Not everyone is an off-road enthusiast. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know the kind of adrenaline rush they’re missing. Can’t say this for others, but I couldn’t spend my weekends watching shows on my Frontier packages when I could be off-roading. Any spare time I get, you can be sure I’m going to be putting my ride through its paces.
Of course, it’s not like anyone can just get in their SUVs and tame the wild. That is just advertisement speak. Off-roading is a serious bit of business. Your ride needs to be able to take the bashing that off-roading will undoubtedly give.
Why are Wheels Important to Wheelers?
The best part of off-roading, apart from the obvious, is the modification process. Before taking your jeep off-road you will need to make some improvements. The bumpers should be one of the first things to go. Along with the stock suspension. Those are absolute garbage off-road. Then you need your wench. But most important of all are your wheels. Without the right wheels, you can’t expect to have any fun off-road.
Some people might not know this but wheels are more than just a cosmetic upgrade. Most people don’t understand the need to upgrade your wheels before off-roading. But wheelers know that a new lift mod would be wasted without proper wheels.
How To Choose the Right Wheels?
If you are in the market, there are unlimited options for you to choose from. There are numerous companies and even more models. So many that it becomes overwhelming. Since you want to make sure your money is spent right, use this guide.
- Consider the Material
- Measure the Size
- Weigh Your Options
- Measure Backspacing and Offset
- Ask Yourself, Are You Ready to Beadlock?
#1. Consider the Material
The first thing you need to consider is material. The material can determine the strength on the wheel. There are 3 best options for off-roading:
- Steel: Steel is a good option for you, especially if you’re a beginner. Steel wheels are usually a lot cheaper than aluminum alternatives. They are usually half the price. And of course, they are strong. But more than that, they can take a beating and are less likely to crack. At most, they will bend, and that is something you can fix on the trail. All you need is a hammer and a good aim.
- Cast Aluminum: This is one of the most common wheel types. It falls between Steel and forged aluminum. The major advantage of these wheels is weight savings. They are likely to be lighter than the stock wheels of your car. And much lighter than steel wheels. Additionally, you don’t need t worry about things like rust.
- Forged Aluminum: Forged wheels are the best off-roading wheels you can have. They offer the lightweight advantages of cast-aluminum wheels. And the strength that comes from the forged design. This does make them the most expensive option though.
#2. Measure the Size
Measuring the size of the wheels that you can fit is very important. So many wheelers have made the rookie mistake of buying wheels without measuring. They need to be able to fit in the wheel arches of your truck or 4X4. Another thing to consider is sidewall. Every off-roader understands the importance of sidewalls. But of course, going too big is not recommended for off-road use.
#3. Weigh Your Options
Weighing the wheels is important. You don’t want one that is too heavy. As an off-roader, you should know the importance of weight savings. You don’t want to be carrying any weight that you don’t need. Remember to consider the added weight of the rubber tire as well.
Another weight-related thing to consider is load. You are likely to use your 4X4 for more than just off-roading. So you need to make sure that the new wheels match the load/tow capacity you need.
#4. Measure Backspacing and Offset
Another rookie mistake when selecting the right wheel option is forgetting to measure backspace. Backspace is the distance between the wheel’s mounting surface and the outer edge of the wheel on the backside. The smaller this distance is, the further out your wheel will sit. So a wheel with 4 inches of backspace will stick the wheel outside of the truck. More than one with 6 inches backspace.
#5. Ask Yourself, Are You Ready to Beadlock?
Beadlock wheels are not an option you should consider if you are not a heavy-duty off-roader. They are an expensive option and need regular servicing. Additionally, not every tire shop is going to have the necessary tools to service your tires.
I wish there was a helpline I could call for information about off-roading wheels like I call Hughesnet support for my internet service. But unfortunately, there isn’t. So we have to make do with blogs and by asking other enthusiasts. The purpose of this blog is to give you the information to make an informed decision. The right wheels can make your next off-roading adventure the best one yet. Happy trails.