Rolling Down the Road: Finding the Best Truck Wheels 2021

Rolling Down the Road: Finding the Best Truck Wheels 2021

If there’s one universal point of pride among truck owners, it’s owning a beautiful set of wheels. Whether you’re buying for looks, practicality, or performance, a fresh set of rims can be a huge upgrade. But since they’re made of a wide variety of materials and designs, and have different dimensions and sizes, the crowded marketplace requires some research if you’re looking to find the perfect wheels.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Truck Wheels

There are thousands and thousands of models of truck wheels on the market, which can occasionally make it difficult to narrow things down. Thankfully for buyers, however, most truck wheels can be accurately evaluated against each other using a standard set of specs that are universal across all manufacturers.

Wheel Size

While every truck has a recommended wheel size, truck drivers often change the wheel size to maximize certain characteristics of their vehicles. While the most common rim size in the past was 15 inches, that size has been more or less passed up by 17-inch options. You can also purchase 16- and 18-inch models, but they’re a bit less common.

Wheel size affects wheel weight, a potential load rating, and brake clearance, so check out your owners manual. If you’re thinking about changing your wheel size, do your research and potentially even talk with your mechanic before making a purchase.

Wheel Material

Material has a lot to do with the structural properties of your truck wheels and also affects the weight of your wheels (and thus, the overall weight of your truck overall). Many wheel companies primarily use aluminum alloys, which are lightweight and attractive, while steel wheels offer increased durability for a lower price, at the cost of added weight and a more plain appearance.

Bolt Pattern

Bolts and the lug nuts that anchor them are how wheels attach to the truck itself. Almost all wheels are either attached with either five or six bolts. They’re set up in a circular pattern to even out the force against the wheel.

You can determine this bolt pattern by two numbers: diameter and amount of bolts. All five-bolt wheels with the same bolt diameter will fit every car with those specs. Keep in mind, though, that if your wheels don’t come with their own lugs, so make sure that you’re purchasing the proper set of lugs for the wheels.

If you don’t already have one, be sure to pick up a lug wrench and set of wheel chocks to make installation a breeze if you plan on doing it yourself.

Rim Width

Rim width is the rim-to-rim thickness of the outside of the wheel. It affects the size of the tire you can place on your wheel as well as, in some cases, the offset of the wheel. If you’re sticking with the same tire and change wheels, different rim widths can significantly affect your tire’s shape, stretching or even deforming the wheels. Do your best to keep the width of your new wheels identical.

Offset

Offset is how far the exterior of the wheel is to the true center of the wheel. A wheel with negative offset will stick out further from the wheel well, and a wheel with positive offset will be closer to the sidewall of the car. You don’t want to change up offset by more than 5 millimeters, or you can run the risk of your wheel rubbing against some part of the trim of the car.

Wheel Weight

Wheel weight is simply but vitally important: advanced alloys, machined options, and aluminum wheels have the lightest weights. Slightly more durable options (steel alloy wheels) are the heaviest, while light wheels improve the acceleration and overall weight of your truck.

No matter what you’re looking for or how much you’re looking to spend, there’s a set of truck wheels out there that can upgrade your truck’s looks, performance, and ride quality. Check out our favorites below.

Top 10 Best Truck Wheels 2021

1. Best Overall Truck Wheels: HELO HE835 Gloss Black Machined Wheel

HELO HE835 Gloss Black Machined Wheel

Why we like it: These good-looking wheels have a large variety of bolt patterns and a machined construction that makes them both versatile and good-looking.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 17 inch, 18 inch, 20 inch, and 22 inch
  • Wheel Material: Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 5, 6, or 8 holes with 5.5 inch, 165.1 mm, or 170 mm pattern
  • Offset: 0 or 18 Millimeters Offset
  • Rim Width: 8 Inches
  • Wheel Weight: 30 Pounds

With steep competition and hundreds of options on the market, it’s impossible to pick out a single option that’s better than all others, but with this set of wheels, wheel manufacturer HELO gets close.

