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2013 Wheel Buyer’s Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on July 24, 2013 Comment (0)
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2013 Wheel Buyer’s Guide

Wheels and tires can completely change the look and performance of your 4x4. However, a set of dubs and low-profile tires isn’t going to get you as far down the trail as some beadlock rims and meaty mud terrains.

While aesthetics will likely play a part in your decision, price, weight, construction, size, offset, and bolt pattern are all factors you need to consider before making a purchase. To make the process easier we have compiled TK of the latest wheel options that are designed for the 4x4 market. Read on to find the best one for your specific needs.

To Lock or Not to Lock?
Beadlock rims continue to gain in popularity with their ability to retain the tire bead at low pressures. Single digit pressures allow the tire to conform to the terrain and can sometimes be the difference between looking down from the top of an obstacle or watching from the bottom. Most beadlock rims use external bolts to clamp the tire bead to the rim with a ring, although some like Hutchinson and BAD go about this in a different manner.

Details to look for when shopping for beadlock rims include whether the rims were originally constructed as a beadlock or converted (available from Champion Wheel and OMF Performance on virtually any wheel), the number of bolts used to affix the beadlock ring, and whether the rim uses threaded steel inserts that can be replaced if they become damaged.

Wheel Construction Basics
Rims can be made from steel or aluminum, and aluminum rims can further be divided into cast or forged construction. Steel rims continue to be the standard on the trail due to their low price, wide selection of offsets, and ability to be beaten back into shape if they bend. Forged aluminum rims are the lightest of the bunch and can be bent back into shape like a steel wheel, but they also result in the lightest wallet after you make your purchase. Cast aluminum rims are like Goldilocks: They aren’t necessarily as light as forged rims or as strong as steel rims, but they strike an excellent balance. There used to be some carbon fiber off-road wheels that were exceptionally strong and light, but nothing in that material currently—maybe someone should reintroduce them.

AEV Savegre
AEV designed the Savegre wheel specifically for the JK Wrangler, not as a one-size-fits-all aftermarket wheel. The Savegre’s JK-specific offset provides the optimal balance of tire clearance, scrub radius, and handling.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,600
Size: 17x8.5
Backspacing (in): 5.2
Bolt Pattern: 5-on-5
Finish: Argent, silver, or black
Beadlock: No
Source: AEV Conversions, 248.926.0256, www.aev-conversions.com

Walker Evans Racing Beadlock
Walker Evans Racing now offers a true beadlock in a 20-inch size. The wheels are built to order, so bolt pattern, backspacing, and finish options are endless. Don’t need beadlocks? Walker Evans offers “streetlock” rims with the same styling.

Construction: High-pressure cast aluminum
Max Load: Depends on bolt pattern, lug taper
Sizes: 15x9, 17x8.5, 20x8.5
Backspacing (in): 4 3⁄4 to 6
Bolt Pattern: Any
Finish: Polished, satin, or powdercoat
Beadlock: 17-inch uses 24 5⁄16-inch Grade 8 bolts, 20-inch uses 30 5⁄16-inch Grade 8 bolts and steel inserts
Source: Walker Evans Racing, 888.933.7223, www.walkerevansracing.com

Bead Assist Device Eklipse
The U.S.-made BAD Eklipse combines a DOT-compliant internal beadlock with modular versatility. Included are anchor points to secure accessories to the face of the wheel. These are ideal for attaching sacrificial rock rings to combat rock rash, dynamic balancing rings to maintain centrifugal perfection, and mud covers to keep debris out.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 3,000 (5- or 6-lug); 3,500 (8-lug)
Size: 17x10
Backspacing (in): 3 1⁄2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Machined
Beadlock: Six 5⁄8-inch studs and cotter pins
Source: BAD Wheels Inc., 864.491.0438, badwheelsinc.com

Dick Cepek Gun Metal 7
The Gun Metal 7 wheel from Dick Cepek is a distinctive gray and machined aluminum wheel with a seven-spoke design. It will not interfere with the vehicle’s OE tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) or brake calipers, making it ideal for late-model 4x4s.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500 (5- or 6-lug), 3,640 (8-lug)
Sizes: 17x8.5, 17x9, 20x8.5, 20x9
Backspacing (in): 4 1⁄2, 5, 5 1⁄2, 5 3⁄4, 6, 6 1⁄4
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Gunmetal
Beadlock: No
Source: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, 330.928.9092, www.dickcepek.com

