Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
.......apart from looking the Bee's knees of course. Having now owned a new car with them fitted as standard and with a sensible tyre/wheel ratio i.e. not 'low profile', I was wondering whether I would go for a car/model again, that fitted them as standard. Mind you it may become almost impossible in a few years time to get a new car that hasn't got them throughout the range in question.

Apart from looks and their benefit, no doubt, in reducing the unsprung weight of each suspension unit, are they not a damned nuisance to maintain, to keep free from corrosion and make it a necessity to avoid any 'kerbing' no matter how slight this might be. They are troublesome to clean and attract so much brake dust due to their open structure and add quite some time to the pleasure/chore of car cleaning

I have to admit that I love the look of mine, shod with their 195/65 'sensible' tyres but cannot stand those cars whose wheel arches are filled largely with 'Alloy' to which is attached a small bead of rubber - seems quite absurd to me, apart from the awful ride characteristics they impart.


Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Sofa Spud
Alloy wheels are supposed to reduce unsprung weight, but I imagine that depends on the type / size of wheel compared to the steel original.

I'd like to have alloys on my next intended car (VW Sharan?) because most steel wheeled cars come with silver plastic wheel trims that try half-heartedly to ape the alloy look. So one might as well go for the real thing!

Alloys on lorries make more sense because the weight saving per wheel is greater and, multiplied by 12 or even 14 big wheels on an artic all the saved weight equals additional payload within the gross weight limit.

Cheers, SS
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - nutty_nissan
I have to admit that I love the look of mine,
shod with their 195/65 'sensible' tyres but cannot stand those cars
whose wheel arches are filled largely with 'Alloy' to which is
attached a small bead of rubber - seems quite absurd to
me, apart from the awful ride characteristics they impart.


Absurd to you maybe, and a tradeoff to pure ride quality, but hig alloys with fat, low profile tyres sure do help limit body roll, and increase grip levels. Extremely useful for those motorists that tend to, ahem, drive swiftly....
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
Absurd to you maybe, and a tradeoff to pure ride quality,
but hig alloys with fat, low profile tyres sure do help
limit body roll, and increase grip levels. Extremely useful for those
motorists that tend to, ahem, drive swiftly....


Boy racers you mean! Anyone can drive safely and swiftly with modern cars, within sensible limits, on our over crowded roads without resorting to low profile tyres.
All they confer, in some people's minds, is 'looks' but to me they look mostly ridiculous and do nothing for the ride of the car. Almost in every car I've been in with these wheels fitted, they produce a harsh, noisy, spine-jarring ride on all except the most perfect of road surfaces which have now become the rarity in the UK.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - nutty_nissan
Almost in every car I've been in with
these wheels fitted, they produce a harsh, noisy, spine-jarring ride on
all except the most perfect of road surfaces which have now
become the rarity in the UK.


May I suggest trying other cars out? I've driven BMW 5 series and 7 series which have pretty low profile tyres and ride was not harsh at all. My father's 2003 Vectra Elite has 50 series tyres,and the ride is pretty smooth.

Ride quality is determined by the suspension components also (shocks, bushes, control arms), not just the depth of the sidewall.

Low profile tyres can produce a harsh ride, and can make more noise (depends upon manufacturer), but not always spine jarring. Spine jarring is where the suspension is very, very stiff like Mitsubishi Evos and the like. Like another poster said, big wheels are required if you have big brakes fitted.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Dude - {P}

>>>> but cannot stand those cars whose wheel arches are filled largely with 'Alloy' to which is attached a small bead of rubber - seems quite absurd to me, apart from the awful ride characteristics they impart.>>>>

Manufacturers spend multi thousands of £`s optimising the ride/handling compromise on their various models using standard 16" wheels and normal profile rubber, which should give zero tramlining and minimal torque steer.!!!!!

I personally fail to see any sense in then specifying up to 19" wheels on micro profile tyres purely for supposed cosmetic reasons, which then induces dangerous tramlining, denture loosening ride and with total disregard for their own safety and that of fellow road users.!!!!!!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - jc
Most alloy wheels are heavier than their equivalent steel wheels;what you see on rally and racing cars are magnesium wheels which are a lot more expensive.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Altea Ego
Actually I think that ultra low profile tyres fitted to production vehicles on British public roads compromise handling.

It goes like this. And I have noticed it on most cars so shod.
The lower profile and less compliant the tyre causes the wheel to "patter" on poor and broken surfaces. Push such a shod car into a corner at pace on a poor road surface and you can feel the car skip and try to break away.

