What Are Alloy Wheels or Rims and Why Are They so Popular?

Alloy wheels or rims are wheels used by cars, motorcycles, trucks and other automobiles. These wheels are made from alloys of magnesium or aluminum metals and/or a combination of both metals. Alloy wheels or rims are more popular than other wheels such as those made from steel for many reasons. The first is that alloy wheels are lighter in weight than steel wheels, they are therefore easier to steer and the automobile’s speed is greatly improved. These wheels conduct heat more effectively than wheels made from steel, which improves the dissipation of heat from the brakes. This leads to less incidents of break failure in driving conditions that are more demanding.
Passenger vehicles are fitted with alloy wheels not just for improving driving performance but also for cosmetic purposes. Alloy wheels are shiny and have intricate designs. They therefore do not need wheel covers or painting. Steel wheels on the other hand are either fitted with wheel covers made of plastic or they are painted but they cannot be left bare. These wheels may be slightly costly and were initially meant for luxury vehicles and marketed as add-ons. However, with time they have become more common. They are now being fitted into subcompact and economy cars. Those with inexpensive cars are also able to enjoy having classy rims on their cars. These wheels are standard equipments for sport and higher-priced luxury cars. Dealers and automakers have come up with wheel locks to protect alloy wheels, which are quite valuable, from being stolen.
Balancing weights for steel wheels are fitted from the rim’s edge unlike alloy wheels, which are fitted from a central point. This one major factor makes these wheels popular since they are easier to balance. When alloy wheels are fitted into a car, its unsprung weight is reduced. This reduces the rotating mass at the end of the suspension component improving the steering feel and break response. Another reason is that tire removal does not disturb the wheel balance. Alloy wheels are available in sizes that are standardized, which increases competition among the wheel vendors increasing their availability. With increased availability, prices have continued to get lower and many car owners are able to afford these stylish rims for relatively affordable prices.
Up-stepping or plus-sizing of alloy wheels means increasing the car wheels diameter while at the same time reducing the tires profile to equalize the rolling radius. Plus-sizing improves the handling of the car, its response and feedback to the driver. When it is done properly odometer and speed accuracy are retained and the car looks better. Reviews done on alloy wheels indicate that buyers opt for these wheels to get a classy look that only alloy wheels can give to cars. Many automobile owners prefer wheels that are lighter, rarer, prettier and/or larger for their cars to manipulate suspension and handling and increase performance. Other reasons most automobile owners prefer to buy these wheels is to signify wealth, ‘sportiness’ and luxury.

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