I have always believed in the phrase knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have pertaining to an area of interest, the more prepared you’ll be when you decide o pursue it. This is no different in the automotive world; especially in the case of wheels in particular, as there are so many products to choose from, you’ll need a leg up on the competition to know which way to go when making the right purchase for your ride. The key is to not become intimidated by the process; it’s easy to find out basic information on all sizes and styles of wheels in today’s marketplace. Don’t be scared to ask about rolling on 13s or 34s when you go to a wheel shop. You should ask as many questions as possible. Many retailers both online and in stores should ask for basic information regarding your vehicle’s year, and the make and model, in order to help you find a set of wheels that will properly fit your ride. Once you give up this information, it will help to look for your ideal set of wheels.

This year, we will jump right into the wheels. The first thing you need to know is that aftermarket wheels are divided into car and truck/SUV designs. Next, you need to know if your vehicle is front-wheel-drive (FWD) or rear-wheel-drive (RWD). Rear-wheel-drive rims tend to have a deep dish or, in technical terms, a zero or negative offset. Front-wheel-drive rims tend to have a very shallow dish or a positive offset, designed to clear the brake calipers and various suspension components. The offset is the distance from the center of a wheel to its mounting surface, the place where it bolts to your vehicle’s axle hub. The lower the offset, the closer the mounting surface is to the inner edge of the wheel. The higher the offset, the more space there is inside the wheel, behind the mounting surface. Also, if your wheel is a five lug, it doesn’t mean that the wheels will fit another car that is a five lug if the bolt pattern isn’t the same. You need to know your vehicle’s bolt pattern, so you can buy wheels that will bolt right on. The best way to find this information is by looking in your owner’s manual or by looking it up online, as there are a few websites that have accumulated this information over several years.

Wheels are available in a variety of finishes, so you should pick something that best reflects your needs. They can be plated, polished, painted, anodized or powder coated, and some need more maintenance than others. If you like shiny rims, you have a choice between polished and chromed aluminum, or steel wheel finishes including silver or gold plating. Some companies offer their rims in any color you’d like. These wheels are typically powder coated or painted, but some colors, including matte black and bronze, are available as an anodized finish. Of all the options, polished bare aluminum wheels require the most maintenance, since they can become oxidized and require re-polishing. Due to this maintenance issue, many polished aluminum wheels are finished with clear coat paint these days. As a rule, plated, painted, and powder coated wheels need only regular washing, and sometimes a good wheel cleaner, to remove built-up brake dust.

It is safe to say that it is getting harder and harder to find a good tire for your wire wheel, as most of our favorite tires are disappearing. The reason is that OEM manufacturers are turning their back on the smaller tires and are looking more at the benefits of plus sizes. Most of today’s manufacturers are building their cars with stock 15 inch wheels, as these wheels improve the handling, making the 13 and 14 inch wheel obsolete. If you love your radials the way I love my 5.20’s, you should probably stock up a set until the tire industry figures out what they are going to do with the our classic cars, or at least until somebody steps to the plate to fill the nations void.

These are just a few key points from the 2011 Tire and Wheel Guide which should help you out with your wheel shopping. Now, let’s get rolling and on the road through this year’s tire and wheel guide.

Continental Tires
The ExtremeContact DWS features improved grip and braking in both dry and wet conditions with a unique asymmetrical tread design. This tire includes an advanced tread compound for improved traction in all-weather conditions including snow, significantly improved mileage, and an industry leading level of rolling resistance for better fuel economy. To learn more about this and other Continental Tires look them up at:
www.conti-online.com

Maxxis Tires
Victra is an ultra high-performance radial featuring an aggressive unidirectional tread design. The Victras offers excellent cornering and handling ability as well as superior wet and dry traction. To learn more about this and other Maxxis fitments and applications log onto:
www.maxxis.com

Coker Tires
When it comes to Lowrider tires, the choices are limited if you want the right style, but Coker Tire has supplied Lowrider enthusiasts with good-looking tires for years. The Premium Sport is a bias ply design that is available for 13 and 14-inch wheels, and there’s no mistaking the narrow tread profile and classic styling. You won’t find a better Lowrider tire, but Coker found a way to improve upon the design. To learn more about the Coker tire line look them up on the web at:
www.coker.com

Vogue Tires
With the Signature V tyre, drivers can enjoy a windy road just as easily as a cruise down the freeway. Additionally, the 245/40R20 99V fitment, which is a recommended plus size for many luxury vehicles including Mercedes S-class, Lexus LS460, Infiniti M, Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CTS, also provides comfort, traction and durability. To find your local Vogue products dealer, visit them at:
www.vogue-tyres.com

General Tires
Born from competition, this tire has been developed by the most skilled engineers and tested by the best off-road racers, including Carl Renezeder and BJ Baldwin. This aggressive tire will perform and keep your ride looking good from the dirt to the street. To learn more about this and other General tires log onto:
www.generaltire.com