Utter waste of time on British roads. Look super tho.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
Based on what I read in the Backroom, alloys have lots of merits!

Alloy wheels are more likely to be nicked. This creates business for the suppliers of replacements.

Alloy wheels are more likely to be damaged when kerbed or when driven into a pothole. This creates business for the suppliers of replacements.

According to some posters in the Backroom, alloy wheels may eventually become porous and don't hold pressure well. This too creates business for the suppliers of replacements.

Some people think that shiny alloy wheels look nicer than steel ones. This creates business for the suppliers of alloy wheel cleaning materials.

In other words, for most functional purposes alloy wheels are an inferior product which generates more profits.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - mss1tw
You left off locking wheel nuts!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Altea Ego
Alloy wheels on sensible tyres have lots of advantages.

Lot of tyres now have lips or beads to prevent graunching on kerbs. Put a wax type film on your alloys and the brake dust just hoses off.

Those of us who have alloy wheels show a little style or class from those who have none or those too povery stricken to afford them. No doubt such unfortunates will bleat about how it does not matter but alas they are just miserable excuses.

{I'm guessing TVM's comment here is purely tongue in cheek, and thus should be treated in that way - DD}

------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Xileno {P}
I would not buy a car without alloys. They just look so nice. Yes they make the ride a bit firmer but I've learned to live with that.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
Alloy wheels on sensible tyres have lots of advantages.
Lot of tyres now have lips or beads to prevent graunching
on kerbs. Put a wax type film on your alloys and
the brake dust just hoses off.
Those of us who have alloy wheels show a little
style or class from those who have none or those too
povery stricken to afford them. No doubt such unfortunates will bleat
about how it does not matter but alas they are just
miserable excuses.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >


Surely you have missed my point? Most (not all, granted) cars have them fitted as standard and so being poverty stricken does not come into it! If you want a particular specified car with useful extras then, invariably, it will have alloy wheel that you may not wish to have - that's all!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Altea Ego
Most cheap cars in poverty spec dont have alloy wheels. Therefore you paid more for your alloy wheels. You had the choice to buy a cheaper car - you didnt.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - mr.freezer
Is it a UK thing or do other countries have the same interest in dressing ordinary cars up as sporting ones ?

I saw a German (new shape)A3 Audi with steel wheels not so long ago.

Would something like that appeal to the vanity of a UK buyer ?

Most cars do look better with alloys but lets get rid of the pretence that you can't go round corners fast without them
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - tr7v8
The reason the go faster models have bigger alloys with low profile tyres is to get bigger brakes in the hub & clear them, low profile tyres are then needed to keep the overall rolling diameter the same. I've just upgraded the brakes on the 944 & I'm pretty sure that the brakes wouldn't fit with 15inch wheels.
As for no improvement in cornering performance I disagree.
Although the people that think steel wheels are better probably run tyres made in india or taiwan junk any way so wouldn't notice.
I also a lot of cars renowned for their handling & cornering abilities (Mondeo, Focus, older Pugs etc.) slowing for corners that they needn't & they could run shopping trolley wheels & tyres & they wouldn't notice the difference.
These are also the same people that only check tyre pressures once a year or when its virtually flat!

Jim
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Group B
I increased the size of my wheels up to 16" diameter and got a noticeable improvement in handling and steering feel. It doesnt mean I scream round corners faster all the time, but I got better feel without any noticeable detriment to ride quality. I didnt want to increase up to 17" wheels (as recommended in HJ's C by C Breakdown (Saab 9-3)), as at the time I didnt want increased tyre costs; but now I wish I had gone one bigger.
I agree though that 18" or 19" wheels look good on big cars but can look excessive on small cars.

But alloys are pretty much the norm now on new cars, I bet the numbers of cars sold with steel wheels are now in the minority.
Its a case of each to their own; if some people prefer to drive around with horrible plastic discs strapped to their wheels with cable ties, then thats fair enough.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
Its a case of each to their own; if some people
prefer to drive around with horrible plastic discs strapped to their
wheels with cable ties, then thats fair enough.


That's not the only alternative to alloys. In the 1980s, French cars usually came with what appeared to be silver-painted steel wheels, with no hubcaps or wheeltrims. These seemed to be very durable, looked fine, and had none of the downsides of alloys.

Wasn't it the Ford Sierra which introduced the idea of those tedious plastic wheelcovers? Presumably on the grounds of aerodynamics or something ... which can't have been very significant or they'd never have been discarded when alloy wheels became fashionable.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - henry k
>>if some people prefer to drive around with horrible plastic discs strapped to their wheels with cable ties, then thats fair enough.

