Wheel Shopping: Separating Truth From Hype


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All cars have the wheel in common, though the wheels on our cars couldn’t be more diverse in form and construction. There’s an emotional element as well, as personalizing a vehicle often starts with changing the wheels, whether for aesthetic or performance reasons.

In motorsports, there are genuine, measurable gains to be had from swapping out the stock wheels for something lighter, stronger, larger or smaller. Aftermarket wheels can also open the door to other upgrades, like larger brake systems and wider tire footprints.

With hundreds if not thousands of options in any particular size, however, there can be a paralyzing number of choices. Budget plays a factor, of course, and certain wheel types have a reputation for being race-appropriate, but how can you really know what you’re getting? We asked a number of wheel industry experts three basic questions to learn a bit more about what makes the wheels on the race car go round and round.

OEM wheels are actually some of the strongest you will ever have on your car. The wheel is so critical to safety that OEMs engineer theirs to be extremely strong, corrosionresistant, and fitment-conservative to allow for extra room within the wheel well.

An aftermarket performance wheel will typically be lighter due to a higher level of manufacturing, like forging or flow forming. It will push the limits of weight in exchange for extreme durability. What a lot of people don’t know is that OEM strength and durability standards are generally triple those of the aftermarket. So make sure when choosing a performance wheel that your supplier has the testing information to back up the low weight.”

EDDIE LEE
Mackin Industries/Volk Racing

Of course racers are going to be looking for the lightest, strongest wheel for their money, but quality is extremely important. There are a lot of companies now buying wheels from factories that don’t have the highest quality control or the correct build specifications for a given application. Choosing a lightweight wheel is great, but maybe it’s not correctly load-rated for your vehicle.

Maybe the reason the wheel is so light is because they removed necessary material in areas that will now be susceptible to cracking and stress fractures.

Choosing a wheel that’s built by a company with years of experience, high quality control and an understanding of what applications it will be used for is key and ensures that the wheel is reliable and safe while remaining as light and strong as it can be.”

SCOTT WEISS
König

Are Lighter Wheels Really Faster?

According to internet lore, fitting lightweight wheels on your car will instantly chop lap times in half. Perhaps the gains won’t be that drastic, but our own testing has shown that, yes, lighter wheels do yield lower lap times.

A little while back, we used our 1992 Mazda Miata endurance racer to test heavy versus light wheels. The 15x7-inch wheel size and BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 tires remained constant. Our lightweight setup weighed 30 pounds, 14.6 ounces per corner, while the heavy setup checked in at 42 pounds, 4.6 ounces each–remember, these weights represent one tire mounted on one wheel.

As expected, the zero-to-60 times favored the lightweight setup: 8.61 seconds versus 9.04. The lighter setup also posted a faster time around the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park’s test track: 56.32 seconds versus 56.99. (The retest of the heavier setup alan cesar photo yielded 56.63 seconds.)

The single most important factor when choosing a wheel is what the customer is going to be doing with the car. Someone who is looking for performance on the street using street tires doesn’t have to worry as much about strength and stiffness as someone who is going to track every weekend with R-compound tires. And slicks are another significant step up over R-compound DOT tires.”

DAVID SCHARDT
Forgeline

Right now, hands down, flow-forming technology is one of the construction methods that offers the best overall benefits, and it’s something that König is extremely proud of. Flowforming technology is a manufacturing process that shares similar properties to those found in the forging process.The end result is a product that is lighter, stronger and has greater elongation and shock resistance compared to a cast wheel. More importantly, we can offer these amazing product benefits to the customer at a price level that is still incredibly affordable.”

SCOTT WEISS
König

A true fully forged one-piece monoblock wheel offers the greatest performance gains, as the 6061 material– heat-treated to T6 specifications– offers the greatest strength-to-mass ratio. The metal is stronger and deflects less under force, which is a performance gain in itself. Reduced deflection gives the wheel more fatigue strength as well. This allows you to machine the spokes thinner or simply use less material as opposed to a cast or flow-formed wheel.

Forged three-piece wheels can have great fatigue and stiffness characteristics as well, but if you’re comparing the same design between a one- and a three-piece wheel, the one-piece forged wheel will be stiffer and typically lighter due to not having the bolts to hold it together.”