While they don’t dominate all of the competition in all categories, the characteristic that these wheels have more than any other is versatility: they’re available in four sizes, each with different offsets and widths, multiple bolt patterns, all including a machined face and center cap (although they don’t include lug nuts—for a similar option that has everything you’ll need, check out the premium Mayhem Warrior).

Great looks come via the machined metal and unique spoke pattern. But these wheels aren’t just impressive looking; they perform phenomenally as well. And while we’ll take a great-driving wheel over a great-looking one, we’re still not going to complain about the striking machined black and anodized geometric construction.

That paint requires some care, and HELO shows their attention to detail with a one-year warranty against the paint on the wheels. That’s not part of the wheels’ structural warranty, which lasts a whole lifetime: an impressive stamp of authority on a product that’s bound to take some abuse.

Pros

  • Versatile sizing options with many offsets, widths, and sizes
  • Includes machined face and center cap
  • Unique, attractive spoke pattern
  • One year paint warranty with lifetime structural warranty

Cons

  • Wheels don’t include lug nuts

2. Best Looking Truck Wheels: RockTrix RT105 17-Inch Wheels

RockTrix RT105 17-Inch Wheels

Why we like it: These 17-inch wheels are made with looks in mind, using a minimal aluminum-cast design to maximize functionality and minimize weight.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 17 inch
  • Wheel Material: Cast Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 5 / 127 MM
  • Offset: -12 MM Offset
  • Rim Width: 9 Inches
  • Wheel Weight: 27.5 Lbs

These attractive, modern-looking wheels are aesthetically designed to go with a Jeep Wrangler, although they’ll fit most Jeep models as well as other pickups with similar wheel requirements. With a common 17-inch size and 5 x 5 bolt pattern, they fit many recent-model-year trucks. Watch out for the offset, though, which might affect the brake calipers on some vehicles.

Otherwise, the cast aluminum produces an about-average performance while probably focusing a little bit more on economy and looks than rigidity and other benchmark engineering statistics.

While the price tag at first glance looks incredibly expensive compared with other wheels, keep in mind that you’re not getting just one wheel, you’re getting a full set. This brings the ‘per wheel’ cost to just a hair above $100, a pretty good deal for a set of aluminum cast wheels. Along with the matte finish that goes so well with aluminum wheels, they’re lightweight, coming in at 27.5 pounds per wheel, almost exactly the same as Jeep’s stock

Pros

  • Per wheel cost is just above $100, an incredibly good deal
  • Same weight as Jeep’s stock wheels
  • Cast aluminum construction is lightweight and inexpensive

Cons

  • Aluminum cast instruction is more for aesthetics and price than performance
  • The wheels include an offset that makes them incompatible with some manufacturers

3. Best Lightweight Truck Wheels: American Racing Custom Wheels Satin Black

American Racing Custom Wheels Satin Black

Why we like it: With a black satin top coat, these ultra-light wheels are nearly as good looking as they are highly-performing.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 15 inch, 16 inch, and 17 inch
  • Wheel Material: Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 139.7 mm, 6 x 139.7 mm, 5 x 140 mm
  • Offset: 0 mm
  • Rim Width: 8 inches
  • Wheel Weight: 25 lbs

While this lush black satin coat is really, really good looking, these aren’t wheels just meant for showing off. While their construction isn’t backed up by high-tech engineering like the Mayhem Warriors, their stats are actually quite impressive for a relatively inexpensive wheel option: they’re lightweight, weighing in at just over 25 pounds per wheel, they’ve got a 17 inch diameter that should help with conquering off road obstacles, and their aluminum construction maintains rigidity without sacrificing a large weight penalty.

