Street Rodder - - 2018 Ultimate Wheel & Tire Guide - Re­spect­fully, The UW TG Staff

As our ob­ses­sion with wheels and tires con­tin­ues to grow so does the in­creas­ing amount of op­tions we have to choose from. From col­ors to sizes, di­am­e­ters to widths, open lug to closed lug, the wheel in­dus­try has pro­vided so many paths that it’s hard to de­cide which one to take.

Like fash­ion, wheel de­sign is in a constant state of evo­lu­tion. You’ve got your sta­ple de­signs (mesh, five-spoke, six-spoke, split spoke, and so on) but now we’re see­ing a syn­the­sis of clas­sic de­signs in­ter­twined into many of to­day’s most pop­u­lar wheels. Now, if you’re a wheel buff with his­toric knowl­edge, you’ll rec­og­nize many of the styling cues bor­rowed from the most iconic wheel de­signs ever cre­ated. From BBS Turbo Fans, Ep­silons all the way to the his­toric Volk TE37, the in­cor­po­ra­tion of those time­less de­signs have been rein­ter­preted time and time again, and some with strik­ing sim­i­lar­ity and very lit­tle vis­ual change.

But with all these sim­i­lar op­tions to choose from, re­mem­ber one thing: Some wheels may look alike, but they’re prob­a­bly not built alike. And to pro­vide more in­sight into this sub­ject who bet­ter to talk to than RAYS En­gi­neer­ing, the man­u­fac­turer of race wheels for teams like Toy­ota and Nis­san. In this is­sue we’ll be go­ing over their ex­ten­sive man­u­fac­tur­ing process and re­veal how in­for­ma­tion is ex­trap­o­lated from race cars and adapted to their con­sumer line of wheels.

The wheels we choose and how we choose to do it are an ex­ten­sion of our per­son­al­i­ties, and much like land­scap­ing to a house, wheels de­fine our very ex­is­tence while of­fer­ing in­sight into our per­son­al­ity.

Now, the old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is com­mon wis­dom to live by—though we hardly do—but when it comes to wheel se­lec­tion on cars, well, yeah … it’s pretty much fair game and open sea­son. As wheel and tire lovers, we tend to judge peo­ple by what they put on their ride, but there are ex­cep­tions—like the soc­cer moms and new­bies whose in­no­cence and joy­ous smiles ex­cuse them from judg­ment from even the whini­est of wheel snobs.

But that’s the beauty of our in­dus­try. Again, much like fash­ion, the wheels you choose may not sat­isfy ev­ery­one’s in­ner critic, but all that mat­ters is that you like it—and that it suits not only your style, but your bud­get. So here’s the 2018

Ul­ti­mate Wheel & Tire Guide and we wish you the best on your hunt for your next wheel and tire setup.

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