Swapping out your stock wheels for a set of aftermarket off-road wheels is not surprisingly one of the most common changes people make to their truck or SUV. Most of the time it’s just to improve the look of the exterior but it can also be down to other changes made, such as a different tyre size or a new lift. Aftermarket off-road wheels are designed and built with a specific purpose in mind - to be excellent in all weather conditions while also being able to withstand maximum impact. So, whatever off-road wheel brand you choose whether it be Fuel Off-Road , Black Rhino or XD , you can be confident it will be far stronger than the factory-fitted set that came with your rig.
Unfortunately not. You’ll need to first find out what bolt pattern and PCD your vehicle requires. This will ensure your new wheels will bolt on safely without the risk of falling off and causing a serious accident. Secondly comes the wheel specs. These are made up of three critical elements including wheel diameter, width and offset. The latter is the distance from the centreline of the wheel to the wheel mounting surface. Get any of these measurements wrong and you’ll find your new off-road wheels don’t clear key suspension components or won’t fit over your vehicle’s brake calipers. However, any of these issues can be easily avoided by speaking to us or by doing some research before you take the plunge to buy.
Basically the larger the wheel diameter, the less sidewall you’ll potentially have. If you’re going off-road, especially on rocky trails, this can be a bad thing as you’ll get less sidewall cushion. When your tyres are aired out you’ll be glad of the extra rubber cushion as this will allow the tyres to better handle uneven terrain, resulting in improved grip and ride comfort - but this can only be achieved with beadlock wheels. However, there is a flip side to this as a larger diameter wheel will improve handling both on and off-road thanks to a reduction of sidewall reflection. One thing to bear in mind is keeping the tyre width a few inches greater than the width of the wheel. By doing this you’ll get better bead retention which in turn keeps the sidewall of the tyre in a more upright position. Simply put though, wheels with a smaller diameter, wider width and bigger tyres are best suited for all off-road adventures whereas wheels with a large diameter married to tyres with a smaller sidewall are ideal for pulling heavy loads on the road.
Alloy off-road wheels tend to be the go-to choice because they are lighter in weight than their steel counterparts due to being made predominantly of aluminium. The reduced weight gives better fuel mileage while putting less strain on wheel bearings and other parts. However, alloy wheels aren’t as robust as steel and can be broken when having a bad collision with a big rock - a tough thing to remedy when you’re out in the sticks. Steel off-road wheels have added strength and are more practical in off-road environments but will cost you more in terms of general wear and tear as well as higher fuel costs due to the additional weight. Another type of wheel worth considering that is available in both compositions is the beadlock wheel. An external beadlock system features a ring that clamps the outer bead of the tyre to the wheel with a series of bolts, allowing you to air out your tyres for better grip across rocky terrain. The only downside to this option is that you need to regularly check each bolt is tight. So be aware of the bolt count on each wheel as you’ll have a whole load of bolts to tighten should you choose a 32-bolt system.