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Are Smaller Wheels Worth It For Your Truck Build?

April 19, 2022

When it comes to things in life, bigger is typically better - after all, that's the American way, right? Ask McDonald's - do you remember the whole Super Size Me thing where you got extra big fries until people sued and they had to stop doing that?

We're not talking about that today, but either way, the older you get you tend to learn that bigger isn't always better - after all, there's nothing worse than using a big hammer to tap a brad nail; it just doesn't work. The same can be said for wheels and tires - as you get older, the desire to run a massive 14 or even 16-wide may not always be appealing as something a little bit more conservative.

In today's piece, we'll be jumping head first into this topic to find out if smaller wheels really are worth it for your truck build - let's get it!

Which Wheel Types Are Best For Trucks?

Let's talk about wheels for just a moment - when it comes to truck builds, there are a lot (like a lot) of options out there. You've got cast wheels and rotary forged wheels - you've got everything from eight wides all the way up to 18 wides, and the options are really endless. It's like Subway - you can really have it your way, but which way is correct?

The answer to that question is like many other great puzzles here in life - it depends. If you do a quick search on Instagram, you'll find that unless you're on 14-wides, there really isn't a whole lot of hype around your build. The hype game will tell you that you need to have Yeezys and the beefiest of wheels to even stand out in the market today, but wider wheels really aren't always better. Sure, them 14-wide thick boys are cool for flexing on the 'Gram, and they're even better if you want an arm workout because you'll be polishing those forged wheels, but you'll definitely find some drawbacks.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD with Anthem Off-Road Rogue wheels installed

Cons of Using Wider Wheels On Your Build

One of the biggest drawbacks was slapping a big old wheel on your build, is you'll have to trim a lot. For instance, for over a decade, General Motors decided they were going to make wheel wells square - this causes big issues because if you want to put bigger, wider, round wheels, they won't always fit, like the block toy when you were a kid.

Another major issue you can get with a wider wheel, of course, is that with wider wheels come wider tires, and with wider tires, this means that there'll be more tire to stick out of the fender. That's all cool and it looks really good, but it also means that you can expect your truck will always be dirty, with any sort of dirt, water, mud, or other debris or material you can find on the roadway, off the roadway or wherever you're driving, and it'll sling up onto the side of the truck or on the hood, and it'll be everywhere.

Additionally, if your tires like to pick up some stones, you can probably expect some rock chips. There is nothing that will make your soul leave your body quite like the sound of a big ol' rock being honked out of your tire and into your fender - it really sucks.


Read More: Are Wider Wheels Worth It For Your Truck Build?


What Are The Best Small Wheel Widths?

With that said, though, there are some options if you want to get your truck looking good, but maybe you don't want to beat your truck too bad in the process. Enter the nine-wide wheel.

Back in the day, nine wides were the thing - they were common, and they were everywhere. In those days, 14-wides didn't exist in a 20x12 - these sizes were built only for the show scene, and you could never daily drive those. At least, that's what we thought. Times have changed since then, though, and the fact of the matter is that a nine wide can still really shake up the look of your truck without breaking the bank or forcing you to just grab the saw and cut your fenders.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD with Hostile Sprocket wheels installed

What Are The Best Nine-Wide Wheels Available?

There are plenty of nine-wide wheels available out there, but we've definitely got our eyes on some top choices. For example, a set of 20x9 Hostile Sprockets in Chrome will set you back around $2200, and they look freaking awesome.

Otherwise, if you're looking for a more simplistic look with a more off-road style wheel, you can shoot for a set of Anthem Rogues - they look super functional, super practical, and super awesome.

The best part about installing a nine-wide is not only are you getting a dope-looking wheel package, but you also don't have to worry about your truck being constantly dirty from driving it through a farm or muddy yard - there's no debris all over the side of your truck because your nine-wides are just tucked up in there, sitting even with the fender.

Can You Tow With Smaller Wheels?

Another thing to consider with smaller wheels is if you tow a lot, it'll be much easier to find a tire that'll be weight rated for the towing job you're doing. For example, the weight rating on a 35/12.5R20 will be a lot more than on a set of 35/14.5R24s - this is because more sidewall and more rubber help support that weight better, making sure you keep rolling down the road and don't have a blowout of some sort, because that would be a bad day.


Read More: What Are The Best Trucks For Towing?


Shop Small Truck Wheels In Stock at Custom Offsets

At the end of the day, there really is no right or wrong way to go about it - if you're looking for a show-build truck, maybe a wider and bigger wheel is for you. However, if you're looking for a daily driver, you just want to be a little more conservative without trimming - in this case, a nine-wide might be for you.

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