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What Are the Pros and Cons of Different Wheel Rim Materials?


September 20, 2021

Wheels have been evolving ever since they were invented by ancient civilizations. The wheel goes all the way back to 4th century BC in Lower Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq. When you look through a wheel catalog in modern times, you don’t have to sort through wooden and stone offerings as they had to in the past. Today your options run more to steel and aluminum. In addition, there are more complex materials like carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium that are also available.

Let’s take a look at how you can decide what belongs on your car. 

Steel Wheels

Steel wheels often get a bad rap because of their heaviness; many believe they aren’t quite as pretty as other types. But there are some pros to steel wheels. First of all, they are almost always going to be your most affordable option. Second, they are strong so they resist bending and cracking more than many other types of wheels. If they don’t offer the most complex designs, they can still look good on the right builds. People who prefer steel usually do so out of personal preference.

Aluminum Wheels

In terms of performance and appearance, most people prefer aluminum over steel. Most iconic wheels today are made of aluminum. It may not have the strength of steel, but it handles well in average day-to-day use in most situations. Because they are lighter, aluminum wheels often mean better acceleration and efficiency, which is a plus for those who are seeking higher performance. Most will agree that aluminum wheels are frequently the most stylish.

Magnesium Wheels

You might have someone say they “ran a sweet set of mags back in the day,” and they were likely talking about magnesium wheels. “Mags” were once the cream of the crop when it came to lightweight materials for wheels. It should come as no surprise, however, that there are inherent dangers when it comes to making wheels out of a flammable material. This is why mags have been banned for use in some motorsports.

Carbon Fiber Wheels

Carbon fiber is a preferred option for today’s high-performance vehicles, such as the Corvette, Mustang, Ferarri, and Porsche. Carbon fiber stands because it’s stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. That said, however, carbon fiber wheels are not ideal for day-to-day use because it is rather brittle and will shatter under excessive force. These types of wheels are also one of the most expensive, making them even less practical for most drivers.

Titanium Wheels

Titanium has the benefit of being as strong as steel but only about half the weight. It also has similar corrosion-resistant properties like aluminum does. The main reason that titanium isn’t used more frequently is because traditional manufacturing processes don’t mesh with this material.

Contact Mile High Wheels

Whatever the type of wheels you are in the market for, give us a call at Mile High Wheels. With our 90-day-same-as-cash financing option, you can get those new wheels and right when you need them. We are open seven days a week so come in today to talk to one of our experienced wheels professionals.