio (the height of the tire sidewall as a percentage of the tire’s width) of 50%, is of radial construction (R), and fits on a 16-inch diameter wheel.

When selecting tires for new wheels, it’s crucial to choose a tire size that maintains the overall diameter as close as possible to the original tires to keep the vehicle’s speedometer, odometer, and traction control systems accurate. Additionally, the tire width should match the width of the new wheels to ensure proper fitment and avoid issues such as tire bulging or pinching, which can affect handling and safety. Consulting a tire fitment guide or a professional can help you find the correct tire size that complements your new wheels while maintaining the vehicle’s performance and safety standards.

The Car Community’s Obsession with Changing Wheel Size

Aesthetic Customization

Wheels are among the most visible modifications that can be made to a vehicle, offering an immediate and impactful way to customize and enhance a car’s appearance. Changing wheels allows enthusiasts to personalize their vehicle to reflect their style, whether it’s seeking a sleek, elegant look with larger, more refined wheels or aiming for an aggressive, sporty stance with wider wheels. The variety of wheel designs, colors, and finishes available means that there’s something for every taste, enabling owners to make their vehicle stand out from the crowd.

Performance Improvement

Upgrading to aftermarket wheels can lead to tangible performance benefits. Lightweight wheels reduce unsprung mass, which can improve handling, acceleration, and braking efficiency. The right set of wheels can also allow for the fitting of wider tires, enhancing grip and stability on the road or track. For performance-minded enthusiasts, even a small advantage can be worth the investment, as it can make the driving experience more engaging and the vehicle more competitive in racing or spirited driving scenarios.

Fitment and Functionality

Enthusiasts who modify their vehicles with performance brakes may find that their stock wheels do not provide adequate clearance for larger brake calipers and discs, necessitating a switch to wheels with different offsets or larger diameters. Similarly, those who lower their vehicles for improved handling and stance might need to adjust their wheel and tire setup to avoid rubbing against the wheel arches. In these cases, changing wheels is not just about looks or performance but about making the vehicle’s modifications work together harmoniously.

34″ Wheels

The wheel market seemed to demand larger and larger wheels. We remember showcasing 30″ wheels at the DUB Show in 2012. We didn’t think it would go much bigger than that but then our vendors started making larger wheels. We had a set of 34″ wheels and could not find tires for them! Eventually someone purchased them and the trend has seemed to reverse to more normal 26″ wheels :).

Choosing the Right Wheel Size

Choosing the right wheel size for your vehicle is a balance between aesthetics, performance, and safety. The process involves more than just selecting a wheel that looks good; it requires understanding how different wheel sizes affect your vehicle’s handling, efficiency, and comfort. Here’s a comprehensive approach to selecting the ideal wheel size:

Vehicle Manufacturer Recommendations

The first step in choosing the right wheel size is to consult your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. Car manufacturers specify a range of wheel sizes that are tested and proven to work well with each model’s unique suspension, braking, and body design. Sticking within these recommended sizes ensures that your vehicle maintains its intended safety, performance levels, and fuel efficiency. Deviating significantly from these recommendations can lead to handling issues, increased wear on vehicle components, and potentially unsafe driving conditions.

Performance Considerations

Wheel size directly impacts a vehicle’s performance in several ways. Larger wheels can offer improved handling due to a wider tire contact area with the road. However, overly large wheels may negatively impact ride quality by reducing the tire’s sidewall height, leading to a harsher ride over bumps and potholes.

Larger wheels are often heavier, which can lead to reduced acceleration and lower fuel efficiency. The added weight requires more energy to move, impacting overall vehicle efficiency.

Larger wheels can allow for larger brake discs and calipers, potentially improving braking performance. However, the wheel and tire setup must still be balanced to ensure the braking system’s effectiveness is not compromised.

Aesthetic Considerations

Wheels significantly influence a vehicle’s appearance. Larger wheels can give a vehicle a more aggressive stance and sporty look. However, aesthetics should not be the sole consideration when choosing wheel size. It’s essential to balance the desire for a certain look with the practical aspects of wheel performance and safety.


Wheels that are too large or too small can affect the vehicle’s handling characteristics, making it more difficult to control in emergency situations. Additionally, incorrect wheel sizes can lead to improper tire wear, increasing the risk of tire failure. Ensuring that your wheel choice complies with safety standards and recommendations is crucial.

