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How to Choose Wheels for Your Vehicle

RTR Tech 6 F150 950SB Wheel 20x9 6x135 Satin Black 18mm

Changing your vehicle’s generic, stock wheels to stylish aftermarket wheels can seem like a great, yet daunting, idea. Don’t worry– you just need to know what to look for before ordering. Read on for everything you need to know before buying aftermarket wheels for your ride.

Deciding on Wheel & Tire Size

A popular idea when upgrading to aftermarket wheels is getting bigger wheels. But, there are many things to consider when upping the size of your wheels. While larger rims look great, they can negatively impact your ride quality, tend to be more expensive than their smaller counterparts, and require larger, more expensive tires. On the other hand, wider wheels can use wider tires, which offer your truck more traction. This is important if you use your rig for off-roading or other extreme driving conditions. To determine what size tires you would need with your bigger wheels, use our tire size calculator.

How to Find & Measure Your Bolt Pattern

To find your bolt pattern, you need to determine two numbers. The first is how many bolt holes are on the wheel, while the second is how far apart each bolt is. For example, a bolt pattern number of 6 x 5.5 means the wheel has six bolt holes that are 5.5” apart (when you measure across the center of the wheel).

Center Bore & Hub-Centric vs Lug-Centric

Another important thing to note is the size of your wheel’s center bore, and whether your wheels are hub-centric or lug-centric. To get the center bore’s size, measure the diameter of the hole that centers over the mounting hub. Your wheel is hub-centric if the center bore matches the mounting hub’s size. If it doesn’t, your wheels are lug-centric.

How to Measure Backspacing

Knowing your vehicle’s backspacing size is an essential part of finding the right wheel. Your wheel’s backspacing is measured from the wheel’s mounting surface (in the middle of the wheel) to the back edge of the wheel. The size will vary, depending on the wheel’s offset. If it has zero offset, the hub mounting surface is even with the wheel’s center line. If it has positive offset, the mounting surface is closer to the front of the wheel, while negative offset is closer to the back of the wheel. Backspacing is measured in inches – 4.5”, for example. If you purchase wheels with the wrong backspacing size, it’s likely they aren’t going to fit your car properly.

Knowing Your Maximum Load

Wheels are advertised with a maximum weight load, which can often cause confusion. This is max-weight is per tire. To get the exact weight load, multiply the advertised max-weight by 4. For example, if each wheel’s load rating is 3500 lbs, the total load rating for your truck would be 14,000 lbs.

Going Bigger by Matching Your Wheels to Your Lift Kit

If your truck or SUV has a lift kit, don’t worry, you just need a few more pieces of information. To find out what wheels are designed to work with your rig, contact the manufacturer of your lift kit. They are able to provide the information you need, so you can order those custom steel wheels you’ve been craving.


Choosing the right aftermarket wheels for your vehicle is a crucial decision that can impact both the aesthetics and performance of your ride. Consider factors such as wheel size, bolt pattern, backspacing, and load rating to ensure a proper fit and safe driving experience. Additionally, if you have a lift kit, consult the manufacturer for compatible wheel options. With the right wheels, you can enhance the appearance and functionality of your vehicle.