When you’re shopping for wheels to throw under your off-road rig, you may notice that some wheels are cast, and others are forged. This tells you how the wheel is manufactured. Before purchasing a set, educate yourself on how the wheel is made, and what that means for your truck. Most offroad wheels are cast wheels, but some higher end companies offer forged wheels in their lineup. Both wheels are strong and durable, but they each have their own pros and cons. Let’s look into each one and explain what you’re getting.
The most common wheel in the off-road world is manufactured using aluminum casting. This process entails aluminium alloy being poured into a mold where it takes on the shape of the final wheel. The process then involves vibrating and vacuums to take all the air out of the mold, providing for a solid casting of the final wheel design. This process tends to be the norm for wheels, as it’s fairly inexpensive compared to forging, and provides for a lower consumer price point. The nature of this process leads to a heavier wheel, as the material thickness must be higher to create the required structural integrity for heavy duty use.
A forged wheel, or monoblock forged wheel, uses an entirely different and much more complex process. First, a solid block of high grade 6061 aluminium is taken and compressed with multiple cycles of extreme pressure and heat. This strengthens the grain of the aluminium, allowing for the material hardness and density to be much higher, providing for a stronger metal. This hardened aluminium block then goes into a precision CNC mill, which then machines the wheel design out of that solid block, producing a much thinner, lighter, yet much stronger wheel. Due to the cost of the high grade aluminium, heavy machinery, and lengthy process required to produce a wheel by this method, forged wheels come in at a much higher price point.
The benefits of a cast wheel tend to revolve around the price of the wheel. Casting is a quicker, and easier process, which allows companies to have a lower final price on the product. Although cheaper, these wheels are heavier than their Forged counterparts.
Forging a wheel provides a much lighter wheel, but comes at a much higher pricetag. These wheels tend to be purchased by enthusiasts that want the least unsprung weight possible, providing for better handling, braking, and gas consumption.
If you’re able to meet the pricepoint of a forged wheelset (typically $2000-3000 per set), you can reap the benefits of having lighter wheels. This is perfect for those looking to put heavy tires such as all-terrains and mud-terrains, without adding too much unsprung weight. If that pricetag is out of your budget, going with a cast wheel is the best bet. High-end cast wheels tend to have higher load ratings, providing for a strong wheel capable of all off-road activities. These will weigh more, but will cost less.
Whether you’re building a rock-crawler, or an overland rig loaded with all the essentials, both cast and forged wheels will take on whatever task is thrown at them. Relations Race Wheels offers both types of wheels, and both have been tried and tested by the loyal customers that purchase them. Take a look at the link below to browse through the forged wheel lineup:
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