Buying Off-Road Wheels

Off-roaders know that it’s important to have KMC wheels and tyres that can stand up to the roughest terrain. Most off-road tyre packages come with wheel sets specifically intended for use on all terrain, and this guide discusses the various features of off-road tyres and wheels. By learning more about these specialized wheels, buyers like you can make the right choice for their vehicle.

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Off-Road Tyre Characteristics

Tyres and off road wheels have certain characteristics that set them apart from regular wheels and tyres. It’s important for customers to understand these differences and their effects on wheel and tyre performance.

  • Construction: Off-road tyres are made differently than those intended for street use. 4x4s are usually heavier than regular cars, and tyres must support additional weight while adapting to rugged terrain.
  • Tread pattern: These tyres have widely-spaced, large studs called lugs. Their spacing and pattern can determine the level of off-road traction, as well as that offered in wet conditions on paved roads.

Wheel Construction, Price and Style

Off-road wheels are made using a variety of methods, and you can benefit greatly from understanding how they’re made. Price is of course important, but you should also consider strength when deciding on a set of wheels. Appearance is yet another important factor to be thought of when choosing wheels to match your new off-road tyres.

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Wheel Offset

Offset is a key factor when choosing off-road tyres. It determines the width of the wheelbase, as well as the vehicle’s overall footprint. There are three different wheel offset configurations:

  • Wheels with negative offset stick out further from the wheel well. Negative-offset rims increase width between front wheels, and they offer greater overall stability.
  • Center offset wheels cause tyres to protrude slightly from the wheel wells. These wheels are sometimes known as “zero offset”, and the wheel centre is equidistant from the inside and outside planes of the rim.
  • Positive offset wheels move tyres closer to the vehicle’s centre. Most passenger vehicles have positive-offset wheels as factory equipment, but these can cause clearance issues with suspension parts when installing oversize tyres.

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Periodic Alignment is Important

Off-roading over very aggressive terrain can cause wheels to become misaligned. Periodic alignment requirements depend on how frequently you go off-road. However, having an alignment every six months is a good idea. After a particularly harsh off-roading session, check the position of the stering wheel. If it’s cocked to the left or the right when you’re driving down a straight road, you may need an alignment.

Off-roading is a fast-growing activity, and if you’re thinking of giving it a try, having some basic knowledge can be helpful. By learning about off-road wheels and tyres, you can have the knowledge and skills necessary to make the right purchase decision.