Wasn't it the Ford Sierra which introduced the idea of those
tedious plastic wheelcovers?


Well my Ford Sierra plastic wheelcovers were very very good.
I had them for many years.
They fitted well. Never fell off or were knocked off.
Certainly did not need ties as they has very strong hidden metal wires that snapped on the wheels.
Of course they hid scruffy steel wheels.

Were not stolen cos they were not recognised as quality.

Unlike the vast majority of cheap aftermarket fittings they DID NOT overlap the rims.
If your kerbed a wheel then a quick job with a file and a dab of silver paint restored all.

Oh well, back to wasting time with my alloys.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
Those of us who have alloy wheels show a little
style or class


Rappers who walk around with their fingers weighed down by jewels have a similar idea of "style". Each to their own :)
from those who have none or those too
povery stricken to afford them.


I'd happily pay extra to have wheels which don't need mollycoddling.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Dalglish
re- oldgits thread:
presume you are the same person as grumpyoldgit who posted here
"why alloy wheels?"
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=13223&...e

re- nowheels comments:
In other words, for most functional purposes alloy wheels are
an inferior product which generates more profits.

>>

same principle that gordon brown uses in his tax and spend policies; i.e. an inferior product that generates more inferior jobs, helps to keep the economy strong. so say the poor grateful people who would otherwise be unemployed.

Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Hamsafar
Steel is an alloy.
Aluminium is not.
Why do they call aluminium wheels alloy?
Is it an American dumbo 'thang'?
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Baskerville
Because the material used is an aluminium alloy. Pure aluminium tends to oxidize very readily and has a very low tensile strength.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Group B
Steel is an alloy.
Aluminium is not.
Why do they call aluminium wheels alloy?
Is it an American dumbo 'thang'?


I'm not a chemist, but I always thought "alloys" were made of an aluminium alloy, because pure aluminium would be too soft?
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - madf
On older cars steel wheels last longer and can be repainted. Alloys corrode and look horrible.

Well made alloys do not corrode much: but that rules out about 75% of those in use.

Comments about poverty etc.. lol.

And steel wheels are much cheaper if you want a set of winter tyres to fit..

Personally I don't care...but refuse to pay extra... but then I'm mean from my upbringing in Scotland:-)
madf
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Mondaywoe
As always,Citroen have cracked this problem. I have very expensive OE alloys on my C5 which look exactly like cheap plastic wheeltrims. Cunning eh!

Graeme
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Altea Ego
Ah yes the winter tyres,,, Let me see It was 11c last weekend it will be freezing tomorrow so that my set of wheels and tyres changed three times in three weeks then


NOT
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Sofa Spud
How long before carbon-fibre wheels become popular? My wheelie bin's got plastic wheels although it doesn't have brakes that heat up. And it handles OK.

Cheers, SS
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Armitage Shanks {p}
I had a Citroen SM but I did not order the fibreglass wheel option!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - mss1tw
Huh? What happened to TVM's normal level of, well, language skills.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Adam {P}
I'm not a boy racer and my car is completely standard - which includes Ford alloys.

I never have, and never will buy a car without alloys. Fact. Personally (seeing as we're all putting our opinions across), I think normal steel wheels destroy the look of a car.

But hey - that's just me.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Dynamic Dave
My opinion is once you've had a car with alloys, having the next car with steel rims is a backward step.

After all said and done, would you trade your electric windows for manual ones, your CD player for a cassette player, or your zenon headlights for candles?
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
After all said and done, would you trade your electric windows
for manual ones, your CD player for a cassette player, or
your zenon headlights for candles?


All of those things offer a functional gain.

The only functional gain anyone has suggested for alloy wheels is a weight-saving, but even that seems to be unclear.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Adam {P}
Does it matter?
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Altea Ego
And that matters in what way?


------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Adam {P}
What matters? I'm confused.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Dynamic Dave
The only functional gain anyone has suggested for alloy wheels is
a weight-saving, but even that seems to be unclear.


It has been mentioned before what functional gains there are to be had. Here's one such posting.

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?v=e&t=29...4

There are also others.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - madf
"After all said and done, would you trade your electric windows for manual ones, your CD player for a cassette player, or your zenon headlights for candles?

1. don't care: my hands still work
2. don't care: don't listen to CDs in cars
3. Don't have xenons.Don't care.

I don't care what others think of my car. It's a means of transport.. not an extension to my personality nor a part of my (male) anatomy. (this is a rude word free site:-).

