If you don’t work with wheels every day, you probably aren’t very familiar with wheel and tire terminology. At Way size Customz, one of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “What wheel offset do you need?” The offset you need depends on the vehicle and the width of the wheel you want to mount. To know the offset you need, an understanding of the offset measures and how it affects wheel mounting is very important.

WHEEL OFFSET EXPLAINED

A wheel offset is the measurement of the distance from the mounting surface of the wheel to the wheel’s centerline. We have a complete guide to wheel anatomy and a dictionary of wheel terms you can refer to if you get confused. Basically, the centerline in the middle of the wheel barrel. If you took your wheel, turned it on its side and drew an imaginary line in the middle, that’s the centerline. The wheel offset is the distance and direction of the difference between the centerline and the mounting surface.

WHY WHEEL OFFSET IS IMPORTANT

Wheel offset is one of the major determining factors on whether a wheel will fit your car or truck. As a general rule of thumb, most front-wheel drive vehicles have a positive offset. If you want to put wider wheels on your vehicle than OEM, you generally need to reduce the offset. By doing this, you bring the wheel a bit more inward, so it doesn’t extend out too far and muck up the way the vehicle handles. If you just put wider wheels on a car without adjusting the offset, you might find the wheels bumping and scraping things they shouldn’t. Changing the offset on a front-wheel drive vehicle changes the scrub radius, steering, acceleration and braking.

POSITIVE OFFSET WHEELS

When it comes to positive offset wheels, it’s either they are HPO or MED. Those amazing categories refer to high positive offset or medium positive offset. High positive offsets push the wheels further out and create some eye-popping designs.

Their positive offset fills the wheel well to a tee without having a negative effect on the scrub radius and leaving plenty of room for brake calipers. If you wanted a slightly more aggressive look, you could always opt for a staggered fitment.

NEGATIVE OFFSET WHEELS

Negative offset wheels show up frequently on lifted and off-road vehicles. The more aggressive the negative offset, the more aggressive the stance. A negative offset will result in either a concave wheel or a wheel that looks more concave than it is

Still, got questions about picking the right offset? Just reach out to Way size Customz today!