The company has a 60-year history, even participating in racing events like NASCAR to help develop their technological savvy. And the company produces products that will stand up to the test of time: a lifetime structural warranty means that you shouldn’t have issues with durability, and the wheels have a one-year warranty against that beautiful black paint, as the company promises to replace or repair should anything go wrong. All in all, it’s a good looking wheel set with great performance at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Lightweight wheelset at just around 25 pounds per wheel
  • Manufacturer has participated in events like NASCAR
  • Lifetime structural warranty protects you in case of damage
  • Beautiful black satin coat has a one-year warranty

Cons

  • Don’t have much technical backing

4. Best Premium Truck Wheels: Mayhem Warrior Black Wheel With Milled Spokes

Mayhem Warrior Black Wheel With Milled Spokes

Why we like it: These relatively expensive aluminum wheels back up their price with use of impressive machining tech and back the product up with a lifetime warranty.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Wheel Material: Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 8 x 139.7 mm
  • Offset: 18 mm
  • Rim Width: 9 Width
  • Wheel Weight: 28 Lbs

These aluminum 18-inch wheels come in at a slightly premium price point, but compared with some other premium truck wheels that can run up to $1000, they’re actually relatively economical. They’re rated to hold up to 3640 pounds and can run tires up to 40 inches, so they’re large enough for big trucks while still working on more compact pickups.

Keep in mind that unlike many inexpensive aftermarket options, these wheels are TPMS compatible, so you won’t have to deal with a persistent check engine light that won’t ever go away.

Aluminum milled spokes reduce the weight fantastically, but structural rigidity is compromised slightly: when you make something thinner, you reduce its ability to hold up to impacts. That doesn’t mean you should be worried about a catastrophic product failure by any means, but a wheel that flexes (even slightly) is a wheel that will perform worse than a product that’s more rigid, like the steel Pro Comp 97. A lifetime structural warranty will replace wheels with any fundamental issue, no questions asked.

Pros

  • Economical 18 inch wheelset
  • Aluminum milled spokes help reuce weight
  • Compatible with conventional Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
  • Lifetime warranty for any structural issues

Cons

  • Aluminum spokes yield compromised structural integrity
  • Wheels aren’t rigid and can flex

5. Best Budget Truck Wheels: Pro Comp Steel Wheels Series 97

Pro Comp Steel Wheels Series 97

Why we like it: These inexpensive yet durable wheels actually perform fantastically for their low price, although they’re quite heavy.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 15, 16, and 17 Inches
  • Wheel Material: Steel
  • Bolt Pattern: 8 holes x 6.5 inches
  • Offset: 0 mm
  • Rim Width: 8 and 9 Inches
  • Wheel Weight: 32 lbs

At the intersection of budget and performance sit these wheels from company Pro Comp. They perform well for their low price, with great rigidity and strong structural integrity once they’re mounted and balanced (we’ll get into issues with balancing later).

The zero-offset model is available in two widths, 8 and 9 inches, as well as the most common diameters of 15, 16, and 17 inches.

The simple wheels have a gloss finish that in theory should look good, and out of the box, they’re very attractive. In reality, though, the paint job wears out after a couple months of use, the gloss chipping off and losing its luster quickly over time.

There are another issue as well: balancing: the heavy wheels require an extensive (some would say unacceptable) amount of balancing by an auto shop before installation, which requires time and money.

In our opinion, this effort might cancel out the low price of the wheels, but if you’re interested in taking on the project yourself, it could be a tempting option. Otherwise, you should spring for something a bit more expensive like these wheels from HELO, which just work out of the box.

Pros

  • Zero-offset model is available in a wide variety of widths and sizes
  • Gloss finish looks good out of the box
  • Strong structural integrity and good rigidity
  • Good for an experienced home mechanic

Cons

  • The wheels come out of balance and require significant effort to get into good shape
  • Gloss paint wears out quickly

6. Best 15-Inch Wheels: Pro Comp Rock Crawler Steel Wheels

Pro Comp Rock Crawler Steel Wheels

Why we like it: These 15-inch wheels are lightweight and inexpensive, although they require the separate purchase of center caps and lug nuts.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 15 inches
  • Wheel Material: Steel
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 4.75
  • Offset: Zero-Offset
  • Rim Width: 9 Inches
  • Wheel Weight: 26 Lbs

These wheels are quite light for being made of steel, weighing in at only about 26 pounds. That’s thanks to their 15-inch diameter, yielding much less material used. As 15-inch wheels, though, they’re meant for older trucks, as well as compact and subcompact pickups, and potentially other types of cars. Many truck owners actually prefer this wheel size, as they’re slightly more fuel-efficient and can yield a more comfortable ride.