DAVID SCHARDT
Forgeline

There are so many new manufacturing techniques, like carbon wheels and flow forming–but the best and most advanced is mold forging. This is a technique used by Rays (Volk Racing) and BBS, the only companies capable of manufacturing with this technique in-house. It allows a wheel to exhibit extreme lightness and durability. Unlike traditional machine-forged wheels, the grain structure of the high-end aluminum is organized throughout a mold-forged wheel.

Carbon wheels are super light, but durability comes into question: Once there is an impact beyond the carbon strength threshold, the structure will crack and break. A mold-forged wheel will still retain air in the tire, so the wheel performs better than all other wheels while retaining a safety element as well.”

EDDIE LEE
Mackin Industries/Volk Racing

Metal Magic

Most performance wheels are made out of aluminum, which offers great strength for its weight compared to steel or other metals while still remaining affordable. There are many flavors of aluminum, however, and the variety of alloys and construction methods mean aluminum wheels can meet an array of performance and price targets. Strength and weight are inversely related, as a stronger metal means less material is necessary to hit the target weight rating. The Tire Rack’s Woody Rogers offered his expertise on this subject.

CASTING: There are two basic types of wheel casting methods, gravity casting and low-pressure casting. Gravity casting is the most basic, where molten aluminum is poured into a mold using gravity. Just like Jello mix, the aluminum spreads through the mold and sets, though this method doesn’t pack the aluminum as tightly as most other methods.
Low-pressure casting adds moderate injection pressure to the molten aluminum, allowing for a higher density than gravity alone, increased strength and potentially a lighter weight. Many OEM alloy wheels are manufactured with this technique.

FLOW FORMING: Also known as spun-rim or rim rolling technology, this method starts the same as low-pressure casting but adds a step that uses heat and steel rollers to define the final shape of the barrel (or rim section). The end result is a barrel (or rim section) that is similar in strength to a forged wheel, allowing for lighter designs.

FORGING: The highest-strength wheels also tend to carry the highest costs due to the complexity of manufacture. A forged one-piece wheel starts as a billet of aluminum alloy, and extreme pressure with multiple dies determines the final shape of the wheel. The grain structure of a forged wheel is very dense, so its strength and potential weight savings are difficult to beat.

Wheel Hieroglyphs Decoded

All wheels come with a variety of markings that tell the owner all the pertinent measurements, and a little bit of knowledge helps you extract the most from those letters and numbers. Woody Rogers, product information specialist at Tire Rack, offered us some insight into the label on one of the wheels in our inventory, an older RAYS Engineering Volk TE-37.

“The back of a wheel will have a variety of information molded, stamped or etched into the surface. Some of this information is governed by the Tire and Rim Association guidelines,” notes Woody. “Other info is from the manufacturer. Nearly all of it can be deciphered, but it may be unique to the wheel manufacturer.”

One crucial figure stamped into the wheel is the load rating. In the case of our TE-37, the rating stamped into the back of the wheel is 505KG, which means each wheel is designed to safely support 505 kilograms (1113 pounds) per corner at rest. Make sure the wheel you’re shopping meets your car’s minimum requirements. If you run significant downforce, it’d be a good idea to consult the wheel manufacturer to make sure you’re in the safe zone.

The sticker on our test wheel starts with the Rim Diameter Code x Rim Contour Designation, in this case 16x7.0. That’s a 16-inch diameter and 7-inch width. That’s the easy one.

The JJ describes the complex contour of the flange from the edge of the rim to the drop center—the part of the wheel you can’t see because it’s hidden by the tire. The JJ contour is a slightly outdated design used on our 12-year-old wheel. The J designation is the most common for passenger cars and light trucks these days, but there’s a staggering number of designations covering the history of cars, trucks and farm equipment.

Dig up a copy of the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization’s “Standards Manual” online for more than 60 pages of meaty diagrams and measurements on all the variations, and be sure to stick around for the gripping follow-up chapter on air pressure valve specs.

