When it comes to the size of the wheel you should have on your vehicle, you may be wondering if bigger wheels translate to better wheels. Well,there is no clear-cut answer here.The answer lies in what you’re looking to get from your wheels.
Of course, the real answer is this: your vehicle’s wheels need to bean appropriate size in proportion to the kind of vehicle and the loads it must carry. An 18-wheeler’s wheels are large because they have to carry extremely heavy loads. The wheels on a small vehicle are smaller because it doesn’t need to handle heavy loads.
Now, if you like the idea of big wheels on your vehicle,it’s perfectly fine. But, you should understand a couple of things:
- Bigger wheels mean heavier wheels
- Big wheels increase the vehicle’s center of gravity
What does that mean? If you have a show vehicle, this is fine. If you have a commuter vehicle, the big wheels make it harder for you to control, and you will be unable to enjoy the ride.
Why it’s better to Have Lightweight Wheels
When it comes to the performance of your vehicle, you need lightweight wheels. There’s a good reason for that too. A wheel in rotation acts like a flywheel and wants to continue going in the same direction and at the same speed. However, when a vehicle’s wheels are heavy, it’s going to be more difficult to control.
The issue behind big wheels is that the perimeter will get heavier,causing the diameter to increase. A wheel with a heavy perimeter is hard to steer, causing it to bounce along the road.This causes the shock absorbers to work even harder to keep the vehicle on the road.
Primary Reasons to Choose Big Wheels for Your Vehicle
What is it about big wheels that cause people to upgrade or keep their large tires?
- Safety and Security - Big wheels ensure security because the vehicle tires have more tread that touches the road’s surface.Bigger wheels ensure better traction in both dry and wet conditions. Large wheels translate into a safe ride,but only if your vehicle has been converted correctly, or if the vehicle is already compatible with them.
- Reduced Damage To Undercarriage - The road is not smooth and straight; it’s full of potholes and other conditions that can damage the vehicle’s undercarriage. Big wheels ensure you get clearance that will decrease the chance for damage that can come from these raised surfaces and big dips in the roadway.
- Smooth Driving and Handling -Large vehicle tires meansidewalls are taller and bigger, which can ensure you get a smooth ride.
Why Bigger Tires Are Not Better
You may get the added security and smooth ride that comes from large wheels, but there are some drawbacks to adding them to your vehicle. One of the most common issues that come with these big wheels is the expense.
- Reduction In Fuel Economy - When your vehicle’s have large wheels, there is an increase in the center of gravity. What this does is reduce how well your vehicle uses the fuel. Big wheels mean more trips to the local gas station.
- Reduction In Steering Accuracy - The tread of big wheels do give you some better road grip but you have a reduction in maneuvering accuracy. This makes it harder for making turns or changing lanes. And, this can be a real safety problem. It will take time for you to get a feel for driving with large wheels, adjusting your driving habits.
- Hard Braking - When your vehicle has large wheels, it puts strain on the brakes, causing them to wear out quicker and you spending money to fix them.
Keep Your Vehicle’s Tires on the Road
It’s important that your vehicle’s tires stay in constant contract with the road surface. Any bouncing of the tires or tires that don’t stay contacted means the vehicle loses its grip with the surface. This can be hard to do for three reasons:
- Vehicle speed increases
- Sharp turns
- Uneven road surface
The more weight on the shock absorber and springs, the harder they’ll need to work to ensure the wheels don’t bounce.
What does this all mean then? When it comes to performance of a vehicle, big wheels don’t necessarily mean better for handling. Big wheels are mostly for show use and appearance purposes. To read more about car wheels and rims history, click here.