Keep in mind, however, that the center caps and lug nuts are sold separately, driving the effective price of these wheels up. While an initial look will lead you to think these wheels come in well below average, four center caps and a set of lug nuts cost around $100, definitely something to mull over if you’re price sensitive. The Pro Comp 97 also comes in a 17-inch size and is more affordable, though they’re heavier and take quite a bit more work to install.

And while the design is simple at first glance, once mounted, they actually look really good on a truck, not too simple nor too gaudy. They’re a workhorse wheel for workhorse drivers.

Pros

  • Look great without being over the top
  • 15-inch diameter helps maintain a light weight
  • Good for older trucks and sub-compact pickups
  • Simple design looks surprisingly good once mounted
  • Workhouse wheel for workhorse drivers

Cons

  • Lug nuts and center caps are sold separately

7. Lightest Truck Wheels: Pro Comp Alloys 1069 Polished Wheels

Pro Comp Alloys 1069 Polished Wheels

Why we like it: These incrediblly light 16-inch wheels are simple, economical, and contain a brilliantly polished chrome coating.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 16 inches
  • Wheel Material: Polished aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 8 x 6.5 inches
  • Offset: 2 mm
  • Rim Width: 8 inches
  • Wheel Weight: 20 lbs

If you’re thinking about a middle ground option between small, commuter-friendly 15-inch wheels and a larger-format 17 inch model, the ticket could be these inexpensive polished aluminum rims from manufacturer Pro Comp. While they’re pretty basic, they’ll get the job done, and they’re one of the limited 16 inch diameter wheels on the market. They include a center cap, but you’ll have to pick up a new set of lug nuts, as OEM lug nuts can’t be used with these wheels.

They’re the lightest wheels in our lineup at just a touch over 20 pounds, and although that may mean slightly reduced durability, a lifetime structural warranty covers you if anything should happen.

Our biggest issue with these wheels, frankly, is the design. While the polished chrome finish might prove a clever disguise to the basic construction, we wish Pro Comp put a little more effort in. Looking for a pair of really good looking wheels? Consider checking out the HELO Triple Plated Chrome Wheels.

Pros

  • Lightest wheels in our lineup thanks to aluminum construction
  • A simple compromise between 15 inch and 17 inch wheels
  • Lifetime structural warranty
  • Included center cap

Cons

  • Polished finish doesn’t cover up for the fact that they’re not great looking
  • Structural integrity is compromised by light weight

8. Best Wheels for Toyota Trucks: Toyota TRD PRO Matte Black Wheels

Toyota TRD PRO Matte Black Wheels

Why we like it: These Toyota wheels are built by the company’s in-house racing tech shop, yielding a product that’s meant to perform on the track, off-road, and on your commute.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 17 Inches
  • Wheel Material: Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 6 holes x 139.7 mm
  • Offset: 4 mm
  • Rim Width: 7 inches
  • Wheel Weight: 28 lbs

These 17-inch wheels work fantastically with all of Toyota’s most common trucks, from 4Runners to Tacomas. The TRD label they’re branded with stands for Toyota Racing Development, Toyota’s advanced performance lab. Just because it’s got ‘racing’ in the title doesn’t mean you’ve got to hit the track to make these wheels worth it: they’re fine for daily drivers, but optimized for off road performance.