TrailReady HD Beadlocks
The HD Series is TrailReady’s premiere wheel with heavy-duty aluminum construction that is cast in the USA as a beadlock rim from inception. New from TrailReady is the TRylon beadlock ring, a lightweight material that reduces rotating mass and unsprung weight compared to the company’s heavy-duty 3⁄8-inch thick 6061 aluminum rings.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 3,000 (5- or 6-lug), 3,400 (8-lug)
Sizes: 15x9, 17x8.5, 20x9.5
Backspacing (in): 3 1⁄2 to 6
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Polished, anodized, or powdercoated
Beadlock: 24 5⁄16-inch Grade 8 bolts and steel inserts
Source: TrailReady, 425.353.6776, www.trbeadlocks.com

Hutchinson RockMonster
Hutchinson RockMonster wheels use internal dual beadlock construction for increased traction, without unseating the tire bead at very low air pressures. They are the only two-piece, DOT-compliant, street-legal rims for the off-road market.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,300 (5-lug), 2,750 (6-lug), 2,900 (8-lug)
Sizes: 15x8, 17x8.5
Backspacing (in): 3.6, 4.3, 4.5
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 5-on-6 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Clearcoated aluminum
Beadlock: Two-piece internal
Source: Hutchinson Ind., 609.394.1010, www.rockmonsterhwheels.com

Interco Birddog
The Interco Birddog wheel features an advanced bead seat retention system that combats low pressure and extreme deflation situations that may pop the bead and result in tire deflation. Two valve holes are provided for rapid inflation or deflation as well as ease of accessibility and are placed safely out of harm’s way.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 3,000
Sizes: 15x9, 15x10, 16x9, 17x9
Backspacing (in): 3 1⁄2, 4 1⁄2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2
Finish: Black painted and machined surface
Beadlock: No
Source: Interco, 800.299.8000, www.intercotire.com

KMC XD125
The XD125 is the street version of the race wheel used by top racers including Bryce Menzies, Ricky Johnson, Cameron Steele, Andy McMillin, and Camburg Racing.

Construction: Counterpressure-cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500 (5- or 6-lug), 3,600 (8-lug)
Sizes: 17x9, 18x9, 20x9
Backspacing (in): 5.7
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Matte black and machined
Beadlock: No
Source: KMC Wheels, www.kmcwheels.com

Method Racing MR301
Method Race Wheels makes rims specifically for the off-road community. Every wheel is engineered and designed for its intended use, having been through numerous Finite Element Analysis and field tests, including the MR301 shown here.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,100-3,600 depending on size and bolt pattern
Sizes: 15x7, 16x8, 17x7.5, 17x8.5, 17x9, 18x8.5, 18x9, 20x9, 20x10
Backspacing (in): 3 3⁄4, 4 1⁄2, 4 3⁄4, 5 1⁄4, 5 3⁄4, 6 1⁄2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-41⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-51⁄2, 6-on-51⁄2, 8-on-61⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Matte black or machined
Beadlock: No
Source: Method Race Wheels, 866.779.8604, www.methodracewheels.com

ATX Series Blade
The ATX Blade (AX192) is a deep-lip, eight-spoke wheel that features a unique a steep-angled spoke design and a simulated beadlock rim treatment.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500
Sizes: 17x8.5, 18x8.5, 20x9
Backspacing (in): 5.7, 6.2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-41⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-51⁄2, 6-on-51⁄2
Finish: Satin black or bright PVD
Beadlock: No
Source: ATX Wheels, www.atxwheels.com

Fuel Trophy Beadlock
The newest offering from Fuel Off-Road is the Trophy rim. The classic eight-spoke design is enhanced by forged construction and true beadlock functionality.

