When are wheels too big? Can you have too much lift? When is enough – enough?

My personal take on this is yes there is definitely a point where wheel and tire combos are too big and there is such as thing as too much lift. For me, it’s a style versus performance issue. Style has become a larger part of the fabric of the off-road world. Bumpers are less utilitarian, snorkels are stylized, everything has texture and branding to make it look as good as it hopefully performs.

Let’s focus on wheel and tire combos today.

The basis of this is predicated on the idea that 4WAAM is primarily a site about the off-road and outdoor lifestyle and not a site dedicated to Donks or vehicles that only drive on pavement.

Could the wheels possibly perform off-road? Maybe, but losing some of the sidewalls means it’s harder to air the tires down for those moments you need more traction, not to mention that the sidewalls act as additional cushioning for the bumps.

I would also worry about the extra stresses put on the wheels and how well those wheels can handle abuse and impacts. Not being structural engineers this is conjecture on our part but if you don’t trust it when you look at them, you won’t buy them anyway.

This is a 15-inch rim and a 35-inch tire. Look at the amount of sidewall and traction that creates.

Sidewall equals comfort and impact absorption. The less of it you have the less it will absorb impacts and road imperfections and the more it will transmit that harshness to you. That’s great for racecars not so hot for road comfort.

I did some research into weight differences and if you are talking about a 17-inch combo versus a 20-inch combo the weight is negligible. Less than 1 pound on average. When you jump up to a 22-inch wheel the tire weight starts to go back up and the wheels get heavier. In my research combo, the wheel went from 26 pounds at 17-inches to 50 pounds at 22-inches. Taking the total package from 102 pounds to 121 pounds. Not a small jump in weight. (Tires were both 35-inch sizes from the same manufacturer. Wheels were from the same manufacturer.) If you start talking larger tires and heavier duty wheels that weight continues to get worse for those larger rim sizes.

Big wheels; yes or no? What do you think?

Do you think these are too big? What size is ideal?

Share with your friends!

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

Leave a comment

Share your thoughts with us! Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.