As Woody explains, “Some wheels may also have the safety hump shape listed after the Rim Contour Designation. Markings include Hump (H, H2 for double hump), Flat Hump (FH, FH2), Combination Hump (CH), and Extended Hump (EH2, EH2+). The EH markings are for run-flat tires.” Basically, safety humps increase the bite where the tire bead interfaces with the inside rim of the wheel.

PCD is the Pitch Circle Diameter, another way of saying the bolt circle pattern, which in this case is 114.3mm (4.5 inches). OF shows the offset, in this case +42mm outward from the centerline of the wheel. Woody says that offset is more often designated ET, from the German “Einpresstiefe” for “offset.”

Most car wheels have a positive offset, so the mounting surface is closer to the outside of the wheel than the inside. A zero-offset wheel would have its mounting surface on the exact centerline of the wheel, while a negative-offset wheel would move the mounting plane inward, pushing the wheel out from the hub.

The final two alphanumeric designations are manufacturerspecific for this wheel: We feel safe assuming that 5H BR indicates that this wheel is drilled for five holes and sports a factory bronze finish.

Trust that the wheel brand has the integrity and desire to ensure that their product quality and service are held to the highest standards. Trust that the brand has the expertise and experience to design and manufacture your wheels to the highest quality and with the appropriate specifications needed for your specific application–racing, street performance or luxury. You can easily spend a lot of money on wheels that are not only inferior to your OEM wheels, but may be completely unsafe, either due to a lack of technical knowledge, poor quality of manufacture, or use in incorrect applications.”

ALAN PELTIER
HRE Performance Wheels

Design and weight are equally important. Several TSW wheels are manufactured using a production technique called rotary forging, where the rim of the wheel is forged at high pressure while the wheel is spun at high speed. This alters the molecular structure and enhances the strength of the alloy. The weight savings is on the outer rim of the wheel, which dramatically reduces rotational mass and enhances vehicle performance.”

LINDA SCHMIDT
TSW Alloy Wheels

A true race wheel has several advantages, weight usually being the top dog. [Reducing] rotational unsprung wheel mass is one of the best ways to gain cheap horsepower, increase handling and improve braking all in one package.”

WADE HUISMAN
Keizer Wheels

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Comments
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Trackmouse
Trackmouse UltraDork
1/30/18 12:51 p.m.

Ok. Now tell us about the cheap wheels we can afford. cheeky

te72
te72 New Reader
1/31/18 12:29 a.m.

Have had a set of XXR 527 on the Supra for a couple years now. Haven't hit anything, so I can't comment on strength in that regard. Last I checked, you're not supposed to hit things anyway?

 

As far as satisfaction goes, they're reasonably light for the size, and were reasonably priced as well. Doesn't hurt that they look good and came with blank centercaps so I can put hello kitty stickers on them.

Trackmouse
Trackmouse UltraDork
1/31/18 1:03 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

So, how have they faired for auto sport use? This is where the rumors, horror stories, and the “buy name brand” stories foment. 

STM317
STM317 Dork
1/31/18 5:05 a.m.

Owning a set of Forgelines is on my bucket list. But spending more on a set of wheels than I did on the vehicle is a tough pill to swallow.

MazdaFace
MazdaFace HalfDork
1/31/18 6:01 a.m.

When I worked at Firestone we had a customer with knock off China te37 on a 370z. Came in complaining of a tire balance issue and we noticed half the spokes were cracked all the way through on his back wheels. He got lucky. Absolute disaster waiting to happen. Totally turned me off even the thought of off brand eBay wheels. 

Rodan
Rodan Reader
1/31/18 6:28 a.m.
STM317 said:

Owning a set of Forgelines is on my bucket list. But spending more on a set of wheels than I did on the vehicle is a tough pill to swallow.

With what I paid for my track Miata, almost everything cost more than the car did! cheeky

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
1/31/18 7:37 a.m.

There are a lot of wheel brands out there -- is anyone keeping a list of reputable makers of affordable flow formed / rotary forged wheels?

freetors
freetors Reader
1/31/18 7:45 a.m.

We have Rota RB25's on our MGB. I have been totally satisfied. Thirteen pounds for 15x6. Totally straight out of the box. I have accidently hit bumps and potholes that physically hurt and thought for sure that it would have damaged the wheels. But they just take the hit and keep on going. 

