Whether you’re replacing an old set of wheels or customizing your new car, finding the right set of rims can be difficult. While there are many design choices available, alloy wheels are the most commonly offered wheel customization option. While steel wheels and alloys both have their benefits and drawbacks, alloys are more popular. Below are some factors to consider when deciding between replica wheels and steelies.
Steel Wheels vs. Alloys
Steel wheels are weaker than alloys, but they are more affordable. Alloys do have stricter maintenance requirements, but they make up for it in their stylish design. Most steel wheels are utilitarian in nature, and are only available in basic designs. If you want to make your car look unique, replica wheels are the way to go.
The Advantages of Steel Wheels over Alloys
- They’re easy to repair: If your steelies get damaged by rocks or potholes, they’re easier to repair than if you’d gone with alloy wheels. For example, if one of your steel wheels gets bent, a shop can hammer it back into shape.
- They cost less than a set of alloys, which makes them affordable to more people.
- They can be used off-road. Their heavy-duty construction can offer you more traction on muddy or rocky roads, and they’re easy to handle when you want to change from regular to 4wd mud tyres.
Steel Wheel Limitations
- They lack style. Steel wheels are only available in a limited number of designs, and there’s not much room for customization.
- They’re not useful in high performance applications. The heavy-duty construction that improves off-road traction creates a slower ride in many situations. For example, a sports car fitted with steel wheels may not handle as well as it would with a new set of alloy wheels.
- They’re vulnerable to rust. When the paint on a steel wheel becomes worn, the chances of rust are much higher than with a set of alloy replica wheels.
The Benefits of Alloys
- Alloys are durable. Made from combinations of silicon, magnesium and aluminium, they are strong and more resistant to impact than steel wheels are.
- They’re stylish. Alloy wheels come in many designs, making it easy to customize your vehicle.
- They offer high performance. Alloys are light in weight, which makes them ideally suited to use on sports cars.
Drawbacks of Alloys
- They cost more than steel wheels. Because of their distinctive design and unique construction, replica wheels and alloys typically are more expensive than steelies.
- Maintenance requirements are higher. Alloys typically have complex designs, making them difficult to keep clean at times. If these wheels are damaged, sometimes they can be beyond repair.
Changing the wheels on your car can give it a new look almost instantly—but the process can be made more complex because of the number of choices that are available. By considering the pros and cons of alloy wheels and steel wheels, you will be better equipped to make an educated purchase decision.