Tire Maintenance & Safety

Wheel Offsets Explained

wheel offsets infographic
Last updated 11/17/2022 - Originally published 11/17/2022
Written by SimpleTire

What are wheel offsets?

While shopping and researching a set of wheels, you may see the term ‘wheel offsets’ being mentioned on a number of websites. Simply put, offset wheels define how the wheels are mounted on the wheel wells and is the distance between the hub-mounting face towards the wheel’s rear and its center line. A wheel offset is important for ensuring proper tire and wheel alignment.

Positive offset wheel on an orange car

How do offset wheels work?

The correct wheel offset is important for proper tire fitment as it shows how the wheels fit into their wheel wells. If not done correctly, the wrong offset could create issues with your brakes, suspension, and even fenders. A positive offset means the mounting surface faces outwards, towards the street. In comparison, negative offset wheels have the mounting surface tucked closer to the wheel’s inside edge. While the former is more common for latest OEM setups, the latter can be seen in show cars and trucks.

Negative offset wheels on a white truck

Ensure you select the best rims since having the proper tire and wheel combination is essential. Think about how your truck or SUV's factory-installed wheels were meticulously crafted by engineers to provide enough space between the wheel and tire and exposed parts including tie-rod ends, brake calipers, fender wells, and the frame. If you use a different wheel and tire setup, you might discover that rubbing can happen when the suspension is articulating or when you perform routine steering actions. Make sure your offset truck wheels have the proper measurements to avoid this, as described below.

Wheel offset chart

!​​Wheel Offset Chart

Consider the wheel offset chart here to avoid measurement conversions and calculations after you know the tire width, to help save stress and time. It will undoubtedly be useful while looking at different rim possibilities for your tires.

In connection with offsets, you should also be familiar with backspacing which is the separation between the hub-mounting surface and the inboard outer edge of the wheel. When larger wheels and tires are used, proper backspace calculations prevent any unintended clearance concerns between the tires and suspension elements.

What are the benefits of offset wheels?

  1. Proper offsets ensure vehicles have proper ground clearance, preventing them from brushing against their body, brakes, or suspensions.
  2. A custom wheel offset enables a vehicle to display an aggressive stance, enabling wheels to fill their arches better.
  3. Performance-based cars receive customized widths between wheels across their axles. A greater width is helpful for racing purposes.
  4. Offset wheels can ensure better handling if the wheels are pushed outwards.
  5. Numerous wheel fitment problems can be resolved by correctly understanding wheel offsets. Upsizing of wheels and tires frequently calls for different offsets.

At SimpleTire, we firmly think that motorists should know more about their vehicles while investigating a new component such as an offset wheel. Before making any significant changes, gather as much knowledge as possible about custom offsets. We are aware that there are many possibilities while selecting the ideal wheel and tire combination for your automobile or truck, and we are always available to assist you if you need professional advice.

Ready to find the perfect tires?

Search By