Imo only people with severe personal inadequacies consider that how their cars look influence how other think of them. Others who are influenced by the look of my car are people I do not wish to meet nor have as acquaintances or friends.

Function over form any day. After all most people drive cars that require an aesthetic bypass to live with:-)
madf
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Dynamic Dave
1. don't care: my hands still work
2. don't care: don't listen to CDs in cars
3. Don't have xenons.Don't care.


You're missing the point. Once you have had them, you'll miss them. But as you don't listen to CD's in your car, I don't expect you have a CD player anyway ;o)
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - DrS
And another thing: It is almost compulsory to have metallic paint these days - and as a cost option! - unless you happen to like underpant blue.
Stone chips and minor scratches which could be almost invisibly touched up on a solid colour car leave screaming scars when similar touch ups are attempted on metallic finishes.

Going back about 3 or 4 years, I found that I could haggle thousands off the price of a new car, but I couldn't get the garage to down - spec a car for me by taking off the alloy wheels and substituting a set of steel wheels from a lesser model, even though I offered to take the hit at no cost to them!

Call me a Luddite, but I can't help thinking that the practicalities of everyday vehicle ownership should have a little more significance than to be so completely bulldozed by the fashion police.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - madf
I have alloy wheels , electric windows and metallic paint on my car: imo they are fripperies and not essentials...
madf
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Adam {P}
30 + miles to the gallon, servo brakes, and safe cars aren't ESSENTIAL but people demand these.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - L'escargot
Because of the different manufacturing methods alloy wheels have greater dimensional accuracy than steel wheels. They are more circular, and have less axial and radial runout.

You get far less vibration and balancing problems with alloy wheels.

The only problem I've come across is that not all tyre fitters are aware that balance weights intended for fitting to the edge of steel wheels aren't suitable for alloys because of the greater thickness of alloys. If the wrong type of weight is used it will usually quickly drop off. For alloys I always specify self-adhesive weights stuck on the inner face of the wheel. Incidentally, the design of the alloys on my Focus is such that it is impossible to fit balance weights to the edge. Presumably this is to prevent the wrong type of weight being fitted.
--
L\'escargot.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - L'escargot
I have ...... electric windows .....


Remind me of what they were like before they were electric. It's so long ago I can't remember! ;-)
--
L\'escargot.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
And another thing: It is almost compulsory to have metallic paint
these days - and as a cost option! - unless you
happen to like underpant blue.
Stone chips and minor scratches which could be almost invisibly touched
up on a solid colour car leave screaming scars when similar
touch ups are attempted on metallic finishes.
Going back about 3 or 4 years, I found that I
could haggle thousands off the price of a new car, but
I couldn't get the garage to down - spec a car
for me by taking off the alloy wheels and substituting a
set of steel wheels from a lesser model, even though I
offered to take the hit at no cost to them!
Call me a Luddite, but I can't help thinking that the
practicalities of everyday vehicle ownership should have a little more significance
than to be so completely bulldozed by the fashion police.


Well, my sister's new Fiesta Zetec available at the time last July (and off the forecourt 'pre-owned) is ruined by the fitting, as standard, of ridiculous 195/50 low-profile tyres on Alloy wheels.
She chose that particular model in order (then) to get aircon, her prime reason for changing from her previous 1.25 litre Fiesta (a much nicer car).

She now has a car which has a positively agricultural ride which may not wholly be due to the alloys, admittedly, but that and the gruff 1.4 litre Duratec engine is certainly not in the same class as her previous car.

Talk about progress!!!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Group B
She now has a car which has a positively agricultural ride
which may not wholly be due to the alloys, admittedly, but
that and the gruff 1.4 litre Duratec engine is certainly not
in the same class as her previous car.
Talk about progress!!!


Do a search on eBay now for "fiesta steel wheels". Theres a set of four 13" wheels on there now at £9.99, including what look like 65 or 70 profile tyres. Why not buy them for your sister as a late Xmas present, and see which she prefers? She could probably then sell the alloys for a few hundred quid.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
Did think of buying some steel wheels and asked Ford UK about this but they did not want anything to do with my suggestion other than to say it may upset the set-up of the car (handling and safety) and if I sold the alloys then selling the car would expose problems of the particular car not being of the correct spec. anymore etc.etc.

Best to p/x it for another model or make.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
Did think of buying some steel wheels and asked Ford UK
about this but they did not want anything to do with
my suggestion other than to say it may upset the set-up
of the car (handling and safety) and if I sold the
alloys then selling the car would expose problems of the particular
car not being of the correct spec. anymore etc.etc.