Plus Sizing

Plus sizing your wheels is a popular method for enhancing a vehicle’s aesthetics and performance by increasing the diameter of the wheels while maintaining the overall diameter of the tire and wheel assembly. This practice involves fitting a larger wheel on the car but with a lower profile tire to compensate for the increased wheel size, ensuring that the overall tire diameter remains consistent. The primary benefits of plus sizing include a more aggressive and sporty look, improved handling due to a wider tire contact patch, and potentially better grip on the road. However, it’s crucial to consider that plus sizing can also lead to a firmer ride due to the reduced sidewall height of the tires, and in some cases, it may affect the speedometer accuracy if not properly calculated. Careful consideration and professional advice are recommended to ensure that plus sizing enhances the vehicle’s performance without compromising safety or comfort.

Coming Soon

Wheel Sizing FAQ

  1. What is wheel sizing and why is it important?
    • Wheel sizing refers to the dimensions of a wheel, including its diameter, width, offset, and bolt pattern. It’s crucial because it ensures compatibility with your vehicle for safety, performance, and aesthetic purposes.
  2. How do I find out what wheel size fits my vehicle?
    • Check your vehicle’s owner manual, the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb, or the OEM specifications online. Alternatively, use reputable wheel and tire size calculators or consult with a professional.
  3. Can I use wheels with a different diameter than my OEM wheels?
    • Yes, but it’s important to maintain the overall tire diameter to keep the speedometer accurate and the vehicle handling as intended. Consult a professional to ensure compatibility.
  4. How can changing my wheel size impact the vehicle’s speedometer reading?
    • Changing the wheel size without adjusting the overall tire diameter can alter the circumference of the tires, leading to inaccurate speedometer readings. It’s vital to match the total diameter for accuracy.
  5. Can I fit larger wheels on my vehicle to improve performance?
    • Larger wheels can improve handling and aesthetics but may reduce ride comfort and acceleration. It’s important to consider the trade-offs and consult a professional to ensure they fit properly.
  6. What risks are associated with fitting the wrong wheel size?
    • Incorrect wheel size can lead to tire rub, handling issues, suspension damage, or unsafe driving conditions. Always ensure compatibility with your vehicle’s specifications.
  7. How does wheel width influence tire selection and performance?
    • Wheel width determines the range of tire widths that can be safely mounted. Wider wheels can accommodate wider tires, potentially improving grip and stability but must be carefully matched to avoid fitment issues.
  8. What should I consider when choosing aftermarket wheels for a lowered vehicle?
    • Consider the wheel size, offset, and suspension modifications to ensure there’s enough clearance for the wheels and tires without rubbing against the fenders or suspension components.
  9. How do I match new wheels with the right tires?
    • Use a tire size calculator or consult with a professional to find tires that maintain the original tire’s overall diameter, ensuring compatibility with your new wheels.
Wheel and Tire Experts

Wheel Sizing Experts

Our team’s expertise extends far beyond mere wheel dimensions; we possess a nuanced understanding of how wheel sizing impacts vehicle performance, aesthetics, and safety. This knowledge encompasses everything from diameter and width considerations to offset, backspacing, and the interplay between tire and wheel sizing. Our proficiency in navigating these complex factors ensures that we can offer tailored solutions that meet both the technical specifications and aesthetic preferences of a wide range of vehicles, from daily drivers to high-performance sports cars and custom builds.

By encompassing extensive expertise, practical experience, authoritative standing in the automotive industry, and a steadfast commitment to trustworthiness, we deliver unparalleled service in wheel sizing. Our approach ensures that every recommendation we make is tailored to enhance the vehicle’s performance, safety, and visual appeal, cementing our reputation as a trusted advisor in the automotive community.

  • Experience with Custom and Unique Wheel Fitments: With decades of experience under our belts, we have encountered and successfully navigated an extensive array of wheel fitment scenarios. Our history includes working with a diverse spectrum of vehicles, ensuring optimal fitment that accounts for specific performance goals, clearance requirements, and visual appeal. This hands-on experience allows us to approach each new challenge with a wealth of practical knowledge, ensuring we can adapt to the evolving needs and trends of the automotive community.
  • Authoritativeness in the Wheel and Tire Industry: Our authority in the wheel sizing domain is built on a foundation of continuous learning and adaptation to the latest industry standards, trends, and technologies. By staying at the forefront of wheel design and manufacturing advancements, we position ourselves as a trusted source of up-to-date, relevant advice. Our recommendations are informed by the latest research, product releases, and our active participation in the automotive community, reinforcing our role as leaders in the field.
  • Trustworthiness and Reliability in Recommendations: At the core of our service is a commitment to providing reliable, accurate wheel sizing information. Our processes involve meticulous verification of wheel and tire sizes, compatibility checks, and safety assessments, ensuring that our advice is not only precise but also practical. We pride ourselves on transparency and honesty, guiding our clients toward the best choices for their vehicles while considering their safety, budget, and performance needs. Our dedication to excellence has earned us the trust of a loyal client base, who rely on us for expert guidance in wheel and tire sizing.