Construction: Forged aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500
Size: 17x8.5
Backspacing (in): 4 1⁄2
Bolt Pattern: Any
Finish: Anthracite (standard); custom finishes available
Beadlock: 24 5⁄16 bolts and steel inserts
Source: Fuel Off-Road Wheels, 800.493.7891, www.fueloffroad.com

LargeRimGroup (LRG) 102
Do you think bigger is better? The LRG102 rim is available in sizes up to 22 inches in diameter. The 10-spoke design has highlighted ribs and simulated rivet heads. Utilizing new casting technology, the result is not only a more attractive one-piece aluminum wheel but also a stronger, more durable one.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500 (5- and 6-lug), 3,600 (8-lug)
Sizes: 18x9, 20x9, 20x12, 22x12
Backspacing (in): 4 3⁄4, 5
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-5, 5-on-5 , 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Matte black or black machined
Beadlock: No
Source: LargeRimGroup, 855.577.5633, www.lrgrims.com

Weld T58B
Weld wheels are forged in the USA, including the T58B, and they are rated for use with up to a 44-inch tire. Weld even offers matching wheels for your trailer and dualie tow rig.

Construction: Forged aluminum
Max Load (lb): 3,500
Sizes: 17x8.5, 17x9, 17x10, 17x12, 17x14, 20x8.5, 20x9, 20x10, 20x12, 20x14
Backspacing (in): 3.8, 4.8, 5.3, 5.8
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Black or machined
Beadlock: No
Source: Weld Racing Wheels, 800.788.9353, www.weldracing.com

FK Ethos 909
The ORC Series 909 features full reverse CNC along with tapering spokes, providing a sleek and innovative approach for popular truck applications. In addition, an engraved logo and rivet design elements add an aggressive look.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 3,600
Sizes: 17x8.5, 17x9, 18x9, 20x9
Backspacing (in): 4 1⁄2, 5, 5 1⁄2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Black machined, gunmetal machined
Beadlock: No
Source: FK Wheels, 909.988.8996, www.fkwheels.com

Mickey Thompson Classic III
True to the name, the Classic III from Mickey Thompson uses a traditional eight-hole design that has been updated with high load ratings and a bolt-on center cap.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 1,900 (5-lug), 2,500 (6-lug), 3,250 (8-lug)
Sizes: 15x7, 15x8, 15x10, 15x12, 16x7, 16x8, 16x10, 16x12, 17x9
Backspacing (in): 3 5⁄8, 4, 4 1⁄2, 5
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Polished or satin black
Beadlock: No
Source: Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, 800.222.9092, www.mickeythompsontires.com

Black Rhino Armour
Each of the 10 spokes on the Black Rhino Armour wheel is highlighted with a tough, thick milled edge and then runs up to meet with a machined dimple.

Construction: Cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): Not supplied
Sizes: 17x9, 18x9, 20x9, 20x10
Backspacing (in): 4 1⁄2, 5, 5 1⁄2
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 5-on-150 mm, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: Matte black with milled spokes and lip
Beadlock: No
Source: Black Rhino Wheels, 888.766.7775, www.blackrhinowheels.com

Pro Comp La Paz
The new La Paz was inspired by the design used by Pro Comp’s race teams in desert and short-course off-road racing. It features a superstrong split five-spoke design and beadlock styling. The outside bead surface is thick for added protection off-road.

Construction: Low-pressure cast aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,200
Sizes: 16x8, 17x81⁄2
Backspacing (in): 4 1⁄2, 4 3⁄4
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2, 8-on-170 mm
Finish: satin black, satin black and machined, full machined
Beadlock: No
Source: Pro Comp USA, 800.776.0767, www.procompusa.com

Raceline RT Monster Beadlock
Raceline is all about options with its affordable Monster beadlocks. Forged or cast construction, steel or aluminum beadlock rings, and a variety of finishes, sizes, and bolt patterns are amongst the choices.

Construction: Cast aluminum or forged aluminum
Max Load (lb): 2,500 (5- or 6-lug), 3,420 (8-lug)
Sizes: 15x8, 17x8.5, 17x9
Backspacing (in): 3 1⁄4, 4, 4 3⁄4
Bolt Patterns: 5-on-4 1⁄2, 5-on-5, 5-on-5 1⁄2, 6-on-5 1⁄2, 8-on-6 1⁄2
Finish: Polished aluminum or black
Beadlock: 32 5⁄16-inch Grade 8 bolts and steel inserts
Source: Raceline Wheels, 800.529.4335, www.racelinewheels.com

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