Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wheel Offsets and You

Wheel Offset is the relationship of the wheel center line to the mounting flange of the wheel, as seen in the picture below.

Manufacturers determine offsets by taking several aspects into consideration; such as:

  • Fitment - the given space of the wheel well during all conditions of wheel movement; whether that be the up and down motion of the suspension or the turning of the front wheel during steering.
  • Styling - cars just look better with the wheels somewhat flush with the outer fender line of the wheel well.
  • Performance - cars have a tendency to handle better with the wheels pushed out away from the center line of the vehicle.
The Lotus & Ariel have positive offset wheels with wheel bolt spacing that is unusual.  Spoke clearance from the caliper is a challenge with both of these cars as they use opposed piston calipers.  We developed many different wheels for these cars and generally have found that reducing the offset - which pushes the wheels outwards, has helped handling. Generally pushing your wheels out by 5mm works well on these cars.  

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