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Is Wheel Weight Important?

Is Wheel Weight Important?

– Hello YouTube, today we’re
here to talk to you about if wheel weight is important,
and I am your host. That sounded really creepy, but I actually am Alex
from Fitment Industries and for the low, low cost of subscribing, we’re going to learnt you some things. So I don’t know if you guys know or not, but we see it a lot here on
the wheel side of things, that if you’re going
to buy wheels and tires or you’re talking about
wheels and tires online, there’s a lot of people that
argue about wheel weight and how important or not
important it actually is. If you’re one of those
guys that build your car for a car show, you may not
really care about wheel weight or you might be talking smack
towards the autocross people that care way too much about half a pound shaved off their wheel. Then you have the autocross people that are obviously talking
smack about the car show people, because they do care
about the pound savings that they could get if
they went with a Hypergram versus just a normal Cosmis wheel. And then you also have the
HPD people that are like, “Wow, you go around a parking
lot with traffic cones, “that really doesn’t do a whole lot. “We need to make sure that
we’re saving as much weight “as possible, which could
be a quarter pound.” And it’s just a big controversial subject. And so we decided to talk
a little bit about it, because there’s a lot of
myths and things that we think are a little bit twisted
for the convenience of whoever’s arguing with
you about wheel weight. So let’s talk about it. So the first and most common misconception about wheel weight is that you have sprung weight versus unsprung weight. And for everybody out there, we’re gonna keep this super, super simple. So sprung weight is obviously
weight that is, well, sprung. Sprung weight is just the weight that is held up by the suspension. A lot of times what people will say is, “Any weight that’s above
the suspension components “is your sprung weight.” So anything from your chassis
to your motor to your interior to your subs to anything
that’s above your suspension is going to be your sprung weight, while anything below that,
or your suspension components themselves, are your unsprung weight. That would be your wheels,
your tires, your break rotors, your break pads, everything in between. Now, what you see a lot
of times on the internet is people trying to
make ratios for unsprung to sprung weight and how
much weight it can save you if you are shaving a
pound off of your wheels, that it equals around 15
pounds of weight shaved if it’s above your suspension component. And that is probably the biggest myth. And the big answer to that
question is (dial tone) No, it’s not true. Sprung weight versus unsprung
weight is obviously important, because your sprung weight is what’s gonna keep traction on the ground. A lot of times if you loosen
up a lot of your sprung weight and you don’t have the
correct characteristics to match it with your unsprung weight, you’re gonna have issues with traction, turning, and all that sort of fun stuff. So there is a ratio in
terms of making sure that you’re maintaining
the correct traction path, but that is super fancy stuff and you really wanna know
about it, let us know in the comments, but we won’t
talk about it right here. What you do need to know
is that sprung weight ideally is something
that you wanna minimize because a lot of times
if you have less weight, you’re gonna have more
vehicle responsiveness. Now this is where it kind of dives into probably the most important part of this whole thing,
which isn’t sprung weight versus unsprung weight,
it’s rotational mass. So rotational mass is
exactly what it sounds like. And if you were a highschooler, you probably remember science class when we talked about rotational mass and that is essentially
just mass that is rotating and how it actually is more of an effort than it is if it’s just standard weight, or static weight as we like to call it. So if you were to take a
pound weight and attach it to a 12 inch string, it’d
probably be a little bit harder to keep in tune than it would be just holding a one pound weight. The easiest, simplest way we
can explain rotational mass, I know there’s somebody in the comments that’s gonna call us out
on it, just hear us out. Rotational weight is probably
the most important thing when it comes to wheel weight,
because with wheel weights, you are essentially spinning the wheels. So the heavier the wheel,
the more rotational mass you essentially have, and ultimately that can be more
difficult on your vehicle. Now if you have a 32 pound wheel, everything’s gonna be
tough on your vehicle in terms of braking, stopping, going, any sort of power steering
fluid, you can kiss that goodbye, because it’s just gonna be
a huge pain in the butt. On top of that, if you’ve
ever ran diamond Steelies, that are 32 pound, 15 by
10s, without power steering, you know how terrible
and difficult it can be to actually turn wheels that are heavy. You may ask me how I know. I know because I did it; terrible idea. Rotational mass is important
to take into effect if you really are trying to shave a little bit of weight off your wheels. But it doesn’t have a
huge ratio attached to it. You see, rotational weight is
what’s gonna affect your car from being able to slow down, go, or turn, because of your
corner responsiveness, especially connected to your steering. So really, is it important? Absolutely. And rotational mass is what you
should really be looking at, versus the sprung weight
and unsprung weight and that whole ratio,
because the whole one pound to 15 pounds or the one
pound to three pounds or the four pounds, the 20
pounds, it’s just not true. And there are ratios for rotational mass in terms of deeming how much you can save on the overall scheme of things, but it’s gonna be pretty minimalistic. What you do need to know
is that if you are looking to shave weight for rotational
mass, you should shave the weight furthest
away from the hub bore. So you should go with rotary
forced wheels because the wheel is actually farther
away from the hub bore. The more weight that’s spinning around that center is
ultimately gonna have more of an effect than if the wheel weight was closer to the center,
like your center cast. So is wheel weight important? And that’s a really big thing
that a lot of people ask. And the answer to that
question is obviously yes. But is it as important
as what a lot of people make it out to believe? And
the answer to that is no. Rotational mass is important, yes; wheel weight is also important. But if you’re looking to shave a pound or a pound and a half off your wheels and it’s the difference between
spending $1,200 and $2,400 and you’re trying to
keep everything in mind, it really isn’t that big of a deal. And 99% of people will
not see a difference in their overall driving
quality if they even shave two to three pounds off of a
wheel, and that’s per wheel. What you are gonna notice is you might get a little bit more responsiveness
and that’s a good thing, but unless you’re a very avid
track autocrosser HPD person, you’re really not gonna even notice. You’re gonna get way more
of drive time reduction if you just become a better driver. So that’s one of those things
where if you’re looking to get a set of wheels
and the wheel weight is not that different, get what you want. And if you don’t really want to worry about weight, you don’t have to. But just remember that if you are going above five, six pounds for a wheel, that’s when you’re gonna
start to see a difference. But don’t expect any sort
of wheel weight ratio or anything like that, because
that’s even tripped us up in the past before and it
just simply isn’t true. So I hope you guys enjoyed. This is what we think about wheel weight. Let us know in the
comments what you’d like to see us talk about next and of course, if you’re looking at wheels,
tires, or suspension, check out We have 30,000 wheels, tires, suspension. We have everything that
you could possibly imagine. It’s pretty neat. And we have
a gallery, so add your car to the gallery if you want to. But I’m Alex from Fitment Industries. We’ll see you later, peace. I’m not gonna drop it this time, whoo!

7 comments on “Is Wheel Weight Important?

  1. You didn’t mention gas mileage. So if I have the exact same car that gets 30 miles to the gallon with stock tires and rims, and I do a long drive (the whole tank,) through a few towns with signal lights, will it make any appreciable difference if my wheel weight is reduced by a few pounds?

  2. The faster you go the more relevant wheel weight becomes. Cruising around town not so much but at high speed on bumpy roads where suspension needs to react very very quickly to not transfer the bumps to the chassis or also if the wheels need to change direction on their axis quickly like in a high speed chicane or avoidance manoeuvre.

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