Looks are pretty unimpressive in our opinion, but you’re probably not buying a Toyota for looks: you’re buying it for reliability and longevity. These wheels surely stand up to the test of time there. They count on Toyota warranty and customer support, which by itself is well worth a slight price premium.

The four millimeter offset isn’t very common for trucks, nor is the seven inch rim width, but they’re both standard for Toyota trucks, so they’ll work with pretty much any Toyota model that’s come out within the last 10 years. The 28 pound weight is about typical for the type of wheel and material.

Watch out, however, if you’ve got a non-Toyota truck or you’ve already modified or lifted your Toyota: the tolerances are quite tight, and you might have a tricky time if you haven’t triple-checked measurements.

Pros

  • Fit all of Toyota’s most popular trucks
  • Optimized for off road performance by Toyota’s performance lab
  • Rely on Toyota’s warranty and customer support
  • Reliable and long-lasting

Cons

  • May not fit modified, non-Toyota, or lifted trucks
  • Slight price premium over similar shoes
  • Looks aren’t too impressive

9. Best 20 Inch Wheels: OE Wheels Hollander

OE Wheels Hollander

Why we like it: These GM-specific 20-inch wheels, although expensive, are loaded up with warranties and maintain a light weight even with their large format.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Wheel Material: Aluminum
  • Bolt Pattern: 6 lugs
  • Offset: 31 mm
  • Rim Width: 8.5 inches
  • Wheel Weight: 31 lbs

These wheels were created as a replacement for large GMC and Chevrolet vehicles like the Silverado, Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon, and Escalade, but will fit other vehicles that have wheels with similar or identical specifications. Keep in mind that since these are specifically made for specific GM models, if you’ve got a modified truck (specifically suspension or braking), you might have trouble fitting these wheels. Double check before buying these 20-inch monsters.

With wheels this big, you’re practically required to build them out of cast aluminum if you don’t want to end up with something that weighs a ridiculous amount, although even still they’re heavy-ish at 31 pounds.

While the wallet hit is pretty extreme, keep in mind that you’re also paying for a one-year aesthetic warranty and a lifetime structural guarantee. That’s worth quite a bit against models like Pro Comp Rock Crawler Steel Wheels with lesser or nonexistent warranties.

Pros

  • Created specifically to fit GMC models
  • Cast aluminum construction
  • Great warranty for aesthetics
  • Structural lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Relatively heavy for aluminum at 31 pounds
  • Might not fit cars with lifts or brake modifications

10. Best Chrome Truck Wheels: Helo Triple Chrome Plated Wheel

Helo Triple Chrome Plated Wheel

Why we like it: These chrome-plated wheels look great on a dropped or lifted truck with a shiny, warrantied top coat.

Editor’s Rating:

At a Glance:

  • Wheel Size: 17 inches
  • Wheel Material: Alloy
  • Bolt Pattern: 8 x 180 mm
  • Offset: 0 mm
  • Rim Width: 9 inches
  • Wheel Weight: 36 lbs

Look, we’ll be straight with you: these aren’t off-roading wheels, nor are they even really meant to be great performing wheels. If you’re throwing them on your pickup truck, they’re really only meant for one thing: looking really, really cool. Chromed-out rims are particularly popular with the low riding (or lifted, for that matter) crowds, with shine taking priority over form factor. And shine these wheels do, with a triple chrome-plated finish topped off by a triple chrome-plated center cap.

Those aesthetics are even covered by the warranty, as the chrome coating has a one-year finish warranty against any aesthetic damage that happens; it comes with an impressive lifetime structural guarantee as well.

At 36 pounds a pop, we’re not surprised that these alloy rims can take a beating. For costing over $200, we wouldn’t mind if these wheels came with some lug nuts, but who are we to complain—you’re paying for aesthetics, here. If you don’t care about looks, choose something simpler and more affordable like the HELO HE835.

