Wheels have become a large element in car culture as a whole. They can change the entire dynamic of the overall theme of your exterior. But the origin of how wheels have had an effect on car culture really begins with racing. Dating back to the '50s and '60s when drag racing was growing into a real genre of motorsport, owners, and participants discovered tractioRead More
Wheels have become a large element in car culture as a whole. They can change the entire dynamic of the overall theme of your exterior. But the origin of how wheels have had an effect on car culture really begins with racing. Dating back to the '50s and '60s when drag racing was growing into a real genre of motorsport, owners, and participants discovered traction could be increased with a wider wheel and a taller tire. However, dating back to relative time periods with road cars participating in Le Mans, the participating teams used wider wheels and softer compound tires to stay competitive. Many of us watched Ford V Ferrari and the story and legend of Ken Miles taking on Ferrari back in 1966 in the Ford GT40. Not only was this an incredible period in time for racing, but an excellent marketing strategy for Carrol Shelby as newfound owners who purchased Shelby automobiles were the same technology, including the wider wheels and tires required for traction.
But think about it today, what are some of the most expensive and sought-after wheels in car culture? Right off the bat, some will say the Volk TE-37s and yes, this is at the top of the list, and we will get back to that. But dating back to the '70s in formula racing, and especially in sports car racing in SCCA as well as in IMSA GT racing, there was one common wheel. That was the BBS Racing wheel. This was a 2-or 3-piece racing wheel designed to allow race teams to properly size out their wheels to accommodate for wider tires, as well as clearance for the body and the brake calipers. During those times, the crux of the BBS wheel design was the mesh face which allowed for proper ventilation of the braking system. This face had slight iterations in the design throughout time, and like the Porsche 911, it became a timeless design.
The stepped lips, the center mesh face, the rear barrel, and the bolts holding the wheel together became highly desirable and available in the '80s and '90s in street-legal form with models such as the BBS RS that were available as options in special wish programs with certain automobile manufacturers. The multi-piece wheel technology grew with other wheel manufacturers as car customization also took off in the '80s, and special wheel widths had to accommodate special body kits, fender flares, and again, wider tire setups.
Because of these reasons, BBS Race Wheels are still highly utilized on worldwide race teams and race programs throughout several motorsport racing categories, and they are highly coveted by enthusiasts who like to build custom sets for their SEMA builds, and weekend show cars.
However, multi-piece wheels require maintenance. They are not the type of wheel that you occasionally check the tire pressure and be on your merry way. No, because they are multi-piece, there will always be room for air to escape. And because of these reasons, many multi-piece wheels are only recommended for racing purposes only. Whether if you spend $2500 or 10k on a set of multi-piece wheels, you will need to check the air more frequently, as they have become dangerous to those who never pay attention to the air pressure, and blame the wheel when their tires are flat.
Now, when looking at a multi-piece wheel, the key areas are that you can size them specifically to your application with the right barrels and right lips. They are typically stronger, and they are lighter.
Stronger and lighter are the key terms. The lighter the wheel, the less unsprung weight, and rotational mass. However, the lighter the wheel, the more vulnerable it is to damage. There has to be the right cross-pollination of strength and weight savings, and multi-piece wheels were typically the go-to recipe.
In Japan, their love for motorsports has always been a driving force and a major presence in the automotive industry. The presence of Japanese racing teams was heavy in Formula One, Nascar, rally racing, and more importantly, JGTC racing and drifting. In 1996, another timeless classic wheel was born by a company called RAYS, where they introduced the 6-spoke Volk TE-37 wheel. The TE-37 is a one-piece forged wheel that is created using fascinating manufacturing methods. These are precision carved out of billet aluminum alloy that endures several forging stages before being cold-spun, heat-treated, precision machined and shot-blasted before getting ready for coating.
TE stands for "Touring Evolution", and this was a wheel that was primarily designed for racing purposes, although there was a strong demand and a market for these wheels, especially among enthusiasts. After over a quarter of a century, the design of the TE-37 has not really changed. There are more available sizes for today's modern cars that use a larger wheel, and the faces are a little more concave to accommodate larger brake calipers. Aside from a few accents in the designs such as the TE-37 Super Laps, and the TE-37 Saga models, this is a design that is set in stone, timeless, and currently available for many makes and models including sport utility vehicles, and trucks.
In terms of being the "pinnacle" of wheel models, these two examples are highly known for their use in professional motorsports as well as grassroots racing, and they have certainly been an inspiration in the aftermarket wheel industry as a whole, where other wheel brands have followed suit regarding aggressive wheel sizes and offsets.
We carry quality wheel options as well as a large variety of wheel accessory options to outfit your car for the road, track, car show, rally, or for the next overlander adventure. Let's get you into a set of wheels that will suit your budget and your goals while providing a better overall exterior aesthetic of your interior.
