Driving around, I am sure you have noticed the popularity of large wheels showing up on all sorts of vehicles. You might wonder if larger wheels make for better wheels. In all likelihood it depends on what you are looking for quality of ride or safety.

Large wheels on an 18-wheeler are obviously designed to carry a great deal of weight including the actual weight of the truck bed, cabin and the actual load it is carrying. A smaller vehicle is not going to have neither a heavy load nor the weight needed for 18-wheelers.

Before deciding whether to put larger wheels on your vehicle you should consider a few points.

The larger the wheel the heavier it's going to be. Very large wheels raise the center of gravity on your vehicle. If your vehicle is being used for commuting, these large wheels are going to make for difficult navigation and control. Your ride is not going to be a particularly enjoyable one.

Lighter-weight wheels are extremely important to the vehicle's overall performance. Consider what a balance wheel is, it's a heavy disk rotating on a shaft so its momentum gives uniform rotational speed to the shaft and all connected machinery. The heavier the wheel is, the harder it is going to be to control it.

If the wheel is designed with a light center and heavy circumference, it will rotate at a stable speed and direction no matter what occurs.

This is not really something you want on normal road traveling. Because of the heavy periphery, steering is extremely difficult and heavy wheels will bounce on the road's surface causing a great deal of stress to the vehicle's absorbers.

Let's Talk Rims:

The rim is the outer edge of the wheel and holds the tire in place. It's made up of the outer design of the wheel and what the inside edge of the tire is mounted on.

On a typical passenger car and tires there is a one-piece rim with a safety rim outline. This feature keeps the tire bead held to the rim under unfavorable conditions.

Heavy vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, have a removable multi-piece rim assembly that consists of a base that mounts to the wheel and axle. They have a lock ring combination that is removable from one side for tire mounting and the other as a fixed flange.

Because the rim is where the tire sits on the wheel, the rim supports the tire's shape. The dimensions are factored into the ability to handle various navigational features of the vehicle.

If rims are too wide, there will be more vibration and less comfort in the ride. This will also cause the tire to rub on the body or suspension components while making turns.

BMW Wheels:

BWM showed off their CFRP wheels or CFRP rims with alloy spokes at the Innovation Days in Munich. They are products in development for their i-series cars and are 35 to 25 percent lighter. Other accessories and auto parts include carbon fiber steering wheels and propeller shafts which call for lighter more efficient performances. The shaft is a single piece component on their new M3 and M4 models. Spare wheels, seat frames and other accessories and auto parts are incorporated with a secondary carbon fiber.

Tires Must Stay Flat on Roads:

Holding the road is achieved by making sure the surface of the tires are in constant contact with the road surface. If your wheels bounce and the tires are not lying flat, the vehicle can lose control. This can become very difficult to maintain as speed increases or the road is eroded.

Again, in order to handle the road properly, turn without difficulty and maintain control at higher speeds, the tires must have constant contact with the road.

Lighter Weight Wheels:

Steel wheels are actually too heavy for everyday driving. A lightweight alloy wheel is a much better choice. Lightweight forged wheels are a far better option and even necessary when wheels reach 18" in diameter.

Low Profile Tires:

The upside of choosing larger rims as standard rims is being able to fit tires that offer lower and stiffer side walls without changing the wheel circumference. Low profile tires also offer a wider contact area to the road, allowing the tires to remain flat on the road.

Probably the most important guideline for your vehicle's performance is the weight of the wheel. Opting for a light alloy wheel vs. and standard steel wheel will improve road performance and road handling. Therefore, using a low profile tire wall will improve overall road improvement. Although some feel large wheels look better, you still need to make careful choices in order to maintain your vehicle's integrity.

With the use of light alloys and carbon fibers, manufacturers are using more resilient and lighter components, accessories and various auto parts for lighter and more advanced automobiles.