Here’s a little bit of insight into how the car business works – when they sell cars, they sell them with tires, rims – the whole deal. When people go out to buy 20 inch rims for their new cars, it’s not the way it is when people plan to get a new car entertainment system or something. People don’t buy rims for a functional reason. The do it to look good – to pimp their ride, as it were.
To car owners, it doesn’t often even matter often how old and beat up their car is. If they can stick a set of flashy rims there, they feel they’ve pretty much invested their money well. It’s like someone going through a midlife crisis buying a sports car.
Have you seen those 20 inch rims? They look amazing on both full size cars as well as diecast model cars. They happen to be noticeably larger in diameter than the standard factory fitted wheels you get with a car. Of course, that brings up a problem. Fit full-size tires to those large rims, and you end up with wheels that are too large for the car. They probably wouldn’t even fit in the wheel well. And so, to fit over those rims and still be usable, the tires you buy need to be the low-profile kind. They need to be thinner tires to compensate for the larger rims.
It used to be that at first, people thought of 20 inch rims as some kind of flashy automotive accessory that mostly hip-hop enthusiasts favored. They’d get those, and then they would get those strange diamond studded braces that they called “grillz”, and they would go right with one another.
20-inch-rims have been going mainstream for quite a while now though. They’ve become so mainstream in fact that these are no longer even urban items. They are the number one accessory in rural America too.
When you ask someone the plainly obvious question of why they would choose to waste money on rims when their cars already had rims, usually, the comeback is to look at the questioner like he landed from the Stone Age, and then to shoot right back at him if he ever owned more than one pair of shoes for vanity reasons.
You don’t have to really worry about called vain, buying new rims. A car equipped with larger wheels always has better road performance. You get better acceleration, better stability and better braking. Not to mention, your car handles better too, often.
Aftermarket rims are often made of tough, light aluminum. You car loses a good bit of dead weight and your car’s steering performance becomes a lot more responsive. You get better braking performance, because the aluminum happens to be a better heat sink for brake heat. Brakes typically perform a lot better when they are cooled efficiently.
You need to go with an experienced tire mechanic to make sure that the wheels you choose fit well enough that they’ll never strike against or rub against anything. You also want to discuss with the mechanic the kind of driving you usually do. If you regularly go drive over rough terrain, you need to choose rims that are made of very tough material. Standard aluminum aftermarket rims can easily get bent out of shape when ridden rough.