Are Bigger Wheels Going to be Better for Your Car?

photo 4.There’s a trend in the automotive industry towards bigger wheels, meaning that what might have been seen as large a few years ago is now considered decidedly average.

Before you rush to change your set, however, read our guide to both up- and down-sizing. Your wheels have a significant impact on your performance, so it’s worth taking your time on any upgrade decision. Don’t forget you can call us for advice if you need it!


More is More – Bigger Wheels

There’s no denying that big rims are beautiful, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a supercar that doesn’t have enlarged wheels. Although they look pretty, there are limits – if you have too big a rolling radius then your speedometer will give you a reading that’s less than it ought to be.

Not only will this have you questioning your car’s performance, but it also might land you in hot water with the police! A rolling radius too large for your car will also dull the acceleration because it will introduce gearing changes. Furthermore, it will also make your car sit higher, meaning you either feel a bit awkward or need to get your suspension lowered!

The rolling radius is the distance measured from the centreline of the axle to the ground, hence its crucial role in calculating the vehicle’s speed. Your manufacturer will have provided you with guidelines as to what this should be, because the degree to which your tyres are inflated affects this. If you want to enlarge your wheels for aesthetic reasons, you’re therefore going to have to make the tyre height smaller to compensate for the larger diameter of your rim – simple! Any reputable custom or tyre shop will be able to look at your existing set of wheels and make recommendations that will be both practical and beautiful.

Less is More – Smaller Wheels


Bigger wheels are not, however, the only way to go. Smaller rims can be very striking and, on the right car, very special.

They come with a host of benefits, too. Because the rims are smaller, meaning you’re working with a small rolling radius, you can use a higher profile tyre and ensure your ride is super comfortable.

If you’re more the boy racer type, however, you can also make your suspension so low you’ll be waving to the worms as you drive past.


As we saw with the bigger wheels, however, there are also associated problems.

Not only might you have ground clearance problems if you’ve gone for the low-suspension option, but  you’ll also suffer from a speedometer that thinks it’s going faster than it really is!

Not perhaps a problem in itself, but it might cause a few wobbles amongst nervous passengers!

A very real problem, however, is brake clearance. If you have a particularly sporty car, or have invested in some high-quality brakes, you might find that they’re longer than your new small rims.

There is very little you can do in this situation, which is why consulting a professional before you make any alterations to your wheels is vital. We’re always on hand to provide tips and advice – give us a call today on 0845 370 8881.

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