Best Jeep Wheels: Add Performance and Style
New wheels on your Jeep provide an updated look and better performance
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If your Jeep’s wheels are dented, scuffed, rusted, or just plain beat up, maybe it’s time to consider a new set. New Jeep wheels will give you confidence and stability on off-road journeys and also add a unique style to your ride. Choose one of our top picks below and start to add a new dimension to your Jeep.
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Benefits of Jeep Wheels
- Looks. Choose a stylish aftermarket set of wheels and you can completely change and upgrade the look of your Jeep. Consider the color and spoke pattern that appeals to you.
- Durability. If you want to go off-roading, the right set of wheels will give you improved durability. They’ll provide strength and support to the tires as they flex around obstacles.
- Performance. You can improve the overall performance of your car by choosing a set of aftermarket wheels that are lighter than the stock wheels. You could buy heavy steel wheels for improved performance while off-roading.
Types of Jeep Wheels
These are the most basic and traditional types of wheels, and with that, they tend to be the cheapest. Steel is made from an alloy of carbon and iron, which makes them incredibly durable, but also heavy. You’ll find that they have limited designs and minimal style. Most companies just punch holes in the wheels to create a design.
For a long time, alloy wheels were only used on high-end cars from the manufacturer. But in the last few decades, alloy wheels have become the wheel of choice. They’re lightweight yet have the same strength as steel wheels. Production is fast and easy by pouring a molten compound into a pre-made mold.
There are two and three-piece wheels where the main components are made separately and then bolted together. This tends to make them a bit heavier than alloy wheels but still lighter than steel wheels. The barrel and the face make up the two separate pieces. Three-piece wheels take this even further by making the wheel two pieces to allow for adjustability.
These are the strongest wheels on the market and are made from forged aluminum. The metal is subjected to high temperatures in excess of 900 degrees. The metal gets crushed down to make it extremely dense and strong. This compression also makes them extremely light.
Helo produces aftermarket wheels in chrome and black. Their product line ranges from wheels meant for lowered and lifted trucks and SUVs to off-roading and lifted trucks. They also have wheels that can give your vehicle a stock look. The Helo HE835 Gloss Black Machined Wheel is a perfect example of Helo’s attention to detail when it comes to style.
Founded in 1963, Mickey Thompson is named after the racing legend of the same name. While the company is famous around the world for producing high-quality race wheels, they also produce wheels for street cars and trucks, including Jeeps. The Mickey Thompson Classic III Wheel with Satin Black Finish is an example of its commitment to excellence beyond racing.
KMC Wheels was founded in 1995 and is the company behind XD Series wheels. The company prides itself on pushing the envelope to continually produce innovative styles and rule-breaking performance. The XD Series by KMC Wheels Rockstar Matte Black is a popular model due to its bold yet simplistic styling that looks great on a wide variety of vehicles.
Even though it’s one of the younger companies on this list, Fuel hit the market in 2009 and has proven to be a game-changer. The company prides itself on producing high-quality off-roading performance wheels. The Fuel Lethal Matte BLK MIL Wheel is sure to give your lifted truck some attention-grabbing style.
Black Rhino has built a reputation for creating wheels that combine sharp style and strength. The company dedicates itself to creating lighter and stronger wheels. But it isn’t all about performance; it also puts a priority on designing some wicked good looks. The Black Rhino Armory is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to excellence.
While other companies on this list make wheels for all vehicles, Rugged Ridge is dedicated to producing parts for Jeeps. Established in 2005, the company branched out into wheels when they saw a gap in the market. Today, they have over 3,000 products available. The Rugged Ridge XHD Black Satin Wheel is a perfect example of the company’s understated, performance-focused style.
Jeep Wheels Pricing
- Under $100: These wheels are smaller, plain, and usually steel. You won’t find fancy detailing or unique colors. You won’t get performance-boosting qualities. These wheels are best for someone on a budget.
- $100 to $500: You’ll find that these wheels have a bit more flash than the basic wheels, but still lack fine details and style. These wheels tend to be steel, alloy, or multi-piece.
- $500 to $1,000: Wheels in this range are high quality and come in a variety of types, including alloy, forged, and multi-piece. Sizing can range from small to large. Styles tend to be more intricate and bold with small detailing.