Toyo Tires
The Proxes T1R is Toyo Tires’ generation UHP tire designed exclusively for high-end sport sedans and coupes. It takes advantage of computer simulation technology providing high-speed stability in both dry and wet conditions with low noise and ride comfort. The tread pattern features rigid shoulder rib-bands that deliver excellent dry handling while resisting irregular wear for less tire noise. To learn more about this and other Toyo tires log onto:
www.toyotires.com

Galaxy
The 72 spoke cross lace wires are available in several custom combinations. for fitment applications go to the
www.galaxywirewheels.com

Diablo Wheels
Reflection X-Patented design allows you to add color or graphics without paint and change it as often as you want. To learn more about Diablo wheels, log onto:
www.diablowheels.com

Forgiato Wheels
The Sedici wheel is the latest wheel to come out of the Foriato line. To learn more about the applications and sizes available, or to find your local dealer, log onto:
www.Forgiatowheels.com

RW3 Wheels
The RW3-features a deep lip, multi-spoke wheel that is sure to take your automobile to the next level. for more information go to:
www.roderickwheels.com

Dynasty Wheels
D837 The new Destany wheel Machined lip & barrel with sizes available in 18, 20 and 22. To find out more information log on to:
www.playerwheelgroup.com

ORM Wheels
X18 Mudboss features a Machined Face with 17, 18, and 20 sizes. To find out more information log onto:
www.playerwheelgroup.com

Player Wheels
The P815 Kilo with Black Inserts is set up for your SUV and is available in the 20, 22, 24 and 26-inch models. To find your application, look them up in cyberspace at:
www.playerwheelgroup.com

American Racing
American TORQ THRUST ST chrome one-piece aluminum chrome wheel is made for style and performance. To learn more about these and other American Racing wheels, look them up at:
www.americanracing.com

Asanti Wheels
V-F 604 Luxury Wheel. These forged wheels feature advanced metal structure, resulting in high durability, reduced weight, and enhanced handling. To learn more about these wheels, look them up at:
www.asantiwheels.com

Diablo Wheels
Morpheus - Optional insert configurations allow you to quickly change the look of your Morpheus wheel. To learn more about these devilish wheels and the sizes available, look them up at:
www.diablowheels.com

MKW Wheels
M83 wheel off road wheels will give your project hauler the mean look you desire when hauling your Lowrider to the next show. for more info log on to:
www.mkwwheels.com

Savani Wheels
BS-5 wheel is doing it again with their latest wheel, the BS-5, which brings elegance and style to your ride. If you need assistance or have questions about these and other Savini products, please look them up at:
www.savini.com

Hipnotic Wheels
Venom is the latest wheel to come out of the Hipnotic brand as the company creates killer wheels. To learn more about these and other Hipnotic wheels log onto:
www.hipnoticwheels.com

Lexani Wheels
Snyper is the latest wheel to come out from the Lexani line. This wheel is available in chrome and different sizes and offsets. To learn more about this wheel and the applications log onto:
www.lexani.com

Luxe Wheels
Lx8- Luxe Wheels brings you style and elegance in a class all by themselves. To learn more log on to:
www.luxewheels.net

Status Wheels
S811 With the black lip is a good way to be notice when you’re cruising in style on the strip. To learn more about this wheel and other Status wheels, look them up on:
www.statuswheels.com

Gianna Wheels
The Blitz is available with custom color inserts and staggered fitments. To learn more about this wheel and other applications, log onto:
www.giannawheels.com

Ultra Wheels
Baron Ultra Wheels are an exceptional value for the enthusiast wanting a classic street look or off-road styling for their vehicle. If you want to learn more about these and other Ultra Wheels, log onto:
www.ultrawheels.com

Strada Wheels
Strada Wheels is proud to be one of the leading & most recognized wheel brands in the industry. Their latest creation can be seen on the web or via any local dealer. To find either of the two, look them up at:
www.stradawheels.com

TSW Wheels
Valencia Alloy Wheel comes in the bolt pattern of 5 Lug/Range 100-120. The finishes available include Chrome, Silver w/ Mirror Cut Lip, Matte Black and Gloss Black w/ Mirror Cut Lip. To find out more about this wheel and other TSW wheels log onto:
www.tsw.com

Ultra Wheels
Patriarch is new for 2011 and is the latest addition to the Ultra Wheel family. This front wheel drive one-piece wheel features a touch of paint inserts that can be painted to match the exterior of your vehicle. If you want to know more about this and other Ultra Wheels look them up on the web at:
www.ultrawheel.com

MRR Wheels
For those of you that are looking for a classic, chiseled, modern, and sleek look, then check out the HR-6. To learn more about these wheels visit them on the web at:
www.mrrwheels.com

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