I think it's important to realize that if you're tracking your car or putting heavy loads on it, any wheel is eventually going to break or crack. And jut the right hit will do the same for any wheel too. The lighter your wheels the more risky this becomes.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/31/18 7:53 a.m.
nderwater said:

There are a lot of wheel brands out there -- is anyone keeping a list of reputable makers of affordable flow formed / rotary forged wheels?

Basically everything "affordable" that isn't super heavy is flow formed now. And there are plenty. 

REAL forged wheels are horrifically expensive. Typically $700+ per wheel.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
1/31/18 7:57 a.m.
Trackmouse said:

Ok. Now tell us about the cheap wheels we can afford. cheeky

For what fitment?

Seems to me if you drive anything that is autocross/tracked frequently, there are a ton of cheap options out there.  I usually start with TRM wheels because that is pretty much the target:  cheap, light, motorsports oriented.

Now if only their 15x8 Miata wheels had a higher offset...

russelljones48
russelljones48
1/31/18 8:20 a.m.

Unfortunately, I read this article as a series of "buy me" pitches from the vendors.  Except for the TR explanation, I learned little.  I doubt that GRM has the resources for exhaustive race testing of the durability of wheels but if the readership can be reasonably objective the wisdom of the crowd might offer some decent direction.  A general and widespread survey of race hours for various wheel types might point to a vendor or manufacturing process that provides the best value.  i.e good grass roots data analysis might provide some illuminating results...  

MazdaFace
MazdaFace HalfDork
1/31/18 8:21 a.m.

The breytons on the e46 have held up to absurdly bad roads with what I'd consider rubber band tires 35 series in the rear). Had them refinished about a year ago. Well worth the $450 the refinishing cost. Rears needed a ton of weight to balance but now it's barely any. To be fair, I'm pretty sure they are at least 10 years old and have had a hard life. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/31/18 8:35 a.m.

I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can't find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels "off label" if you will. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
1/31/18 8:41 a.m.

Yeah, you can't really do that easily.

 

What pattern are you looking for?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
1/31/18 8:41 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

You can call them or use the chat thing on the website and they will search by wheel specs for you- it's annoying that the site itself doesn't have that function, but it is available if you get a hold of a person who works there.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/31/18 8:45 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I hate talking to real people so much......

In reply to ProDarwin :

5x114.3. Accord offset, whatever that is. I'm not completely sold on the idea of getting brand new wheels for the car, but the prices on TR wheels make them hardly more expensive than used ones around here. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
1/31/18 8:55 a.m.

Ah.  Search for a WRX STI, S2000, NC Miata, or RX8.  They make pretty solid fitments for all of those.  Not sure what would work best on the Accord, but my gut says NC Miata is in the right range.

Austincrx
Austincrx New Reader
1/31/18 10:16 a.m.

What about prolonged use on-track and developing stress fractures?

Also, don't powder-coat your aluminum wheels, or you'll know a lot about stress fractures very soon.

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/31/18 10:39 a.m.

I tend to keep oem wheels on a car unless I can afford to pay for the good stuff.  I have no issue buying the high-end stuff used. 

My favorite brands are hre, ssr, oz, enkei, work, old school ronals, competitive.

I think Mercedes makes the best looking wheels especially some amg wheels. 

mazdeuce - Seth said:

I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can't find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels "off label" if you will. 

My understanding is that TR got tired of dealing with returns/exchanges from people selecting wheels and not knowing wtf they're doing doing. And naturally blaming TR for it. I can understand why they took the no-vehicle wheel shopping away.

8valve
8valve New Reader
1/31/18 1:10 p.m.

The flexibility/stiffness part I find interesting.. other qualities are pretty straightforward and easily measurable.  Is there any industry standard for comparing it?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/31/18 1:17 p.m.
Austincrx said:

What about prolonged use on-track and developing stress fractures?

Also, don't powder-coat your aluminum wheels, or you'll know a lot about stress fractures very soon.

Wheels, when used for HPDE/Racing, are a wear item. And should be frequently inspected for hairline cracks/fractures. 

