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Is A Rim A Wheel?

August 9, 2022

Is It Called A Rim Or A Wheel?

Do you want to have a good debate the next time you're out in public with your buddies? Just ask them, "Which is better? Cats or dogs?" and then watch the whole place erupt in an explosion of conversation. But if you really wanna get spicy, you'll want to ask them what the circular metal things are that are inside of your tires - are they rims or wheels?

You'll have people on either side of the aisle that are 100% convinced that they're either called rims, or they're called wheels, and everyone who calls them rims is weird. But who's right? And more importantly, where did the term come from in the first place? Today we'll show you - that's right, below we'll be taking you through the age old debate of rim vs. wheel. Let's get it!

2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro with Vossen HF6 wheels

Why Do So Many People Call Wheels "Rims"?

First off the bat we have to ask why so many people call wheels "rims" anyway - well, there's no Bible for this kind of stuff, right? No words written in red or anything like that. What we can say is that it really depends on where you're located geographically. Typically, if you're in the Southern half of the US, or even some western states like California and places like that, people in your area may refer to them as rims.

Additionally, when you look at the age group that call them rims vs. wheels, they tend to be a little bit older, so just like old old people who insist on calling wheels "hubcaps," calling it a rim instead of a wheel is just a sign of the times, and geographic locations, for the most part.


Read More: Top 5 Wheel and Tire Packages For 2022


2022 RAM 2500 with American Force Armada wheels

Design Features and Anatomy of Truck Wheels

So, when you look at a wheel, there are a few different parts you'll want to keep an eye out for. The first is what we call the "hub," or the centerpiece of the wheel. The big hole in the center of the wheel is what's called a center bore, and this'll contain the center caps, which will hide those maybe less-than-stellar looking hubs, and keep the whole wheel looking clean.

Fun fact here, by the way - if you're having vibration issues, one of the first places we recommend looking is at your hub bore diameter. See, most aftermarket wheels are gonna be bored out for a variety of different fitments for different vehicles, and that means that the hub bore may be a bit bigger than the actual hub diameter of your truck. This difference in sizes can cause the wheel to sit on the hub off-center without actually being true, which means that when a wheel goes down the road, it'll rotate in an untrue circle - that leads to bumps, rotational vibration, steering wheel shakes, and other stuff like that. To remedy this, a good set of hub-centric rings is a great option to reduce vibration and ensure a snug fit.

What Actually Is The Rim of A Wheel Referring To?

Moving outward on the wheel, we have spokes, or the face of the wheel - these are the metal pieces that stick out from the hub and connect to the outer part of the wheel, which is known as the barrel. Spokes are what most people think of when they picture wheel designs, and they're also where you'll find things like directional designs that our guys at ARKON OFF-ROAD are known for. Outward from the spokes you'll find what's known as the lip, otherwise known as the barrel. The lip runs the length of the wheel, and borders the one and only rim of the wheel. The rim is the outer edge of the wheel that sits on top of the wheel, and often it will feature some sort of engraving or milling for added design quality - some of them will even simulate beadlock looks and rivet milling.


Read More: Most Common Mistakes When Buying Truck Wheels And How To Avoid Them


Shop Aftermarket Wheels For Your Truck At Custom Offsets

So, is it a rim or a wheel? From a technical point of view, the rim is part of the wheel, and a wheel is a big old hunk of metal that sits inside your wheel and tire package, but as long as we all know what you're talking about, it really doesn't matter, but the debate is still fun to have.

Speaking of wheel and tire packages, that's what we offer here at Custom Offsets, with some of the best aftermarket truck wheels and tires in the business in our inventory right now. Package new wheels and tires together for your truck and we'll get you taken care of with free mounting, balancing, and shipping to the lower 48. Or, check out our gallery before you buy and see which packages look best on trucks like yours!

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