WHEELS: Here, you are going to find top-tier brands with the latest models brought to you by Volk and Advan. These are going to be available in aggressive sizes and the majority of these models will come with forged technology to provide you with the strongest wheel option. Other amazing brands such as Work Wheels, and SSR wheel options have been track tested and proven through many race teams and enthusiasts who drive their cars competitively, and who demand the wheel that combines the best marriage of strength while being lightweight. If you want something mid-grade and will work on the road and on the track in a large variety of sizes and colors, you can't go wrong with Gram Light, or you could choose from the very popular Enkei RPF-1 or NT-03, all of which are available in very aggressive size options. For those of you who are building an off-road machine or an overlander, you can choose wheel options from Method Racing or LP Aventure, and there are affordable options brought to you by XXR if you're not ready to make that big investment that is required with a forged option. Several upon several different brands and options to choose from that are also available in different bolt patterns that will fit other makes and models other than Subarus.
WHEEL SPACERS: These are highly utilized, especially for those who really want to dial in their fitment. Wheel spacers serve a few purposes. The primary reason is to allow users to gain more clearance between the brake calipers, and aftermarket wheels. If you just got a set of wheels with a spoke design that makes contact with your calipers, or if you have upgraded to larger brake calipers, then wheel spacers will provide enough clearance to prevent your calipers and the face of the wheel from making contact. Another use for wheel spacers is getting your wheels more flush and aligned with your fenders so you don't have that tucked-in look. When your wheels and tires are flush with your fenders, it provides a much more streamlined appearance. Another option that we carry is wheel spacer adapters. Meaning we have 5x100 to 5x114.3 wheel spacer conversions, as well as other adapters in a variety of different bolt patterns. This will allow the user with a larger variety of wheel options to choose from. Note that the wheel spacers we carry will come in a variety of different sizes to accommodate your special needs.
LUG NUTS: One of the most important components of your vehicle. They keep your wheels on. Lug nuts are responsible for holding 450+ lbs of torque to each wheel (90 ft-lbs per lug) to prevent the wheel from flying off throughout the daily occurrence of hundreds and thousands of revolutions. The natural history of lug nuts shows us that yes they do serve a major purpose, but they aren't anything great to look at. In the last few decades as expensive racing wheel technology has become available for the public to enjoy, special lug nuts were required to secure these wheels. If you have spent a substantial amount of money on a set of wheels because whether they be high-end forged, or if they are discontinued, we offer lug nuts that not only secure the wheels but will also complement and protect your wheels. You can choose from wheels that have rotating tapered seats that won't scuff the paint or finish off your wheels when torquing down. You can choose from open-ended options for those of you who have extended wheel studs, and you can choose slim-profiled lug nuts for those with custom wheels and narrow holes. Many of the available options are available in several different colors and finishes, and there are locking nug nut options to further secure your wheels.
WHEEL STUDS: There are a few reasons why you would need to replace or upgrade your wheel studs. Aside from replacing damaged units, extended wheel studs are highly recommended especially if you are making big horsepower and torque numbers that transfer the power to the wheels. If you have a track-dedicated race car, rally car, or overlander, extended studs will provide more securing strength especially since your factory studs can only extend so far. Another reason you may have to upgrade to a longer wheel stud is if you have thicker wheel spacers. If you have wheel spacers that don't have built-in studs, then extended units will provide the length needed to secure your wheels. Choose from great brands that include the well-established ARP, Faction Fab, and WheelMate among others.
VALVE STEMS: Highly important as this is how you fill your air with tires. However, depending on certain wheel designs, certain valve stem profiles or designs will be required. We carry a great selection of valve stems that have great features such as all-aluminum construction, many are available in a variety of anodized options, and there are even options to accommodate those with TPMS sensors. You can choose valve stems made from legendary Volk Racing, as well as other excellent brands such as Enkei, WheelMate, KICS, and Torque Solution. Many great options make for subtle upgrades over the generic rubber valve stem to enhance your OEM or aftermarket wheel set.
HUB CENTRIC RINGS: These are very important as depending on your make and model, will have a certain bore size on your wheel hub. Not all aftermarket wheels will match your wheel hub so hub-centric rings fill in the gap between your hub bore, and your wheel bore. Otherwise, you could experience vibration while driving. The hub-centric options we carry are available in many different sizes and conversions and are brought to you by the most experienced and established brands in the wheel industry.
In conclusion, and for many enthusiasts, wheels can be some of the most important investments in our vehicles as they are highly expensive and exclusive depending on what set you choose. They also play a large role in the overall ride quality of your vehicle. Lighter wheels reduce the overall rotational mass. Wider wheels provide bigger tire size options for better grip, and in general, wheels really change the look and aesthetic of your vehicle. But pay attention to the rest of the components on your wheels. Know that if you lose a CENTER CAP we have replacements. Many times aftermarket wheels cannot utilize your factory lug nuts due to their size. And if you lose your secured LUG KEY, we carry options to allow you to remove your wheels for maintenance. From 3-piece racing wheels or 1-piece forged wheels, choose the set that best reflects your style and purpose, and you have many great options to further enhance your current set whether if they are OEM or aftermarket.