Trackmouse
Trackmouse UltraDork
1/31/18 1:17 p.m.

How about a set of 15x7, in 4x114.3 and ALSO in 5x114.3. Oh, and zero offset. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
1/31/18 1:24 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse :

Enkei Compe comes in both of those bolt patterns, 15x7, 0 offset.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
1/31/18 1:54 p.m.

Ok, what about 15x9 or 15x10, 4x114.3, offset 20-40?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
1/31/18 2:18 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

What's the budget?  JNC wheels if you're cheap and willing to try a less reputable company.

If willing to spend more: Ultralite UL10 

More than that? Work, Volk, SSR, Compomotive, Braid, lots of expensive options

 

EDIT: Aero 55 Series if price is more important than weight

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
1/31/18 2:37 p.m.

Its hard to beat the OEM's at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
1/31/18 2:44 p.m.

Outside of TR I've been impressed (almost bought many times) from Good-Win racing's site.  They had a nice selection of affordable flow formed stuff.

Good-Win Wheels

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
1/31/18 2:46 p.m.

I had a set of rota dpts on my ms3. They were one of three sets I could find in the (then) oddball size 17x9+42. They were the only one that was less than a 3 month mortgage payment. I slammed a curb pretty hard once, and they took the hit. No problems since. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
1/31/18 2:47 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

What bolt pattern you want? I generally cheat and pretend I own either a Subaru or an e.g. hatch to get what I want. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/31/18 2:50 p.m.
wearymicrobe said:

Its hard to beat the OEM's at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   

What BBS? Most don't seem to be that light compared to competitors (maybe motorsports stuff we can't get?)

They don't do that many custom options, from what I've seen, and in general, 3 piece wheels wheels are heavier.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
1/31/18 3:15 p.m.

For the reasons mentioned I like finding used OE wheels in the size/offset/look that I want but it's not easy. It would be cool if there were a master cross reference somewhere for critical dimensions on OE wheels.  

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
1/31/18 5:12 p.m.
z31maniac said:
wearymicrobe said:

Its hard to beat the OEM's at their own game. Figure at least three times to the cost of a replacement ORM to do better then they did. 

Unless you want ugly and wide, then you call Kodiak.   

You want pretty and wide you call HRE.   

You want extra wide and extra light and crazy $$$$$ you go BBS.   

What BBS? Most don't seem to be that light compared to competitors (maybe motorsports stuff we can't get?)

They don't do that many custom options, from what I've seen, and in general, 3 piece wheels wheels are heavier.

They have some astonishing offerings if you are willing to pay and willing to deal with the order time. ~18 weeks on average for something as long as it is not custom barreled.  

I have a set of E16 17' faces bolted to custom 19x15 barrels, that have face adapters that they made in magnesium as a one off. ~20lb's. for a race ready 19x15 that will fit over a 17.0 inch rotor to me is drop dead fantastic. The price was astronomical though. Like 20K+ to build the set but they are bomb proof I have hit things in them that would destroy a normal wheel. In fact one took a direct hit form a Lexus going about 20 mph and other then a bent lip kept right on ticking. 

If it was my money never in a million years would I have spent it. I would have called Kodiak and been done with it. 

 

Now on the GRM side of things its hard to go wrongw with things like the RPF1s on a lighter smaller car. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/31/18 5:40 p.m.

^HOLY CHEESUS!

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
1/31/18 6:28 p.m.
z31maniac said:

^HOLY CHEESUS!

This is the story that I was told. I have seen the order sheet somewhere but I think it was 4.8K a wheel with the custom barrels and then there was the custom painting on top of that and then the shipping. The wheels were used on the car when it was shown at SEMA so it is a little bit nutter.

Someone on stanceworks knows the full story as he ordered them up but they wer emade to emulate the Gen II ACR BBS wheels and they made two complete sets. Both are 19x15 (The measure 14.7) for the rears and a I 18x11.5 for the fronts. They are stamped BBS with a serial number and the barrels are marked custom on the inside in Japanese.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/31/18 8:47 p.m.

Those were for the green snake, right? 

buzzboy
buzzboy Reader
1/31/18 11:16 p.m.