- $1,000 and up: These are specialty and top-of-the-line wheels. They are made of lightweight composites that are forged to create the greatest level of durability and performance. They also tend to be bigger wheels, usually in the 20-inch plus range. They’ll have extra details and intricate designs.
Most Jeep owners will end up buying steel or alloy wheels. Steel wheels are perfect for the person wanting to do some serious off-roading. They’re strength and durability make them strong enough to withstand the abuse experienced during climbing obstacles. Alloy is perfect for the Jeep owner who uses their vehicle as a daily driver.
All vehicles, including Jeeps, have a specific bolt pattern that is what secures the mounted wheel to the wheel hub. This can also be called the lug pattern. You need to match the wheel bolt pattern to your Jeep’s bolt pattern. You also need to look at the number and length of the bolts to ensure that your new wheels will stay secured to the Jeep.
Rim Size and Width
The rim size is the diameter of the wheel. It’s easiest to match the original size on the Jeep. If you plan to go off-roading, then you may want to consider a smaller size so that you can buy tires with a larger sidewall. Keep in mind that changing the wheel diameter will change your tire size and how your Jeep handles.
The offset is how far off of the center of the barrel the mounting plate is set. For the easiest wheel replacement, match the offset of your stock wheels. If you choose wheels too far off, you’ll need to adjust either the Jeep’s suspension components or fenders to prevent rubbing.
- Beadlocks. This feature is vital for serious off-roading enthusiasts. The beadlock keeps the tire secured to the rim when you run at lower tire pressure. There are two types: a clamp ring or an outer bead grip. This type of wheel isn’t meant for the road because they’re heavier and harder to balance.
- Hub Centric or Lug Centric. Hub centric wheels have a space in the center of the bore of the wheel that fits perfectly onto the axle of the wheel. The lugs then hold the wheel flush to the mounting plate. Lug centric wheels use the lugs to center the wheel. There tends to be a space between the axle and the hub.
- Finish. Choose a set of wheels that speak to you when it comes to style. They need to reflect your taste and look good with the rest of your Jeep. You’ll find wheels that are chrome, black, machined, and milled. There are some wheels that have brightly colored accents. The colored finishes can be glossy, matte, or satin.
Best Jeep Wheels Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- You may need extra-long valve stems in order to accommodate the deep recesses of some of Jeep wheels. Also, lug nuts that fit your choice of wheels perfectly are usually sold separately.
- If you dent or bend steel or alloy wheels on an off-road adventure or even in town, they can be repaired. Just take them to a custom shop where they have the equipment to repair dents and bend wheels.
- Wheel maintenance is usually simple. Wash and dry them, especially after off-road adventures. Keeping your wheels clean and dry and occasionally spraying them with a new clear coat helps prevent rust and corrosion.
Q: Are all Jeep wheels basically the same?
A: All wheels hold the tire and support the vehicle, but the similarity ends there. Differences include the material, bolt patterns, rim size and width, and offset and backspacing. Types of finishes and protectants also vary from wheel to wheel.
Q: What is better: a steel wheel or an alloy wheel?
A: It depends on a number of factors: where you plan to drive your Jeep (primarily street or off-road), if you are concerned about handling and fuel economy, and if you value style over performance. In general, steel wheels are heavier and stronger, and while they are better for off-road driving fuel economy is affected. Alloy wheels are usually made of either aluminum or magnesium and are therefore lighter and better for street driving. Lighter wheels also produce less strain on suspension and steering parts and give you better fuel economy.
Q: What other factors should I be concerned about when choosing a set of wheels?
A: Bolt pattern is important. Jeeps usually have a 5 x 4.5 or 5 x 5 pattern. Also, rim size is a factor. It is determined by the tire. For example, a 215/75R15 tire has to go on a 15-inch wheel. Offset and backspacing are other technical considerations you need to research before purchasing new wheels.
For attractive, durable, functional wheels, we chose the RockTrix RT105 17-Inch Wheels as our best Jeep wheels overall.
Our best value pick, Helo HE878 Wheels, are economical but sharp-looking and heavy-duty as well.