Pros

  • Chromed out rims look great on most trucks
  • Triple chrome-plated finish and center cap
  • One year finish warranty for aesthetics
  • Lifetime structural guarantee

Cons

  • Relatively expensive wheels
  • High weight of 36 pounds per wheel
  • No lug nuts included with purchase

Guide to Buying the Best Truck Wheels for 2021

Truck owners are quite selective about what they’re looking for in a set of wheels: between looks, performance, weight, tire compatibility, and warranty considerations, there’s a lot that goes into the selection process.

Below we’ll outline some of the details related to your purchase and also outline some points that you might not have considered in your preliminary product research. A little reading and investigation will help you loads in the long term.

How Wheels Affect Your Truck’s Mechanics

You can’t slap a pair of wheels on and not expect the change to affect your truck’s mechanics and performance, especially if you’re changing the size of the wheel. Make sure you are paying attention to your manufacturer’s guidelines and be aware of the potential downsides of a wheel change.

Suspension Considerations

Suspension systems are designed around a specific wheel size, sometimes even a specific wheel model, and placing a different wheel can change how your suspension behaves and performs. If your truck is lifted or you’re planning to lift your truck as you change your wheels, that can affect your suspension system as well.

Large wheels typically mean a stretched out tire, which can affect the comfort and noise level inside your truck. It can also make wheels and tires more susceptible to damage. If you replace your tires, this solves some of the problems, but it can change the readings from your speedometer and tire-pressure sensor. While it’s done frequently enough so that it usually doesn’t cause issues, be aware that it could require some troubleshooting to tune up.

Drivetrain Considerations

There’s no two ways about it: increasing wheel size changes your effective gear ratio. When you purchase a larger rim, the effective diameter of your wheel grows (it’s the same way if you simply purchase a larger tire), and this means acceleration takes more power.

Depending on how your transmission is set up and how low your lowest gear is, this can considerably affect your drivetrain system. This change also can affect fuel economy. The secret is to make changes incrementally, and not to rock the boat too much. Our top overall pick is available in a range of large sizes, making it a great option to find the perfect size.

If you’re dead set on moving to a bigger wheel, use this tire size calculator alongside your owner’s manual to make sure your change won’t drastically alter your truck’s performance.

The Most Common Wheel Sizes

Different trucks have different recommended wheel sizes, but there’s a bit of room within a couple of inches on both sides. While 15 inch wheels have been incredibly popular in the past, now, more than ever, 17 inch wheels and less common 16 inch and 18 inch models have come more to the forefront, although they’re still relatively uncommon.

15 Inches

15 inch wheels used to be the standard truck wheel size, although now they’re gradually being phased out of use with trucks as 17 inch models gain market share and popularity. Many drivers still prefer 15 inches for performance, although 17 inch wheels have their use case as well.

A 15 inch wheel is proven to deliver a more comfortable ride, and some data shows that gas mileage can be better on smaller wheels when other variables are controlled. Be aware, though, that most of the latest research and development technology goes towards 17 inch tires, so you might not get the latest and greatest truck tech when shopping for new rubber.

Not all wheels come in 15-inch sizes, but those who need these small wheels should check out the American Racing Custom Wheels Black Satin.

17 Inches

There’s one case where we’ll always recommend 17-inch wheels: offroading. There are some undeniable truths when offroading, disregarding personal opinion. A bigger wheel can roll over bigger objects as well as add some marginal benefits on low-friction surfaces like sand and mud.

Other Sizes

While 15 inch wheels and 17 inch wheels are easily the most popular wheels on the market, there are plenty of other wheels produced in size of anywhere from 14 to 22 inches for trucks.

You can check this guide on rim size from auto magazine Car and Driver to learn a bit more about the subject, but our recommendation is to stick with the same size rims that came on your car in the first place.