I wish I had more wheel shopping options. There is only one OEM wheel that fits our car and is a substantial upgrade. However, CLK lightweights are killer wheels, they are light and they fit. I wish they were 17x8 not 16x7 but beggars can't be choosers.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/31/18 11:46 p.m.
Trackmouse said:

In reply to te72 :

So, how have they faired for auto sport use? This is where the rumors, horror stories, and the “buy name brand” stories foment. 

Only have about 6000 miles on them so far, and only two autocrosses. They've held up just fine, but I'm one of those weirdos that likes a few inches of stiff sidewall on their tires, so whatever road imperfections I've run over haven't caused any issue. I try to avoid damaging the wheels where possible.

 

No funny vibrations, balance issues, tires slipping on the bead, nothing of the sort to report. They're a ten spoke wheel, so the load is pretty nicely spread out as far as the design is concerned.

 

When the car gets its widebody makeover in a couple years, it will likely be getting a set of SSR's to complete the look. However, the XXR's suited the "I need something round that I can attach a tire to" need that fit the budget at the time. I'm not disappointed in any way.

te72
te72 New Reader
1/31/18 11:53 p.m.
WildScotsRacingCampbellCougarSeed said:
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I'm having a hell of a time figuring out what the bolt patterns are for TR motorsports wheels. There are several in five lug (in the pictures anyway) but I can't find the numbers. I know TR wants me to shop by vehichicle, but sometimes I want to look at wheels "off label" if you will. 

My understanding is that TR got tired of dealing with returns/exchanges from people selecting wheels and not knowing wtf they're doing doing. And naturally blaming TR for it. I can understand why they took the no-vehicle wheel shopping away.

I can understand that they generally deal with people who aren't especially well versed in wheel fitment for their application, but this is frustrating that they won't show you offsets and sizes available for a particular wheel, or let you select a range of fitment options and show you wheels that fall within those specs. It's why I won't bother buying wheels from them anymore.

 

I know my car, very well, I know what fits (and have the micrometer to prove it!), and if in the event I miscalculate (I have done this once, even recently), I know how to make it work. Would be nice if they had a button to click before showing you ALL the wheels that says something to the effect of, "we can't confirm that the wheels you pick out will fit your application, so if you screw up, it's on you," and they could charge a restocking fee if necessary, or just deny returns entirely for folks like me.

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
2/2/18 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Austincrx :

I'll second that.  First set of Team Dynamics (they're big in Miata-land but they made a wheel with correct bolts and offset for my SHO) had been powder coated by the previous owner.  I can't swear that was what made them crack but research showed that the temperatures used may have ill effects on strength.  D'oh!  The next set of TD's worked fine for a couple of years of autocross.

As far as light, my Subaru has older Kosei wheels in 17" that are nearly as light as the best and were way cheaper.  And a nice touch is double valve stems so I can see a real pressure while the compressor is working!  If I have to change to 18's, which seems required by the best autocross tire (RE71R currently) not being available in the right size in 17's, then I'll have to downgrade to 18's (heavier rotating mass  cheeky).  Probably Enkei RPF1.

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
2/2/18 1:48 p.m.

In reply to te72 :

<.. Would be nice if they had a button to click before showing you ALL the wheels that says something to the effect of, "we can't confirm that the wheels you pick out will fit your application, so if you screw up, it's on you," and they could charge a restocking fee if necessary, or just deny returns entirely for folks like me. >

Well, you can't even mount then and have them be return-able.  So "deny returns" seems like their path.  I think they said that if you call and speak to a rep that they can see all available choices.  I have had their reps call me after ordering bigger than stock autocross tires from the online portal, just confirming that is what I want because it isn't in their "list" of approved sizes for the STI, but they didn't have a problem with selling me the tires after they confirmed it.

te72
te72 New Reader
2/6/18 12:37 a.m.

In reply to PT_SHO :

I was just suggesting that their website is far from enthusiast friendly, so I quit shopping there. Show me a spec list and let me figure it out, or at least give me the option. I'm not one to sit on a phone with a sales rep for an hour or two trying to figure out the math, that's really not a very polite use of their time, I'd think... plus, I'm rarely shopping at normal business hours for any business in this country haha!  =)

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