Off-roading is more than just pushing your vehicle to its limits or tasting the rush of adrenaline as you navigate very tricky terrain. It is a way of life for many people across the United States and the world. It is a sub-culture that has a thriving following- and that pool of people crisscrosses all walks of life.
It is pretty technically challenging too, this sub-culture. Unless you have the right set of off road wheels that will suit your vehicle and fit well, you will have a pretty rough time on the asphalt.
There are several eminent brands which manufacture such rims here in the US. You have hundreds of options (literally) to choose from. If you are a newbie and are more than slightly confused about which rims to go for, you can refer to the following points.
These are very elementary tips but will certainly help you off to a winning start!
How to choose off-road wheels
The 5 most pertinent pointers are as follows.
- Choose aluminum alloy over stainless-steel: This might seem a bit too obvious, but many off-roading enthusiasts still swear by steel rims. Steel rims are tough as hell, can absorb sustained damage without missing a beat, and was the original choice for early racing champs.
Unless you are competing in some sort of semi-professional event, aluminum alloy off-road wheels are for you. With the introduction of modern forging methods and advanced CNC machining, these rims are almost as robust as the ones made from steel.
- Always go for branded rims: Sure, unbranded rims are aplenty and they look pretty good. But they lack the quality and the assurance of durability under the most challenging circumstances that branded rims offer. To go for unbranded off-road rims just to save money is a very poor decision.
- Size matters: When it comes to off-roading, the tires are as essential as the aftermarket rims being used. Better traction is a major element in conquering hostile terrain; that is why specialized off-road tires are available. Remember that bigger rims mean you will have to make do with slimmer tires with narrower sidewalls.
For best results, buying smaller rims and outfitting them with larger (branded) tires makes sense. Most off-road rims within the 16-20″ diameter bracket will provide excellent performance both on city roads and on tricky surfaces.
Buying a set of Beadlock rims is a pretty good start too!
- Keep an eye on road and speed ratings: Off-road vehicles are usually a lot heavier than ‘standard’ passenger cars. From minivans to full-and-medium-size SUVs and pickups, you must ensure you are purchasing a set of rims that’s capable enough to bear fully-loaded vehicles and deliver capable navigation and performance over uneven surfaces.
It is advisable to talk with the rim experts at your chosen retail outlet for professional advice. We have relied on Santa Fe Spring’s AudioCity USA for some time now; their expertise and solid, evidence-backed advice has proven valuable.
Some technical details which you must bear in mind vis-a-vis off-road wheels are appropriate bolt patterns and spacing, valve stem spacing patterns, and aftermarket or custom TPMS compatibility.
The top 3 off-road wheels at the moment
Still feeling confused? Well, let’s look at the 3 most-sold off-road rims right now. You’ll get all of them at major retailers.
- Fuel D508 Octane: The 20-inch D508 Octane in Chrome is easily one of the all-time favorites of off-roading enthusiasts. Fuel Wheels is a premier brand in this niche and has a huge number of fans all over the world. The 20-inch model is available in 3 bolt patterns (5, 6, and 8) and will easily fit most specialized off-roading vehicles as well as any passenger car.
The D508 Octane stuns in its chrome avatar. It is muscular and has a fairly aggressive stance but without going too OTT. It is widely regarded as one of the best off-road wheels for pickups like the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, and the RAM 2500.
“Ensuring that your off-road vehicle is not only equipped with robust wheels but also protected from potential theft and damage in rough terrains, considering installing a Toyota Tacoma catalytic converter shield can be an astute decision, providing an additional layer of security to your vehicle’s vital component while navigating through challenging trails.
The D508 is a tad expensive but is worth every cent. If you are looking for a more-than-decent set of rims for your Jeep Wrangler or Kia Telluride, go for the Octane. The chrome finish will last you several years.
- Moto Metal MO985 Breakout: Stand out in a sea of off-roaders with a set of black machined rims from the iconic Moto Metal Wheels. The MO985 is a staple of the aftermarket niche and its 20-inch variant is always in demand. With a stylish and elegant central façade and chunky rims, this is truly a breakout model!
Moto Metal recommends these rims for all pickup vans and SUVs, lifted or otherwise. The 20-inch MO985 is big enough to accommodate the biggest and baddest custom TPMS kits and modified braking systems.
These rims look splendid on SUVs too. Moto Metal provides warranties on finish and durability. For more details on the latter, please contact your preferred retailer.
- Off-Road Monster Wheels M17: This might not be as big a brand as the other 2 on this page, but this particular rim sure is a big hitter. The 20-inch variant can take sever damage and will still keep going. Perhaps the best aspect of the M17 is the super-sassy color scheme- gloss black complete with candy red milled interiors. It is certainly a looker!
These low-profile Access Tonneau Cover include model-specific design for a tight fit with smooth lines to complement the body lines of your pickup.
This is a pretty lightweight rim capable of holding its own against bigger names. Try out the 20-inch for your off-road vehicles or your SUVs.
Incidentally, the price tag is also rather attractive.
Buy off-road wheels only from trusted and reliable retail outlets. There are plenty of fake rims that look like the real deal out there.