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Getting your first off-roading vehicle is exciting not only because you have the means to hop on a trail, but also because you can enjoy the fun of modifying it beforehand. A suspension lift kit, skid plate, bull bar, roof rack, and custom wheels are just a few of the many features you can add or adjust. As you think about incorporating off-roading mods, make an informed decision by learning how wheel size affects off-road performance.

Larger Wheels Are Heavier

As a general rule, every pound of added weight on your vehicle causes your car’s performance to suffer. While it may not seem like too much more weight when you buy 15-inch diameter wheels versus 17-inch wheels, the wheel weight adds up. Don’t let two more measly inches deceive you—slightly larger wheels force your engine to work appreciably harder than smaller alternatives. Not only are larger wheels heavier, but this added weight is in the part of the car where the engine directly applies torque. This magnifies the effects of added weight as the engine struggles to rotate these bulkier wheels and the larger tires that fit onto them.

A Solution: Wheel Materials

To remedy this added strain on your car’s performance, you can buy the huge wheels you want without compromising elsewhere by focusing on wheel material. Steel, a common material for off-roading car wheels, is considerably heavier than some modern, lighter options. While it costs more initially, aluminum preserves your engine and gives you a little back at the gas pump every time you fill up your vehicle after a day of off-roading fun.

Wider Wheels = Better Traction

While it’s true that big wheel size affects off-road performance, they do significantly benefit traction. For off-roaders who want to stay away from paved roads, traction is worth prioritizing over performance. Because larger wheels have wider bases, the amount of surface area your vehicle covers on the trail increases. This affords you great friction where you need it and helps you maintain control in the wettest, sandiest, and least friendly environments you’ll encounter. If you’re looking for off-road wheels for sale, contact our team at RNR Tire Express in Oklahoma City, OK.

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