So why not buy the steel wheels and stash the alloys in the garage (tie them the wall to keep em out of the way)? Use the steel wheels until you come to sell the car, then refit the gleaming alloys.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
>> Did think of buying some steel wheels and asked Ford
UK
>> about this but they did not want anything to do
with
>> my suggestion other than to say it may upset the
set-up
>> of the car (handling and safety) and if I sold
the
>> alloys then selling the car would expose problems of the
particular
>> car not being of the correct spec. anymore etc.etc.
So why not buy the steel wheels and stash the alloys
in the garage (tie them the wall to keep em out
of the way)? Use the steel wheels until you come
to sell the car, then refit the gleaming alloys.


Yes, I have considered all possibilies but SWMBO can't now be bothered!!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Group B
Did think of buying some steel wheels and asked Ford UK
about this but they did not want anything to do with
my suggestion other than to say it may upset the set-up
of the car (handling and safety)


I was only joking when I suggested putting a set of old 13" steel wheels on a modern Fiesta. I would assume that the suspension has been tuned suit lower profile tyres, and to go back to higher profile ones would upset the handling.

I had a K-reg Golf which had 185/70-13 tyres on when I bought it, and the handling was terrible. 70 profile tyres may have been okay on a Mk.1 Golf, but a Mk.3 is a much heavier car. Modern cars have all got a lot heavier due to the need to look good in NCAP crash tests.
But I appreciate that handling and roadholding may not be among your priorities in choosing a car, its a case of personal preference.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - oldgit
re- oldgits thread:
presume you are the same person as grumpyoldgit who posted here
"why alloy wheels?"
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=13223&...e


No, actually we are quite different persons/contributors to the 'Backroom'.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - normd
At the end of the day it's all down to personal taste and priorities. 6 months ago I bought an old Astra with 6 months tax and full 12 month mot to use purely for commuting. Around the same time a colleague with different priorities purchased new gold alloys and tyres for his 1 year old firebreathing Subaru; to put this into perspective I paid the same price for my Astra complete with fuel injection, lecky windows, CD player and, yes, alloys with new 50 series rubber on them as he did for just one wheel/tyre combo. 6 months later and having only cost me £13 for a clutch cable, I could sell my car for the same (if not more) as I paid for it - do you think my colleague could?
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Adam {P}
That's the same with anything though. My mate spent 700 quid on one shirt. Yes - a shirt. I wouldn't dream of spending anywhere near that much on clothing but other people probably disagree with me spending so much money on scotch.

>>At the end of the day it's all down to personal taste<<

Absolutely.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - DrS
>>At the end of the day it's all down to personal taste<<

But it's not!
My point was that if I want air conditioning, for instance, then I have to have alloy wheels as well, which have some "hidden" cost, and I'm almost forced to pay even more on top to get metallic paint. Which I don't want.
The gripe is that "personal taste" for many people involves spending considerable additional sums of money, when in actual fact, what was wanted should have been the cheaper option!
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Hamsafar
tinyurl.com/axwh8

The new Vauxhall Steel Wheels are delightful.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - NowWheels
tinyurl.com/axwh8
The new Vauxhall Steel Wheels are delightful.


Pity they don't just make the whole design out of steel, paint it with hammerite, and do away with the plastic covers.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - alex

I wonder why alloy wheels are more popular here than in mainland Europe ?

On visits to Germany last year (including Munich) I spotted as many BMWs with steel wheels rather than alloy ones. Any Ford Focus cars in Germany were invariably fitted with steel wheels whereas, as we all know, the later versions sold here were almost all fitted with alloys as standard.

When on a trip to Paris last June, alloy wheels were a rarity on cars made by volume manufacturers.

Perhaps we in the UK are a "soft touch" for the marketeers !
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - tyro
I wonder why alloy wheels are more popular here than in
mainland Europe ?


Could be connected with the point madf made above regarding the ease of fitting winter tyres to steel wheels, and the fact that winter tyres and widely used (& in some places, required) during winter months in mainland Europe.
Alloy wheels - any merits....... - Blue {P}
Fascinating thread this, I predicted what it would be like before I read it, now, having read 57 replies, I see I wasn't in the slightest bit wrong. :-)

My two penneth is that they look nice, make my car drive with more of an edge (mine are of the skinny tyre variety), and I can afford them so I'll be damned if I'm going to let some dull practical considerations get in the way of me getting what I want. They may kerb more easily than wheel trims, (ok then, MUCH more easily:) but I don't really care, if and when they get too bad I'll just have them re-furbished at a small cost that I can afford anyway.

Blue
 

Value my car