Selecting a Tire for Your Truck Wheels

Selecting a tire for your truck wheels is one of the most contentious subjects for anyone who’s serious about their truck. You’d think picking out a truck wheel would have more to do with purpose, function, and price than personal opinion, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Off Road Tires

Among the ‘serious trucking’ crowd, there’s only one type of tires: off road tires. Not only are they good for the dirt, grass, mud, gravel, and grass of off road trails and rock gardens, they also perform better than fuel-efficient road tires in the snow and the rain. Plus, they look the best of all other tires, with aggressive widths and tread patterns. They’re also good for towing and help with weight capacity. Unfortunately, they decrease fuel efficiency horribly, they’re expensive, and their soft rubber compounds wear out quickly.

Road Tires

Road tires and all season tires are designed for use on asphalt in both dry and wet conditions. While they’re probably the best option for most truck drivers, pickup owners generally prefer something a bit more aggressive looking. We’ve got no such prejudices and therefore recommend road tires unless you’re driving more off road than on.

Winter Tires

Winter tires are great for their designed use case (snow) and better than alternatives in adverse cold-weather conditions (ice), but they’re nowhere near to performing as well as a road tire in optimal conditions. Most trucks are already four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, so a pickup will already be your first choice in wintery conditions. And the price of winter tires has gone down in recent years, so picking up a set can definitely be worth a look.

Wheel Balancing

All new aftermarket wheels will have something in common: when purchased, they come out of balance. The construction process simply isn’t perfect, and when you mount up a tire, the wheel will be significantly out of alignment. At higher speeds, this can be dangerous as wheels wobble back and forth, affecting not only comfort, but stability.

We strongly recommend that you head to your local auto shop to get your wheels balanced, but if you’ve got experience, you can take a crack at it yourself. The most important thing is that at least someone takes a look at your wheels before installation: if you just throw your wheels on without a second thought, you could end up in a wobbly or even dangerous situation.

Truck Wheel FAQ

What Is the Best Truck Wheel Size?

There’s no best wheel size, only a manufacturer-suggested size and optimal sizes for different tasks. Larger wheels are typically better for larger trucks and can improve offroad performance as well, but reduce fuel efficiency and cause stress on tires.

Most people don’t ‘downsize’ to smaller truck wheels, but if you choose to stick with the same size, enjoy better highway performance but decreased offroad traction and towing capacity.

Can I Put Wider Tires on Truck Rims?

This is really two questions in one, the first one addressing the differences between truck and car rims, and the second one addressing the efficacy of putting a wider-than-standard tire on a truck rim.

We’ll answer the first question first: are truck rims better at holding a non-standard tire than a car rim? Generally, yes. A larger lip means that the tolerances are a bit higher, and you’re less likely to encounter problems when mounting a different tire/rim combo.

Efficacy is a different story: a stretched tire goes on a bigger wheel, which typically means the driver is targeting better offroad or towing performance. In this case, more stress can mean a higher probability of a flat.

If you’re going to be sizing up for better high-stress performance, grab a new pair of tires to make sure you won’t flat in a dangerous situation.

Should I Use a Truck Tire or a Car Tire?

When you drive a consumer pickup truck, you’re faced with a decision: do you use a burly car tire, that’ll typically be quicker, more economical, and more fuel-efficient? Or should you use a burlier light truck tire (labeled LT) for more impressive durability, better off road traction, and a tougher-looking stance?

It’s up to you, and plenty has to do with personal preferences and aesthetics, but we’ll give you a rough idea: if your truck has a ¾ to ½-ton bed capacity, do yourself a favor and pick up a light-truck tire.

If you’re planning on doing some towing, a light truck tire is a good idea as well. Just heading around town and using your bed only for lightweight hauls? A standard car tire should be more than sufficient.

Take the Open Road

Maybe you’ve damaged a wheel and you’re using it as an opportunity to upgrade your whole set, or perhaps you’re thinking about buying a differently-sized wheel set to pump up performance off-road or improve towing ability.

No matter the reason for your purchase, the advent of online wheel sales has created tremendous benefits for consumers, with options for all types and classes of pickup drivers. Do your research, make sure you’ve got your specs right, and you’ll be good to go to drive off into the sunset.